The child modeling industry can be a tough business, but there are many differences between what child modeling agencies are looking compared to adult modeling agencies. The two industries can be worlds apart, and the ways in which you and your child can stand out are probably more straightforward than you might think.
In the child modeling industry, it's not all about beauty. Agencies are looking for children of all shapes and sizes with every type of appearance. You don't just have to have a gorgeous child to stand out from the crowd. In fact, there are five characteristics which will help you go far in the industry – and beauty is but one!
So what are child modeling agencies really looking for in a successful model?
- Be natural and photogenic. Everyone knows that photogenic children have the best starting point, and yes this is the first characteristic of a successful child model. Acting naturally in photographs and coming across well is critical. But many children will meet this criteria yet only ever get a couple of paying jobs because they are missing the other 4 critical characteristics. What else do we need?
- Be easy to work with. It's really important that your child (and you, as the accompanying parent) are easy to work with. This means being polite, attentive, listening and acting on instructions from the director, and being well behaved. If you make the clients and modeling agencies lives easy, they'll be jumping at the chance to work with you again in the future!
- Have a strong work ethic. You need to be willing to put the effort in and travel to casting calls and photo shoots even knowing that you won't always have success and the day will be tiring. Clients can be picky, but those which work hard to show up to events wherever they are, and on time, are like gold dust.
- Be willing to say "yes". It's critical that you do make the most of the job offers you and your child get given. Make yourself available to attend the shoots you're offered – meaning if you're not available, you need to reschedule your life as necessary in order to say "yes" and take the work. If you can't or won't take offers of paid work, the clients will stop offering it to you.
- Have a good reputation. Both the child modeling agencies and the clients they send you to will remember both the best and worst attendees at casting calls and even on the job. If you're consistently exhibiting all of the above characteristics, your reputation will build and soon you'll be getting offers left, right and center from eager photographs and agencies who know how easy to work with you are and who can't wait to give you work.
As you get known for exhibiting these qualities, you'll soon be a roaring success. As a popular model, you may find yourself having to say "no" (contrary to the above characteristics!) But that's okay – saying no to offers because you're over booked and in demand only makes people want to hire you more.
Now, apply the above advice to your child's modeling career and get out there. You'll soon find yourself having huge successes and being inundated with more offers than ever before.