Child modelling is a huge market these days. Many advertisers, working in print and broadcast, look for children and babies to promote their products and services. While the earnings can be impressive, there’re many pitfalls to watch out for too.
There are bogus agencies that charge parents for a “portfolio” of photos and then never contact them again. If you’re seriously thinking of child modelling as a hobby for your kids, make sure you follow our step-by-step guide and only go to reputable agencies.
Child modelling could be a fun new hobby for your offspring.
Cute, sociable, well-behaved children are perfect candidates for child modelling. If yours possess those qualities then the opportunities could be endless. Perhaps your child’s face will end up on posters in department stores, magazine covers or TV ads. Any product and service related to children needs them to help sell it.
To get work though, your child needs to be taken on by a reputable child modelling agency. They’re the ones that advertising agencies and production companies go to first.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of legislation that covers the modelling industry, and some agencies have been known to rip off their clients. But the independent watchdog ALBA Model Information is a great resource for finding reputable agencies. It regularly updates its top list of modelling agencies, which must meet strict criteria and pass a continual vetting process.
Castings for child modelling jobs are never during school time, although children may have to take the odd day off school for some jobs, but most of the time they work weekends and holidays.
The hours a child can work are restricted through the NNCEE, and the length of the time spent working depends on their age.
This job will take a lot of your time as you’ll be getting the child to and from castings. It really isn’t just a weekend event where the whole family can come and watch. It’s not a club where you can leave your child unattended either.
For your child, this should be nothing more than a hobby they enjoy. Once it begins to interfere with your child’s education, it’s time to stop.
If you think your little angel has a face fit for nappy ads and magazine covers, you need to find the right agency!
Step 1: Find an agent
Check out ALBA’s A-list of model agencies. There’s a few to choose from. Narrow your search down to location and then research further. Perhaps check out various agencies’ websites and call to ask questions.
Children never need professional photographs before an agency signs them on. Don’t spend money on professional photos when a nice holiday picture will do. The agent will simply need snapshots of the child’s full face, their profile and a clear full-length photo. In addition, be wary of agencies saying they have to charge you a high fee for their professional photographer to take a series of photos.
Step 2: Attend an interview
It’s a competitive field so bring your child when they’re on their best behaviour, clean and happy. Also, take some photos with you.
Agencies choose children who have a good temperament and socialise easily. If your child is over two, they’ll need to listen to directions and interact well with others. Happy, well-disciplined children tend to do well in this business.
If the agency picks your child, make sure you understand the paperwork. Certainly ask questions and understand exactly what you’re getting into, especially if you have any concerns.
Step 3: Get in their book
You may not know this but most agencies produce a model book once a year. This goes out to the relevant companies looking for models, and to get your child into it will require professional photographs and usually, a fee.
All children require a licence to do modelling work or any kind of performing in public for commercial means. The licences are granted by local authorities and a good modelling agency will help you get one. They’ll need a copy of your child’s birth certificate and a medical letter stating the child is healthy and well enough to work.
On the whole, earnings for babies and tots begin at about £50 an hour (or £300 per day). The fee rises with age to about £70 an hour as a 16-year-old. Parents need to put the money into an account in the child’s name or in a trust fund for the child. You can’t make money for yourself from your children’s modelling career.
It’s a perfect opportunity to teach children about the value of money and that earning can be fun. Thinking long term, the money has a few years to grow before kids get to college age, so it’s a good way of paying for their higher education.