Expert Q&A on Child Modeling

Marlene Wallach -- author of the "Just Ask Marlene" series, starting with The Inside Story About Modeling for Kids, Teens & Their Parents: Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Start in Modeling -- answers your questions about turning your little cutie into a model.

Finding an Agency

Q. Everyone from Day One since my children were born has harassed me to get my kids into modeling, saying they are beautiful. I did go to a model search and we got a callback, but so did 1,000 other parents. The agency wanted money up front to go to another show where agencies could look at them. We decided no because we know money should never be asked for up front. Who can I send pictures of my kids to, to see if they have what it takes? -- Feeling_Devine

A. If you are interested about submitting photos of your child to Wilhelmina, go to www.willykids.com. Applicants should live in the tri-state area and photos should be mailed to Wilhelmina Kids, 300 Park Avenue South.

However, if you do not live in or around New York, many smaller cities also have modeling agencies where your child can get exposure through local and regional advertisers. Always be cautious of industry scams when looking for an agency. Keep in mind that in this business no money changes hands between yourself and the modeling agency until your child books their first job. The modeling agency works on a commission basis.

Q. I'm not sure how to go about researching an agency in my area. I live near San Francisco. Should I look in the phone book or on the Internet? I'm afraid I would waste a lot of time contacting "fake agencies" instead of legitimate ones. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! -- Kelli

A. Finding an agency appropriate for your child can be a daunting undertaking. One reliable resource is the Ross Reports, a monthly industry directory found at large newsstands or magazine stores. Doing research on the Internet or resource books at the library is another way to go. Major adult agencies may include a children's division ?- call them and ask. If they do not have a kids' division, ask who they would recommend.

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