Baby modeling never really crossed my mind. Before becoming a parent, I didn’t know that niche even existed. I mean, of course I knew photos of babies were on boxes of diapers (duh!), but I never really stopped to think of it as a job with a paycheck. I dabbled a bit in commercial modeling myself. I signed up with a commercial modeling agency after my good friend coerced me for over two years to meet with her kids’ agent after seeing some of my engagement photos. After giving birth, my agent asked for photos of my baby boy. My husband and I recently signed the baby up with my agent with the intention that we are just doing this for fun and that we would be happy if he booked just one job. In his first month, he booked three gigs and we entered the exciting world of baby modeling.
Once the baby’s very first ad released on Black Friday, I received a flurry of questions from other parents curious about getting their little ones into modeling. As I listened to stories ranging from parents posting baby photos on Instagram hoping big brands will notice (#baby #modeling #love #PleaseNoticeMyAdorableChild) to parents wanting their baby to be in modeling but afraid of turning into stage parents, I noticed five mistakes that even the most well-intentioned parents make pursuing baby modeling:
Mistake #1: You haven’t decided what you want out of this. Before you get swept away by the glitz and glamour of the commercial modeling world, it’s also helpful to decide what you want out of this experience and what are your limits. For me, baby modeling is a fun way to bond with the baby while making a paycheck that will go into his college savings account. But, I am very clear on my limit: as soon as the baby shows any signs of not having fun with all of this, I’m pulling him out of modeling altogether.
Mistake #2: You don’t have a awesome agent . Find an agent who won’t waste your time waiting in audition after audition. My agent is highly selective about which auditions she sends us out for and works with several clients who do direct bookings. Direct bookings = awesome. Two out of three of the baby’s bookings were direct — meaning we didn’t have to audition and the client chose him based on photos submitted by my agent. One of the nice things about baby modeling is that the actual gigs themselves are pretty short, so having an effective and organized agent can make this process much more efficient.
Mistake #3: You assume your kid will enjoy the experience. All babies are cute, so when it comes to baby modeling, it really comes down to temperament. Does your baby have a huge case of stranger danger? Then, modeling may not be your baby’s forte. Baby models have to be okay with smiling and playing in front of strangers while mom/dad/guardian sits an arms-length away.
Mistake #4: You think this is a get rich strategy. Unless your baby books a commercial with a major brand and that ad runs for a long period of time (and, this is rare), baby modeling will not yield a six figure salary. It may yield a bit of side income, so start thinking about what you will do with that money.
Mistake #5: You don’t know what type of baby modeling parent you want to be. My husband and I have full time, demanding jobs, so baby modeling is not a full time thing for us. And, I wouldn’t want to send our baby-sitters (my in-laws) out into the hustle and bustle of the city too often. So, my husband and I decided that if an audition or booking fits our schedule, then we would go with it. Otherwise, we would let it go. I met a mom who drove her 16-year-old from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back within 24 hours for an audition. He didn’t get the gig. I admire her commitment to this industry, but I don’t think I’m that type of mom.
Baby modeling is a lot of fun. My baby seems to have a blast on set, hanging out with other babies and posing for the camera. My husband and I get a kick out of spotting our baby in an online advertisement or featured in store, and I am thrilled that I get a head start on collecting embarrassing photos for the baby’s future wedding reception slide show.
Are you interested in learning more about how to get your baby into commercial modeling? If so, I’m running a free, five day baby modeling challenge. Learn all about it and sign up for the challenge here: