The Model Child: A Look into Child Modeling

Parents magazine, July 2006
What it's really like to be in the baby modeling business -- and how to enter your kid in our cover model contest.
Benjamin Oliver
Benjamin Oliver

Meet Sienna, Child Model

Meet child model Sienna Favuzza. Her life sounds glamorous: The magazine covers! The big bucks! The cool kiddie couture! Have a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into getting that perfect shot, then enter your child in our cover-model contest.

Calling Card

Sienna, 2, has been modeling since she was 5 1/2 months old. She lives just outside of New York City, a modeling hub.

At the Agency

Sienna and her mom, Debbie, meet with the owners of Product Model Management to choose new photos for her portfolio.

Baby Casting

Hundreds of kids show up for a quickie meet-and-greet to be considered for a job. This one was for Parents, and Sienna was hired!

I Want Mom!

Time for a break during the shoot. Sienna takes a catnap, and 20 minutes later is back in front of the camera, refreshed.

Picture Perfect

A stylist dabs a little powder to conceal a minor blemish.

Sienna Does Her Thing

At an outdoor shoot, the photographer snaps away, while the crew constantly comes up with ways to keep Sienna animated so they can get that perfect happy grin.

Last-Minute Touch-Ups

A few days later, Sienna is back in the studio for a Parents cover try. The actual photo-taking may last only 15 minutes, but the styling -- and waiting -- can seem endless.

Work Is Done

At the end of a modeling day, Sienna is pooped. She often falls asleep with her bunny blankie ("She takes it everywhere," says Debbie).

Could Your Child be a Model?
What it takes to make it in this biz.

* Contact agencies by mail. Send two clear shots -- head only and full body -- with a SASE and contact info. You'll receive a polite rejection or an invitation to come in. It's best if you live in or near New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Miami. If you're offered a contract, check out the agency with the Better Business Bureau (

* Enter the fray. You'll be sent on go-sees -- quick meetings with casting agents for magazines or advertisers. Agents take Polaroids and check out your kid's temperament. Clients have a certain look in mind but also want to know that your child is comfortable with strangers and has the patience to pose.

* Prepare for reality. Don't expect to get rich quick. The rate for magazine editorial work is about $50 an hour. Advertising pays from $250 to as much as $2,500 a day. Remember, though, that your child will be turned down for far more jobs than she'll get -- and you can't take rejection to heart.

Your Kid. Our Cover.

We're searching for the cutest kid in America to put on the cover of our magazine.

How to Enter Our Contest

1. Snap a picture of your beautiful child (he or she must be between 6 months and 6 years old).

2. Log on to your trusty computer, and head to (link below).

3. Upload your photo. Then e-mail all your friends and family so they can recommend your cutie patootie to our judges.

4. The editors of Parents will pick 20 semifinalists based on overall adorableness and cover-worthy charm.

We'll narrow down the 20 to five kids, who will be flown to New York City with a guardian and professionally photographed. One of these gorgeous children will appear on the Parents November 2008 cover.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the June 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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