How to Become a Child Model

Are you a kid with an outgoing personality who enjoys posing for photos? You might be the ideal candidate to become a child model. If you're interested in getting into the field, though, it's important to understand that it will take hard work, patience, commitment, and your parents' help to really be successful.

Part 1 

Deciding to be a Model

 Image titled Become a Child Model Step 1

  1. 1
    Make sure you’re really interested in modeling. Being a model may seem like an exciting and glamorous job, but it actually requires a lot of hard work. It’s important to determine whether you will really enjoy the experience before you give up your free time that could be spent playing with friends to commit to modeling. Ask a friend or family to do a practice photo session with you to see if you have fun posing.[1]
    • Practice photo sessions won’t just help you decide if you’ll enjoy modeling; they can help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera too.
    • Make sure that your friend or family member gives you direction on how you should look in each photo because that’s what a professional photographer will do at a modeling photo shoot. For example, your friend might tell you to look calm and thoughtful in one shot and excited in another.
  2. 2
    Decide if you’ve got the right personality. Even if you believe that you’ll enjoy modeling and posing for the camera, you should also figure out if you have the right temperament for the job. Many kids are shy around strangers when they’re young, but if you’re modeling, you must be confident and outgoing. You can’t be uncomfortable when you’re working with new agents, photographers, executives, and other crew at each photo shoot.[2]
    • If you’re not sure whether you have the personality for modeling, ask yourself if you really like being the center of attention and are able to be yourself even when you’re around people who you don’t know very well.
    • It’s also important to be able to take direction from others and to have enough patience to remain still for as long as 15 minutes when you’re a model.
  3. 3
    Talk to your parents. Once you’re sure that you’ll enjoy modeling and have the personality for it, you should talk to your parents about it. Explain to them why you're interested in modeling. You might tell them that you believe it will allow you to express yourself or that you think it will help you feel more confident. You can even just tell them that you think it will be fun to pose for photos. Just be honest and enthusiastic.[3]
    • It’s important to understand that allowing you to model requires a big commitment on your parents’ part. They’ll have to take you to casting calls and shoots, and wait around with you while you’re working so they’ll be giving up their time too.
    • If your parents are actually the ones who bring up the idea of modeling, be sure that it’s something that you really want to do. Don’t let them push you into being model if you’re not genuinely interested in it.
  4. 4
    Get your parents' permission. As a child, you’ll need your parents’ permission to become a model so you have to get them to agree. They may have concerns about how modeling will affect other parts of your life, so make sure to tell them that school will still be a priority and you’ll continue to get all of your chores done.[4]
    • Consider making a deal with your parents that you’re only allowed to model if you get certain grades in school and do your part to help around the house.
    • Many states require work permits for children under 18 who work as models or in other entertainment fields. When you meet with agencies, they can help you and your parents figure out what documentation you need to work.[5]
  5. 5
    Recognize the commitment required. Modeling seems like an exciting job, but you should go into the process understanding that it’s not all fun and games. It may take hours to get just a handful of shots done, and you'll need to give maximum effort the entire time. Shoots often have a lot of downtime too, which means you will probably be sitting around a lot as you wait to pose.[6]
    • Some clients may try to have their photos shoots during the evenings and weekends, but many jobs will be during the weekday. That means you may have to miss school to model, so if you’re already behind in your classes, it may not be the best fit for you.
    • Other photo shoots may require getting up very early and working before school, so make sure you’re willing to change your schedule to model.
    • Because of all the waiting around on shoots, you should be sure to bring supplies to keep you busy. You might bring some schoolwork to do or books to read. It’s also a good idea to bring your favorite snacks and drinks.
  6. 6
    Be realistic about your odds of great success. Modeling is very competitive, so you’re going to go up against many other kids who also want to be models. As a result, finding an agency to work with you and jobs may not be that easy. You can't count on being an instant success or making big money, so you shouldn't go into modeling just for the fame and fortune.[7]
    • Talk to your parents about the expectations for your modeling career. It's important that everyone is on the same page.
    • Many models don't get paid a lot. Some get paid as little as ten dollars an hour.

Part 2
EditContacting Modeling Agencies

  1. 1
    Take a few photos. Unlike teen or adult models, it’s not necessary to have a professional portfolio when you’re trying to become a child model. That’s because kids grow and change so quickly that photographs become outdated in a hurry. Most modeling agencies require only a few photos for submissions. While it always helps to have photos taken by a professional photographer, it’s not necessary. You parents can take the photos of you -- just make sure the lighting is good and use the best camera available to you for clean, clear shots.Try all different filters and poses, and show many different expressions. It would be best to not wear too much makeup, keep it natural. [8]
    • Your photos should be in color, and a headshot, a full body shot, and a couple of candids.
    • Try to look natural in the photos. Don’t wear any silly costumes or hats.
    • Some agencies may ask for a composite card, which is a card that contains several small photos.
    • Make sure that your parents write your name and theirs, as well as your age, hair color, eye color, clothing size, and address, on the back of each photo.
  2. 2
    Identify reputable agencies in your area. Because most clients who are looking for child models don’t do the casting themselves, you’ll need to sign with a modeling agency that can identify jobs you’re right for. It’s important to find agencies in your area, though, because you’ll be expected to travel where the shoot is. Ask your parents to help you do an online search for “modeling agencies” and the name of your town or the closest city. Make sure that the ones you find are registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), so you know they’re not a scam.[9]
    • While a modeling agency will take a certain percentage of the earnings that you make for a particular job as their fee, no reputable agency will ever ask for money upfront.
    • In addition to a BBB rating, check the agency’s website to see their portfolio. You want to know that they’ve worked with impressive clients, whether local or national.
    • If you don’t live in a major city, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, chances are that you’ll be working with agency that books jobs with smaller, local businesses.
  3. 3
    Get advice on agencies from other child models and parents. Knowing that an agency is well rated with the BBB is important, but hearing about other models' experiences with the agency can be even more helpful. If you know other child models, ask them how they like working with their agency. Have your parents talk to their parents too, so they can have some of their questions answered.[10]
    • When you're talking to other child models about their agencies, ask how friendly the agents are and how comfortable they feel with the people from the agency. You should also ask how many jobs they've been able to get through the agency.
  4. 4
    Submit photos. Once you’ve found some reputable agencies in your area, it’s time to submit your photos. Visit the agencies’ websites to determine what their submission process is. Some agencies will allow you to submit your photos online, while others require you to mail hard copies of the photos. You will probably need to write a letter of interest to go with the photos, so ask your parents to help with that.[11]
    • If you’re mailing your photos to an agency, you may also need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply.
    • In most cases, you can expect to hear a response from the agencies you’ve submitted to in a month or so. They’ll either send a polite rejection letter or email, or contact your parents to set up a meeting.

Part 3
EditGetting Modeling Jobs

  1. 1
    Be yourself at meetings. If you’re lucky enough to get a meeting a modeling agency, it’s obviously important to make a good impression. The agents already like the way that you look based on your photos, but they want to make sure you have a fun, outgoing personality to match. That doesn’t mean you should fake it, though. You won’t be able to keep up an act on all of the castings and photo shoots that you go on, so be yourself and let the agent know who you really are.[12]
    • If you’re nervous at a meeting, try to pretend that you’re just talking to a friend and not an modeling or casting agent. That may help take some of the pressure off.
    • Your parents can sit with you for meetings, which may help you feel more comfortable.
    • It may help to do a practice meeting or interview with an adult other than a family member. Your parents might ask one of their friends to ask you some questions, so you’re more comfortable for your appointment.
  2. 2
    Project confidence. If you want agents and casting executives to believe in you, you have to let them know that you believe in yourself. At your meetings, try to use your body language to convey how confident you are. Maintain eye contact with the people that you're meeting with, and sit and stand up straight. Avoid fidgeting too.[13]
    • Another way to ensure that you give off a confident vibe is to go into meetings with a positive attitude. Assume that it's going to go well, and the people who you're meeting with will be able to feel that.
  3. 3
    Sign with an agency. If a modeling agency likes you, they will want you to sign a contract. The contract lays out the terms of your agreement, including what type of fee the agency will take for your assignments. Your parents will ultimately decide whether the contract is in your best interest and sign on your behalf. They may want a lawyer to read over it before they sign to ensure that it’s a good contract.[14]
    • Most agencies take approximately 20 percent of models’ earnings as their fee.
    • Unless an agency wants you to sign an exclusive contract, which means you work solely with them, you can sign with multiple agencies. That can increase your chance of getting work.
  4. 4
    Attend go-sees. When an agency finds modeling jobs that they believe you’re a good fit for, they’ll send you on go-sees, which are meetings with executives from firms that are looking for models. As with your meetings at modeling agencies, the casting agents want to make sure that you don’t just have the right look for the job, but the right personality too. Handle it just as you would a meeting with an agent -- be confident and friendly, but be yourself.[15]
    • You may have an appointment for a go-see, which means you can be in and out in as little as 15 minutes. However, if there’s a line, you may wind up waiting around for much longer.
    • Because go-sees are necessary to get jobs, you must attend all the ones that your agent sends you to. Some days, you may have two go-sees, and other times, you may go weeks between go-sees.
    • In some cases, you may receive a modeling job right after you attend a go-see. But it’s not uncommon to have to wait a couple of weeks to hear back.
  5. 5
    Prepare yourself for rejection. While modeling can be a lot of fun, there is a part of it that no one likes -- the rejection. Because the field is so competitive, you’re going to be going up against hundreds of other kids who are trying to land a modeling agent or a modeling job. In some cases, you aren’t going to be the best fit for what the agent or client wants. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself if it takes a while to get a job or if you don’t get a job that you really want. It only means that you aren’t right for that particular job or agency.[16]
    • In many cases, advertising firms and other clients are looking for very specific types of children. For example, they may want a redhead with freckles. If you don’t have that look, it doesn’t matter how cute or bubbly you are -- you’re not going to get the job. It isn’t a reflection on you.
  6. 6
    Be persistent. If modeling is really something that you want to do, you will need to maintain your confidence even if you aren't getting as many jobs as you'd like. Having success as a model usually requires persistence, so don't give up even if things aren't working out as quickly as you'd hoped.[17]
    • You should only continue to pursue modeling if it makes you happy. If the process stops being fun at any point, talk to your parents.

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