If you’re the parent of a child model or performer, you have the option of finding your child agency representation or taking on the role yourself. The British Model Alliance has detailed important reasons as to why it may be wise to choose agency representation for your child.
The modelling and entertainment industry is highly competitive. Prior to applying for agencies, the Briths Model Alliance stresses the importance for children to gain relevant experience. For very young models, like infants and young toddlers, this involves exposing them to an environment surrounded by lots of individuals. Children who are camera shy will not be desirable to agencies. Likewise, children who refuse to work well with adults will also not progress. Photo shoots involve a number of people hired to do hair, make-up, styling, photography, set design, etc. It’s important for children to work well with those on set.
If possible, before contacting an agency, also try to build your child’s portfolio. British Model Alliance highly recommends hiring a freelance photographer to take a range of photos (the more professional they are, the better). It’s also advised to bring your child to a photography studio if you are unable to hire a freelance photographer. Here, they’ll be able to work with you and your child to capture industry-standard photographs.
While many parents choose to serve as their child’s agent as a way to oversee their child’s career adequately, they may lack the industry contacts possessed by agents. Additionally, when it comes to casting directors, they are more likely to contact agents, especially the ones they have worked with in the past, when searching for new models and actors. However, the British Model Alliance wants to emphasise that this does not mean that child models without agency representation will not find work.
As modelling agencies have worked with a great number of models throughout the years, they understand the laws and legislations pertaining to child modelling. They will be able to advise parents of how to obtain a child modelling license and detail the strict regulations applied to children in the modelling industry (such as number of hours and days children can work per week, schooling requirements, rest period, etc).
No matter how a child model is represented, there are strict regulations which much be followed. To see the rules and guidelines of child performance and activities licensing legislation in England, please see the following link: