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.

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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)
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Insider Advice from the Pro’s on How to Photograph your Children!

Insider Advice from the Pro’s on How to Photograph your Children!

 

Photo credit: Sue Barr

When it comes to getting started in the modeling industry, parents always want to know if they need professional photos. I think this has also been one of the major ways scammers have taken advantage of eager parents looking to make their kids a star. They sell them a photo package with a few looks and not only do the parents end up out of a couple hundred, or even thousand dollars – the child never gets called for an audition. And you can forget actually finding representation or booking a job.

I have mentioned on this blog numerous times that you do NOT  need professional photos especially for kids under 3 years old because kids change their look so rapidly. In fact, the agencies expect updated photos every month! That could get very expensive!

But just because you don’t need to pay for photos it doesn’t mean your photos can’t and shouldn’t look professional especially with the high tech smart phones we all have. Most agency websites tell exactly the types of photos that want to receive. I came across this great article from industry professionals on how to get great photos of your kids. Their advice? Lose the Cheese!

As one of the top children photographers Jade Albert states:

 Keep it simple. Have fun, choose an activity for interaction and capture that natural moment. Talk to them as an equal, to make them feel relaxed and not posed. Make it an adventure, because kids are always an adventure. I love playing games on set, Simon Says, peek-a-boo, dancing, etc. If all else fails, reverse psychology works like a charm. Tell them not to smile, not to laugh, and they crack up in giggles. –Jade Albert

 

Photo Credit:  Joan Ford

Want to see what the other 5 experts had to say? Check out Lose the Cheese: 6 Experts Share Their Tips on How to Photograph Children.

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!