Modeling Agency

Updated on February 26, 2008
T.L. asks from Joppa, MD
12 answers

I am wondering if anyone can refer a good modeling agency for my 13 year old daughter? I am not interested in a company that just wants me to buy services from them. Has anyone done modeling with their child that can offer advice?

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi T.,
my name is Carmel, and depending on where you live, one of hte best agencies (particularly for children) is Ford Modeling Agency. They several offices. It just depends on where you are. Let me know if you have another questions about the business. Just so you know, my background is in the arts.
Wishing you the best of luck,
Carmel

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S.B.

answers from Washington DC on

#1 Are you looking for a job for both of the girls or just the
13 year old?
#2 Is this what the 13 year old wants to do?
#3 Is she a self assured leader, or is she a follower who has difficulty with peer pressure? (Whatever the answer is OK, it's just who she is)

We as mothers need to be very careful entering this arena with our children. While many people want to be famous, and rich not many people can actually handle it.

Currently our society is watching the meltdown of a beautiful girl who's mother got her into the business as a young child.
She spent her time with adults, catering to her every need just to get her to do what they wanted her to do. She had no boundaries on her behavior and no boundaries on the bribes that she received, as the job had to be done. She was isolated from normal family life, because children are not generally exposed to the kind of attention that is given to child models, and actors. It is not normal, and it takes a vigilant parent to protect the child from becoming a master manipulator of emotions and scenarios, and pull them out of the situation when they honestly look at the situation and seeing it happen. This young girls mother had the best intentions, but at some point she had to have seen what was happening to her child. But probably at that very same point this girl became such a high commodity for the producers that their money was able to change the mothers values, and loose her integrity. Her name is Brittney Spears.

I lived in Hollywood for many years, and have friends in the business. I have friends who were child actors and models, most are no longer in the business, as only a few can handle adolescence as a public figure and transition into adulthood while holding onto their careers.

The reasons vary as to why they don't continue but rejection and fear of rejection are usually the core reasons.
By putting your child in this position you are placing their very value as a human being on the line at an extremely inappropriate age. They haven't lived long enough to gather the skills to deal with rejection.

If they get the job, great! If they don't the question is always no matter what you say to encourage them is "What's Wrong with Me"? That is far to much to ask of a child, and the industry is set up in such a way that offers no way around this obstacle.

As the first thing that is required by any professional modeling agency is photo's. You must submit 1 8 1/2 by 11 headshot, and one 8 1/2 x 11 body shot. On the back of both photos you want to have a little bio on the subject and smaller photos of the subject in different styles of clothing to show the subjects range.

If you tell the child that you are just taking the pictures for fun, lay them out on your computer and print them and send them out to a few angencies with a cover letter for consideration for representation; all without telling the child what you are doing is probably better.

If you get a positive response stating they would like to meet your child and pursue a representative relationship, then do your homework on the agency. Google, Better Business Burea etc.All before telling the child, also it would be beneficial for you to speak the agent as well, and ask that the interview be kept low key and not to allow the agent to go overboard with promises of fame and fortune.

I you receive a 'thanks but no thanks' letter than your child will never know and it will not be a huge let down.
Remember, if you tell her about this, the first thing she will do is tell her friends, then her friends are going to badger her constantly about the status of her career. If she get's the job. She will instantly be the most popular and the most secretly hated girl in her class if not in her school. She will have more attention, and more 'middle school drama' than any of her friends and she will immediately be the subject of all conversation; good and bad. If she doesn't get the job everyone will make fun of her, judge her, tease her, and she will remain the topic of conversation, just in a negative way.

So do her a huge favor and don't let her know anything about it.

The children who do the best in this business are the children that are most like the "class clown' personality. They are outgoing, and driven. They see themselves on stage every day in their minds eye and get THEMSELVES on stage at an early age by their on volition. The kids with this personality are outgoing and speak to anyone and everyone, and constantly look for ways to be in the limelight. If this describes your child, I definitely suggest starting with 'community theater', local talent agency's for local business commercials. Local beauty pageants. If you start on the local level, then she will have local expectations and be able to keep a good perspective. Remember, they haven't developed the skills that you and I have had a lifetime to develop and it can be sooo overwhelming, and a national rejection could actually arrest the development and will to try other things before she ever had the chance to develop something that is truly a gift she possesses.

In closing please be gentle. They are so fragile, and we only get one chance in this life to learn the sequential developmental steps that healthy adults possess. If we miss one or three because we are thrust into an adult situation at pivital point in our development we will never again be able to capture it and put it in the correct order.

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My mother works at the Neiman Marcus at Tyson's 2. She asked the HR department there about reputable child modeling agencies. They use Camera Ready kids. For babies under 3 yrs old, u only have to fill out information and send in your own pictures (not 8X10 professionals). The website is http://www.camerareadykids.com/babies.htm

Good luck to u

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D.R.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi T.,

I don't know where you live so it's kind of hard to recommend a specific place. If your daughter is serious about modeling and you are willing to have her pursue it you can put an ad in Face magazine which is just for models looking for work. It's a trade magazine that agencies use. But it IS costly. Keep in mind that anything you do to get serious modeling work is going to cost you money. The chances of someone discovering your little girl at the drugstore and making her a star are about the same as winning the lottery. And believe me, you DO NOT want to go with someone who tells you that they are a photographer and can get her work. Be wary of anyone who promises results with you not having to put out any money. Most of the time, it's "work" you are not going to want her doing. If you are serious about her doing modeling SHE MUST have a portfolio. There is no way to get around that. Anywhere you take her for serious work, the first thing they will ask is to see her "book". And you need to get those pictures done by a professional photographer who knows how to put a modeling portfolio together. DO NOT go to a wedding photographer, or J.C. Penney, or one of the national chain studios. In order to get work she must show versatility. That is the purpose of the book. They want to see what she looks like in print and what her range of "looks" is. And she must show personality. Every mother thinks that just because their child is beautiful, they can be a model. Not so. My daughter was a beautiful kid too but she could never model, she didn't have the personality and confidence for it. My oldest son, however, did have and he did some professional modeling with me. Do your due diligence and make sure that whatever photographer and/or agency you choose to work with, are legitimate and professional. And never leave your daughter alone anywhere. Keep in mind also, that the centers for professional modeling are New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Again, I don't know where you live. If you live in Virginia Beach, VA or in the Tidewater area I can recommend Glamour Modeling and Talent Ltd. That is the agency my son and I worked with and the owner, Norma Fox is a great lady and former model. She does run a school but her models work AND THEY GET PAID. I recommend that you let you daughter take a modeling class. It gives them confidence and gets them used to the camera and the runway and teaches them modeling etiquette. This is important because if and when she does go out on a shoot, or to do a show, noone has time to hold her hand and make allowances for her. They are on a time limit and time is money. They will expect a professional to be ready to work when they get there. She will also need a model's case with makeup and the 1,000 other things a model should carry to be prepared for anything. A fishing tackle box makes a great model's case. There are also competitions that travel around the country looking for models (cattle calls)and they advertise in the local papers telling you where and when they will be holding auditions. I have been to one with a friend and her 3 year old daughter and it was quite an experience. They had representatives from all the major agencies there and these people know what they're looking for. My friend's daughter got 5 or 6 call backs. At any rate, always put your daughter's safety first. Make sure that she is independent enough to stand up for herself and speak out if she is uncomfortable about anything that she is asked to do. Modeling isn't the glamorous business that most people think it is. It's long hours, hard work, and it's a very competitive, and dirty business. I had a lot of fun with it and made some money but I started after I'd had 4 children so I was not looking for supermodel status. I was also a lot older and not easily fooled. My son was 12 when he took Norma's course and very outgoing and he loved it. But he never went anywhere without me. When I attended the models of the South competition outside of D.C. I saw a lot of stuff going on there that I wouldn't want a child of mine mixed up in. Just beware Mom. I can't tell you how many guys told me they were photographers when they found out I was a model. And they always wanted to know if I did nudes. Professional models never have to do nudes--unless they want to. I hope this helps. I agree with everything Stephanie B. says below. Abuela

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V.D.

answers from Norfolk on

There is one out of Williamsburg called Judy Gibson And Associates. Here is her address 2548 Robert Fenton Rd. Williamsburg, VA 23185 [email protected]____.com Unless things have change this is what i have on her. She takes in new clients I think about twice a year. I haven't heard anything lately from her but you can give her a try. She doesn't ask for any money b/c they make money when the child works if they ask for money up front they are no good leave quickly. Good Luck. If you decide to go further I know of a Modeling and Talent agency out of New York city. [email protected]____.com is my email address.

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

My oldest daughter was very interested in modeling, acting, and performing of any type. 90% of the kids in the Balto./DC area who get anything significant are with Linda Townsend. She is a manager, meaning she works with many agencies & has access to work nation-wide: ###-###-####. Camera Ready Kids is also very reputatable: ###-###-####. If you need to stay closer to Baltimore, you could try Nova Models: ###-###-####. I would suggest calling them all, to see what each requires, and to see which is the best fit for what you are looking for.
N. B.

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K.R.

answers from Richmond on

T. ~
I can only give you some advice based on my own experiences. When I was 17, I wanted to be an actress and model. I ended up in NYC going to musical theater school, working in a broadway theater and trying to get modeling jobs on the side. I can't even begin to tell you the sleezy nature of this business. There are people out there just waiting to prey on naive young kids who do not have a clue how to handle it. I was touched, propositioned and pressured to do all kinds of bad stuff. If you want to put your beautiful young child into this kind of environment - think twice. I would NEVER allow my child to do this unless I was with her EVERY SINGLE MOMENT! Children need to be protected from this world's superficial view of who we are as human beings. Whatever you do - PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL!!! Your child needs to have a VERY strong sense of who they are and what is right and wrong. Good Luck.
~K.

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M.O.

answers from Norfolk on

Are you looking for something local, or in NY or LA?

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T.E.

answers from Richmond on

I have a daughter and I have put her in a few local pagnants, they turned out to be a fun excerience for her and myself. I have not done one this year but I do plan, because it helps to build the child's self esteem because I only do the pagnants where all the girls get something.

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

T.;
My name is J. and I am the proud mother of 4 beautiful girls and the grandmother of 2. My 18 year old is a model and has been for 2 years. She started with Barbizon. They have been wonderful and are a great, safe, starting place. The other plus is that once you're with them, you are a member for life. It was a little expensive in the beginning, but they attend classes for 6 weeks for everything from runway to hair and make-up. They are the catalyst to finding agents for future work. We chose an agent out of Baltimore MD that started off strong, but then didnt represent our daughter well and the jobs have dwindled. We are attending another Barbizon event next weekend where agents from all over the world will be looking to sign models. Barbizon holds these events several times a year. Best of luck to your daughter. You will be so proud.

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M.M.

answers from Norfolk on

I got burned on this when I was younger, so I share your same concerns. Thanks for asking this question. Please share the responses with me.

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T.V.

answers from Washington DC on

I don't know who I could recomend but I can tell you NEVER go with Jonh Robert Powers, all they want is your money.

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