The Do’s and Don’ts for Parents and Your Little Models

There are good habits that you should start to live by as you and your little model start your modeling career. By following some of the advice below you will set yourself up for success and hopefully get yourself invited back! These tips work for casting calls or bookings. Either way work hard to put your best foot forward and use this as a learning opportunity for your little model.

Be well behaved and respectful. Casting calls and bookings can be stressful on all of the staff that is involved. You want to make it easy on them and stand out.

Smile and be happy. To help present yourself and your modeling agency well being upbeat and smiling will definitely help. It is important to remember that modeling is a job and jobs can be a lot of work, so you may not always be in the best of moods, but while you are there, your overall presentation to the casting director and staff is very important

If your child is a little older, stress the importance of listening to the directions of the photographer, casting director, or staff. The more your little baby model can follow directions the better they will do in this industry.

Be on time and preferably a bit early. You should aim to be 10 to 15 minutes early to allow for finding the right room in the building and finding a restroom or changing a diaper quick if needed. This is even more important when you are at an open casting call. First impressions matter a lot in this industry. If you can make a great early impression on the folks that are making the decision, that will go a long way for your success. Compare that to showing up as one of the last few people there when they are all tired and just trying to make it through.

Always be respectful. Use your good judgement for those around you and those that are at work. Being quiet and sit still as long as you can. If you need to hop on a call or let your toddler burn off some energy, step outside a bit. It is a much better solution to be polite and respectful than be seen as the parent and model that is a hassle to deal with.

Have your little models stats – current height, weight, measurements, and clothing sizing on hand. Some auditions will still ask you for that info.

Always make sure you have your special shoot back packed. Purchase a lightweight tote bag (or large diaper bag) with the following items on all your casting calls and bookings. Your voucher, minor work permit, your coogan account information, a favorite attention getting toy or two, white shoes or booties, white diapers (babies), hats, headbands or barrettes. It is also important to pack non-messy stacks for you and your little model.

Be professional and courteous at all times. Remember it is a job and the people there are working. Modeling is a pretty different industry than most folks are used to. Remembering that it is a work environment will help keep things in perspective and generally on your good behavior.

It might make sense to have a few headshots with your agencies information on it. You never know what may happen and if they know how to book you at a later date all the better. If that opportunity came and you were empty handed you’d be kicking yourself later. Even companies that are just doing catalog modeling usually will also do commercials of some sort and your little model may be a great fit.

Be supportive of your child. Instead of being a crazy stage mom, it is important to capture as much learning out of the experience as you can for your child. Along with that is being supportive so they know they can pick themselves up and keep going. Parents play a large role in demonstrating that ability and teaching that skill to their children.

Always bring non-messy snacks and water. Waiting can be hard enough. Waiting when you are hungry and thirsty can be unbearable for kids (and parents).

If it doesn’t go well try to use it as a learning opportunity as we mentioned above. But keep it fun as well and swing by for a nice snack or something on the way home. If it isnt fun for your little one it won’t be worth it for them or you.

Don’t be “pushy” when you are at casting calls. Like we mentioned above, you never know who you’ll be interacting with and the decision power they have in your success.

Don’t be late. Other than being rude in general, it could put you at the end of the line. Which, depending …

Baby Modeling – We Have an Agent. Now What?

After you’ve signed on with a your baby’s agent there are still a few key next steps to take before your baby has fully become a working model. The good news is most good agencies will walk you through all of this either through a small class with other parents or through some literature that they hand out. Either way, here is what you can expect as a general process to get you ready for what is ahead. Pretty soon your little one could be a baby modeling superstar!

Take Some Photos

Your agency will need to build a small portfolio of photos to show clients. Depending on who you talk to they will recommend you either take decent photographs your self or to have a professional photographer take some shots. There are benefits to either way, but if you are just starting we lean towards taking them yourself, particularly for infants. They change so fast and mostly you just need to show their cute little personality and have some good lighting. If your child is a little older and you’ve decided to get more serious it may make sense to get some professional photographs taken from someone who specialized in baby and child modeling since they know the industry. The photos do not need to be glamorous or overly posed, just get some that show their personality – head shots and body shots.


A ‘compcard’ or ‘zed card’ is essentially your baby models portfolio of their best 5 or so images that your agency picks. These used to be actual cards that models would have printed but now most agencies just used websites – particularly for baby modeling.

Get Ready for Go-See’s

Once you have your portfolio up your agency will start sending you to go-see’s. These are essentially casting calls or auditions with clients for a particular job. You go see if you are a good fit. These can get scheduled with short notice so it isn’t a bad idea to have a small bag packed with some basics to keep your baby entertained while you’re there. Maybe some small toys and books and other normal essentials. If it is a well run Go-See you should be in and out in 45 min. you’ll get there, sign some paperwork, wait a little bit, spend some time with the photographer, then you’re out. Others can be more open and chaotic. They may have hundreds of kids and no set schedule so you could be waiting a while. It is really important in go-see’s to try and figure out how to have your baby in the best and most playful mood you can for when their turn is up since personality is so important. That is where the napping, lunch, and play strategy comes into place.

Then What?

Sometimes the client will do a second round, called a ‘callback’, to narrow the candidate selection down. With baby and child models they will always be picking some backups as well as you never know when a temper tantrum could happen. If your baby is selected your agency will negotiate a rate and tell you when to show up for the shoot.

After that your baby will officially become a model!…