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  • Kara Oakes

Could Your Child Be A Model?

Does your child have what it takes to be a model?


In Australia, children’s modelling and talent agencies have been around for decades and are mostly located in the larger capital cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. If you think your little one has the star qualities to make it in this industry, read on for our top tips and advice on getting started.


Things To Consider

Before you apply to any agency, it’s essential to consider whether your child is the right fit for the industry. Are they comfortable meeting new people and being in front of the camera? While many parents may think this is an excellent opportunity to help shy kids come out of their shells, it can be the opposite. Modelling and talent agencies want children who are ready for the industry. If your child is a bit uneasy around new people and different environments or shies away from the camera, it may be best to wait until they are older or more outgoing before signing up.


Due to child employment regulations in Australia, talent must live within 2 hours of the agency/closest capital city. It’s important to let agents know where you live, because of the many legalities surrounding child employment. If you are too far from an agency in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, or Perth, you can try finding a smaller, local agency in your area.


One of the utmost important things in this industry is that parents must have flexibility and availability. Castings, auditions, and jobs can be confirmed at the last minute, and most are during regular business hours, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. If you don’t have the availability or flexibility to take them out of school and take time off work, it might not be suitable for you.


Where To Begin?

Your first point of contact should be with a reputable children’s talent agency in your closest capital city. Most agencies will have an online submission form where you can send through your child’s application. It’s crucial to include recent images and up-to-date details, including your contact details and your child’s current age, height, and clothing size.


Do your research to see what the requirements are as each children’s agency will differ. Ensure that you are using excellent images, ideally a headshot and full body shot. They don’t have to be professional, but clear, well-lit, and with nothing covering their face (no hats or sunglasses) are always a good place to start. Agencies are usually not after a specific look, as clients want kids who look like kids, missing teeth and all!


Once an agency has reviewed your child’s application, they may contact you for an interview. Be wary of any agency that doesn’t want to meet talent before signing them. Due to COVID-19, many agencies are now meeting potential new talent via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or other video chat services rather than in-person interviews. An agency needs to meet with any prospective talent to assess their suitability. It is equally important for you as the parent to be punctual and organised when attending this meeting, to make a good first impression.


Once you’ve gone through the initial application and interview process, if your child is successfully offered representation with an agency, the next step is usually to organise a photoshoot to start their portfolio, pay the agency fees, and sign a contract.


Agency fees are standard in children’s modelling agencies in Australia. Most agencies will require some costs for the photoshoot session, management fees, and casting platform subscriptions.


Managing Expectations


No agency can guarantee work, and you should be very wary of any that claim they can. It’s essential to have realistic expectations in this industry as it can be incredibly fickle, and rejection is common. Parents need to be aware that an agent does not create work nor decide what talent gets booked. If your child is old enough, make sure you explain to them how the industry works, and that rejection doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough, simply not what the client was looking for on that occasion.


Agents do a lot of work behind the scenes and will always put your child forward for work that they are suitable for. Unfortunately, most agencies don’t have the time to contact parents every time they submit a child for work, but rest assured they are doing their best to secure your child work! Remember to check in with your agency from time to time, keep your child’s details and measurements up-to-date, and send through new images to be added to their portfolio.


Remember that this is work for your child. It’s not an after-school hobby or activity. Agents want parents and children who are professional and willing to commit. However, on the upside, it can be a lot of fun and an excellent experience for both children and parents. If your little one has all the makings of a star and loves the camera, it’s worth a shot!

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