Modeling schools/modeling for teens?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter is interested. A lot of people ask her if she's a model :tongue: or tell her she should model. She has gorgeous eyes and is going to be really tall. Right now she is 5'7 and thirteen years old.

    Anyone know how to wean a kid into modeling? Is the drama club or drama school or dancing school a good start? I don't know if she will ever model, but this is good for her self-esteem and she is interested. Unfortunately, we don't live near a big city. I'm trying to find out what I can and I don't see much online.

    One thing both she and I are against is making her diet. So we are thinking a face model. She is a good, healthy weight and we aren't going to get anorexic here.
  2. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Geez...I went to one of those when I was about her age. Barbizon (sp?) school of modeling. I lived in SD and it was in Denver. As long as she keeps her perspective and not over emphasize what they push at you, she'll be fine.

    I was 5'10" at the time...but was a clutz. Not a good mix.

  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    A word of advice....never NEVER NEVER pay for "modeling school" or "modeling classes" or anything like that. It is not only a huge waste of money but a sure-fire way of ruining whatever self-esteem and sense of dignity your daughter may have.


    The "modeling school" is in it for the money....and they make their money from their students. You daughter will be encouraged to sign up for all kinds of services that they feel she needs: exercise, public speaking skills, better hair, better skin, better make-up, better clothes, photographs, business cards, headshots etc etc etc. And each of these services requires a fee.....and if you don't get it "Well, you're going to be behind so-and-so.....she's getting her makeup professionally done these days."

    If your daughter is seriously interested in modeling, make an appointment with a professional modeling agency and speak to them about it. Modeling agencies (real ones) make their money from commissions. They get paid when their model earns money. If they think they can earn money by sending your daughter to their clients, they will want to work with her--NO COST TO YOU. And if they don't think she has what it takes, they will probably be very polite about it.

    Best of luck!

  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I also went to Barbizon Modeling School back when I was around 13/14. It was designed more as a "poise and etiquette" training really. We learned all about diet and exercise and makeup, fashion, walking, sitting, going up and down stairs, etc. It was fun, really. At the end of the classes, we put on a fashion show and then they gave us leads, which my mom wouldn't allow me to do!

    Department stores sometimes need models for their cosmetics or Spring and Fall fashions. The models will just sort of stand like a 'live mannequin' for a few hours. I know JC Penney's does it and so does Fashion Bug. You could probably inquire at Macy's and other big retail stores. Oh, and also some of those stores need models for their weekly print ads as well.

    I know the big modeling school I hear advertising on the radio all the time is John Casablanca - not sure if they are out by you.

    Best of luck.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    John Casablanca is also in it for the money. I went every Saturday all day in Columbus OH for about 3 months. I refused to tweeze my eyebrows - they really do not need it - I still don't - and they told me I had to. I had to lose 20 lbs. I am 5'3 and at the time I weighed 115 lbs. NO WAY was I dropping to 95! They "recommended" I get implants because I wasn't very big (I was 17 at the time). I was charged for the makeup, time of course, clothing I never received, and other stuff. I finally quit - although there was a contract I just told them sorry, not coming back, not paying anything else. They tried to bill me but - I was under 18 and my parents never signed anything, so too bad, so sad for them!

    I agree with the department store stuff. They'll get further locally... And if a modeling agency wants them, you won't have to pay anything!
  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I would start with the department stores and see if they have a Teen Board that models clothing. Sometimes stores do that and also some hair studios have modeling or "charm and etiquette" classes for young girls.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know you wont believe this considering what I look like now...but I did this through Sears when I was 12/13. They had this Charm School/Etiquette class type thing they ran and after we graduated from that class, we modeled for Sears. It really wasnt much but it was fun. We learned a lot about "high society" and which forks to use when we ate at classy restaurants which actually has paid off for me. I dont think I have ever used the skills they taught me on turning and standing We modeled the new kids or jr wear coming out that season. It was fun like I said.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We don't live near any big cities, but I'm going to ask at Fashion Bug and Pennys for my daughter :) I also may enroll her in drama or some sort of dancing (not ballet--she would hate that) to give her some poise. She doesn't have a lot of confidence in herself, even though she's popular and pretty. Sadly, she doesn't feel she's good at anything except sports so I want to change that if I can. I think she'd dance well as she is very well coordinated.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    One of the best things you can do is to take a camera and take some pics of her. Head shots, full body, with a neutral background (parks can be very handy as the natural light can make a big difference). They don't need to be fancy, even snapshots from a polaroid will do. They are to show how the camera sees her. Some truly stunning women do NOT photograph well and some rather plain looking women end up with stunning photos. The camera is unpredictable that way.

    When you take the pictures it is important to have some that are close up but not cutting off the top of her head or her feet. If you take digital pics you can actually crop them at some of the machines in Walgreens and/or Walmart.

    NEVER EVER EVER EVER pay fees for modelling. Glamour shots is also not a great idea. The training for photographers and makeup people there is iffy at best and the risk of contaminated makeup and hair brushes has been very high in the various studios around here who offer it. The last thing she needs is an eye infection or lice because something wasn't cleaned properly. (NOT all the places are bad, they just have a higher risk AND you can do all that yourself a LOT cheaper).

    After you have some pictures then send them to various businesses. If there is a locally owned clothing store or jewelry store you will have better luck as featuring local models drives in business.

    I hope that it is fun, educational and that she enjoys it. And that she achieves the level of success that she wants to achieve!
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I was on the teen board for a local dept store during high school. It was fun, and the store also gave us a 25% discount on stuff. Great way to get us to wear the clothes!

    Does the adult school have community ed classes for teens? I was considering putting Miss KT in one, but she's not into that at all.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! Actually, I care less about her modeling career :tongue: than her self-confidence. What do I do? Send pictures to Penny's and Fashion Bug???? She's very photogenic and kind of exotic looking--and many kids have asked her if she modeled. But she has her own boundaries too. If they tell her to lose weight, forget it. She refuses to become anorexic over this. But I think she'd find it a hoot to model for a store and maybe it would give her some poise and confidence and a "can do" attitude. She is Learning Disability (LD) and feels she's not smart. She struggles for C's (with extra help). As of now, I realize she is only thirteen, but she has no idea what she wants to do as an adult other than be a WNBA basketball player and, between you and I, we both know it won't happen. I doubt she'll ever get into a four year school and she's a good athlete, but not scholarship good.

    She has expressed an interest in photography too and I'm running with that one as well. If anyone has suggestions to inject confidence into a very nice young lady who is so far making good life choices, but is very academically challenged please let me know. She is not "slow" nor does she come off as slow. However, she is almost afraid to try things. I told her to make brownies for the softball team's banquiet. We were having a potluck. I bought an easy-to -bake box. She looked at it and said, "No, I **** at cooking."

    Even my daughter who did drugs had confidence that she could do some things--such as hair and cooking and drawing. Actually, N. is above average in art too. Looking for a way to steer her so she has some focus.

    Thank you all :D:tongue:
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We've been down this road with easy child 2/difficult child 2. Years ago I was also signed to an agency, but I never got any work from them. The mob I was signed with were also only in it for the money.

    Some general advice from our experience and the positive stuff we learned form easy child 2/difficult child 2, as well as the "we got burned" lessons:

    1) AVOID AGENCIES THAT ADVERTISE IN BIG LETTERS. Because EVERYONE wants to get into modelling and acting, they want to be paid money and therefore thay are ripe for exploitaiton. The agencies you want are the ones who have so many people beating a path to their door that they don't NEED to advertise. The ones that are exploitative are the ones that make teir money from the hidden joining fees (the fees they're not supposed to charge). The more people they sign up, the more money they make.

    2) you need to check out the industry and work out where her niche would be. In the meantime, she needs to get some training. More later. To check out the industry - look around. Do a search online to get a list of all agencies etc, then keep that list on your own spreadsheet. Now your homework begins. Go through the newspapers looking for ads. Any agency with a large newspeper or TV ad - put a black mark against them. Next, ask the stores where they get their models from. Then ring those places and ask them things like, "what age do you hire? what commission do you charge? What sort of work do your clients do?" and so on. Pick their brains.

    3) She will need headshots, full body shot and a CV. For the headshots, you should not use glamour shots (a common mistake). If you can get access, look at other people's head shots and see if you can duplicate them for her. It's fun to practice! We paid for easy child 2/difficult child 2's head shots for a few years. THAT is where the unuscrupulous agencies make a lot of money - they have their own photographers on staff to do the head shots, but tey charge as if you're getting them done by a freelancer. If you're a photographer who works independently donig head shots then you have overheads to pay for - studio, computer time, technicians, printers - a lot of stuff. But economies of scale means that the job can be done much more chealpy if you already have the premises, the computers and the printers. And of course a good agency will always have thier own printers so they can print out a fresh headshot whenever it's needed.

    4) In Australia (and undoubtedly in the US) there are some websites which you really do need to sign up for, if you want the chance of getting work. The person looking for actors or models goes to the website (which is restricted to people in the industry, such as other agencies, directors, producers, casting agents etc) and they search for someone who fits the profile. When they get a collection of people who are likely, the word goes out to those people's agents to come in for an audition or screen test. So if you're not registered, you're not going to get seen. And it costs - ours costs between $80 (for website listing ony) to $200 approx (to be in the book, hard copy, as well).
    I mentioned the mass-production "in it for the money" agencies before who sign up anything thta moves - although our agencies are not allowed to chage a joining fee, it still costs you. The money that charge covers the Showcast (websigte plus book) listing, plus the headshots. One place we went to (and didn't sign up, although they wanted us) had a large comfortable waiting room with leather couches and wide coffee tables. The coffee tables were groaning under the weight of thick books full of headshots and CVs. It was as if every phone book in the country for the last ten years had been piled onto the table. I did not see a duplication anywhere and they all had that year's date on them. So what we saw was a comprehensive compilation of the actor/model file. With so many people on the books, there was no way they could get enough work for them all. Most of thep eople in those books would have paid the fees and never heard from the agency again - until it was time to take new headshots.

    5) easy child 2/difficult child 2 was originally signed with a reputable boutique agency with a small exclusive client list. They limited their list to 50. They published a fresh book each year (which required head shots to be taken by their photographer, although he is one of the best in Sydney and specialises in performers' headshots). We got a copy of the book, plus they sent them to all the casting agencies around. She got a few audition calls, a couple of big jobs through them. One print ad won a gold Lion at Cannes - here is a link, look for "University: braces"

    However, we had problems with that agency never paying her what they owed for work done. The law in our country says that when the money comes in to the agency it should immediately be put in a trust account. The agency takes out their commission and WITHIN TWO WEEKS should send the remaining (should be 90% for agencies) to the performer. We made discreet enquiries and found that other performers were getting the same experience. Because it was an agency for children, and too many parents are scared of making a fuss for fear of upsetting people who not only seem very nice but who also are capable of either putting more work your way or blocking more work form coming your way, they were getting away with it.
    easy child 2/difficult child 2 did eventually get paid.

    In the photo in the link I've posted, they "uglified" her deliberately. It worked really well. The agency were good in that they gave us some great instructions on how to present herself for that particular screen test - they warned us to make her look dorky and a swot. They suggested the glasses (her reading glasses) and the braids. She decided to do her buttons up, to tuck her shirt in, to fold down the tops of her socks - she got the idea and ran with it. It didn't pay a huge amount but when the ad got run again the following year she got a "rollover" fee.

    So look at headshots, try to duplicate your own. B/w seems to be the norm although we currently have easy child 2/difficult child 2's (and difficult child 3's) in colour. They don't have to be smiling into the camera, they don't even need to be looking into the camera. A headshot requires a head and shoulders only, then you need a full body shot especially for modelling. Find out what modelling will require, you need a range of shots to work from. A plain background is required. You can get this by throwing a plain curtain over a fence and taking a photo that way.

    6) Getting other experience - it helps to get her into anything related. Dance classes sound great. Drama classes are also good. Good for self-esteem, great for experience. Also, singing lessons can teach voice production, how to stand, how to handle an audience.

    7) Keep a good record of all that she does that could count towards a CV. We keep easy child 2/difficult child 2's CV updated constantly. I took some notes of the headshot produced by her former agency and did some homework. Towards the end of our relationship with them they were getting slack and I actually got my hands on her headshot/CV that they had puttogether. I took notes, fixed up the mistakes and now I've done a desktop publishing job on it using her headshot and listed work she's done in various categories. Also under the photo, you list her measurements, her age and contact details.
    In easy child 2/difficult child 2's case (because she was interested in acting) we did the best to get her experience as broad as possible. She had done a lot of stage (because of her dance school as well as at school), some street theatre work (especially with kids), had the photo experience, but needed to get experience on film. So we were recommended to do student films. In general students need cast who don't get paid but who can then use a copy of the film in their showreel and on their CV. The second student film easy child 2/difficult child 2 did, she played the lead role - a psychotic teen who murders her sister. It has been good on her CV. She's done a number of good roles including good speaking roles but reached a point where she had enough film work on her CV and said, "That's it. No more student films unless I get paid."

    8) One last point - your daughter's height will be important. Catwalk models need to be taller than average. If she's average height or shorter she can do catalogue work and petites work. There also may be age limit issues, a lot of places increasingly are insisting on models being at least 16 or 17. But in the meantime she should still be able to dip her toe in the water to see if hse likes it. ANd yes, done right and with your supervision, it should bosot her self-confidence.

    Parental supervision is not only permitted, it is mandatory. In general I was present for all of easy child 2/difficult child 2's jobs. There was one TV job (extra work for a soapie) where I was not allowed in the studio which was awkward, she had no money to pay for her lunch (which also should have been included). I found out later I could have made a huge fuss. But this is a job in HUGE demand for teen actors, there is always the fear that if you make a fuss thne you will get blacklisted.

    We made a fuss about the agency that was giving us such trouble. We knew we were taking a chance we'd get the "you'll never work in this town again" routine and to a certain extent it did happen. We had a lot of trouble finding her a new agent. One actually signed her up, sent her for the headshots but next morning I got an email cancelling it all. She finally went independent for a year or so then was approached (via the Showcast register) by an agent just setting up who had been burned on behalf of his daughter the same way we had.

    One last important point - if she gets to the stage of having an agent, then also have her join any professional agency. easy child 2/difficult child 2 isnow a member of Actors Equity and this has been invaluable. They fought to get her paid for a particular job which was becoming exploitative, and she's also been invited to a couple of industry events. Of course, she wanted someone to come with her so I got to go too. It was an amazing experience, mixing shoulder to shoulder with the cream of Australia's performing arts industry.

    The US situation is going to be subtly different but there will be enough similarities so that we can help you along the way if you need it.

    There are important social lessons to learn along the way, especially in how to deal with fellow models/actors at auditions. You do help one another and show good manners to one another. If another girl gets the job you wanted, there should be no meanness about it. That took a while to teach to easy child 2/difficult child 2. She attended one particular audition and was miffed when someone else got the job, it was a particularly public performance (Sydney Olympics OPening Ceremony) and for ages, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was snide about te girl who got te job. As were a lot of other people, the poor kid copped a lot of flak. I finally got through to easy child 2/difficult child 2 in several ways;
    the girl who got the job was much more skilled than easy child 2/difficult child 2, she was smaller and cuter (a bit - but a bit matters) and although easy child 2/difficult child 2 has an impressive resume, this kid's was even better (did her first professional performance at age 5). And the final clincher - no matter who got the job, they would hae copped public criticism that was undeserved. Did easy child 2/difficult child 2 really think she could have handled that?

    Since then she has stepped up to champion this girl, to tell people, "Leave her alone, she's good at what she does."

    A very important lesson.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I noticed the photography in the middle of everything else.

    difficult child 1 is also really interested in this. She takes some great shots with the cell phone camera. Go figure. (That's a whole 'nother subject.)

    Anyway, for Christmas we're going to get her a decent camera - probably similar to mine, which cost me a whopping $35 after gift card, sale, and discount certificate then instant rebate! It was listed at $170. I love it.

    I also like digital as I don't waste film. There are pros and cons to digital but they are cheaper in the long run.

    Get an inexpensive camera and a 1GB memory card for her. Then... When she first gets it... Send her out to fill the card. Tell her to take pictures of everything but if the subject is a person, to get their permission first.

    Then go through the pictures with her. Odds are at least 1 out of every 10 will be really good. If she likes them, take them to Wal-Mart and print them (or at home - I have a photo printer, but that's not normal). Get a cheapie frame - if you do a 5x7 this is helpful - and hang the pictures all over the house. If you are willing to show them off, it will also help her self esteem...

    My $0.02.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Also re photography - look for some kids competitions she can enter.

    We have a local website in the village which difficult child 3 has been invited to submit his photos to.

    The digital camera is definitely the way to go.

    When I was a kid I was given a camera, I loved taking photos but could never afford the developing.

    husband had a camera but used to develop his own films. I would have liked to have done that but didn't have anywhere I could have used. Big family, crowded house, people walking in all the time...

    Digital is so very forgiving and you can do so much with it.

    Another thought - after she's taken the photos, let her loose on Photoshop (or similar). You can get some amazing effects.

    Also, back to the modelling and headshots - digital is the way to go here, but never tamper with headshot photos. You need to have good lighting - you can use daylight but you will almost certianly need extra lighting such as fill-flash and maybe a spotlight (you can improvise). You also need to take headshots in the highest resolution you have. The advantage of digital - you can use any random photo that is brilliant, and crop it down to just what you wan to use. THAT level of fiddling with it is perfectly OK.

    You can have a lot of fun, wither way.