Work It Baby

Work It Baby by Sibylla Nash

Life can sometimes seem like one endless meal of pureed vegetables for baby models and their parents. Of course, you do get those days when it seems as though the stars are aligned, a good nap was had by all and voila, the shoot goes well and everyone’s happy. And it’s those days that keep you coming back for more.
My daughter Kortney started modeling when she was four months old. Her first gig was a brief appearance on Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central. Since then, she’s done photo shoots for Macys.com, Tommy Hilfiger, Toys ‘R Us and many others. It’s funny, not the ha-ha variety but more like the if only you knew sorts, when people hear that Kortney does baby modeling, they say "oh I want to get my kid into that." Judging by the 120,000 entries sent to BabyTalk magazine for their baby cover model contest, a lot of people want to break their kids into the business.
Well, let me break down the mystique of the diaper-clad modeling world and share some universal truths I have learned along the way.
Reality check #1 - First and foremost, you need to understand that it is imperative that you or whoever will be taking your child out on auditions has a flexible schedule. It won’t work otherwise. You need to be able to go on auditions and photo shoots with a little less than a day’s notice. That goes without saying that if you live out in West Nowhere, this isn’t the gig for you either.
Reality check #2 - Size does matter. Sometimes the only thing that stands in between your child and a job is whether or not they can fit into the clothes or into the car seat, etc. Initially when we got started, I thought cuteness was the "it" factor that got the jobs. Truth of the matter, there are very few ugly babies. (Don’t get me wrong, they are out there. We’ve all stumbled across one or two.) On many of the go-see (industry lingo for "go see about a job") for jobs, you’re knee deep in cute babies doing cute things and you’re thinking, glad I don’t have to choose which kid gets the job. So with everything else in life, looks can only get you so far. For babies and modeling, it may get you in the door, but it may not necessarily get you the job.
Personality is a huge factor. Your child should be relatively easy-going. So should you. I’ve seen parents on go-sees so uptight that it’s just too hard to watch. I’ve heard parents say things to their kids that I can’t repeat in a family newspaper.
Reality check #3 – There’s not a lot of money involved in print modeling so save the cutthroat Wall Street mentality. Babies make between $75 - $100 an hour. Most jobs will last an hour. Now one very important lesson I learned just the other day, never give your child food just before you go in to be seen. I made the mistake of giving Kortney a cracker with peanut butter, just something to tide her over and keep her occupied just in case she wanted to act crazy while getting her picture taken. Well, it turned out they weren’t taking pictures, they just wanted the kids to try on an outfit. Trying to pry that cracker out of Kortney’s death grip so I could pull her arm out of her sleeve was the end of it all. After her ear splitting hystronics and smashed cracker all over me and the floor, I finally got the little outfit on her. Let’s just say, we probably won’t get a call back for that one.
Reality check #4 - That’s the way cracker crumbles sometimes…

Sibylla Nash is a freelance writer and author of the novel DreamCity. You may visit her website at www.tribecahouse.com.

Whether your baby is just a few months old or already a toddler, you'll quickly discover some of the best baby modeling secrets, strategies and tactics that are guaranteed to get your baby to the top of list for the most sought after jobs.