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Child model?

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#1 Axnxoxnx

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:32 AM

Old member gone anon because I want unbiased opinions.
We were out yesterday when we were approached by the director of a very large and apparently reputable child model agency. He had seen DS1 who is 3.5 and he gave us his card and asked us to think about giving him a call because he thought DS1 had a certain 'look' and might do well. From what I can tell, this agency does not take a huge number of kids so this seems a genuine offer. I do know such an offer is no guarantee of 'work'.
Anyway, I have very very mixed feelings about this. To put it in context, DH and I are both professionals and so money is not a consideration (the kids will get whatever they need for education/sport/music etc without having to 'work for it', if that makes sense (I know some parents put any earrings into an education fund).
So I have real objections to the idea of 'modeling', or my kids being told that the way they look is important. I also have objections to him 'working' at this age.
My only question is whether there is any other benefit or skill to be gained from potentially doing this?
In other words - if anyone on EB can convince me there is any non-financial benefit to this then I'll contact them. Otherwise we'll just put the card in the bin (my first inclination).

#2 Funwith3

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

Your son might have fun? He might develop a terrific amount of confidence? He might be very good at it which could open a lot of doors for him down the track? Or he could meet some great little friends....

#3 Axnxoxnx

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:42 AM

QUOTE (Funwith3 @ 03/02/2013, 09:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your son might have fun? He might develop a terrific amount of confidence? He might be very good at it which could open a lot of doors for him down the track? Or he could meet some great little friends....

This is what I was thinking... DH is worried it would be more 'sit still and smile for the camera' than 'fun'.
He's not lacking in confidence, LOL!

#4 LambChop

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

So I have real objections to the idea of 'modeling', or my kids being told that the way they look is important. I also have objections to him 'working' at this age.
  Agree with all this, for me it out weighs any perceived gain... he's 3.5, not 16....

#5 Cranky Kitten

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:53 AM

I wouldn't do it. I was approached when DD was a baby, about 10 months old I think - and to be honest the money could've come in handy at that time. But I decided against it as it seemed like a lot of pressure to put such a young child under. Maybe things have changed in the industry since then (this was 10 years ago) but it still gives a strong message that life and their value is all about their looks.

#6 BeYOUtiful

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

My son has done a photo shoot with a modelling agency.
At first he didn't want to participate and wanted me in the shot area with him.  Which we did until he was comfortable and dancing around with big smiles.
By the middle/end of the shoot he was loving it and when we were leaving he was asking for more photos.
So it was a confidence booster for him, which he had fun with.

Each parent was right beside their child, near the photographer.

We won the photo shoot but an agency is interested in his photos.  Not sure where I will take that at this point.

Not sure how often Directors would hand out their card randomly, I would thoroughly check out the business.  If it was in a supermarket they may have been recruiting for more on their books.

Just to add, for us they definitely made the shoot fun and incorporated toys/skateboards etc.  It was all about capturing him having fun, not seated and posed.  We arrived at 10:00am and finished around lunch time.

Edited by ~Jane05~, 03 February 2013 - 09:14 AM.

#7 MrsShine

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

I work in film & TV and sometimes in stills photography/modelling too (as a makeup artist & stylist - not as talent).

I also work with a lot of kids (& their parents!) and have mixed feelings myself.

The are a lot of fabulous parents who keep their modelling/perorming children grounded, in these cases I find its brilliant for the kids to learn to listen to direction, follow instructions etc. their parents are always the ones who are quietly encouraging and say things like "X, are you listening to x" (usually director etc. and in these cases I think it's good for kids. They are constantly meeting new people and having to introduce themselves, behave accordingly, eat new foods for set catering etc. and a lot of them really thrive.

I've seen older kids who are in school tell me that their fee goes into a long term account that they can't access until their are 18 plus but their parents encourage them to take out $50-100 each school holidays and use it for the things they want to do. It makes the kids really have to think hard about whether they want to spend that money and helps them grasp the concept of expenses. So in these cases I think it's really good. Socially aware, helping to behave accordingly in new situations and meet & handle new people and situations which are great life skills.

But then the are the stage parents - and the ones that just drop their kids off and sit in the corner on the iPhone for the day and let the kid run wild whilst the crew try to get them to behave.....don't even get me started on those kids/parents!

#8 Kay1

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

Gosh I'd give it a go. If its not fun don't do it again. original.gif

I think he'd get a kick out of seeing his picture in something and he's not old enough to understand its because of his 'looks' IMO.

Disclaimer: I would be so damn proud I would not be able to say no LOL.

#9 Lagom

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Like all things, I really think it depends on the parent.  If you are grounded and doing it for the right reasons and happy to quit if it isn't for you or your child then go for it!  
You could even liken it to playing sports or dancing.  Some parents are in it for themselves and are full on!  Others are doing it because their child enjoys it.  Modelling, sport, it's all the same to me.  Doing it 'wrong' can damage your child.

I'd also be wary of them asking you to fork out hundreds of dollars to be on their books.  If they scouted you let them spend the dough.

(DD5 has did some modelling when she was 4.  She loved it.  It was just a couple of times and she is not with an agency.  If we were asked to do it again I would say yes.  We had fun.  As soon as it wasn't fun or became an issue though it would cease.)

#10 Kay1

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

Not sure how often Directors would hand out their card randomly, I would thoroughly check out the business. If it was in a supermarket they may have been recruiting for more on their books.

Yep this too. Having said that my cousin was approached (as a teenager) on a beach in Scotland and ended up with his face (an abs LOL) on billboards and buses in London and enough money to pay for uni. original.gif

#11 Super Cat

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

My nephew was a child model. He's in his 20's now but as a kid did a few TV commercials plus heaps of print media. He really loved it and had a lot of fun.

My friends son is a current TV model/actor. He gets heaps of work and really loves it. He's six and has been modelling since he was a toddler. My friend really likes it. She said the kids are looked after and the day is usually fun for them. She still has control over what he does and doesn't do. She turned down a major role in a mini series he was offered because there was a scene where he'd have to be breastfed (simulated of course) and she was worried about the teasing factor. Ultimately, the parents still get to keep control. If it were me I'd look into it further. You can always decline later on.

#12 Fr0g

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

I've got ideological issues with my own children modelling.  At the risk of sounding like a braggart but saying anyway, my daughter, in particular, is a 'head-turner'.  We're told weekly she "should be modelling" and "daddy better get the shotgun ready" (my biggest stomach turner), but there is no way I would have her model.  I don't think it would be healthy for her to align her self-worth to her looks any more than she does.

So for me, modelling is a no-no.  DH has a different opinion to me, and would not be opposed to modelling.

HOWEVER, that's my ideological issue - I truly couldn't say I'd turn down the chance, if it happened to fall in my lap, to set aside some potential to build a nest egg.  

It's a hard one, actually.

#13 Axnxoxnx

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE (~Jane05~ @ 03/02/2013, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure how often Directors would hand out their card randomly, I would thoroughly check out the business.  If it was in a supermarket they may have been recruiting for more on their books.

It was at St Kilda beach - we walked past a sw**ky restaurant on our way to grab some sandwiches and have a picnic on the beach and someone waved at DS as he 'pranced' past, and DS waved back. We sat down maybe 100 metres from the restaurant to have lunch, and this guy came up to us 20 minutes later to say he'd seen (and waved at) DS when we walked past, and so he'd come down to give us his card. He also said that, apart from his 'look', it was as much about DS's personality and how he came across (whatever that means - can you tell in such a short time?)

It is a very large and well known agency. The director is a sole director and is also well known.

Thanks everyone for your replies and positive stories.

I guess the other thing that weighs heavily is the time commitment from us... I work full time and DH does 3-4 days/week - and the days he is free we do all the other things that DS loves - gymnastics, soccer, trips to the museum and zoo... He gets so much from all this other stuff and this is why I'd really want to be convinced of some benefit to him before we all put effort into it.

Thanks again - keep the stories coming!

ETA - really EB autocorrect? You're going to autocorrect the word s-w-a-n-k-y?

Edited by Axnxoxnx, 03 February 2013 - 09:57 AM.

#14 Axnxoxnx

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (FrogIsAFrogIsAFrog @ 03/02/2013, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
HOWEVER, that's my ideological issue - I truly couldn't say I'd turn down the chance, if it happened to fall in my lap, to set aside some potential to build a nest egg.

Well, this is it... I never would have submitted him for such a thing myself (sure I think he's cute and has a vibrant personality, but so does every parent). And I've always shook my head at suggestions that 'he should model!' (not that many people have said that). But... to have someone actually walk up and give you their card does make you wonder. We all make decisions for our kids - and it kind of feels like I would be turning down an opportunity because of my own beliefs (even though I know that’s a perfectly good reason to turn something down).

#15 BeYOUtiful

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

Have you asked your son if he is interested in giving it a go?

#16 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:04 AM

I have had a similar experience (daughter not son).
We were also approached by a director and my daughter did  a couple of jobs but it was just too hard time wise. We both work full time so it meant we had to take days off work for her to do it. The short notice for some jobs was also a problem.
My daughter had fun. If I didn't work we would probably do it again.

I had some of the same concerns about the focus on looks but then again talent agents have a wide range of kids on their books. Its not just good looks that get you work, it's personality, having something unusual about their appearance, ability to act, ability to take direction...

#17 Axnxoxnx

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

QUOTE (~Jane05~ @ 03/02/2013, 11:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you asked your son if he is interested in giving it a go?

Yes, but he's 3.5... What does he know? It might be meaningful to ask him after we'd done it once to see if he enjoyed it, but when I say "would you like to go somewhere and play while someone takes photos" he's just like "yeah, that sounds fun", which is pretty much his standard response for anything he doesn't know anything about...

#18 **Xena**

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

When I was in QLD I was approached about my eldest child. I just took it as a compliment and didn't think much further because we were on holiday and he'd never be able to pursue that in Tas.

If it was a serious option though I'd let my kid try it out and if they seemed unhappy just pull out of it.

#19 becstar101

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

My nephew did some modelling as a toddler. He had fun, but my sister found it quite time consuming especially for the money she got in return. He was in a couple of target catalogues, and from memory earnt less than $100 per shoot. Other jobs may be more worthwhile, but it seemed to take most of the day for little reward.

Edited by becstar101, 03 February 2013 - 06:53 PM.

#20 Chookin

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

I was approached after my son appeared in a published photo book, it all sounded great except we had to be at castings at relatively short notice and quite a hike away. Although I was only working 3days a week at the time, i couldn't guarantee castings would fall on my days off so we opted out before it began really. If you have the time then why not?

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