10 Things you wish you knew when starting your industry journey

10 Things you wish you knew when starting your industry journey

As an Agent ( especially one that is big on education) I tend to think my parents have all the tools they need for the business. Over the years I have realized there is a lot of useful info parents of kids in the business have too that can help guide someone new. Sometimes even better info than I might be able to offer because it’s from a parents perspective.

So what better way to give all the newer kids and parents out there an inside look into the modeling world than from an experienced parents perspective . So I asked a bunch of my moms “ if there was one or more things you know about the business that you wish you knew from the beginning , what would it be and why?” These are their responses . I hope this helps anyone new in the business become more prepared. I know it was pretty eye opening for me 🙂

  1. Debbie says “ When gabby showed interest I had no idea where to go. What kind of pictures did she need. Could i use a regular camera? I would think most parents don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a maybe. We were lucky I have a friend who is a photographer But they still weren’t right. It was enough to get her signed but now I see a huge difference from that and what she gets now. There is a huge difference from you taking a picture and having a professional take them. Find out what your agents looking for in the pictures and get them done !
  2. Shannon says “ In size and out of size. I have so many people ask me about getting their child into the industry when they are around 18 months. So when is a good time to start and also to expect down times and busy times. Most babies are in size from 0-12 months but then out of size from 12 months to 3 years old. When they become 3 things start picking up again. I also noticed a lot of older babies that were small for their age booking more. And Big babies don’t usually get booked. You may not want to say it that way (I’m brutally Blunt) LOL. But being a baby in the 99th percentile for weight is not good for baby modeling. You would obviously know more about this than I would but that was the first thing I noticed on set. Also, it doesn’t matter how cute your baby is, they need to be well behaved and can easily go with other people. If they cry every time mom leaves, don’t bother. So Rider was always in the 25th percentile for growth. He wore size 6 months when he was 10 months. He’s 4 now and still in 3t. Anyway, with babies, many are bigger and may wear size 12-18 months when they are 6 months old. Older babies can do more, sit up, crawl etc. So they are more likely to book a 10 month old who can wear 6 months than a 5 month old who can’t do those things yet.”
  3. Alicia says “ I had to learn to not take it personal when your kid isn’t booked from a casting. I use feel like I did something wrong like, not choosing the perfect outfit or maybe her hair wasn’t perfect. Or maybe she didn’t smile enough lol I had all the anxiety while she was just having fun 🙃”
  4. Melissa says “ In my case. Avoid over paying and enrolling your child in Talent Search companies like Barbizon, Talent Auditions. They charge over 3K in classes that are not real classes. They just want you to pay for overpriced headshots, acting and modeling classes. If I knew you could just go directly to an Agency and send your child pictures. I would it have save a lot of money and then been able to invest in real acting classes and photo sessions. 💯”
  5. Jennifer says “ I wish I knew before how fast the castings are done, meaning you can get a call to be somewhere in 1 day. To always be on your toes when it’s time for a casting. It’s hard to plan but when they’re younger and home with you it’s easier. “
  6. Amanda says “ 1) a photographer can make or break you. Sometimes people want to go the cheaper route but that’s not going to benefit you in the long run. You’ll end up needing new photos anyway and spending double what you needed to. It’s an investment. Nothing can guarantee you jobs but good photos will definitely put you in the forefront over bad photos. Also – you get what you pay for 2) when you ask for quick cellphone photos at the house it’s imperative you do them correct and you’ve put out examples. No distractions – accessories good background etc. a quick digital needs to look as professional as possible❤️❤️”
  7. Lindsay “ Something I wish we knew when we first started was how short notice you can be given for castings, self tapes or bookings. You aren’t generally given much notice or time to clear your schedule or find a sitter, etc. The casting can be anywhere from Miami to Tampa (that I know of). Luckily our personal work schedule works great for this business because one parent is always home with the girls and we are almost always available and do our best to make that short notice work. But with bookings, sometimes trying to find a sitter for the other sibling can be a challenge with short notice. Family Self Tapes are also difficult for us. We would love to be considered for family jobs, but we are together as a family once every 3rd day, so when we are given only 24 hrs at times to submit a family tape, that is most likely not going to be the day we are both off together and can’t possibly submit. “
  8. Tessa says “ I wish I had known that although I was allowed to be onset my opinion wasn’t. I remember the first time I was on set, I was singing,dancing, and playing peek-a-boo with my baby until the stylist asked me politely to basically to stop being annoying. I mean I was totally annoying. They have an entire staff dedicated to making the kids happy. A mom who is too involved just stresses everyone out, including the child. Now I look for a spot where kids can’t see me, but I can see them. I get to enjoy the process, not stress out and watch the magic happen. If they need you they 100% will tell you!
  9. Maria says “ So having multiple kids in the biz is crazy stressful. I wish I had known that just because my kid is beautiful and their siblings love being in the spotlight, it doesn’t mean that they do too.I don’t push them to do jobs anymore. It stresses out my son, and he starts turning into another kid on set. I get stressed, the crew gets stressed, and by the end of the day I feel defeated. It’s not worth it anymore, and just not fair for my kid. Know when to let go, and when to sign up for soccer classes instead. Lol !
  10. Angie says “If your child wants to be an actor 1000000% sign them up for acting classes! It taught my kids how to audition like pros, and how to overcome their stage fright. There are so many kids who are auditioning for the exact same role, and a lot of the time have a similar look to your child. It so important to have an edge over some of the other kids. Practice totally makes perfect when it comes to acting.My kids wake up so happy on acting class days!

First impressions matter: how to properly submit to an agency.

So you are interested in submitting your child to an agent?

What’s the best way to go about it?

Let me start by saying that I do not accept social media submissions. I also cannot represent a child based on your description of them over the phone.

We need photos, even if they are not professional, in order to get a feel for your child. Every day I receive at least a DOZEN of DM’s on Instagram and Facebook, combined with countless phone calls telling me all about your gorgeous children.

When I see DM’s on Instagram my first thought is… this parent hasn’t even been to my website, let alone read my bio.

You’re submitting your child to someone and you didn’t take the time to look at what I’m all about?

Our agency specifically spends so much time educating, and writing these blogs.

Almost always, and I’m saying almost so no one comes back to say it’s not true lol, all the questions that are asked in the DM’s are answered in our blog.

The majority, if not all agencies have a submission process on their website.

It’s so important to take the time and follow directions, so that you aren’t overlooked because you annoyed the agency before even getting a proper chance. Submitting on social media is a sure fire way to get your child overlooked as 9 times out of 10 we won’t go to your child’s Instagram profile.

How to submit

So take a pause if you haven’t checked out our website, and then come back here if you think we are the right fit for you.

Sprout’s submission form is under the Info. tab and you simply click “Grow With Us” .

That’s it, super easy right?

Once we receive your application it takes about a week for us to get back to you IF we are interested. We have been receiving an influx of applications lately, so please be patient. If we do not respond in a week, you are always welcome to take new photos and resubmit.

Please take the time to explore an agent’s website and find out a little about them and what their submission process is before you call or use social media to connect.

Not only because it’s important to show you know how to follow directions, but you need to make sure this agent is the right fit for you. Picking an agent shouldn’t be taken lightly and we encourage you to take the time to do your research. Find out everything you can online before reaching out so you are as informed as you can be.

Agents are busy bees 🐝. We are navigating hundreds of parents, clients, talent, billing, social media, and let’s not forget, our own families.

I’ve said it before, every time I’m so proud I’ve clear out my emails a new stampede of emails come through.

It’s just like the scene out of the Bruce Almighty movie.

When the phone rings countless times a day with a parent on the other line ready to tell us all about their child, it takes time out of our hectic schedules to explain that you just need to go to the website.

This is not us being rude, we love that everyone is so enthusiastic about joining.

As we always say, this is a co-working relationship. If you do your part, our job is soooo much easier! Let’s create a solid foundation for your child, and start this off the right way.

Show us that you’re an informed parent who takes this business seriously.

We will all be better off because of it!

Headshots, or no shot.

Headshots, or no shot.

A little insight on the importance of having proper headshots from Sprout Kids Agency Miami owner, Shaina Miller.

Today, I want to talk about importance of having great photos on your profile. This is one of those things I hardly ever talk about. Reason being that I am a photographer and I am always overly cautious about not mixing my Agency and my photography. However, this week I received a project of kids from a New York Agency. As I looked through the project, I thought to myself WOW every child has an amazing portfolio. Not one of these kids has a snapshot their parent took, not one is dark and hard to see, not one was unbookable because of their photos. If I was a client I would be booking kids with this Agency all day!

Why would you not take the time to make sure your child’s profile is perfect ? Like any sport or hobby there is somewhat of an upfront cost. If your involved in hockey you need a stick , pads , ice time . If your child dances you pay for dance class , leotards , dance shoes. In modeling you pay for a proper headshot. The great news is, with that headshot you have the potential to earn back the money you spent and then some. What I can promise you is without a great portfolio your child will not book a fraction of the jobs they could have booked with a kick butt one!

The modeling world has changed. We have now entered the digital age. Years ago,when I was first in the industry you didn’t really need a professional photo as clients would hold “open castings.” There was no way to digitally send kids photos to a client. So, an Agent would either send a bunch of comp cards via snail mail to a client or the client would hold a giant “open casting.” Every child and their mother would show up, it would take hours to be seen , and 90% of the time your child wasn’t the right look the client was searching for. Now we are lucky enough to be able to digitally send your child’s portfolio to the client ahead of time . This makes for much smaller castings , kids are requested from their photos, and in turn your not waisting a day at a casting your child’s not the right fit for.

Today a great headshot is VITAL ! Your child will not be seen at a casting if their headshot does not stand out next to 50 others. YOUR HEADSHOT IS YOUR BUSINESS CARD. Take the time and do it right. I honestly believe you get what you pay for. If you want mediocre headshots for a value price you will be lucky to be requested on a mediocre amount of castings. If you invest once or twice a year on a great portfolio your number of request castings should greatly improve. Remember your child is being picked from their photos. If you don’t LOVE your child’s photo neither will the client. As an agent it’s hard to hear a parent complain about their child not getting as many castings as another child when the parent hasn’t done their part. I have heard time after time we will start with this photo and if he does well we will invest in a great headshot. This is backwards thinking. You can’t put your child in soccer and if he is doing ok then buy him cleats. He will never play to his full potential if he’s sliding all over the field. The same goes for our industry. Your child won’t play to his/her full potential without the proper materials. The good news is their is a chance for your child to make a return on your initial investment. How many other hobby’s can you say that about ?

What makes a great headshot ??? Great question lol! In my opinion the cleaner the better. No props , nothing distracting in the background, nothing distracting in the hair. The photo should be about your child and your child only. The best photographers use makeup artists that are great at making it look like there isn’t much makeup on. Remember, these are children and they need to look like children.

Commercial Headshots:

I believe the child should wear bright colors and the personality should show in a photo. I love a good serious look but clients are typically booking happy kids so you want your child to seem happy and easy to work with in their photo. See below examples:

Acting Headshots:

A film headshot typically has a darker background and a more serious look to it and again nothing distracting in the photo. It’s all about your child. I would stay away from trees , flowers, or anything that can distract from your child. See below for an example:

There are a lot of great photographers out there. Always ask your agent who they recommend if your looking for guidance. I hope this helps. If you have any questions please comment on the post on Instagram and I will answer to the best of my ability .

“If your not going all the way, why go at all “ -Joe Namath