How to get your child into modeling

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Soooo... my kids have an agent. It sounds quite ridiculous to even say, but that's the world of entertainment for ya! Whenever I post about going to a casting with one of the kids, I get lots of DMs inquiring about how people can get their kids into modeling as well. I figured I'd put together my tips on my site, so that I can direct everyone right here when I'm asked.

First and foremost, make sure your kids have the right temperament for this industry. They should be personable, easy to talk to (when they're older), have no problem with being the center of attention (photographer, producers, stylists, other models/parents & everyone else on set will be watching them), can be in another room (without you) and be fine and most importantly, photogenic (enjoys taking photos).

It's also important that you, as the parent, realize that it can be quite time consuming. Fortunately I have a very flexible position where I am able to get them to castings and shoots. Living in the same vicinity of the agency is paramount because castings are generally last minute. I've gotten them in the evening for an afternoon casting the very next day! If you can't take them, perhaps another caregiver can assist with getting them to castings.

If you're in New York, you'll need a Child Performer Permit. You can sign up for a 15-day permit initially, but you'll only be able to do that once. After that, you have to apply for a 12-month permit. Prior to sending off your 12-month permit, you'll have to open a Trust Account for your child, as all of their payments will need to be sent/deposited there. The other requirements are listed on the form itself.

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Here's what I did (I'll speak mostly about Christian since I did more work for him):

  • We have a DSLR camera and started taking pictures of Christian with this big camera from the day he came home from the hospital. Same with Elle. By the time he was 7 or 8 months, he knew exactly what to do when he saw that camera pointed at him. Elle is learning - more often than not, she looks directly into the lens.
  • We exposed Christian to lots of different people - family, friends, neighbors. He got used to being around people he didn't immediately recognize, which made it easier for him to be on set with strangers.
  • Researched all reputable child modeling agencies and started sending his snapshots in. The pictures don't need to be professional, no need to hire a photographer to take pictures of your child. Most agencies only care that you can see the child/baby clearly - no hats/glasses, etc.
  • Practiced patience. Listen, I think my kids are beautiful! So I couldn't believe that I got ZERO response when I first started sending his pictures out when he was a baby. Like, NOTHING. So I'd wait 6 months and send again. Still nothing. He didn't get signed until he was 3 years old! And the agency he signed with turned out to be a scam because they asked for $$ to be listed on their website (agents should NEVER ask for money to represent you, since they get paid when you book a job - usually 20%). Of course, we didn't pay it, and shortly after (less than a few weeks), they sent an email out saying they were releasing all models because they were going out of business. HA!
  • I tried sending his pics out again, but this time in addition to those same agencies, I started my search on Instagram. I searched child models and photographers who specialized in children. Often times, they would tag the child's agency. I'd find the contact info and submit. He was finally signed by Munchkin Stars Management. When Elle was born, I sent her pics over to his agent and she immediately signed her too (much easier this time around! LOL).
  • Be genuine, be kind, connect with people, you never know where your next opportunity may come from. Christian was featured in a PopSugar/H&M campaign thanks to someone I met/connected with at an event, same with his Refinery29 feature.
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I always check in with Christian. I constantly ask him if he wants to do this audition or that photoshoot, and he is always super excited about it. Obviously Elle can't tell me whether she likes it or not, but I will say that she is definitely learning to turn her little charm on for the camera. Check in with your kids (if they're old enough) to make sure it's something they want to do.

And now, the good stuff. I've compiled a list of agencies in NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles. This is by no means ALL agencies, these are just a few. An easy way to find more would be to find these agencies on Instagram, click the little arrow under their "following" count and scroll through the similar accounts.

Please let me know in the comments if this was helpful and/or if you have any other questions that I may not have answered.

NYC

Zuri Model & Talent
Future Faces
NYMM
CP Talent Management
MMG
BMG Models
Teri B. Talent
Generation Model Management
Munchkin Stars Management
Take 3 Talent

Chicago

BMG Models
Stewart Talent (also in NYC, LA, & Atlanta)
Lily's Talent
Shirley Hamilton, Inc

Los Angeles

Zuri Model & Talent
Elite Kids Talent (also in Philadelphia & Washington, DC)
BMG Models
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I need a break.

So I'm taking one. Sounds simple, but it took me a lot of soul searching for me to reach this point. I've felt like VΓͺtu de Joy was my *thing* - like it's what made me special, having a shop full of these gorgeous clothes, and I wasn't yet ready to give up on that. I had toyed with the idea to give it a rest while I was pregnant with Elle, which is why I took a bit of time off then as well. But I felt re-invigorated and decided to go full-steam ahead once she was a few months old. I'm realizing now, that this was just those same feelings of needing to have a *something*. You know what I mean?

So here I am, allowing myself to feel a little vulnerable, a little embarrassed, but feeling lots of relief. Trying to hold on to the business while working on my personal styling business, and building a community was just too much for me to handle on top of everything else. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted now, and I'm ready for what's next!

In the meantime, I'll be having a HUGE hiatus sale next week. The ONLY way to get the big discounts will be to join my mailing list (so you might want to click here to join if you're not already on!).

I'm looking forward to all the hand-written notes and pretty packages I'll be sending out to you guys!

Family of My Dreams

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When I tell you I have the family of my dreams, I'm not exaggerating. I dreamed of this little (brown) Brooklyn family of mine, well before meeting Dre, before I even felt I was ready to have a husband and kids. I had a picture of a husband, wife and two kids (boy & girl) at the beach on my vision board back in 2008. I was living in Chicago at the time, a had a broke, long-distance boyfriend who had no intentions of marriage or kids. I even remember saying to my best friend that I didn't know how I was gonna have these brown babies in my vision board picture with a half Italian boyfriend. LOL.

Fast-forward to meeting Dre (we met in a club, let me know in the comments if you'd like to hear that story!), dating for 8 months, breaking up for 8, and finally back getting together in March of 2011 to having a baby 2.5 years later - you may be wondering what all this has to do with manifestation. Well, during those 8 long months, when Dre and I were broken up, he was constantly on my mind. I didn't tell him until MUCH later, but I would visualize our hilltop (with oceanview) wedding (and if you've seen my wedding pictures... ), I named our first child (a boy named Christian, because I loved the name and thought it would go well with Chloe), and him, doing what he loved, working in Marketing with Men's fashion brands. So in January of 2013, when I found out I was pregnant on the morning of my wedding dress shopping appointment, I was sure I was having a son (who would be named Christian), because I had not only visualized it, but I had believed it was as real as the job I went to every day. 

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When Christian was just under 2 years old, I saw the cutest picture of a little boy and his baby sister. I saved that photo to my phone and said to myself it was exactly what I wanted. The little boy looked so happy and proud to be taking a picture with his baby sister and I remember feeling a little tear forming as I imagined that being Christian and his sister.

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So yes, the family of my dreams. Now I need to work on manifesting my career goals, and I'll be all set!

And now, more photos of my kids because I took a lot of good ones and I can't possibly post them all on Instagram. LOL

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