- Family and Parenting
Baby Modeling - find baby modeling agencies
How do you get into baby modelling?
Baby modelling is a competitive business, but it can be very rewarding both in terms of fun and new experiences and for a lucky few, financially. So, you know your baby is gorgeous - maybe he or she has even won a little local baby model contest - that's the easy part, but now what? How do they become a baby model? How do you find reputable baby modeling agents?
This article explains about negotiating the world of baby modeling. What should you expect as the parent of a baby model and is it right for you and your baby? If you want to have some fun spending time with your baby and getting some lovely photos as a result then this might be a good hobby for you and your baby. But follow some top tips to avoid infant and baby modeling agency scams, and getting drawn into disreputable baby modeling contests posing as legitimate modeling agencies for babies.
Is my baby model material?
Just because your baby stops trolley traffic in the supermarket aisles, and you have adoring strangers gooing and cooing into your pram does not mean you will necessarily find the child model world at your baby's feet. Modeling agencies for babies have their own criteria for their baby model search. Remember infant modeling agencies, including the reputable ones, are commercial businesses - they are not there to flatter you and make you happy, they are there to take on child clients for whom they believe they can find work. So, what does a baby model agency look for in its search for new infant talent?
Successful baby models are happy, photogenic, ready to smile, adaptable and flexible, with clear skin and a twinkle in their eyes. They also have a 'look' that suits the commercial needs of a particular client. Pretty or beautiful babies are not necessarily perfect baby model material - unusual, striking, quirky or characterful faces can often fit the bill more readily.
The other equally important factor is whether your baby thrives on lots of company, and is happy and sociable surrounded by strangers. Shy children are unlikely to enjoy the experience and you may be better waiting until a time when their confidence is better suited to the environment. Shrewd modelling agencies for babies will assess how your child performs in front of the camera or in a room full of strangers when they decide whether or not to take your baby on as a model. Some do this by an interview process, some by asking you to have a few shots taken by an in house photographer as the start of baby's modeling portfolios. Others simply assess the way in which your child seems to carry themselves in the intial photos you send them.
Which brings us to commonly asked questions about modeling portfolios...
Do I need a professional modeling portfolio for baby modeling?
No. Not to begin with at least.
The best way to start is to take some snaps of your baby at home. Just use your ordinary camera, and click away, and see what you get, and whether you and your baby enjoy it. The pictures for this hub were taken at home using a small compact Fuji FInepix camera.
A digital camera makes the process faster and easier. It doesn't have to be a partiularly fancy one - a compact will do, but if you want to splash out you could invest in a digital SLR . If you need to adjust the contrast and brightness later to improve the picture you can, but don't be tempted to spend hours touching it up, or tweaking it too much.
For lots more tips on taking professional-looking baby modelling photos check out my other hub - How to take professional-looking baby modelling photos.
Any prospective baby modeling agency is used to the first contact being made with home photos, and they know what they are looking for. They will be able to tell from your home pictures or even your holiday snaps if the camera and your baby are a happy match.
- Take a mixture of pictures of your baby smiling and with a neutral expression (not crying!)
- Make sure your baby has his/her eyes open.
- Take pictures against a plain or neutral background
- Ensure your baby's head and face are not obscured with hats, sunglasses etc.
- Make sure your baby is clean, and neatly dressed - you are trying to present an image that people want to work with
- Have fun taking the pictures. The worst that happens is you end up with some great shots for your family album.
- Enjoy your baby!
- Get stressed if your baby doesn't want to have his photo taken. Try another time, or if being photographed isn't their cup of tea, think about another hobby!
- Send in pictures of babies grimacing, or with dirty faces or noses.
- Pay out huge sums of money for a professional modeling portfolio for a baby. A reputable baby modeling agency will be happy initially to see snapshots.
- Take rejection personally. Your baby is gorgeous, but may simply not be the commercial look for a particular baby model search or project.
- Look at modelling as an alternative income. Work is likely to be at best sporadic. See it instead as an interesting sideline, that could make a nice nest egg for your child's future.
What about up front fees?
Up front registration fees to model agencies for adult models are a big 'No no'. For baby modelling and with infant modeling agencies the situation is slightly different. Whilst as an adult you would be tramping the streets yourself selling yourself through your pictures, with babies, naturally this doesn't happen. Instead the baby modeling agency does the leg work themselves, with bookers trying to carry out the baby model search on behalf of a client and their needs to suitable babies on their books.
As a consequence it is not unusual to find highly reputable baby modeling agencies charging a one off fee for set up or administration costs. Having said that, that is not the green light to fork out for a hugely expensive modeling portfolio. Parents need to be streetwise and exercise caution.
- Find out which clients the agency has done work for recently
- Do they take on huge numbers of children, for whom they can never hope to find work? Check out the forums and discussion boards on parenting sites to identify possible scams.
- Don't be shy - ring the office and find out what's going on. Do you feel confident in the people you are speaking to? Does it feel like a well run busy baby modeling agency?
- Do they ever reject children? A good baby modeling agency will only take on babies for whom they have a realistic hope of finding work. Whilst there can never be an guarantees, and the final decision is down to the client, not the agency, be suspicious of baby modeling agencies that seem overeager to take children on.
- Consider the practicalities before handing over any money. The vast majority of bookings take place at short notice in Central London. Many agencies will only take on babies within one hour's travelling time of Central London. Whilst there is some work outside London, in reality you need to be within easy reach of a major city to be able to carry out such bookings as arise.
How do I find reputable baby modeling agents?
Modelling of all kinds, and child and baby modelling in particular are fraught with all sorts of scams and tales of exploitation and even worse, forms of abuse. In the UK a good place to start to find a reputable modeling agencies for babies is Alba Model. This website names and shames infant modeling agencies which do not comply with the DTI code for baby modeling agents - not passing on fees, for example, or taking up front fees without there ever being any prospect of work.
The following is a list of links to some of the infant modeling agencies which Alba Model have identified as reputable and on their 'A-List'
Bizzy Kidz Agency
BIZZY HOUSE ,73a Mayplace Road West, Bexleyheath, Kent. DA7 4JL
Tel: 0208 3032627 0208 3032627
73a Mayplace Road West, Bexleyheath, Kent. DA7 4JL
Tel: 0208 304 5439 0208 304 5439
Bruce & Brown
203 Canalot Studios, 222 Kensal Rd, London W10 5BN
Tel: 020 8968 5585 020 8968 5585
Elisabeth Smith Ltd (Established 50yrs)
20 Chenies, Rickmansworth, Herts. WD3 6ET
Tel: 0845 872 1331 0845 872 1331
Unit 9, Hinksey Business Centre, North Hinksey Lane, Oxford. OX2 0NR
Tel: 01865 451154 01865 451154
Fresh Agents Ltd
Suite 5, Saks House, 19 Ship Street, Brighton , East Sussex. BN1 1AD
Tel: Tel: 01273 711777 01273 711777
Glenbeigh Model & Promotions
1 Elizabeth Court, Whimple St, Plymouth PL1 2DZ
Tel: 01752 – 201331 01752 – 201331
Kidz National Ltd
Head Office: 10 Ellendale Grange, Manchester M28 7UX
Tel: 0870 241 4418 0870 241 4418
The Stables, Ashlyns Hall, Chesham Road, Berkhampstead, Herts. HP4 2ST
Tel: 01442 863918 01442 863918
Number One Model Management
Studio 408F, The Big Peg, 120 Vyse Street, Hockley, Birmingham. B18 6NF
Tel: 0121-233-2433 0121-233-2433
Power Model Management Casting Agency
Capitol House, 2-4 Heigham Street, Norwich. NR2 4THE
Tel: 01603-621100 01603-621100
RMG Modelling & Promotions Agency
Meriden Hall, Main Road, Meriden, Coventry. CV7 7PT
Tel: 01676 525170 01676 525170
90-92 Ley Street, Ilford, Essex IG1 4BX
Tel: 020 8553 9999 020 8553 9999
Truly Scrumptious Ltd
66 Bidwell Gardens, London N11 2 AU
Tel: 0208-888-4204 0208-888-4204
PO Box 45453 London SE26 6UZ
Tel: 0870 871 0045 0870 871 0045