Q&A: Can I send a cell phone photo to an agency?

Q&A: Can I send a cell phone photo to an agency?

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Question: Can I send a cell phone photo to an agency to try and get representation?

Answer: YES! People always ask me how important it is to have professional photos. And it is such a hard question because on one hand I want people to know they can submit simple snapshots to an agency and get booked. Honestly some agencies prefer it!

However, I find that when I tell people this they just scroll through their phone and send me the latest shots of their child…eating, taking a bath, in their car seat, playing with a sibling… you know – being kids! That is great for friends and family – but to land your child a coveted slot at modeling agency? Not so much.

If you are going to submit digital shots, treat it like a photo shoot. Take some time, lay, sit, or stand your child depending on age next to a plain background with great lighting. (natural is best) and take photos of him smiling, playing, crawling, etc. You will need one good headshot and one good head-to-toe shot.

Here are a few great examples of photos of a smiling happy baby, taken in natural light and with bright colors. And don’t forget my 4 C’s – Cute, Clear, Clean and Clothed!

One of my clients Caleb was invited to attend a Gerber casting in Chicago based on his mom’s digital snapshots. And after working with me she took these simple snapshots and landed a coveted spot with the Ohlsson Agency! See! Simple snapshot are sufficient!

Now, I get it – some of us love a good mini shoot and that’s great too. They key here is if you are spending a lot of money – don’t do it. But if you have a great camera, or access to one – here are a few good examples of what to do.

I worked with Liam’s mom in Dallas and after our consultations she followed my advice and had these images taken of her son. And even when I asked for a full length shot she provided me with a perfect digital snapshot to submit to agencies on her behalf.

LiamFull

Photos need to be update monthly  – especially babies and toddlers so get used to taking these photos and make it a fun bonding time with your child.

Sure at some point you will need professional photos but wait until you get the direction from your agency. And make sure they don’t pressure you to buy any packages or use only their photographers. That could be a sign of a scam so do your research and if you feel pressured to do anything, walk away.

There is a lot of work that goes into landing a job. Treat it like a business and do your best to make a great first impression for your best shot at breaking into the biz!

~~Tichanda

 

Photo Credits: Caleb ( J.Ford) , Liam (Marcus Watson|Marceaux Creative|Houston TX|FB & IG @MarceauxCreative)
Modeling in a Small Market? Q&A with The Paris Chanel Agency

Modeling in a Small Market? Q&A with The Paris Chanel Agency

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Let’s face it, modeling is a numbers game…and those who have the most success typically have access to the most opportunities. Those opportunities, castings, and auditions are predominately in New York City. Other areas with strong modeling markets include Los Angeles, Miami, & Chicago. Even cities such as Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville and San Francisco have their fare share of modeling and acting jobs as well. But what about cities like Charlotte, Wichita, or Memphis?

I recently moved from NYC to Memphis and I had an opportunity to sit down with Paris Chanel, the CEO of The Paris Chanel Agency to discuss her company, the modeling market, and what she looks for when signing a model.

1. Tell me about The Paris Chanel Agency and why you started it here in Memphis. What is your background?

The Paris Chanel Agency is an all-inclusive agency that aims to be a one stop shop for our clients and potential clients. We have been in business since April 2016.  Diversity is key for our agency.  We have models of all ethnic backgrounds, shapes, and sizes.  We pride ourselves on class and professionalism.  I started the agency, because I felt that in 2017 the rules of the “typical industry standard model” should not apply.

There are beautiful people of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds and they deserve a chance.  I know what it feels like to be left out and put in a box in the industry, so I wanted to present something completely different.  I also felt that Memphis was missing an agency that represented full diversity, and I felt there needed to be a change.  I wanted to be that change.

2. Since Memphis is a smaller entertainment market, what kinds of work do you typically book here. Name some of your clients.

Print Work, Commercials, and Runway are what are mostly booked in this market.

A few clients include:Wolfchase Galleria, Ashley Home Store, City Gear, Perkins Restaurant, Style Fashion Week, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Premier Glow Milano Menswear, Ampro Industries, Memphis Parent, Memphis Fashion Week, Kimmi & Gabbie, Southland Park & Gaming

3. What is the current state of the Kids and Baby market in Memphis?

The market here for children is very slim, unfortunately.  We are trying to create opportunities for them.  We also put focus on getting our talent, especially children placed in bigger markets for more opportunity. (One of her models recently walked the runway in NY for fashion week , and two of her models have recently been placed with agencies in LA!)

4. What are the things you look for when signing child talent to your roster?

We look a child with charisma and an outgoing personality.  If they already have some experience, that is a plus.  They definitely have to have the drive and excitement for the opportunity!

5. What 3 pieces of advice would you give Mocha Baby Dad/Momagers regarding child modeling and acting?

  1. Do NOT force your child into the industry. Make sure it is something that they genuinely want to do, because they are the ones that have to work the jobs.  Clients will not put up with attitudinal children on-set.
  2. Invest in getting your child some quality images for their portfolio.
  3. Keep them active and find ways to enhance their craft and add to their skill sets to make them more marketable.
Some child models from The Paris Chanel Agency

Thanks so much to Paris for sharing her story and her advice! I think that any child who starts off as a baby and goes on to work as a child or even teen model or actress will go on a journey and will have ups and downs – no matter where they live. They may also find that they have to move at some point to further their careers and pursue their dreams, but in the beginning local modeling can help a child gain experience and and develop a true interest that can be fostered and improved over time.

And finally some of the cutest kids never book a job or make it big…that is the reality of industry – however that is true about many jobs in the entertainment industry. Be optimistic, yet realistic and enjoy the ride!

You can learn more about The Paris Chanel Agency here.

Getting Started: How to Ace an Agency Interview

Getting Started: How to Ace an Agency Interview

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Me and my newest Mocha Baby (7 months old) meeting an agent for the first time!

If you have been following my Getting Started Series, than you know how to get great photos, submit to agencies and book jobs on your own! But what do you do when the agency wants to meet your Mocha Baby? I recently moved to a new city so I included a few recent pictures of me and the boys from our visit to The Paris Chanel Agency in Memphis, TN!

FAQ: I submitted my baby/kid to an agency and they want to meet her! What do I need to know to ace the interview? 

A: Congrats! Agencies get tons of submissions every day so a call back is a good sign. It means they see potential in your child’s photos and she probably fills a void in their roster. Your child may be just the right look, gender, age, ethnicity, size, or all of the above! Remember that this is a business after all and they want to sign kids they know they can work with. They often want their models  roster to represent a mix of looks, so if they have 2 or 3 other kids that fit the same description as yours, they are likely to pass on adding you to the list. But a callback means you’ve made the first cut so take time and prepare yourself and your child for the first agency appointment.

What you need to know

Before: The agent will most likely send you a confirmation email about the appointment that will include the date, time, location, contact person, how to dress your child and what to bring.

Print out the email and pay close attention to all the details included. Make sure you pack a bag especially for your child as well, complete with snacks and activities.

During: When you arrive ON TIME – be expected to fill out a talent sheet, get measured and take a few digital photos. Be clear about your schedule and flexibility and be honest about the amount of time you have to commit to castings, fittings, and bookings.

Remember, the purpose of the meeting is for them to see if they like you, but also for you to see if you like them! Interview them! Ask questions and get to know them. Do you feel like they will have your child’s best interests in mind? The agent should make you feel as comfortable as possible and be open to any concerns you have.

If they are interested in representing your child they will give you a contract. Ask them to explain it to you. How much do they take for commission ( 15-20% of  the job is typical) What other fees do they require? Remember they work for YOU! They send you on castings. They prepare you as best as they can and then your child attends castings and tries to book the job. If and ONLY if your child books a paid job does your agent get a percentage. That is how the agency makes money. If they pressure you for money or to sign the contract immediately…RUN!

After: Take your contract. Look it over or have a lawyer do it for you if you have questions. Call around, get references, read reviews and make an informed decision about whether or not you want to sign. Think about the commitment and the opportunity at hand and then decide within 48-72 hours if you would like to proceed. If not that is ok too. Just let the agency know in a timely fashion. If you decide to join – congratulations! Your child is one step closer to becoming a working model!

 

Have a question for me? Email mochababymodels@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Q&A: Should I submit even if I don’t fit the role exactly?

Q&A: Should I submit even if I don’t fit the role exactly?

ethnic babies

I am often sent questions via email and direct message. Here’s a question I recently received via Facebook in response to a casting for Latino babies.

Q: Can we submit if the baby looks Latino, even though he’s not?

A: Yes! If you are the ethnicity requested you should submit and if you can pass for the ethnicity you should also submit. The exception to this would be what is considered “truth in advertising” so if you must be of Hispanic descent than that will be specified and then of course you should only submit if you fit that criteria.

However in most cases of race and ethnicity most people of color come in all shades so if you are the ethnicity don’t exclude yourself based on a stereotype of what a particular group looks like. Not all Latinos are brown-skinned with dark features. Some are very light and blond and of course there is every shade in between.

Sometimes the breakdown will be specific and say “Light or Dark-skinned African American”. Others may call for a “Caucasian/Hispanic with fair complexion and light hair”.

However, if the role is very detailed and calls for a very particular look ( red hair, blue eyes, dark skin) you should submit only if you fit the description.

You may even think –  “I’ll just submit to everything, that way I know they will see my baby. They may change their mind! My baby is so cute!”

Please don’t do that! You may anger the casting director or agency and they will remember you if every time they post a casting you submit without regard to the breakdown. They will exclude you on purpose. The casting agent gets inundated with submissions and literally has to weed through photos, sizes, locations, & availability to try to find the right person for the role. If you disregard their details they might just do the same to your child.

Have a question you want me to answer on the blog? Let me know in the comments or email me at mochababymodels@gmail.com.

 

 

A New Year Gift for You!

A New Year Gift for You!

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Happy New Year Mochas!

I hope you all had a great holiday with your families and little Mochas! If you are anything like me you were planning and attending get togethers, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, visiting family and spent at least one (or two) days in your pajamas!! How I wish the time went by a little bit slower, but I am grateful for a chance to decompress, reflect and focus on what is really important to me….my faith and my family!

Since it is the first Monday of 2016 I want to share that my main goal this year is to plan and organize my chaotic life a bit better. I thought you may also have a similar goal so I created some checklists to help you jump start your Mocha Baby’s modeling career.
I will continue to add new resources for you to download throughout the year! Have some suggestions you would like to share or information you would like to know? Email me at mochababymodels@gmail.com or leave me a comment. Get your free downloads here!
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Mocha Baby Modeling 101 – Launching The Mocha Tips Series

 

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I know why you are here. You have the cutest baby in the world, (duh). It is only natural to want to see your baby in a magazine, on TV or heck maybe even on the big screen…but you don’t know where to start and how to avoid being scammed. You want to know how to find an agency, what to do at an open call and how to book a job.  You want to know exactly how much do these babies make anyway? (Because , Peanut needs a college fund, hellooo!)

So guess what? I’m here to help you! Look, I have been there…heck I am still here. I had 2 cute babies and looked for work, I booked many jobs on my own and agencies helped with others. I have been on short shoots, long shoots, paid and unpaid.  I know the good and the bad of what it takes to get your child booked. And here’s a little secret…guess who ends up doing most of the work – you guessed it…YOU!

Trust me. It isn’t going to just happen. Babies and kids are rarely discovered and modeling is a business and you have to treat it as such. You must research, interview, prepare, market, position, diversify, promote and sell. Do you see the glitter and sparkle fading? Good. That means you are also realistic. Manage your expectations and think of this journey as something fun to do with your child. And when it stops being fun be ready to move on!

To help you along the way, I am launching my Mocha Tips series. This will be a quick, easy, and fun way to learn the biz. Okay I’ve made you wait long enough. Here goes my first Tip (cue drumroll):

Never pay anyone who promises to get (1)

 

It is as simple as that. Yes, you will see me repeat this over and over. Many of my posts will reiterate this point. That is because scammers can see you coming a mile away. And they want your money. All of it. Do not give it to them. The legit people will NOT ask for money on the spot and force you to sign up for any packages, or force a contract on you.

They will TRY to get you work so they can get paid. But all they can do is prepare you, guide you and submit you to jobs. IF you get booked THEN the agency gets a commission. However, no matter how reputable the agency, how cute the child or how fabulous the photos,  the child may or may not get work. Anyone who says otherwise should should be shown the door. Got it? Good!

Want more tips delivered to your inbox? Be sure to click the ‘Follow Blog’ button in the top of the side bar now! You don’t want to miss a thing!

Tichanda

Quick Question: Do I need to pay money for my child to get into the modeling industry?

Quick Question: Do I need to pay money for my child to get into the modeling industry?

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Quick Question: Do I need to pay money for my child to get into the modeling industry?

Quick Answer: No…you should not be asked for any upfront money for your child to be seen by an agent or casting director. However, be clear that modeling is a business and all businesses have expenses, but any company claiming they can get your child in print or on tv by selling you photo packages, modeling classes, and holding mock fashion shows for casting directors are most likely scams. Agencies ONLY make money if they get you WORK. They take a percentage of your earnings from the jobs that they book for you.

Remember, if it seems like a scam it probably is.
Have a question for me? Email me at MochaBabyModels@gmail.com

Mall Modeling Scams – How Interface Played on the Dreams of Parents and Children

Mall Modeling Scams – How Interface Played on the Dreams of Parents and Children

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If you have a child and you have been to the mall you most likely have been approached by a model scout who thinks your child has what it takes to be a star. Have you ever wondered if these companies are legit?

Check out this undercover investigation about Interface Talent from ABC’s 20/20 Confessions series. Watch as a mom and daughter go through the process of being scouted in the mall and get a crash course on how easy it is to be emotionally lured by fame and stardom despite feeling uneasy about sky high charges and countless (and often empty) promises.

View: Part 1 of this investigation –
http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=30096841
ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

View Part 2 : Former Interface Employee Says Many Parents Felt ‘Blindsided’
http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=30096923
ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

Take Away* If you are asked for money upfront to get work – whether it be for photos or classes or “exposure” – buyer beware – Agencies get paid when they get YOU work…not the other way around. Put your checkbook down and decline!

via How Interface Played on the Dreams of Parents and Children Video – ABC News.

How to get your child a modeling agent: Take great photos!

How to get your child a modeling agent: Take great photos!

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When submitting your child to modeling agencies, try to capture your child’s personality in your photos! Here is my son Bryce hamming it up for the camera at only 3 months old!

So you are ready to give modeling a shot – but you don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips from the pros to get you started.

Take Pictures!!! You are in love with your little one, so take pictures – lots of them!

  • Digital cameras work best. You can see the pics and delete the ones you don’t like. Some cameras have a setting for Kids and Pets that give you a quicker shutter time so you don’t miss the shot! Cell phones have also gotten extremely good at capturing professional worthy shots.
  • Make sure the baby is awake and SMILING. Baby should look friendly and happy!
  • Take headshots and body shots to submit to agencies
  • Try photos inside and outdoors. Baby should be awake, sitting, standing or playing. As long as they are looking at the camera and appear natural and comfortable you should get a good photo.
  • Dress baby in solid colors that complement the skin. Darker skinned babies look great in bright, lively colors!
  • Make sure photos are clear and in focus
  • Avoid photos with baby eating, in the bath tub, drooling with a wet mouth or wet clothing
  • Keep family members out of the picture
  • Avoid a cluttered background
  • Have fun! If baby tires out or won’t cooperate, save it for another day!

Some Examples:

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Want more ideas on how to take great photos of your little one? Visit our Pinterest board and look for helpful tips and posts by children photographers!

 

Insider Interview : Meet Judy Goss – the Casting Director of The Cute Kid!

Insider Interview : Meet Judy Goss – the Casting Director of The Cute Kid!

Insider Interview: Casting Director of The Cute Kid: Judy Goss

CutekidOnline baby and kid photo contests have been popping up all over the Internet, but few offer parents more than bragging rights among their closest friends and family. Well The Cute Kid is an exception to the rule.
The site not only offers exposure to up and coming stars, but it also awards a $25,000 College Fund to the annual Grand Prize Winner. Children have been discovered on the site and gone on to be featured in ads for Gap, Carters, Macy’s and many more.

Mocha Baby Models caught up with Judy Goss, the Casting Director of The Cute Kid. See below for Judy’s background as well as our exclusive interview with her!

Judy  

MBM: What was the inspiration for starting The Cute Kid?
JG: To have a legitimate photo contest for children and their parents, and to offer a college tuition fund of $25,000.  It has since expanded to being a resource for parents that want to get their children into modeling with our VIP Kids Club.
 
MBM: What do online contests offer parents and are they legit? What does the contest entry fee cover, and what prizes are awarded? 
JG: Online contests offer parents exposure and prizes if they are legitimate, like The Cute Kid. Besides entry into the contest you will also receive the following gifts: a subscription to Parents magazine, a free canvas print of your cute kid, discounts and special offers.
 
MBM: How has technology changed the modeling industry? 
JG: It has made it faster!And less costly for parents by not having to print so many photos and composite cards.
 
MBM: Does The Cute Kid get jobs for the babies they feature? How does the site differ from an agency?
JG: Yes, we have had many children discovered on our site, whether they enter the contest or not.  We do not book jobs, that is for a licensed agency.
 
MBM: From your experience, how does casting or booking jobs differ for ethnic, or multicultural babies and children. 
JG: It doesn’t really differ much! There is on the whole less work, but it is the same opportunities for everyone.
 
MBM: Do you find most clients are looking for diversity when they book models for a job? 
JG: Absolutely! Usually, clients try to represent every ethnicity.
 
MBM: What top 3 things should all moms know about baby and child modeling?
JG:
  • Do not pay anyone to join an agency, with the exception of a website charge, which should be around $10 – $15/month.
  • It doesn’t happen overnight – modeling is hard work! It involves a lot of schlepping back and forth to castings, callbacks, fittings, and more…and even then you may not book the job.
  • You do NOT need professional photos to find agency representation, in fact they prefer non-professional ones at first!

MBM thanks Judy for her helpful tips! Want more information? Visit TheCuteKid.com This article was originally posted on 9/30/2010