We hear this statement so many times: “People always tell me my child should be a model…”
What many people don’t realize is that the look is only about 50% of the requirements for being a child model. Personality/temperament is a huge factor that is often overlooked. We all know that kids can be somewhat unpredictable — especially in the younger ages, so it is extremely important that your child have a great personality to go along with the look. Oftentimes a company may be making a substantial investment in a photo shoot so they want to make sure they are able to get the shots that they need.
We love kids with happy/outgoing personalities that can warm up quickly in any situation. It’s also important that kids are well mannered and are able to withstand sometimes uncomfortable situations. Summer collections are often photographed in the winter which means that kids may have to be in situations where they are wearing summer clothes outdoors in the winter. Also, while safety should always be a priority at any shoot, there are times when your child may be asked to stand or be photographed in weird places — behind buildings, in fields, or in busy areas. It’s important for models to be able to follow direction and not complain too much during a shoot. Models who are able to work in a variety of situations will have a better likelihood of being called back for future shoots. When we’re in a crunch or need to pull models for a larger shoot, we will always choose models that we know can deliver so that there are no surprises on set.
When preparing your child for their shoot or casting, give them an idea for what they will be doing on set (if known). Show them examples of the types of things they will be expected to do so that they are prepared. For instance, for our Roller Skate Shoot most of the kids had never worn roller skates before. The moms prepared the kids before the shoot by allowing them to practice with roller skates at home before the shoot. This allowed the kids to be more comfortable w/the skates on set.
Finally, I’ll save the most important detail for last. PLEASE make sure your child wants to do this and it’s not just YOUR dream. We can always tell the kids that are just there because they were made to do so. It’s not fun for the child, the photographer or anyone involved. This should always be something your child wants to do to ensure they give 100% on set each time.