Child Modeling

Most agencies have a “Christmas File”.  That’s a private file kept by one of the bookers that they put the truly awful pictures into.  Pictures that are sent by people who want to be accepted by them as models.  Some are so bad that they are good for a chuckle, or even a hearty belly laugh, and what better time to break them out than the holidays.


Then there is the “round file”:  the trash can.  The great majority of all model submissions end up there.  A lot of people, quite honestly, would be consigned to the trash no matter what they did, but some of them don’t have to be.  At least it’s possible to give yourself a fighting chance.


If you don’t want to end up in one of those files, pay attention.  Here’s what people do wrong, and what you should do right.


1.  What Should be in the Application:


a.  Keep it simple.  The agency wants to know what you look like, what your height and stats (for women, bust/waist/hips, for men, suit jacket and waist size) and location are.  They also want to know your age.  You should include eye color, hair color, dress and shoe size as well, since they may help.  If you are currently represented by a real, booking agency somewhere, say so.

            They do NOT want to know that you have dreamed of being a model your whole life, that you were third runner up in a local beauty pageant, or which high school plays you were in.  They aren’t interested in how many callbacks you received at some model convention. Do not tell them you are a graduate of modeling school.  They also don’t want to know about all the websites you appear on, and don’t care that some “model exposure” site showcased a picture of you.

            If you have extensive professional modeling or acting experience, say so.  Very briefly. 

            If the basics interest them, they may want to know a lot more about you.  But they will ask.  Don’t force it on them at the beginning.  It simply wastes their time and yours, and you may include things that will hurt you, not help. 


            b.  Include contact information.  At a minimum, your telephone number.  If you want to include your address and email address you can, but you must have your telephone number.


            c.  Don’t ask them to contact someone else about you.  They want to talk to you (or, if you are a minor, your parents).  The worst thing you can do is say “for further information please call my other agent at . . . .”


            d.  If you are not a citizen of the country you are calling, explain what your visa status will be.  At some point you will have to have the legal right to work, and the agency needs to know if you do then, or if it’s a problem that needs to be taken care of.


            e.  If  you don’t live near where the agency is, explain what your plan is.  Briefly.  Sooner or later you are going to have to go see them.  Tell them about that.  If you don’t plan to move, don’t bother sending an application.


            f.  Include the right kind of pictures


(1)  Nobody wants to see pictures you happened to have lying around of your vacation, your prom, or snapshots taken of you and your friends at a bar.  Get something specifically tailored for this purpose.  If that means getting a disposable camera and taking a trip to the  drug store, do it.  At least it will look like you tried.


(2)  No matter how much they say it isn’t so, the best possible pictures to send are shots of you appearing in prestigious, paid modeling work of the kind the agency does.  Shots from Vogue or a national ad campaign beat snapshots every time.


(3)  But most of you won’t have those.  If you don’t, call and ask the agency what they prefer.  Some (mostly fashion agencies) will want only simple Polaroid-style snapshots.  Others (primarily commercial agencies) would prefer well-developed composite cards or similar professional pictures.  It all depends on the culture of the agency.  Still, paying lots of money for those professional pictures may not be a good investment.  It’s wise to try an inexpensive approach first.  Only after that hasn’t worked, and you are still determined to pursue modeling, should you make an investment in professional pictures.


g.  If you do get pro shots done:


(1)  Make sure they are in the style the agency wants to see.  Unless the agency specializes in glamour, glamour-style shots are usually a bad idea.  If it’s an editorial fashion agency, lifestyle/commercial/”real people” shots are a bad idea.  If it’s a commercial print agency, high fashion, editorial style shots are a bad idea.  Know who you are submitting to and what they want to see.  If they have a website, use it as a guide to what you need.


(2)  The shots need to minimize what the agency will see as your weak points.  It isn’t enough that they be “good pictures” in the style the agency uses.  They have to be pictures that are good at marketing you.  That could be very different from the typical pictures a test photographer takes.  For example, if you are 22 years old and applying to an editorial fashion agency, you shouldn’t have pictures that make you look more sophisticated.  Go for a youthful look.  If you are shorter than the preferred height, get shots that make you look taller, or thinner, or whatever overcomes the natural inclination of the agency to see you.

 The most common problem for fashion models is that they don’t look “editorial” – the term “too commercial” is applied to pretty girls that don’t have distinctive, edgy looks.  If professional pictures are used, they have to overcome that “too commercial” natural impression.  That’s not easy to do, and for many pretty girls, cannot be done.

(3)  If you are having shots done to take to an agency, quality, style and type must be correct for the agency. "Good pictures" isn't enough. The best way to select a photographer is to use photographers recommended by the agency you are submitting to, or by another similar agency in the same market. Particularly for commercial models, the chance of getting free pictures that are of the correct type, style and quality is near zero. Relatively few people know how to shoot them, and almost none are willing to do it for free. Don't waste your time on "TFP/TFCD" shoots unless you are certain the photographer is very well qualified to produce commercial test pictures.


2.  How to Submit Your Application:


Every agency has a preference on how you should submit to them.  Some have open calls (the best way).  Many do not.  Some take email submissions, others do not.  Some are happy to make appointments, most will not until they have seen something from you they like.  The first thing is to find out what a particular agency prefers, and give them that.  Virtually all agencies will take regular postal submissions.


Go see them:


If the agency has open calls, or allows models to personally drop off pictures, do that if possible.  Pictures are good, but seeing you in person is better.  There are lots of examples of people who would have been turned down from their pictures, but who were accepted when somebody actually laid eyes on them in person.


On the other hand, if the agency does not have open calls or accept walk-ins, don’t do it.  It’s just annoying, and nobody wants to start off that way.


Send them a mail application:


If you don’t live where they are, or they won’t accept walk-ins, the best thing to do is sent them a postal mail application.  It should include pictures and the information described above.  If you want to get the pictures back, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Make sure you write your name, contact information and stats on the back of every picture so if it gets separated from the cover letter they can still tell who you are.




Before you send an agency email, check with them by phone, or on their website, to see if they will accept it.  Some will not.


Very few agencies prefer email, although these days many will accept it.  Most would rather get pictures and stats in regular postal mail.  Here’s why:


a.  Many models don’t know how to send an effective email.  They send pictures in formats the agency can’t read, they send pictures that are so large they clog the system and won’t fit on the screen.  They send pictures so small nobody could tell what the model looks like.  They send pictures only, with no contact information except a return email address.  (Yes, that’s a problem.  Agencies want to know where you are.)  They send emails with no pictures and request the agency email for them if interested (fat chance!).

People with AOL send pictures as attachments.  AOL won’t let you send pictures to non-AOL subscribers as attachments, so the email arrives with text only.

            Or they do things like say, “I’ve been hearing wonderful things about your agency and would love to work with you.”  Then the message header shows that it was sent to 47 agencies around the world, including four well-known scams.

            Or they have the message enclosed in another message, sometimes three or four layers deep.  After clicking on all those other emails to get to the message, the pictures damned well better be wonderful.

            Or they ask the agency to go to some goofy site with six popup ads per page, and the agent has to wade through pages of pictures of the model’s boyfriend, puppy and prom night, plus read all about her favorite foods, her best friends and the poetry she likes to write.  Somewhere on the site there might actually be pictures of the model and her stats, but it takes time to find it.  Long before that happens the agent is on to the next email.


            b.  Agencies get lots of spam and viruses.  Publicly accessible agency email addresses are harvested by the spammers, and show up in lots of people’s computers, so it’s not unusual for an agency to get hundreds of spam messages, and several to hundreds of viruses every day in their email.  They don’t want to pay someone to go through all that, so they use automated virus and spam filters to get rid of most of their email.

            Lots of model submissions look like spam, and are deleted before they are ever read.  Some of them with attachments are treated as viruses.  Nobody wants to open attachments from someone they don’t know.


            c.  Email inboxes get clogged.  It’s very common for agencies to get so many submissions (and spam, and viruses) that their inbox gets full, and they never see your email.


            d.  It’s harder to file your submission and show it to other people.  No, it’s not impossible, of course.  Emails can be forwarded (but see above . . .), or put in a different directory that is accessible to others for review.  But pieces of paper are easier to deal with.  They fit in file folders that can be passed around.  Yellow stickies can be added to them.  For all the talk of the “paperless office”, for most people paper is still easier to deal with.  You don’t want to make it harder.


Except when time is critical and somebody at the agency is expecting something from you, it is almost never a good idea to send email.  Use the post office.


If you absolutely have to use email, do it right:


            a.  Include pictures embedded in the body of the message, or by link to the pictures.  The link should be to the pictures themselves, not to some website that the pictures are on.


b.   Make sure the pictures are the right size and format.  They should be 450-600 pixels high, and in JPEG format only.  Do not ZIP or STUFF anything.  Do not embed it in some other document like a word processing document or .pdf file.  If you don’t know what any of this means, or how to do it, find someone who does, or don’t send email!


            c.  Send an email to each agency individually.  It’s not that hard, and it matters.  Nobody likes to get an email submission that is sent to everyone else he knows and some he doesn’t want to know.


            d.  If you feel you absolutely have to send the agency a link to your website, make sure it is the same as what your submission should be:  simple and to the point.  Don’t make anyone wade through extraneous information or click on lots of pages to find what they need.  Put it on the first page.  Put nothing else on that page.




For the most part, the telephone is for asking questions.  You can use it to find out if the agency has open calls, how to send submissions, what they want to see, what their requirements are.  You might be able to make an appointment to come in to see them, but at most agencies you won’t be able to.


Call during business hours.  Every agency gets calls from “aspiring models” who leave messages at odd times of the night, usually asking for a return call.  They get ignored.  If you can’t call the agency when it is open for business, you can’t be a model.


Call for yourself!  (Or, if you are very young, have your parents call for you.)  If you have your cousin, some “manager” nobody has ever heard of or, worse, your boyfriend call for you, you are already at a serious disadvantage.  The agency then wants to know why you aren’t calling for yourself (are you not able to?  Are you not interested enough?) and if they have to deal with some meddlesome intermediary in working with you.  Don’t give them that impression.


3.  What Happens Next:


At most agencies, nobody will contact you unless they are interested in you.  In fact, within minutes after they look at your submission they will have forgotten it, unless they are interested, or if it goes into the Christmas File.


Usually if you call and ask if they have gotten it, or what they plan to do with it, they won’t know.  Nobody logs and tracks those things.  There are too many of them to remember or keep track of.


If you don’t get a response in a reasonable time (a couple of weeks), you probably aren’t going to.  At that point you can think about trying again, but by doing something differently:  get different pictures or go see them instead of just making a mail submission.


If after all that you still aren’t getting a response, it’s probably time to forget that agency.

How to Start Child Modeling

How to Start Child Modeling

Getting your child started in a modeling career takes time, patience and very often extensive financial resources. A career in modeling can be fun and rewarding for both your child and you, but there are things every parent should know before getting started. Some of theses include legal contract issues, working with agents and avoiding some of the dangerous pitfalls associated with young show business children. Learn how you can prepare your child for a safe, successful career in modeling.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You'll Need:

Build a portfolio. If you believe your child has what it takes to become a model, a portfolio that includes basic information about your child and a selection of photographs is the first step in getting your child started in a modeling career. If you have the photographs ready, you can build a virtual portfolio here. If you want to have a set of professional photographs taken please let us know, but include natural shots you've taken yourself. The wider range of pictures you include in your child's portfolio, the better his or her chances of getting accepted by a talent agency or manager. The photos should be 8x10, both in color and black and white shots. If your child has any experience in the entertainment industry, a resume listing those credits should go into the portfolio as well.

Secure an agent (we can be the one if you like) and an entertainment lawyer (We can arrange one, if you like). The agent will be able to open doors for you in the modeling industry. The agent or talent agency will receive between ten and fifteen percent on each job secured for your child, but the money is worth it. An agent will get more work for your child than you can.

An entertainment lawyer is also crucial. You may feel that no one can manage the legal issues of your child's career better than you, but contracts can be tricky. Any lawyer will do, but an entertainment specialist is best. They deal with legal entertainment issues everyday and are familiar with details associated with the entertainment industry.

You can find talent agents and entertainment lawyers by consulting an online database. Some of these resources cost, but the results they produce are invaluable.

Follow all application guidelines once you've found suitable agent candidates for your child. Submit only the type and number of photographs the agency requests. Include a short letter of introduction that tells a little about your child, any previous experience he or she has, and what your goals are for your child. Thank the agency for considering representing your child. Keep the letter short. Most agency guidelines will let you know when you can expect to hear from them. Do not give a follow-up call or email until the waiting period has come and gone.

Attend auditions with your child, but stay on the sidelines and out of the way. Most photographers will understand a parent's need to be present. As a parent, you have that right. Getting in the way or trying to do the photographer's job, though, could cost your child work in the future. You're there to monitor, not to do the photographer's job.
Child labour of a different kind

The  middle  classes  may tut-tut  at  the  way  the  poor send  their  children  to  work  in  sweatshops,  whether  in  Sivakasi match  factories  or  the  leather  curing industry  of  Tamil  Nadu, or  to  roll  beedis and  agarbattis,   make  carpets  in  Kashmir, or  provide cheap,  easy-to-abuse  domestic  labour in  city  apartments  all  over  the  country. But   the  average  middle  class parent reared on  popular TV serials  considers it  the  height  of  ambition  and  achievement to  get  a  child onto  a  television  show  or  nab  a modelling  assignment. It’s seen  as having  arrived,  both  socially  as  well  as financially.

In  India,  television  has  created an  army  of parents  eager  to  push their children  into  the  limelight,  to  jump onto  the fame bandwagon. There are opportunities galore. A producer friend told  us  he  was  exhausted  dealing  with  aggressive  parents pushing their  kids  at  him  for his TV show.  They didn't  care anymore  if  the  child  missed  school, fell  behind academically,  missed  exams  even. Apparently all  those  things  can  be  shoved on  the  back burner  because  that  one  elusive shot  at   stardom  could  lead to  instant fame, greater  glory  and a  fabulous  income on  the small  screen.

Does your child know about sex abuse?


Never scare a child about sexual abuse. Panic will beget panic. Your child may get overcautious about people. This will also affect the child's everyday vigour and spontaneity, which is the ultimate source of joy in a parent's life. But of course, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, teach him or her the ground rules without injecting fear.

Teach your children the names of the different parts of the body. Take this step further by specifying the private parts. Tell the child that these parts should not be touched by anyone, not even close friends.

Your behaviour with your spouse can be a role model for the children. Therefore, until your children understand the importance of a healthy sexual relationship, do not display overt affection to your partner in front of the children. If the children ever touch your private parts, which most children playfully do in their very early years, be firm and tell them not to ever repeat it. A correct message should be conveyed with regard to the private parts.

Tell them that they should immediately report to you if anyone (even if the person is a very close relative) tries to touch them in any odd place, especially if that person specifically asks them not to tell the parents.

Teach them not to talk to or to take anything from strangers, certainly not to give out their name, address and telephone number to anyone. But do emphasize the importance of being polite without divulging extra information.

Be a good listener. Your children must be sure of a patient hearing without any embarrassing remarks. Make sure that you share a completely open and friendly relationship with your children. Devote some time everyday to listening to your children's experiences in school and after-school hours.

Encourage your children to invite friends at home. Watch them discreetly from a distance so that you are aware of their peer group. If you sense something unhealthy, bring it to their notice. For instance, if a your daughter is visibly falling on her boyfriend at a party, take her aside later and just tell her that such things never go unnoticed. However, do not make a big issue out of it.

Last but not the least; be vigilant for any signs of sexual abuse. Sudden shifts in temperament, mood withdrawals, nightmares, bedwetting, bruising or swelling of genitals, fear of a certain individual, loss of interest in academic and social activities are all good indicators of sexual abuse.

The study carried out by Ministry of Women and Child development on “A study on child abuse” (Report by Ministry of Women and Child Development) has provided revealing statistics on the extent and magnitude of various forms of child abuse – an area by and large unexplored.  The study has also thrown up data on variations among different age groups, gender variations, state variations and variations within evidence groups.  The findings will help to strengthen the understanding of all stakeholders including families, communities, civil society organizations and the state. 

Major findings:
Across different forms of abuse and across different evidence groups, the younger children (5-12 years of age) have reported higher levels of abuse than the other two age groups.

Boys, as compared to girls, are equally at risk of abuse.  Persons in trust and authority are major abusers.  70% of abused child respondents never reported the matter to anyone because of the families.

Physical abuse 
Two out of every three children are physically abused. Out of 69% children physically abused in 13 sample states, 54.68% were boys. Over 50% children in all the 13 sample states were being subjected to one or the other form of physical abuse. Out of those children physically abused in family situations, 88.6% were physically abused by parents. 65% of school going children reported facing corporal punishment i.e. two out of three children were victims of corporal punishment. The State of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi have almost consistently reported higher rates of abuse in all forms as compared to other states. Most children did not report the matter to anyone. 50.2% children worked seven days a week. 

Sexual abuse
Approx - 53.22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest percentage of sexual abuse among both boys and girls. 21.90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of sexual abuse. Out of the child respondents, 5.69% reported being sexually assaulted.

Children in Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest incidence of secual assault. Children on street, children at work and children in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault because of the reason of poor economical condition of family. 50% abuses are persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility.

Emotional abuse and Girl child Neglect: Every second child reported facing emotional abuse. Equal percentage of both girls and boys reported facing emotional abuse in 83% of the cases parents were the abusers, 48.4% of girls wished they were boys. Studies across India show child abuse to be prevalent in a rampant form. More than four lakh children in India are reported to be victims of commercial sexual exploitation for the reason by there families. Studies also shows that although incidence of child rape, one of the worst form of sexual abuse, has declined between the periods 1999 and 2007, from 3153 cases to 2532, the unofficial number may have been higher since many cases may have not been reported for reason families themselves are engage in abuse of child  (Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice).

As Reported by Francis T. Miko, proficient expert in international relations, (Puan Sri Datin Seri N. Saraswathy Devi) he says sexual exploitations affects virtually every country in the world. The largest numbers of victims come from Asia, with over 225,000 approx victims each year from Southeast Asia and over 150,000 from South Asia. An additional 75,000 approx or more are trafficked from Eastern Europe. Over 100,000 come from Latin America and the Caribbean, and over 50,000 victims are from Africa. Most of the victims are sent to Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe and North America. (Graph 2 Highest rates of sexual exploitations and Child abuse)  The increasing spread of the AIDS epidemic and the rise in the risk of being infected with sexually transmitted diseases, has contributed to the popular demand for “virgin” girls and boys who are sourced out from remote villages around the globe over 60% of girls who are provided by there families for the purpose of sex work and adolescent girls in age-group 12-16 years (HIV/AIDS Portal for Asia Pacific;2006).

In India the Penal Code strictly prohibits the buying, selling, letting to hire or otherwise disposal of or to obtain possession of a minor (a person under 18 years of age) with intent or knowing that it is likely that the minor will be used for the purpose of prostitution or any other immoral and unlawful purpose. The provisions apply to both male and female children. It is also an offence to induce a girl under the age of 18 years to go some place or perform any act with intent or knowing that it is likely that the girl will be seduced or forced to sexual intercourse. If the girl is “imported” to India from abroad the age limit is raised to 21 years. Offences of such nature carry a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine. A Conspiracy to commit such an offence under the Penal Code is generally also punishable. For women and girls additional protection is provided in the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act. This act was amended in 1986 to provide for more severe penalties for offences involving children and minors. Under this act anyone who detains a woman or girl in a brothel or on any other premise with the intent that the female person shall have sexual intercourse with other persons is liable to punishment. To facilitate prosecution, certain circumstances are presumed to constitute illegal detainment. Thus if someone is found with a child in a brothel or a child that has been sexually assaulted is found in a brothel it is presumed that the child is illegally detained (See, §372 and 373  Of Indian Penal Code,1860 Ranchhoddas Ratanlal &  Thakore Dhirajlal Keshavlal.). Offenders are liable to a prison term from 7 years to life. These strict liability provisions allow for a higher possibility of curbing the offence, which would otherwise not be possible without the reversal of the burden of proof as has often happened in drug-related offences (Ramanna,(1889) 12 Mad 273; Karuna  Baistodi, (1894) 22 Cal 164, Jateendra Mohan Das, (1937) 2 Cal 187; Maharashtra v Chandraprakash Kewalchand Jain,1990 Criminal Law Journal ,589 (Supreme Court) ; Santosh Kumar v State of MP, All India Reporter 2006 Supreme Court 3098). (Gour, Dr.Hari Singh)

Supreme Court of India in (Vishal Jeet v. Union of India All India Reporter 1990 Supreme Court 1412) Divisional bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court directed all State Governments and Government of Union Territories to take appropriate and speedy action under existing laws in eradicating child prostitution. In the light of Supreme court judgment in the cases of Meneka Gandhi case (1978) 1 SCC248 ); (Sunil Batra (1978) 4 SCC 494), Justice Bhagwati, in (Lakshmi Kant Pandey v. Union of India MANU/SC/0054/1984) while emphasizing the importance of children has expressed his view thus: It is obvious that in a civilized society the importance of child welfare cannot be over-emphasized, because the welfare of the entire community, its growth and development, depend on the health and well-being of its children. Children are a 'supremely important national asset' and the future well-being of the nation depends on how its children grow and develop.                                                             

As current studies carried out by eminent researchers that there are around 900,000 sex workers in India. Approximately, 30 % are believed to be children involve in prostitution which has also increasing at 8 to 10% per annum.(Dr.Deepti Shrivastava) Causational factors are multiple and complex. The root of such an abuse and exploitation toward children by there families is due to poverty. In most of developing countries today globilzation has severed the traditional socioeconomic relations and the growth has render women and children vulnerable.

It is estimated in study report that 35% of adolescent children are been abducted under the pretext of false marriage or good jobs. Physical abuse, lack of food, illiteracy, unemployment and lack access to formal education. In rural areas poor families do not support prosecution nor acknowledge the level of harm to victim child. Poor households in debt or struggling with insecure livelihood may be compelled to hand over a child in to debt bondage or to sell the child to repay the debts which is clearly a human right abuse as consequence. 

In organizing a social system, family has an important role to play. It is the place where the socialization of children gets started. It is essential that right social values are inculcated from child hood. In addition, it is recommended that particular involvement be explored and planned for children in the trafficking prone areas and in territorial towns to raise their awareness among families. This article contends that state ought to shelter and ensure the right of child from the all type of sexual exploitations in changing world. There are police and law enforcement agencies around the world to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children. At the national level many countries enacted laws making children's abuse a crime. Particularly 188 countries on 1st may, 1996 have signed or ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,1989(Present status as per Date 06/Dec/2006) and have enacted legislations for safeguarding their rights and regulating the underage sex, prostitution, pornography, kidnapping, enslavement abuse and other criminal acts. However In recent years there has been growing awareness of commercial sexual exploitation of children. This article has argued, however, that eessential to bear in the mind that sexual exploitation of children can be confiscate by the co-operation between the legal systems, the government bodies and the non-government bodies around the globe. Step forward that every one of us has a role to play not only the state in ensuring that every child enjoys a childhood and keeping mind the final aim in the enforcement of the child's right is to emphasize, the welfare of the entire community, its growth and development, depend on the health and well-being of its children. Nearly everyone societies are overwhelmed by the problem of child abuse, making it today a “global phenomenon” yet it remains somewhat “unknown”. There is lack of awareness amongst citizens – possibly due to the chauvinism or bigotry of state authorities to disclose ills that affect national dignity and recklessness. Lack of Co-operation amongst countries need to be fostered to counter this phenomenon, this uniformity can be achieved through ratification of international instruments and national implementation of these international humanitarian instruments.