Child modelling in Birmingham and the Midlands

What’s involved in child modelling ?

Your children are good looking (of course!), plus they are confident and well behaved most of the time. You’ve wondered about getting them to do some child modelling for photography, but you’re unsure as to how it works, what’s involved and whether it’s worth it.  You might earn some money, perhaps to put aside for their future, and they might enjoy it. So what’s child modelling like ?

Firstly, it’s unlikely that you’re going to earn many thousands of pounds. It’s very competitive and there will be some jobs that you just can’t get to, because of other commitments (school, family, life, work), because it’s too far way, or it’s not something that you or your children would be happy with.  Most photoshoots will be mid-week, and there’s no guarantee of any work.

Many modelling agencies get hundreds of applications a week, so although your child looks completely adorable to you, they may not make it to the 5% that are accepted.

Having said that, it can be good fun, it will build your children’s confidence & social skills, they will learn about work,  and it can be rewarding.

It involves a parent’s time as well.

Going to a modelling job will involve a lot of your time as well as the children’s. You’ll have to get them up and organised (sometimes early in the morning), drive to and from the job (which could be quite a long way), and be on hand to help them understand exactly what’s needed, and to perhaps calm them down or cheer them up. Sometimes jobs come up at short notice, so everyone needs to be flexible.

If you register more than one child as a model, many times only one of them will be needed for a job, so the other child will have to tag along or you’ll need to find someone else to look after them.

What’s it like on a photoshoot ?

A photoshoot could be in a studio or on location almost anywhere. It could be small scale,  for an hour or two, where your children are the only models and the people there are  just a photographer & perhaps their client.  Alternatively it could be a large-scale shoot over a few days, with several child and adult models, and a whole crew of people (photographer, artistic director, marketing person, client, hair & make up etc).  Photoshoots vary enormously, so it’s best to ask a few questions beforehand to understand what you’re going into !

Large shoots for big name clients don’t always go to plan, so there can be a lot of waiting around and changes of schedule.  It can be boring for you because you’ll be stuck in a room somewhere nearby, not watching the glamorous events taking place (and they aren’t glamorous anyway!) You may need to keep the children entertained while waiting for them to be needed. It helps if your children are flexible, and fine with changes to what they expected.

What characteristics do your children need ?

As well as being generally happy, chatty and easy going, they need to be confident with strangers, because they’ll be in a situation with a lot of people they’ve never met before, and at some point they will be the centre of attention with everyone will be looking at them. It’s OK if they are shy at first, but being able to overcome their uncertainty quickly is what’s required. Having a beaming smile that they can “just do” is a great asset, as is lots of enthusiasm and energy. Being able to understand directions, concentrate and do what’s being asked of them is also a big help.

What about a model agency ?

The most important thing about a modelling agency is that it’s completely professional and you can trust it. There are rip-off agencies who may take your money and never give you a job. If an agency tells you they can guarantee your child work, then avoid them.  If you see an advert for an agency looking for children, don’t apply. Any good genuine agency will have lots of applications from children, so many that they never need to advertise.

A reliable agency will remove some of the stress, be great at communicating, always be respectful and find the best jobs for your child. They understand that your child’s needs should be put first.

Most agencies don’t charge a fee for submitting your childs photos for consideration as a model. They may or may not take them on. If they are accepted, there may be a fee (of around £100) for getting your child’s details listed on their website. It’s best if this fee is taken from your child’s first earnings.

You should always be able to pick which jobs you take on.

Do I need a portfolio of professional photos?

Some good photos are going to help get your child on an agencies books.  They don’t have to be professional photos, but it will help to make your child look good if you know a local photographer. You definitely do not need to spend a lot of money on this.  If you’re taking them yourself, make sure there is a fairly plain background that isn’t too distracting, there are no dark shadows on your child’s face from direct sunlight, and you take some close-ups, and some full-length.  You’ll need to show the whole face, without a hood, hat or dummy if they are a baby.

A bit of preparation helps. Make sure their hair is tidy and they have clean nails and teeth!  Plain clothes are best, not stripes, checks or big logos that would distract from your child’s face.  Have some fun, so that they show their character. The agencies will want to see a natural look. A wide range of expressions from laughing and smiling to sticking their tongue out is all good !

No photoshopping or funky filters on the photos are allowed.

It can take several weeks for agencies to get back to you, so be patient.

How much are child models paid ?

The rate of pay varies a lot depending on the client and their budget. It also depends on what your child is expected to do. Being involved in a TV ad campaign  for a big name company, for example, would pay much more (thousands) than a small job for just a few photos.But those TV ad campaigns are rare !  More normally, expect rates of £60+ per hour.

What are castings ?

Models, and their parents, may end up going to several castings before landing a big job. Not all jobs involve a casting first – it depends on the complexity and the budget.  At a casting several children have 5-10 minutes in the spotlight and a few are chosen as the models for that job. It’s expected that each child will need a bit of warm-up time. Be prepared for rejections. It could be that your child simply has the wrong hair colour or is too tall !

Child Modelling agencies in the Midlands –  Birmingham, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds.

Most agencies are based in London and expect the models on their books to be in or near London as well. There are other agencies in Manchester.

Here are some Child Modelling Agencies based in Birmingham and the Midlands – relevant if you live nearby, such as in Warwickshire or Worcestershire. I don’t have direct experience of them all, but they do seem to be all worth a look.  Check out reviews and talk to them on the phone before committing to anything.

I have direct experience of RMG Model Agency and it’s all good. They’ve been in business a long time.

Atlantis Modelling Agency in Birmingham gets great reviews.

Alan Sharman Agency in Birmingham is well respected

DK models are in Sheffield

PK Models is in Leicester

BizzyKidz is London based with a Midlands division

I’m waiting for feedback on MMA Agency

I’m a leading child and family photographer covering Warwickshire,  Birmingham, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds.  For more information, especially about beautiful outdoor photography of your family, please get in touch with me.

All the photos in this article are ©KidsNaturally Photography.  My website is