Baby modelling: Everything you need to know

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  • So you think your baby is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen - but are they model material? We look at what you and your child need to get started in the world of baby modelling, how you go about it and whether you'll make any money.

    Is your baby suitable?

    What do baby modelling agencies look for? We’ve established that your baby is gorgeous, but would they be snapped up for photo shoots? Clear skin and bright eyes are two of the most important things your baby can possess to give them a good chance of becoming a baby model.

    But looks aren’t the only thing that matter in baby modelling. We’ve all heard that animals and children are the hardest things to work with and this is particularly true with photography. Photographers want their job to be as easy as possible and so your little one’s going to need to have a sunny nature and not just when you’re holding him – around strangers too.

    Where you live is also important. Most photo shoots that aren’t for local papers will take place in big cities – you might have to be prepared to do quite a bit of travelling if you don’t live near to one. Some agencies even say that their models must be within an hour of London.

    Baby modelling: Finding an agency

    If you think your baby’s got the looks and the temperament to appear on the covers of magazines nation-wide then it’s time to start finding an agency for you.

    Your best bet is to look for one that’s close to where you live- lists reputable agencies. But if you don’t live near London or another big city, it could be an idea to contact your local newspapers and see where they get their models from.

    Another good way of finding an agency is to contact big brands such as Mothercare and ask them which agencies they recruit their models from, as they wouldn’t risk their reputation by choosing anything less than a top-notch agency.

    Baby modelling: What to watch out for

    No reputable agency should ask you for money upfront. You’ve got to go with your gut instincts a lot of the time and always ask yourself what you’re going to get in return for what they’re demanding.

    If something feels not quite right, then don’t go with it – we’re talking about your most prized possession after all.

    Try to go with an agency that’s been going for a while. Have a look at their website, does it look professional? If you make a visit to their HQ, assess what it’s like. Is it the office of a successful business or does it seem like a bit of a back street operation? Ask them to show you examples of other babies they’ve got work for and don’t let on that you’re not in the know about how these things work.

    Baby modelling: What’s the first step after finding an agency?

    Once you’ve made contact you will usually be asked to send in a couple of snapshots of your baby with a few details about their age/height etc. These really do just need to be pics you’ve taken at home – nothing professional.

    On the strength of this, if they like you, you and your baby will usually be called in for an interview or consultation day. The aim of the meeting is to see how flexible you are and how your baby reacts to being in a studio with bright lights and lots of people. They might also take some test shots to see how your baby looks on film.

    This first meeting is as much for you as it is for them, you might find that your child really hates the environment and so you’ll completely rethink the whole idea. It’s also another really good opportunity to see what the agency is all about. Ask to have a look at their model book – if they don’t have one it’s a bad sign!

    Baby modelling: Will I make money?

    If you’re hoping to make enough to send your child to university from baby modelling, the chances are you’ll be disappointed. It can be a good little earner but it’s probably best to look at it as something to be proud of first, and a money-making scheme second.

    What you’ll have to pay

    We’ve warned you about paying out fees up-front to agencies but that’s not to say that you won’t have to pay anything at all. If your child gets accepted to appear in the agency’s model book – again, make sure you’ve seen a copy of this before you pay. The rates will vary depending on who you choose to go with but the idea is that the book will get you work which will make you the money back. This sort of cost also applies for your baby appearing on their website.

    What you could make

    You should get paid for just attending auditions, even if your baby isn’t selected. This amount can vary so it’s always best to ask upfront if the payment is going to influence your decision.

    For actual shoots it varies lots from agency to agency but you should be looking at around £40-50 an hour and somewhere in the region of £250 for a full day. However, it will depend on the budget of the specific shoot and while one shoot might pay £200-£500 for a four hour shoot you might get a high or lower hourly rate for longer or shorter shoots.

    TV work pays slightly less and is often longer hours – a day shoot will give around £160. But if you’re lucky enough to bag a major advertising campaign your baby could be earning around £4,000.

    Have you tried baby modelling? We’d love to hear your experiences and advice, head over to our Facebook page to let us know!