When you have a kid there’s this weird thing that happens.
No, I’m not talking about how suddenly your body resembles a deflated balloon or how regular bodily functions become scary (cross legged sneezes for the win).
I’m talking about how you stare at your little bundle of sweet goodness and you just know that they are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY IN THE WHOLE FREAKING WORLD.
You’re probably wondering, so I’ll quickly confirm – this phenomena is just amplified when you have more kids because you’re like, “we hit the baby jackpot – all our kids are just so freaking adorable!”
We’ll temporarily ignore the fact that we might just be the tiniest bit biased.
Sometimes we hope that other people join in on our bias and confirm our suspicions. And then when that’s happened enough times, you sit down and wonder if you should get them into modelling. It’s kind of inevitable. Even if you brush the thought off after a few minutes, I’m pretty sure 99% of parents have had it.
We traveled that road. Riya did a couple of shoots for Sticky Fudge and then when she kept asking, (months later) when she’d be doing it again, we realised that we should probably get them into an agency. So I asked around and eventually settled on Kids Inc. Lovely people and very organised.
Within a week she was asked to work with two rather large brands – both of which I turned down because she was sick. But then the opportunity to shoot for another beauty company popped up. I checked with her and she jumped up and down with excitement, so I confirmed the shoot.
Pre-shoot we had to pop in for a clothing fitting the day before. She refused to sit for any pictures. I really should have seen it as a sign, but after about 5 minutes she warmed up and was fine so I figured she was just (understandably) a bit nervous.
The next day we arrived at the shoot to find that she was the “back up model”. This means that they have their main model, but when they get tired or over it (as 4 year olds tend to do), then they could switch to the “back up” and carry on shooting – using which ever pictures turned out the best.
So we sat and we waited. And we waited and we waited. The main model was pretty resilient and did everything that they asked of her. Until she didn’t. Then Ri was expected to get dressed, have her hair done AND pretend that this strange (beautiful model) woman was her mother – all in the space of 5 minutes.
Say what now?
I don’t know if you’ve been around kids much, but forcing them into a situation like this in such a short time frame and not letting them warm up to the other models that they are supposed to work with is just really just setting them up for failure.
I probably don’t need to say that she didn’t warm up at all. Not even with bribes, uh, I mean promises of Spur milkshakes and pasta. She was having none of it. So after 5 minutes they gave up and got the main model back and continued the shoot.
She was disappointed in the end and honestly so was I. She’d done so well with the other shoots that I thought she was a natural at this. I guess I was reserving a bit of parenting pride for an amazingly well done shoot, I mean who wouldn’t want their kid to do well at something like this? Even though I really never forced this on her at all, it’s been a bit of a learning curve for me. They say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink? Well the same applies to kids and modeling, you can book amazing clients but not make them do anything at all really.
And so she has decided that she never, ever wants to do this ever again.
It’s not all doom and gloom though.
Kids are funny things, they’ll take a couple of months to process it all and then be back and ready to do it all again, so I’m not completely closing the door on this for her, or for Kyla and Knox (whom I have also submitted with the agency in case you’re wondering).
If you’re looking to get your kids into modelling here’s what you should consider:
- Are they naturally camera shy when you are taking pictures of them or are they happy to be asked to smile/dance/just look at the camera? If they’d prefer to stay out of pictures even when you’re the photographer, then maybe modelling is not really for them.
- Get them a bank account and register them for TAX. Trust me on this. You need this first, because doing it the other way around is just a flipping lass.
- Find a good agency that looks after your children, that has their well being at heart.
- Kids are kids and they can’t be forced to act like grown ups – try not to make them feel pressured into anything.
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