OK can we all agree that just because you think the kid is cute (your baby, your grandchild, your ____ ) does not mean they are marketable to the general population.
I think my nieces are adorable. I think they’ll win any competition and walk away with the crown, sash, and scholarship money but I also know that those sentiments are with my family only. The next household feels the same way about their kid.
There! I made my PC statement, now let me just say to anyone with a kid you hope to shove into the entertainment industry: Unless someone approaches you about them, they are not cute enough to model. They just are not. It’s sad, but it’s true. And yes as a photographer in LA/OC we know agencies. I know them and the next guy knows them. I have had models signed and the next guy had his models signed. It is not a super power skill, it just comes with the job title.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Sometimes photographers get financial incentives if they bring a fresh face to an agency. It may not be right, but it is done. Sometimes you bring a model to an agency even if you know they will not pay you, but the agency will owe you a favor in a future situation. It’s the business and it’s just how that world works. The thing is, you HOPE they will refer the model to the proper agency and not the one who pays the highest. (there’s a little industry secret they don’t want you to know)
So I once in a while tell someone’s parent they can model. Sometimes I shoot their pictures. Sometimes I call an agency that I have a relation with. Sometimes I just recommend several agencies and leave it at that. The rest is up to them. Yet for every youth that I suggest modeling to, several parents ask me if I could get their kid with an agency.
- I cannot strong-arm any agency to sign your kid
- Do not put me in a bad situation where I have pretend cuteness upon your baby
Really the whole post is mainly about point #2. Please know #2!
As a photographer let me speak a few additional words to you potential pageant-parents. Unless your child expresses THEIR OWN interest in this industry you should not push them. Unless they express their own interest multiple times, you should not push them into it. Little girls should not wear whore make-up, tight dresses, and hideous Texan pageant hair. Little girls should not blow kisses to the adult judges, adult audience members and kids in the audience. Little girls should NEVER EVER act sexy, because that’s just fucking disgusting. If your child expresses interest in Hollywood, please share with them the extreme dedication, the negative aspects of the industry, and the rewards of it. Share with them the work load and then proceed with caution. Sexy and child never go together. Let your child be a child, they can look like a trashy 19 year-old sorority girl trying to get into a bar when they are 19 years old…and trashy. I’ve seen them around DT Fullerton. They travel in packs, are the loudest, and the drunkest of the night.
ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER’S NOTE: I would never encourage my own child, family member or friend’s baby to this industry. It is not a healthy industry and as a photographer, I owe you that honesty. But as a professional photographer, I should not be saying that.