Haven’t heard from the agency you submitted to? This is why!

So , this is a tough one for me. I recently asked all of you to give me ideas what I should blog about and the most common topic asked was “ how do I get signed with your agency “?

I think there is this common misconception that if you submit your child to an agency, you just get signed. Well, for scam type agencies that’s true. This is because they charge a fee to sign your child without the guarantee of booking your child on a job. Then they scam you for 1,000-$3,000 for a portfolio that they profit from. So yes of course they will sign every child that walks in their door. If I made $4000 every child I signed I would be rich ! Would I be ethical ? Heck no !

Here is the truth behind agencies. We cannot guarantee you a single booking. Not one. We are not the client and we cannot determine which children clients are going to book for their campaigns. So I feel it’s unethical to charge you a signing fee when I can’t guarantee you a thing. Now, do I think I have a great eye for what clients like. Yes. Do I only sign children I think clients will book? Yes! Could I be wrong ? Sure. All I can do is market your child to my list of clients and put them in the absolute best position to nail that booking. The rest is up to the child and honestly the parent ( make sure you have great digitals).

With that being said. Because I do not take a fee to sign children I’m very particular about who I chose to represent. The last thing I want is hundreds of unhappy parents who were excited to be signed and now terribly disappointed their child hasn’t booked a job. That doesn’t help me or you. So I limit the children I chose to a very select small group of kids that I believe clients will book. This doesn’t mean anything negative towards your child. It’s just he/she might not be what I’m looking for at that time.

I do get quite a bit of messages that say “ I submitted my child and didn’t hear anything back “. I assure you I look at every single child that submits to me. However , I only have time to respond to the children we are interested in. If you did not hear back within 2 weeks , we are passing on representing your child at this time. You are free to submit to other agencies but be careful you do not get scammed. Don’t sign long contracts , if they force you to use only their photographer run , if they charge you a sign on fee run. All of these are red flags. Don’t be too anxious for your child to be signed that you ignore the signs of a scam .

So how do you improve your chances of getting signed?

Great pictures is key ( preferably professional) find out who the agents other models use and use that person.

I really hope this better helps you understand the process and answers all your questions.

Finding the Balance: The Fine Line Between Being a Proactive Parent and A High- Maintenance one.

So there is a difference between a proactive parent and a parent that that calls, emails, texts too much .
I realize your child is the apple of your eye. I’m a mom too and my kids are #1. However , when it comes to an agency we represent hundreds of kids. Which means hundreds of questions from hundreds of parents. There are definitely good reasons to contact your agent such as size updates, photo updates, if you are running late for a booking or casting, or if there is an emergency. There are also a lot of questions we are asked on the daily and if you just look at your welcome packet or read my blogs the answers are right there. We are so busy booking your kids. We are sending out projects, doing accounting, booking talent , size updates etc.. the last thing we wanna do is anwser a question where if you took a moment to search you can find the anwser.
I know a lot of parents get frustrated when agents have short responses. Or don’t respond to emails right away. I promise we are not being short with you and by no way is it ever personal we are just busy from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. So it’s much easier to give a simple quick anwser and move on to what we were working on. As far as emails go , I swear if you look at my emails on my phone I think I have a few hundred thousand lol. It’s so easy to miss an email. Sometimes we see it but we are working on a casting and think to ourselves we will get back to it and forget in the whirlwind of the day. Again, it’s not personal just send a kind follow up and we will get back to you.
Every parent thinks their child is top priority and to you they are. To us , we have hundreds of kids that are all equal priority. So try to remember it’s never personal and if you have a question see if it’s in your welcome packet or my blogs before you ask and save the questions for when it’s important.

“Picture Perfect: Why a great digital is essential for success”

“Picture Perfect: Why a great digital is essential for success”

Sorry this is the best I could do on my sons digital he was tired. Sorry this is the best I could do on my sons digital he just got out of the shower and his hairs wet. Sorry this is the best I could do on my sons digital he’s sick.

Honestly , so what’s the point ? If you can’t send a great digital don’t even bother sending one. Let me explain how this works . When a client asks for a digital or video of your child it’s because they already saw their professional photo and they want to make sure they look similar before they book him. This also means you are one of the top kids the client likes. So if the entire purpose is to make sure the child looks the same. Then the child needs to look the same ! If he just rolled out of bed and looks a hot mess he’s not booking the job.

My suggestion is this . Find a day that works for you. Style your child’s hair, use a little makeup ( natural looking ), and dress your child cute. Then take a few great digitals and a great slate video. Keep it on your phone and also send it to your agent. This way you have it any time you need and you’re not taking mediocre photos last minute just to send something. Then update it every 3-4 months.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Your child’s photos are their business card for this industry. Without a great headshot , digital , and slate your child will not book anywhere near the next child who took their time getting great images. Find a moment and do it correctly. And don’t forget lighting is everything !

To be or not to be exclusive, that is the question!

To be or not to be exclusive, that is the question!

Is being exclusive with one agency better than being multi listed ? I get it completely. If you have never worked for an agency then you wouldn’t understand why being exclusive is a million times better and for so many reasons. First and foremost if your agent is exclusive this also means they are confident. They know they have 99% of the jobs in the area and that they can offer what others cannot. With an exclusive agent you are getting a much more personalized experience. I can tell you if my talent was with 3 other agents in my area I wouldn’t be giving them my personal cell like I do , gathering their digitals and making sure they were perfect , and even writing these blogs. It wouldn’t be worth the effort. Mainly because all my hard work would potentially be used to book your child with another agency. And that feeling stinks !

When a client comes into town they typically call several agents. They want to see a variety of children and they certainly don’t want to see the same hundreds of kids over and over. It gets exhausting for the client. Agents call them claiming kids and they fight over which agency the child should book through. This puts a client in a very uncomfortable position and they prefer to just book through exclusive agents to avoid the BS.

What’s even worse is when I spend my time and money working hard for my talent and they book a job I was working on through another agency that might be out of my area. I typically hear “ well Abby wasn’t requested through you “ . Well , of course she wasn’t because a casting director isn’t going to pick the same kid twice in most instances. So they pick one agent . I did submit Abby but because agency B also did the casting director picked one and if agency B didn’t exist she would have been picked through me. There is not a more gut wrenching feeling. When we are loyal to our talent we expect the same. We promote you on our social media and to all our clients. We all work tirelessly behind the scenes. To see our talent post a job they booked and thanking another agent for it is just a blow to our souls. Just don’t do it ! Pick and agent and stick to it.

Now , if you decide to have an agent out of state. I think similar guidelines should apply. I have multiple clients that shoot out of state. If I am your first agent then those jobs should be booked through me and anything I don’t get can go through your out of state agent. Honestly , why have 2 agents if we get the same jobs anyway?

Finding a great agent is key. One that looks through your photos , gathers your sizes , watches your videos , and goes the extra mile like texting you your castings so you don’t miss them. Once you find that agent don’t destroy the relationship with greed. Missing one opportunity here and there isn’t going to be the end of the world. Sign exclusive and enjoy the weekends your child isn’t working with your family and do something fun.

Do Agents Have Favorite Kids?

Do Agents Have Favorite Kids?

Do Agents Have Favorite Kids? The Truth About Booking Models

Do agents have favorite kids ?

One of the things I hear throughout the industry quite a bit is “ such and such agency only books their favorites” . So, I’m here to anwser the age old question…Do agents have favorite kids and do they only submit their favorites?

Do agents have favorites ? No . Do agents have kids that they know are better models. Yes. Are there certain kids that are just natural in front of the camera and jump in head first like a pro? Absolutely! Having a few go to kids for clients is always a good thing. Photographers love a kid that doesn’t make them work hard. They love a kid that just gets out there and doesn’t need to be coached. It makes the day run much smoother and makes their job a heck of a lot easier. However , when a client is asking for a project of kids agents always submit EVERY kid that fits into the category the client is looking for. Sometimes we have no idea who the client might chose and we certainly don’t want to lose a booking. So , we always submit everyone that fits the size , ethnicity , and age requirements. TBH we wouldn’t be doing ourselves any good by only submitting a handful of our “ favorite kids” we would definitely be loosing bookings.

I understand it might look like certain kids book all the time . And you are right , they do ! That’s because those kids stand out to clients. They are easy and natural in front of the camera and it shows instantly on a casting. Typically when a client finds a kid they love they book them on most of their campaigns because they know that child will always bang it out ! This is why you see certain kids booking “ everything “. So more than anything , clients have favorites not your agent.

Do we have favorite parents ? Heck yes ! If a parent always says yes to castings, doesn’t ask 18 million questions before they confirm, is grateful and excited for every opportunity then you bet when a client is asking for one child or my opinion on who to chose .I’m going to push for that child. I know the parent will say yes and do everything they can to move things around to make it work. If you make my life easier I show you my appreciation.

Agents also appreciate loyalty. If you have multiple agents all over we are going to push for the families that are loyal to us and only have us as their agency. Finding out that our talent went on a casting or booked a job for a client we work with is a big no no and it definitely puts other talent in front of you.

I hope this answers your questions and if you have any more relating to this topic ask below !



True Story :

Last week one of our adorable little girls had her headshots done. She naturally has very curly hair and wears it that way on a regular basis. However, the day of her shoot she showed up with straight hair. Although she looked adorable with straight hair it’s not what she normally looks like.
Another adorable little curly haired girl had to submit a self tape for a big client this week. Her dad decided to have her hair straightened before her self-tape.

Again-adorable but she looked very different from what the client was expecting.

My advice is this- Have your child wear their hair how it typically looks on a day to day basis when they are attending a casting, booking, photoshoot, or headshot session. If you go in for headshots, and especially a booking with a photographer have your child come in with their hair clean and DRY ( do not show up with wet hair). If your child’s hair is typically curly come in with it curly. No fake nails . Just clean unpolished nails. When your child has to provide a self tape or digitals to their agency make sure their hair is down , clean , and how they typically wear it. They should also be dressed casually. No hats or bows, glitter or glam. It’s also very important to make sure your child doesn’t look like they just rolled out of bed. Pretend this is a job interview ( because it is ) this is a business and it’s important to always take it seriously.
If your child has the option of wearing their hair curly or straight or in braids etc- for headshots wear it how it looks on a day to day basis but for digitals take two different sets showing both looks to your agent so the client can see them with two different options.
If you’re unsure ask your agent what they think about how to style your child’s hair. You definitely don’t want to pay to take photos twice if your photos are not what your agent is looking for in regards to styling. Hopefully this helps with some of your questions.

A story about handling a difficult situation with grace.

A story about handling a difficult situation with grace.

Today was one of those days that could have ended in a disaster. I have this new beautiful little girl in my system. She lives in Florida. I have a NY client that wanted to direct book her – which is super exciting. She purchased plane tickets and a hotel and flew to NY for this booking. She went to the fitting and they had told her that her daughter didn’t fit the clothing properly and they were not booking her. My assistant was disappointed for this mother- she knows that being let down is hard in the midst of being so excited. We all were. So I sent a very polite email (you get more with honey than vinegar) to the client requesting a cancellation fee. Next thing I hear … they are booking her anyway and paying in full. Phew 😅 we all took a sigh of relief. They book the baby, she went to the booking, she was paid – but the client never shot the little girl, which feels personal right?

After all of the confusion, the mother was still grateful , kind, and handled this situation with class and understanding. Some things are out of our control. I was so thankful for the mother’s grace. I imagined how other parents would have handled the same situation and I was so utterly grateful it was her.

These moments happen in this business. To be frank, they suck. It’s never fun to be the bearer of bad news especially when there is absolutely nothing you can do. It’s one of the absolute worst parts of this job , but that is life. What made this situation noteworthy was this mother’s amazing attitude. She showed up, stayed happy with her baby and communicated she was happy to be there and was hopeful they would use her daughter in the future. Imagine how this scene could have been different? The next time I have a client that needs a little girl with her description, I will recommend her, because we all need this attitude at our shoots, and in life. I will make it up to her- all because she was kind and professional- but something tells me, I won’t need to try hard because actions speak loud.

What you can take from this story is to be kind. We are human. Things happen that are out of our hands. Sometimes, they are out of productions hands and the clients hands. It’s not personal. We will work with confidence for your child if we feel that you can take industry issues in stride, see the silver lining and still be grateful for us at the end of the day. We want this for you as bad as you want it for your child.

Stop! Check the dates before you accept a hold.

Stop! Check the dates before you accept a hold.

I gotta be honest… this week was not one of my finest. It was one of those ALL CAPS kind of weeks. I was on a rampage. I’m my own defense my frustration was justified (at least I think it was lol ). Let me explain why I was so upset so you guys avoid making the same mistake with your agents. 

The reason for my frustration was that I had two kids on hold for two different jobs. Both of the clients these kids were on hold for are last minute type of bookers. They hold the kids for weeks and don’t typically book until the day before the shoot day. FYI this is super typical in the industry, so if you can’t move your schedule last minute, this industry definitely isn’t for you. Back to my point. So, I had two kids on hold.  If you don’t know what a hold is , a hold is when I client likes your child and is still deciding who they are booking and your child is one of the finalists. They hold your child for the shoot dates and ask if the hold dates are confirmed . This is your ONE AND ONLY TIME TO LET THE CLIENT KNOW WHICH DAYS YOU ARE NOT AVAILABLE.  For instance, if the client is holding your child from the 25-30th and on the 28th you have a birthday party scheduled, you need to tell your agent to tell the client your available all days but the 28th. If you confirm ALL the days you MUST be available ALL the days ! I had two children confirm holds on two different jobs. Last minute they both booked trips and now forced me to tell the client they were not available. This makes me see RED! 

I need all of you to remember this is your agents’ livelihood. This is not a hobby or just something fun to do. This is a business and it’s how we put our food on our tables. So, when we have to go back and tell a client that a child they planned for and scheduled for ( that they placed on hold for a reason ) is not available anymore, it makes a client furious. Rightly so , what would be the purpose of holding a child for a date if now the child is unavailable. The sole purpose of a hold is to HOLD THE CHILD FOR THEIR SHOOT. In the end they don’t blame the child they blame the agent. The parents unprofessionalism effected every child that could have worked for that client in the future if that client now won’t work with that agency .  I understand that this is a hobby for you. Something fun you do with your child. However, your agent works their tush off 7 days a week to make these clients happy so they continue to work with their agency. One child not being available for a hold that was previously confirmed can jeopardize everything that agent worked so hard for! 

Remember if you are put on hold that means you do not travel or do anything that would compromise you being available for your potential booking. If you are wanting to travel and you have not heard from your agent please email your agent letting him/her know that your wanting to make plans and to politely ask the client if your child is still on hold or if he / she can be released BEFORE YOU MAKE PLANS DURING YOUR HOLD DATE.  If another client wants to book your child during your hold date it is your responsibility to let your agent know you are already on hold with another client. The agent will then check on your hold and see if the client is going to book or release your child. If the client releases your child and later changes their mind and wants to book your child the fault now lies in their hands not your agents and no one can get penalized. 

So please Remember : if you’re on hold and confirmed the dates you MUST BE AVAILABLE ALL DATES YOU CLEARED unless you email your agent asking for permission to release a day or your hold entirely. 

Why no two kids have the same experience at the same agency.

Why no two kids have the same experience at the same agency.

No two people have the same agency experience

Every now and again I hear through the grapevine that someone is complaining about their current or former agency. Most of the time it’s common to hear a person saying “ such and such agency is terrible they never booked my kid” or “ such and such agency only books certain kids and the rest get nothing “. I cannot tell you enough how much I hear this about my fellow agents and I’m sure I’m not excluded from these types of comments. So I figured it might be good to touch upon the fact that no two people have the same experience with the same agency.

An agent typically represents a few hundred kids. We all consider our children unique in their own way. With that uniqueness comes unique experiences. For example , I can represent two children that are very similar in appearance. They might both have tan skin, dark straight hair, brown eyes. However, each child has their own unique personality. One child might be more outgoing and personable than the other. Or one might be more suited for a serious type role. Either way one child’s booking experience might be completely different from the others. That doesn’t make that agent a terrible agent because he/she didn’t book your child as much as the other child. It just means your child had different qualities than the other child which provided different booking experiences.

I would like to remind all of you that AGENTS DO NOT PICK THE CHILDREN WHO BOOK JOBS. Clients always have and always do pick the children for their campaigns. Agents only have the power to submit your child to a client, they do not have the power to book the children. I see so many parents bitter at their former representation because their child didn’t book a lot of jobs. I understand it can hurt if you tried something out for your child and it didn’t turn out as expected but remember your agent roots for you! We would love every single child in our system to book weekly but unfortunately that’s not a reality. It doesn’t do an agent any good putting a child in their system who they are not going to submit. If it didn’t work out don’t blame or badmouth your former representation, booking your child was out of their control. I can also tell you that if I personally meet a new talent that was represented by someone else in the past and is speaking negatively about their former representation I typically see that as a red flag and choose to not represent that family.

Every child has a very different experience with the same agency. Your friends child can book jobs on a weekly biases . Where your child might book 1-2 jobs a year. That doesn’t make that agency bad because you didn’t have the same experience as your friend. It just means your friends child has a quality that clients find bookable. If you are not happy with your current representation leave with dignity and class . Thank your agent for their time and effort with your child and keep any negative opinions to yourself. The grass might not be greener and you might wish to return to your former representation. If you burn a bridge it might be hard to mend that relationship.

Top 5 question agents hate

Top 5 question agents hate

Sometimes it can be stressful being an agent. There is a whole lot of pressure on you to keep parents happy. We have a lot of kids to manage and time can be limited.

With that being said I think it would be safe to say every agent has a list of questions that automatically causes an internal eye roll. I think sometimes parents don’t realize they are one of many.

The same 5 questions being asked by every talent daily can become a bit exhausting.

Especially when they take the time to write out welcome packets, and blog that give the answer to their questions.

So what are those questions that every agent hates being asked ? Glad you asked.

1. Don’t ask your agent if they received the calltime unless it’s the night before the booking. If it’s Afterhours and you still haven’t heard anything feel free to ask your agent. I promise we will not keep your calltime from you. We are waiting patiently for it as well and you can rest assured if we received it you will have it immediately. So please try to avoid asking unless it’s the night before. Chances are we are just as anxiously awaiting the call time.

2. Don’t ask your agent if your kid booked the job if you haven’t heard anything yet. Again, same as above. We will never hold a booking from you.In fact you will typically receive your booking within 5 minutes or less once we have received it. I get it that your anxious but try to be patient. If you haven’t heard please assume your child didn’t book this job.

3. What’s the rate ? If we didn’t include the rate in the details then we don’t have it. Please don’t ask your agent the rate if it wasn’t given to you yet or it’s just a submission. Many times we submit without having the full rate and we are waiting as well. We always include all the details we have right away. So if something is missing it’s because we haven’t received it.

4. Why isn’t my kid booking ? Please don’t ask this especially if your child has mediocre photos and you haven’t updated your child’s profile. We also don’t always know why your child isn’t working. Agents do not pick the talent. The client always picks the talent so we most likely don’t have a good anwser as to why it wasn’t your child. If your looking for advice on if there is anything you can do to help your child’s success rate you can politely email your agent asking what you can do to help increase your child’s booking potential.

5. Please do not ask your agent if they submitted your child. Please for the love of god don’t ask if your child is being submitted. There is this common rumor in the industry that parents spread that agents only submit their favorite kids. This is ludicrous! It costs us nothing to submit your child and we don’t always know what the client is looking for. So it be hooves us to submit everyone that fits the category asked, as we never know who the client will choose. I promise you guys agents do not only submit their favorites. Some kids just book more than others because their look or personality is inline with what clients tend to look for. We would sooner release a child from contract than keep them in the system and not submit them.

I know as parents these seem like super common questions all or most of you have asked at one point or another. I totally understand why they are asked and you guys mean no harm. If we were only representing one child it wouldn’t be such an issue to be asked the above 5 questions. Unfortunately we represent hundreds of kids and are asked these questions daily, it can certainly become a bit exhausting. I mean the best by providing this info to you as I’m trying to help you have the best relationship with your agent as you possibly can , even if it isn’t Sprout 🌱. Be mindful that we are insanely busy and would love more than anything to have the time to answer every question you have ,but if it’s one of the 5 above I would write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away before you ask it.