Creative Child

Child Modeling and Why It's Probably Not for Me (or My Kids)

by Deborah Song

The first thing you need to know about child modeling is that money can’t be your motivation.  When a friend of mine booked an amazing family modeling gig (they were flown out to an all-expense paid trip to Aspen worth thousands of dollars and compensated monetarily as much), I became very interested.

Getting my whole family involved in modeling wasn’t a viable option with my husband’s demanding work schedule, but child modeling seemed definitely doable. I thought college fund – and more, I won’t lie.  So I got the agent’s contact info my friend used and turned in pictures of my two daughters, 4 and 2. But child modeling seldom goes this way, I would learn. Read on for my experience and maybe some parenting tips that will help you decide if it's for you and your kids.

In the coming weeks, the agent forwarded roughly four auditions, none of which were nearly as lucrative, and all of them strewn all over town. Some were as far away as an hour and a half drive without traffic. Even with a pretty flexible schedule, I couldn’t make some of the auditions because of the short notice and awkward scheduling times like 7am appointments.

The one audition we could make paid $800 for a full-day shoot. Broken up by the hour, we were looking at $100 an hour, maybe.  I calculated the tax and the cut the agency would take in my head.  Less motivated now, I decided to try it out anyway with a who-knows-where-it-might-lead mentality.  And off we went on our first (and probably last) audition.

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The audition was held at a local hotel. I parked inside the hotel parking lot (which they didn’t validate) and was confronted with the task of waking up a tired toddler who had managed to fall asleep on the short drive over. The audition happened to fall during her naptime so she was undoubtedly cranky when I woke her up, but concerns of her unpleasant mood was at least initially trumped by her hair!  What a mess. I hurried my girls up to the audition floor and tidied up my youngest daughter’s hair as best as I could while she squirmed and whined, and my older daughter ran up and down the halls.  This wouldn’t have been so stressful if all of the other children weren’t seated in their seats so demurely.

We signed some papers at the registration desk.  Even though my agent told me I didn’t need head shots, I began to feel like an unprepared student about to take an exam – at a new school.  Everyone else had them.

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