Child modelling can be a lucrative business—a way to bolster savings for future tuition, for one. It can also be a soul-sucking nightmare for the family if your kid isn’t into it. Here are the hard facts to consider before you put your offspring in front of the camera.
Is your child photogenic?
Most of us believe our babes to be beautiful—in motion, that is. But the beauty doesn’t always translate into still shots. Does your kid come alive when a camera is on them? Or do they feel (and look) uncomfortable? Your tot may be cute, but if it doesn’t happen in front of a lens, it won’t work for modelling.
Do they even like having photos taken?
Some kids love the attention of a lens trained solely on them—and will seek it out if it isn’t. Others would rather disappear into a hole than have to pose. Don’t force the issue if your child isn’t into the attention; it will only cause distress, and agencies won’t put their time into coaxing cooperation from an unhappy model.
You may have to shell out for professional headshots and portfolios before you even land an audition. And an audition often means just that—an audition, and no guarantee of a booking. Do you have the funds? And do you want to spend the funds on something that isn’t a sure thing?
Driving to castings will take a toll; you’ll have to attend a lot to try to land a job, and locations can be far-flung—often during school hours. Could your time be better spent? If this isn’t a passion (or at least fun) for your child—and yourself—then maybe.
Can you handle the fall-out?
Your child will be rejected—more than a few times. It’s the nature of a game glutted with competition. And if they do happen to ‘make it’ in the industry, there’s that undying attention to the superficial which attends modelling success. Is that a lesson you’re comfortable for your child to learn? And when adolescence hits, and he or she perhaps become a little less ‘cute’—and castable—can they handle the sudden withdrawal of admiration?
Child modelling isn’t a meal ticket; it’s work—and it doesn’t operate the same as shooting a couple candid snaps at home. The process often demands unnatural focus from children, and the effects can be forever. For a good few who can withstand the rough bits of the business, the payoff can be great…but is the cost worth it for yours?