Baby modeling can be a pretty controversial topic with folks who have strong opinions. While researching how to get into modeling it is a good idea for parents to think through the pro’s and con’s.

Children and parents can have very different experiences with their little models. For some it can be a lot of fun and a pretty easy way to earn some extra spending money. These parents generally take baby modeling pretty lightly and if their child ever got disinterested or showed signs that they were not handling it well they would move on. However, there are other parents that end up pushing their kids way too hard (and for the wrong reasons) and it can lead to some of the concerns below.

As you begin your baby modeling career and start heading to casting calls, it would be good to understand what to look out for so you can keep you and your little models happy and healthy.

To help you we’ve put together a list of the top concerns and worries parents have about baby modeling so you know ahead of time.

 

  • That baby modeling can be traumatizing to kids. The modeling industry can be a pretty harshe  subjected to an environment that can harm you mentally and emotionally.

  • That they will need to miss school. Casting calls, bookings and commercial shootings can happen just about any time. For babies and young toddlers this isn’t really an issue as they are not in school. But for children that are a little older and have hopes of using modeling to get into acting, parents start to worry about how it will affect their schooling. Most states have pretty strict rules on work permits and total time away from school to help control this. One way to think about it is to treat it as though it is just another extracurricular activity and not invest much more time than that.

  • That kids should be playing instead of working. Many parents are against baby modeling as they feel like it is a form of child labor. Many parents plan to use the money their child makes from baby modeling and put it into a college fund. One advantage of doing this vs working a second job and putting your child in daycare is that you get to spend that time together. Beware however there are many parents against it. But our feeling is the world would be a much less cheerful place if there were no smiling babies on tv or print ads of any type. As long as its a fun experience for both baby and parent whats the harm?

  • Children don’t want to model anyway. Only their parents want the to: either for money or some kind of fame (or to make up for something they lack). Some parents feel as though your infant or toddler should only model if they want to – and need to be old enough to understand that and make their own decision. This would obviously mean that they would need to be older to do this.

  • Being thought of as a bad parent. Some parents are concerned that they will be viewed upon negatively by other parents and that “Putting babies into modeling is like pimping them out” of “All this modeling of babies is only means the exploitation of the innocent, who have no voice of their own.”

  • They will get their feelings hurt. There is no beating around the bush here. Modeling can be a harsh industry. Companies are always focused on finding a certain look or personality for a particular shoot or campaign. Because of this rejection is a part of the job. This can be difficult to overcome and can certainly lead to your child getting their feelings hurt. One way to overcome this is to treat it as a learning opportunity – how to develop persistence towards reaching your goals. But, if you or your child can’t handle this level of rejection modeling really may not be a good idea. In addition to the rejection your little model could assume why they are not getting selected has to do with how they look – which isn’t the case, but can be hard to teach that lesson to toddlers.

  • Becoming a Stage Mom. Stage moms push their little models much harder than they should. They become swept up in the experience of potential fame or are trying to make up for something in their lives. Stage moms can end up ruining their child’s experience (and maybe childhood) as well as being totally crazy for the folks around them.

  • Letting modeling get to their head.  Many parents get concerned that modeling will get to their childs head. That it will make them too self important. That they will get side tracked with schooling and other activities. That they will grow up too fast, become uptight over things and too focused on success in modeling.

  • That it will consume too much of their time. Baby modeling can take up a lot of time.

  • Being Rejected (kid and/or parent). Unfortunately rejection is part of the job when it comes to the modeling industry. So it really isnt a question of if you will be turned down for work but how you handle rejection. For parents it can be hard to not have your child selected. In your eyes they are the essence of perfection, how could they not get selected! But it is important to remember that each company selects talent for many different reasons and can be very subjective. The experience isn’t a contest for who looks the best it is who fits the look they are trying to develop for the campaign or catalog.

  • Is the child ever taken out of your sight?  Also,is the parent the only one allowed to “handle” the child? Some parents have concerns about safety in general. For baby and child models its good to know that they always need to have a chaperone around and that usually you will be right next to everyone in the room watching the shoot. There are some laws in place to help ensure safety for child models.

  • Getting Scammed. Many parents who are looking for ways to get into modeling are concerned about getting scammed. Unfortunately with so many parents looking to get into such a glamorous industry scamming is a pretty common thing. To help get around this only work with reputable modeling agencies and be very careful before spending any money upfront – especially if they try to guarantee work. Nobody can actually do that and for the most part it can be very inexpensive to get started – you don’t even need professional photos taken when you send them to potential modeling agencies.

  • Spending too much on photography. Some parents assume that you need to get professional photographs taken to get into baby modeling. This isn’t true. When you are just starting out to find a modeling agency all you really need to do is take a few good headshots and full body shots to send to agencies. Once you get started you will need to keep your child’s portfolio up to date. For these they don’t need to be professional either, but they may help. Particularly if your child is a little older it may make sense if they are getting a lot of work. Don’t ever assume that paying a lot for professional photographs every few months will automatically lead to more modeling work.

  • Finding a reputable agency. Finding a reputable modeling agency is one of the most common concerns of parents. They want to find an agency they feel comfortable working with. To do this research online and reach out to other parents. If you are in a large market this can be pretty straight forward because they are very well known. If you are in a smaller market make sure to do your due diligence on the agency. Most modeling agencies will not require you to pay any money up front, pay close attention or any that due. Some will charge a small amount to host your child’s photos on their online site, but usually that is a pretty small fee. If there are high upfront fee’s move on.

  • Fear of Weirdos. In the age of the connected world many parents get concerned for increased exposure of their kids. Modeling obviously is another way your child will have increased visibility and some fear of turning my child into a pedophile magnet.

  • Dealing with Competition. Baby modeling is very competitive, both when finding a modeling agency to work with and getting jobs. In some cases you will go to 20 or so casting calls per booking. Both kids and parents need to be up for dealing with competition.

  • Paying Money up Front and not getting any jobs. This falls closely in line with paying close attention to scams and finding reputable modeling agencies. It is pretty inexpensive to get into baby modeling and shouldn’t cost much at all.

  • That they will become obsessed with how they look on the outside.The Modeling industry will make your child too conscious of her body and lower her self esteem.

  • That they will end up needing therapy later. there are a LOT of people that DID let the business define them. I know tons of men and women still seeking that approval and paying big bucks to lie on a couch talking to a psychologist in an attempt to get over it.

  • That it will be degrading and scary. The details of the modeling industry are not well known. Some assume that the entire experience will be like the reality t.v. shows where everybody is yelling at you. That isn’t really the case with child modeling, but it is still very judgemental by nature and you need to be ready to handle competition and rejection.

  • That they will turn into total brats. Some people, not all, get caught up in the glamour of it all and end up going overboard. Kids and parents! They let the industry and experience define them and change how they interact with people. The best way to handle this is to ensure you are working to monitor and listen to our child closely during the experience.

  • That they’ll develop too early.  This is similar to letting kids be kids, but some parents feel that modeling makes them grow up too soon. Modeling can help children develop skills like learning how to bounce back after rejection, how to speak and interact with other adults, and how to progressively work towards goals. If children end up taking everything too seriously it could lead to challenges.

  • That it will only teach kids to be superficial. Modeling gets a bad wrap for being all about looks and parents worry that if they end up doing some modeling that they will also end up being superficial.

 

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