Why your kid shouldn’t model!


I’ve photographed a ton of kids for advertising campaigns, editorial content, some private sessions and a lot because I love kids. Here’s my 2 cents worth. Kids modeling can be an ugly proposition for a few reasons.

1) Basically, there’s not a lot of money in it, especially to start.  You might get a few hundred bucks here and there.  But outside of major cities, there is very little work for kids. Also, it’s their money, not yours. If you need financial assistance, apply for some.  This ain’t it.

2)  If you take it seriously, subtract one parent.  Unless little Cindy can teleport herself to the go-see, you’re going to have to be the one to take little Cindy to the go-see, the call-back and the shoot (if you’re lucky).

3) Your kid could book a job and not even get used in the work they were commissioned for.  I book about 4 babies for every   one we finally wind up using.  And if it’s a busy day, I don’t even know the babies’ name.  I know it’s sad, but I really have to get the shot.  I am getting paid for delivering the shot. So when baby #1 starts crying, my producer brings in baby #2, baby #3, baby #4.  Then we go around again. Unless I know the child, we hardly even use their name…

4) Your child might not get the job for any random reason and they could feel not pretty enough.  Isn’t growing up tough enough? Isn’t being a parent tough enough?

5) Your child will have to take time off from school.  In some states, child models also have to get a work permit for each job, which may require the permission of the school. Good luck with that.

But I do have a happy compromise:  get to know someone who’s a kids photographer and treat it more like a lark.  Each one of the children pictured here I booked through someone I know.  The kid swinging is my friends cousin’s son. That was for Volvo.   The budda looking baby is my brother’s friends kid. That was for Lennox Hill Hospital. And the cute litte girl was a friend of a friend’s daughter for The Gap. Yes they got paid.

So there you have it.  A beautiful child with a big, bright smile.  Here’s a great suggestion, especially if they’re big. Bring them up to be an NBA star.  There’s at least 450 jobs just waiting there.  ~Mike

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5 Responses to “Why your kid shouldn’t model!”

  1. Carolina Says:

    Hi Mike- You reminded me of a shoot we did for a promotional video- we needed a few seconds of footage…tons of kids (and parents!) lined up. In the end, it came out great though 🙂

  2. Matt Says:

    Let me know if you need a 6 year old to shoot

  3. Steve Says:

    Great advice – stuff I never would have thought of.

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