One major factor that agencies look for during a model search is an easy-going, social child. Great temperament is key, according to Nolte. "A studio shoot is full of strangers," she says, so a shy baby who cries easily isn't going to do well in that type of situation.
Agencies also look for a child who's personality comes across well on film. People want to see happy, smiling, engaging babies on magazine covers and within a magazine's articles. A child who looks natural in front of the camera is best.
While photo shoots are hard work, agencies are also looking for kids who have fun while they're there. But parents, don't think you're off the hook quite yet. Nolte says many agencies not only look at children during the casting calls, but their parents' personalities as well. Parents need to be cooperative and not too pushy. "You have to be willing to put the time and the effort into doing this," says Nolte. "There's a lot of running around."
Another tip for parents? "Never pay to have your child's picture taken," says Nolte. "Go to a reputable agency. They're the ones that send the baby to the client, and we're the ones that take the picture."
Finally, be realistic about how much money your child can make by modeling. "Don't expect this to send your child through college," says Nolte. "There are very few kids who make that much money." Don't forget to factor in other monetary setbacks as well, such as paying for parking during a casting call or taking a day off work to go to a shoot.
For more information on baby modeling or other parenting tips, click here.
By Erin Petrun