Does Your Child Need a Modelling Portfolio?
Trying to get your child into the modelling and entertainment industry? Read more below.
The modelling and entertainment industries can be some of the toughest industries to break into, especially as a child. Parents often find themselves asking, ‘what can I do to improve my child’s chances of getting work? Will creating a social media presence or expanding their professional portfolio give them an edge over others?’.
‘Portfolio’ is a word that is thrown around in the industry a lot. It mostly comes from adult agencies where a portfolio is a ‘must-have’ to join an agency and some applications won’t even be looked at without professional photos. Things work a bit different with children, as their looks are constantly changing and any portfolios would become outdated very quickly.
Creating an entire portfolio of professional images may seem like it would help your child stand out from the crowd, when really it probably won’t do much. Clients can sometimes go through hundreds of talent submissions before finding what they’re after, they rarely will look at more than a child's headshot or full body shot. As long as these images are up to date and good quality, your child has as much as a chance as anyone.
Parents will also find that most agencies only require a professional head and body shot, and they usually will organise this through their own photographer or a recommended studio upon signing with them. Agencies will usually offer these images at a heavily discounted price when compared to standalone studios or freelance photographers.
As well as the ever-changing looks of children, most of the casting process happens online through various casting platforms where your agent will create a profile for your child. Parents will sometimes have access to these online profiles and can use them as a ‘digital portfolio’ where they can update new images regularly. Bear in mind that clients do not expect all images on these profiles to be professional, and sometimes some of the best photos of your children are ones that you have captured candidly on your phone.
Another question which gets asked frequently, is whether your child needs social media pages to help ‘promote’ them. The answer that most agents and clients will tell you, is no. You are always welcome to create an instagram account or similar for your child, but it will rarely result in paid or commercial work. Clients generally do not look to social media to find the face of their next campaign, as there are many processes and procedures in place when it comes to talent selection. Clients will go straight to a reputable agency when they need talent and will never see a child on social media and ‘create’ a campaign around them.
To put it simply, portfolios are something that are needed for adults in the industry but not for kids, and social media can be a little something extra but isn’t necessarily required. If your child has the look and all the attributes that a client is looking for, that is what will land them a job. Sometimes the entertainment industry just comes down to luck.