Serious Talk About Children in the Modeling and Talent Industry

#SaveTheChildren isn’t just a hashtag anymore. The people have spoken up regarding children in more ways than one and it’s trending all over social media as I write this post. As most everyone knows by now, Epstein’s Flight Log revealed more than any American or human being in general wanted to believe was actually happening. Especially, right here on US Soil.

For decades kids have made their way into the mainstream media, from tv shows to pageantry and even runway events. So what’s the difference now vs 20 years ago? Great question…..The difference is everyone knows what is really going on and it’s not sitting well with any of us.

​I personally chauffeured my son around from Atlanta Pop-up events to New York Fashion Week, he was amazing on the runway, wearing clothes from top designers and even up and coming ones. He loved the runway life so much he started modeling more and more, until he eventually moved on from it. 

​The reason I decided to write this post is to try and help parents navigate the modeling and talent industry for children who really want to participate but also want to take every possible step to have a safe experience. 

​My first recommendation is when deciding to sign your child up for any modeling, talent or photo shoot opportunities always check the reviews! If your child is wanting to walk on a runway for a child’s designer, you will find reviews from other parents on the event social media page or google. If you see no parent reviews…Stay CLEAR! Parents in this industry understand how important it is to review an event, they do this to help other parents out. If this is a new event, I would recommend sitting it out and waiting for the next one. Don’t rush into modeling just because something comes along, not all gigs are created equal.

​Second, sign your child up with a reputable talent agency that specializes in working with kids & teens. DO NOT let your children participate in events without an agent agreeing to the said event. Why? Agencies know what projects are “children approved” , they know the management over the project, they know how to ensure your children are safely represented in the project and let’s face it…they have the experience that most parents don’t have. 

​Third, time for parent-judgement…If a designer puts your 9 year old daughter in booty shorts…WALK away! This is an obvious NO-NO in the industry. Modeling should always be tasteful if children are involved. When my son was modeling he typically wore denim jeans, button up shirts and suits. Girls are not different, Swimwear Runway shows for young girls are NEVER ok. 

Fourth, photo shoots! This one is sometimes too frustrating…As a model you typically will look for TFP “Time for Print” Opportunities with local photographers to grow your portfolio. TFP shoots are an amazing way to try out new photography techniques or stage a cool fashion shoot you’ve been dying to do or just bulk up your online photography portfolio and avoid paying for every shoot….just NOT for kids! If you want to build your child’s portfolio you need to stay clear of TFP Opportunities, pay for your prints with a photographer that is well known, has a huge web presence and has worked with other children in the industry. Make sure the photographer that you are using shows you their work with other children prior to the shoot.

​Finally, parents that stay involved are the BEST! Never send your child to a shoot, set or gig of any kind without being behind the scenes. I’ve actually had to pull my son from gigs that stated parents had to drop the kids off and weren’t allowed backstage. NEVER ever leave your child alone on a set without you close by. Parents have to be involved, I can’t say that enough!

I hope this helps shed a little light on children in the modeling industry. I would never discourage someone from modeling, as long as they are being safe and completely understand the dangers that come with this industry, especially for children.

I’ve included a few links that will help you get started and remember not all models need an agent….but your child DOES!

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