Baby modeling is more accessible than ever before. Casting calls are posted online, there are easy-to-use platforms like KidsCasting, and finding an agent/agency has never been simpler. In short – your baby can become a model.
And what parent hasn’t dreamed of that? I know I have. Letting your dashing kid melt the hearts of others, spending precious time together, making some extra dough on the side – sounds like a win-win-win, right?
Yes and no. Before you zealously dive into building a modeling career for your baby, you should carefully consider whether you can handle it. Any parent will tell you that it’s a demanding industry that requires a significant amount of energy and time from everyone involved.
That being said, it’s worth it. The memories, the experiences, the benefits, the bonding – it’s all worth it.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the specific challenges you can expect as a parent, how you can get started from the comfort of your own home, and what does it take to get that first gig!
Baby modeling challenges & benefits
We’re starting off with the challenges not to discourage you. Quite the opposite. It’s important to understand the difficulties you might face right off the bat, so they don’t come back to bite you when you’re already committed to baby modeling.
Does your child have what it takes?
Baby modeling is work. It might be fun work, but it’s work nonetheless. Even for your kid. The traveling, the people, the chaos – some babies might enjoy it tremendously, but for others, it can be overwhelming.
Any parent that has helped their kid get cast for gigs will tell you that the most important thing for success is for your kid to have a good time. It can’t just be YOUR dream. When it comes to baby modeling, it’s too early to just ask your kid if they want to do this. As a parent, I’m sure you can feel whether it’s something your little one might enjoy or not.
In any case, we suggest applying to and attending an audition or two and see how your kid reacts. If they strive in that environment – fantastic! Keep going! If not – then maybe baby modeling isn’t for them and you need to wait a couple of years before you revisit their ShowBiz journey. Forcing it will just result in a bad time for everyone involved.
Do YOU have what it takes?
It’s no secret that being the parent of a young performer, be it a baby model or a child actor, isn’t easy. You’re responsible for finding & applying to gigs, transport, documents, communication and making sure your little one feels comfortable in front of the camera. And once a gig is over – you have to do it all over again.
It can really take a huge chunk out of your schedule. Oftentimes you have to be available at a moment’s notice, so baby modeling can take center stage in your life.
Another thing you should be ready for is rejection. For most gigs, you’ll be competing with dozens and dozens of other hopeful families. Your baby might not care, but I know how disheartening a rejection can be for a parent, especially when you’re just starting out. Know this – landing a gig is a numbers game. The more baby modeling jobs you apply to, the higher the likelihood you’ll get one.
Enough with the negatives!
I hope I haven’t scared you off, dear parent. Yes, there’s a lot of work involved in baby modeling, but that’s because it’s so rewarding! There’s a reason why millions of parents all over the world take part and why everyone wants their kid to become a baby model for Pampers, Huggies, Gap, and other big brands. You spend quality time with your kid, there’s financial incentives, and countless other benefits. Most of all – it’s super fun.
On top of that, ANY baby can get cast. Casting directors seek all sorts of baby models of various sizes, ethnicities, and looks. So if you find yourself wondering “Is my baby good enough to be a model?”, then know that the answer is a resounding “YES!”.
So many benefits!
And it doesn’t stop there. Parents of young performers are quick to notice the developmental benefits of modeling, such as improved self-confidence, sociability, and creativity. All of these are part of a winning formula for life and invaluable if you’re envisaging a career in the entertainment industry for your little one.
Speaking of future career benefits, a child that feels comfortable in front of cameras is a gem in a producer’s eyes. If baby modeling is more than a once-off thing for your family, then the early experience gained can snowball into an unshakeable professional foundation. You’ll both develop skills and build a portfolio. Some of the biggest names in child acting/modeling, such as Dakota Goyo and the twin stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, as well as Cole and Dylan Sprouse, started their run with one foot still in the cradle.
In other words, baby modeling is a fantastic opportunity for you and your kid. Whether you’ve got superstar fever, or just want to try it out – go for it! Thinking and reading about it can only give you so much. Try it out, experience the reality of it, and you’ll gain a clear understanding if it’s something you’d like to pursue further.
How to start with baby modeling
Getting started has never been easier. It’s a simple 3-step process:
- Take the perfect picture of your baby
- Find casting calls
- Apply, apply, apply!
That’s it! A lot of parents don’t pursue modeling opportunities for their babies because after some quick research they get intimidated – talk of professional baby modeling agencies, expensive photoshoots to get that perfect headshot, long-winded descriptions of what your baby has to be like to get cast… it can all get a little bit too much. Especially if you just want to try it out.
While all those things have a role to play, you can put them out of your mind for now – all you need is the simple 3-step process described above. Let’s dive into the specifics.
Take the perfect picture of your baby
A casting director’s job is to take a look at a submitted photo and decide if they want to invite that baby for an audition. That’s all they have to make a decision – the one photo. That means that taking a great photo is the single most important thing you can do to improve your chance to get chosen for a gig. Bad picture = not getting any gigs. Simple as that.
Does this mean you should run to your nearest studio and spend thousands of dollars for a professional photoshoot? No. In fact, some casting directors even prefer amateur photos over professional ones because it’s easier to understand what your baby looks like when they’re in a natural setting, rather than a staged one. In other words, you can take the perfect picture from the comfort of your own home. Here’s how:
- Where to take the picture?
Ideally on some neutral background. The fewer things in the background, the better. So no toys, no overly colorful rugs, nothing that can take away the attention from your baby.
- What should your baby wear?
Don’t dress them up! Costumes or elaborate attire can obscure what your baby really looks like, which is what the casting directors are looking for. So just a diaper is perfect. You may have a simple shirt or dress as well, but nothing more than that.
- How to take the photo?
Use a good camera and make sure the photo isn’t blurry or pixelated. Ideally, take the picture near a window for some great natural light, or check out how you can use household lamps to get the lighting you need. Make sure your baby is fully in the frame.
- Which filter should I use?
NONE. Keep filters for your personal photos. They have no space in headshots for casting directors. Filters make the photos look silly, obfuscate what your kid looks like and show that you’re not very serious about baby modeling. NO FILTERS!
- What should your baby do?
One of the most precious things in the world is a baby’s smile, so if you can get them to do a heartwarming grin, then go for it! But know that it’s not mandatory. Whichever way your baby looks the most photogenic, be it curious, thoughtful, or solemn, make the most of it and use it for the photo. Sitting, lying down – any pose can work, but remember that the more a casting director sees of your baby – the better.
Once again, and it bears repeating, this photo is the one thing the casting director will use to make their decision, so don’t hesitate to spend as much time as you need to capture the perfect shot. What’s more, it’s not a one and done process. Our kids grow up by the minute, so make sure to take a fresh recent photo no less than every couple of months.
Now that you have the perfect photo, it’s time to send it out!
Finding baby modeling casting calls
Long gone are the days when knowing someone in the industry or being part of baby modeling agencies was the only way to find a modeling job. With the advent of social media and flourishing online platforms, parents have the necessary tools to find gigs without committing to agents or incurring extra expenses. That being said, agencies are still a major player in the process and if you’re looking to do more than just try out, a baby modeling agency can be an invaluable partner.
Here are 3 ways you can find casting calls for your future superstar:
The DIY way
Lots of casting calls are posted publicly on websites and social media. The hard part is finding them. Some research on your part is required, but it’s nothing difficult.
The simplest and most straightforward way is to simply use your search engine of choice and, for example, google “baby model casting call/contest/job [your location]”. Browse through the results, explore them, and you’ll eventually find opportunities, gigs, and contests where you can apply. Don’t hesitate to search for nearby locations as well if nothing comes up for your area.
Another piece of advice I have for you is – find and join related groups on social media, plus follow casting directors that operate in your area. There are very few baby-specific casting call groups, so I recommend you join ones meant for kids in general and you’ll often find opportunities for babies as well.
It can take time to get used to doing this by yourself, but the fantastic benefit is that you are spending no money whatsoever. You have full control over what you’re doing, where you’re applying and how much time you’re willing to invest in baby modeling. It can be hard at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it and understand where to find the best gigs.
Note: if you’re doing it yourself you have to be extra wary of scams. Read all about the most common scams and how to avoid them here.
The KidsCasting way
KidsCasting is not an agency. It’s an online platform that curates casting calls and connects you to casting directors. Simply put – KidsCasting does all the research legwork for you and gathers all the baby modeling & other casting calls in one place. All you have to do – create a profile, upload that photo of your kid you took, and start applying to casting calls in your area.
Creating a profile and browsing casting calls is 100% free of charge, however, if you want to apply, you need to purchase a subscription. This is another inexpensive way to get started with child modeling while staying in charge of the whole process – apply to gigs you want to, stay updated with the latest ones daily, and become part of a community of like-minded parents looking to do the same thing.
The Agency way
The fantastic thing about agencies is that they only take commissions. You don’t pay to join and you don’t pay them to find casting calls – you only pay a percentage (10-20%) of the money you make from a job. If any agency or agent asks you to pay anything else – stay away.
To find an agency just search for some in your area, make sure to read reviews (an agency’s reputation is EVERYTHING), and then get in touch with one that suits you & your kid best. Going with a local baby modeling agency is recommended when you’re starting out, so you don’t end up getting distant gigs with unrealistic commutes.
Keep in mind that none of the listed ways to find casting calls are an all-or-nothing thing. In other words, you’re free to mix & match and be part of both KidsCasting and an agency, for example.
So, now that you have found baby modeling casting calls, it’s time to…
Apply, apply, apply!
As mentioned previously, rejection is a big part of this industry. It’s not that uncommon for auditions to have up to 200 families eyeing the gig, so imagine how many submissions didn’t even make it to the audition part! In showbiz, competition is always fierce. Whether you’re a baby model or a professional actor, to land a part, you have to apply to as many gigs as possible.
With every job landed, and every ounce of experience gained it’ll become easier. Never hesitate to update your baby’s photo if you think it might be the reason you’re not getting callbacks. And, most importantly, don’t give up.
You hold all the power. A few photos of your baby, a few clicks on your device, and you could have a paying baby modeling gig lined up. Thousands of parents are doing this right now and the families that will find success won’t necessarily be the ones with the prettiest baby, it’ll be the most resilient ones that keep going and do everything in their power to help their kid become a baby model.
Even if you’re not ready to dedicate yourself to this project, giving it a try will also require some effort, most notably in the application process. Taking a photo & submitting to casting calls isn’t difficult and anyone can do it. But, unfortunately, experience shows that most parents get stuck at the application step, surrendering after their first or second rejection. If you’re fine with it, that’s your prerogative. If not – be patient and keep applying!
You can do it!
Getting started with baby modeling is easy. If you & your baby have the time, passion, and energy to dedicate to pursuing modeling, then you’re both at the start of a wonderful journey. There’s work & challenges ahead of you, but as with anything in life, your effort will be proportionally rewarded.
The time for words is over and the time for action is here! Take that photo of your baby, find casting calls, and apply, apply, apply! I believe in you 🙂