How To Prepare My Child For A Commercial Photoshoot?

How To Prepare My Child For A Commercial Photoshoot?

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The first step before you enroll your child in a commercial photo shoot is asking yourself if they are right for this. Modeling has its pros and cons, so weigh the odds and determine if your child is a good fit for this venture. 

The next step can include doing a test run photoshoot to see how comfortable the child is, their temperament, and their ability to follow directions since it is essentially the same thing that will be done during the actual commercial photoshoot. This helps the parent check for areas that need improvement.

Finding opportunities for your child model can be a breeze if you know where to look. Start by looking through the open casting calls on Then, source through open casting calls in the city of residence, cities like New York usually have enough openings. All you have to do is Google for open casting calls and reach out to the poster. Send them the child’s name, weight, height, age, and other additional information such as if they speak a second language, can walk early for a toddler, and so on. This “mini-resume” can also be sent to reputable agencies. 

Karen Haberberg is an award-winning published author, educator, photographer, and artist who has had some of her works featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, ICP, and so on. She has collaborated with other photographers like Bruce Davidson and has worked with notable brands such as Johnson and Johnson and Dior. But before all these, Karen is firstly, a mother. This is why she will be tutoring other parents and guardians on how to prepare their children for a commercial Photoshoot. Let's get to it!

What to Prepare for a Kid Before a Commercial Photoshoot

Understanding the Requirement:

Before enrolling your child for a casting call opportunity, you should first do research on the posting, find out if it’s legitimate, and then check if your child meets the requirements. On platforms like, the requirements are highlighted about what is on the child model’s profile. This makes it easy to apply to gigs which they are best suited for. Plus, there is still the option of applying regardless of whether the child meets all the requirements—this way, the child does not miss out on any opportunities.

Physical Preparation:

During the preparation phase, while the parent gathers the portfolio and necessary items, they must also ensure that:

  • The child looks their age
  • No excessive makeup is used
  • Outfits aren’t overdone
  • Plain backgrounds in photos
  • The child should be represented as confident and interested in the project

Mental and Emotional Preparation

Some laws must be followed to ensure the wellbeing of the child such as the periods reserved for the child to eat, the breaks they have, etc, all concerning their age. if these laws are not followed, it may lead to legal transgressions, and what’s worse, the child may break down and the results will be regrettable. As the adult responsible for the child, you should be able to tell if things are not quite right and take the child away if need be. Remember, safety first.

Practice Poses

The parent should practice poses with the child as much as they are able. These can be simple poses just to get them comfortable in front of a camera. It can also be recreated poses of kid magazines. Nonetheless, it’s okay to ask the agency or the hiring team what kind of vibe they’re looking to create so matching poses can be practiced beforehand.

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Legal and Paperwork

There are a lot of scams out there, this is why every parent/ guardian must first do sufficient research before signing off on anything. Therefore, it’s recommended that the parent has an entertainment lawyer present during any contract signings. There are exclusive and non-exclusive contracts that contain things like whether the child model has the freedom to work afterward, or if this is a one-time project. The parent must do due diligence before starting any project with any client regardless of how good the deal sounds. Here are some things to check out before agreeing to any project:

  • That there is a termination clause or exit strategy so the child would not be stuck with this client for longer than the child wants
  • No money is requested upfront from you
  • They don’t discourage an adult from being with the child model
  • Go with your gut

Aside from the parental guidance and bonding advantage, companies usually require a parent, agent, or trusted adult to be with the child model during the photoshoot. This is due to their legal ramifications and child labor laws to ensure the child’s safety. Child labor laws vary from state to state—some of which are more strict than others. For example, some states may require the child to meet a certain health standard, some may require the child to be a decent student, etc. 

How to Prepare for Time During a Kid Commercial Photoshoot


The demeanor of the child model is an integral part of the overall success of the shoot. This is why their attitude needs to be properly managed. To do this, the parent or guardian should ensure that the child is well-rested, properly fed, and mentally prepared for the photoshoot. 

Follow Instructions:

The photographer is the artist and the person standing in front of the camera is the canvas, it is important that the child model as well as the parent trusts the photographer well enough to follow instructions. And since the model is the top priority, they should also feel free to share any relevant information such as if they need a break, have a health issue, and so on.

Taking Breaks

There should be space enough for the child to take breaks when they need to. This is not just the right thing to do but also is in line with the child labor laws of most states.

How to Prepare for Time After a Kid Commercial Photoshoot

Ask About Feedback

The child’s willingness to participate is important. Ask the child if they want to do this and if they enjoy it. Also, study the child to see if they are ready. They may turn out to be a great model but it may not be at this moment now, and that’s okay. 

Celebrate with Your Kid

Now that you’ve completed the commercial photoshoot session, it’s a great idea to go out and celebrate with your child. This is as huge an accomplishment for you as it is for them. 

The profile of the child model on can serve as a portfolio. This way if there is an external request for the child’s portfolio, you can send the profile link. Sign up now to get started! 

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