You want your child to become a model. She has the looks, grace and initiative to do well in the industry and you are seeking an agency that will help her achieve her young career goals. There are so many top modeling and talent agencies to apply to that you don't quite know where to begin. The very best agencies are the ones that fit all of the parents' and child's personal factors.
If you have the funds to travel, you are not limited to the agencies that are located in your specific area. The very best agencies tend to be located in either New York City or Los Angeles. Some are also found in Miami due to the stellar weather, and Chicago is also an up-and-coming city with new agencies.
Wilhelmina in New York City is considered to be the ultimate in children's modeling. Its sterling reputation is evident in the smiling photos of hundreds of children they have found work for in advertising, modeling, print and more. On the West Coast, Bleu Model Management represents children 8 and older. Their young models have been featured in publications such as "Gucci" and "Vogue."
The type of modeling your child is interested in and the other talents she has may be strong determining factors in the agency you choose. Some modeling agencies feature children with other talents, such as singing or dancing, while others strictly focus on the modeling industry. Decide on what path your child prefers and use this criteria to select the best training. For example, Barbizon provides classes for both modeling and acting, and it offers coursework in improvisation and monologues as well as traditional runway and print curriculum.
Child models with disabilities, such as Down syndrome, have been hired by large companies such as Target, Infantino Toys, and Nordstrom in a push to provide a true reflection of today's young population.
The better the agency, the more funds parents will be required to put out for portfolios, photo shoots, head shots, travel and more. Time may also be an issue, especially if both parents work. You may decide to work with a small, local agency to get your child acclimated to the industry before heading to the big-time companies. Remember, though, that a modeling agency should never ask for money up front. If they do, steer clear of them. An agency will take a percentage of your child's earnings, but it should never request any type of registration or signing fee.
The reputation of the agency selected is also important. You will want your child's name attached to a quality modeling agency. This will go far in advancing her reputation and providing her with strong references. Even if the best agency for the child's needs at a particular time is very small or local, it is still important that it be known for its integrity and high-quality baby and child models.