Every mom has looked at the child in the cereal/car/clothing ad at least once and thought, “My kid is cuter than that.” Could your beautiful babe be America’s Next Top Mini Model? What kind of money can your kid make doing it? How do you get started? And how can you determine what’s a legitimate gig and what’s a total scam? Here, the real deal on breaking into the business, from industry pros and moms who’ve been there, done that -- and lived to tell about it.
“Cute kids are a dime a dozen,” says celebrity photographer and former top model Bruce Lemler. “Not all gorgeous children photograph well, and some more average-looking children really light up a room when they get in front of the lens.” Often a casting director or client is looking for a certain look -- red hair, an ethnic blend, a child who “matches” the parents who have already been cast. Other times, it’s about finding the child who is comfortable in front of the camera and can take direction. Judy Goss, author of Break into Modeling for Under $20, former Ford NY model agent and spokesperson for TheCuteKid.com, says the most common question she is asked is “Does my child have It?” “I have over twenty years of experience in this industry, and I still can’t answer that question,” she says.