You may think your baby’s got what it takes to advance from star of your Instagram account to a fully-fledged model, but what’s really involved? Get a firsthand insight from the mums and experts who have been through it with their little ones to see if you – and your tot – are cut out for it
1. Do a test run
Before applying to sign your baby up to an agency, see if your baby’s got what it takes. ‘Ask a neighbor or family friend that your baby doesn’t know very well to pop round and pose with your baby,’ says Debi Clark, company director of Bizzy Kidz. ‘Leave them alone for a few moments to see how relaxed your baby is with a stranger.’
2. Do your research
It pays to spend time looking for a great agency. ‘Search very hard for reputable agencies as there are a lot of scams out there,’ says mum Debbie Tuck, who’s daughter is registered with Bonnie & Betty modelling agency. ‘And ask other baby modelling mums for pointers.’
3. Don’t be put off
There’s no perfect ‘type’ when it comes to baby models. ‘There’s a fallacy that baby models shouldn’t have a head of hair, but this isn’t true,’ says Debi Clark, company director of Bizzy Kidz. And your baby may even have a shot if she’s not very smiley – a lot of shoots don’t require a smiling baby.
‘But your baby does need to be very good with strangers, photogenic and happy to be held,’ says Debi.
4. Be prepared to pay something immediately
Some agencies will ask for a fee to set up your child’s website profile before she gets her first job. ‘This shouldn’t be much – the fee is normally up to £100,’ says mum Debbie Tuck, who’s daughter is registered with Bonnie & Betty modelling agency. ‘But don’t pay for expensive photo shoots before applying to any agency as most only require a good snapshot.’
There’s no perfect ‘type’ when it comes to baby models
5. Expect to wait
Castings can take hours – which isn’t ideal when you’ve got a young child with you. So attend each audition prepared for this. ‘Take plenty of snacks, drinks and toys with you to survive the waiting around!’ says mum Kate Fever.
6. Factor in your baby’s routine
Feed your baby beforehand so she’s not grizzly and hungry and adjust her naps to suit the job’s schedule – and, ye, that includes is she’s doing a sleeping shoot.
7. Be available
Before registering your tot, be aware that jobs often come up at the last minute. ‘You’ll need to be able to drop everything to jump on a train or in the car as the less available you are, the less likely that the agency will phone you first when a job pops up,’ says mum Debbie Tuck.
8. Pack home comforts
Help your tot relax on shoots by bringing along some of her favourite toys and usual snacks, says Dawn Bowles. ‘An extra set of hands from a family member or friend is always useful, too,’ she says.
9. Arrive early
Give yourself plenty of time to get to each shoot to save yourself from turning up flustered. ‘When I’m attending shoots with my daughter, I always prefer to turn up an hour early than five minutes early,’ says Debi. Once you’re in the area, pop to the local park or a café until it’s time to head to the shoot.
10. Stay calm
Your baby picks up on your emotions, so stay calm on set to keep your baby relaxed. ‘Your baby will feed off you, so if you’re nervous then your baby will feel it,’ says Debi.
Your baby picks up on your emotions, so stay calm on set to keep your baby relaxed
11. Make it fun
‘Treat each shoot as a game,’ says mum Katie Baines. ‘Don't get stressed with your baby and enjoy it! Be polite to all involved whoever they are.’
12. Don’t push it
Your baby may be content and placid at home but if she isn’t comfortable being surrounded by strangers, cameras and lights then don’t make her do it. ‘If your baby’s finding the environment stressful and isn’t enjoying it then it’s just not worth it,’ says Debi.
13. Enjoy it
It’s not only your baby working with a career like this one – you need to enjoy it, too.
‘It's a wonderful experience for both you and your child, a great chance to make friends, to start a possible career, put money in your child's bank account and get treasured memories and photos,’ says mum Debbie Tuck. ‘It is hard work for you or your partner, but if you and your baby enjoy it then it’s a rewarding and great experience!’
Do you have any baby modelling tips? Share them in the comments box below.