If you and your child have decided to enter the world of modeling, you may feel a bit lost about the first steps you need to take. It can be hard to differentiate agencies that are trying to take advantage of you from reputable management. That’s why it’s important to do your research before you start blasting out applications—though it’s not a bad idea to submit your child to multiple agencies for consideration once you do determine the best potential fits.
Reputable modeling agencies will never ask you for any fees upfront and will typically have a sizable social media presence. Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for professional photography before you’re signed.
Agencies may, however, differ in the types of work they book for their talent, the guidance they offer their talent, and their submission requirements, including the ages they’re willing to represent.
There are also a few different types of modeling to consider:
- Commercial print: These shoots are for print media, including magazines and catalogs.
- TV: These shoots are for video ads, including television commercials or internet advertisements.
- Editorial: These shoots are for artistic or high-fashion spreads.
You and your child may be interested in just one, or you can experiment to find what you like best. To help you get started, we’ve compiled several of the top children’s modeling agencies in the United States for you to consider.
Brand Model & Talent is a SAG-franchised agency that was founded in 1986 by former model Patty Brand. The agency provides both career management and brand development for its talent.
It offers management for models interested in fashion and lifestyle print, runways, commercials, and more for both adults and children. While Brand has a larger roster, it claims to manage its clients like a boutique agency. Brand is also unique for building its own casting facility, which makes it easier to submit and audition for clients who book the space.
The agency has booked their talent for campaigns with Banana Republic, Old Navy, Nike, and OshKosh B’Gosh.
To submit your child for representation, you must fill out the submission form online, and include four images matching the example shots provided, your child’s demographics, and their appearance information.
Generation Model Management is another agency that caters exclusively to young models. Patti Fleischer founded Generation in 1984 with the goal of signing children to reflect the diverse world around them.
Generation has booked talent on campaigns with Zara, J.Crew, Janie and Jack, Ralph Lauren, Gap, and Nike.
Children must have an adult present with them at castings and bookings. Your child must also be a U.S. citizen who is between three months and 15 years old in order to be considered. Currently, Generation is only accepting submissions from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Southeast Pennsylvania due to COVID-19 regulations. If your child fits this criteria and you’re interested in having them represented by Generation, you must submit through their website. You will need to submit two to three new photos of your child standing and facing the camera. Their face should be clear and clean, and you must take the photos with your phone, not in a professional setting. You will also need to provide their personal information, demographics, and appearance information.
Generation also represents children for film and TV. To submit your child for acting, you must fill out a separate form.
Heinz Holba founded New York Model Management after years of running agencies across Canada and Southern California. It books clients internationally across Europe and the U.S., including for every major fashion week. Although New York Model Management is a huge agency, it takes a boutique approach to management, with agents investing in long-term careers, not just the here and now.
New York Model Management has booked its young talent on campaigns for Polo Ralph Lauren, Target, Gap, Nike, Janie and Jack, Zara, and Marc Jacobs.
Unlike most agencies, NYMM accepts submissions for child models via email. You should send your child’s age, height, and date of birth, and your contact number to email@example.com, along with three to four recent home photos with an unobstructed view of their face. Your images must be in color and only include your child in the frame.
Prospective children must be between six months and 12 years old and live within two hours of driving distance of NYC. You can expect to hear from an agent within two weeks of submitting if NYMM is interested in signing your child.
New York Model Management also operates L.A. Model Management, which represents babies through teens. If you are looking for representation in the L.A. area, you can email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in SoCal in 2011, the family-run Paloma Model & Talent specializes in child management for print and commercial advertising as well as theatrically for film and television. The company is environmentally friendly and pushes for video auditions over in-person auditions with lengthy commutes. It also offers an online forum for parents and talent to network with each other digitally. Paloma has worked with activists within its roster to help make the industry a safer place for children—including reminding parents that while their child’s success is certainly something to be celebrated, it’s more important to ensure they’re enjoying themselves.
Paloma has booked its talent for campaigns with Target, Levi’s, Little Tikes, Jakks Pacific, Mattel, Disneyland, and Carter’s.
If you’re interested, fill out Paloma’s submission form. You can select the age range of your child for specific submission guidelines. For example, photos of babies under 18 months should be no more than a week old, but teens’ photos can be taken within three months of submitting. You can expect to hear back within about two weeks.
This agency has a well-earned reputation for helping young models get started and gain exposure. ASAP has offices in both L.A. and Atlanta, and it’s known for its “boutique, reppin’, unique approach.” Its client list includes Bella Sophia, Eva Evelyn, and Julian Holmes, who have appeared in ads for big-name brands like Nike and SVOLTA.
To have your child considered for representation, send their headshots, résumé, synopsis, and demo reel to email@example.com.
This boutique agency represents child models across girls’, boys’, nonbinary, and influencer divisions, and takes a personal approach to career counseling. Young talent at Take 3 have appeared in ads for the Sunday Collective, Disney, Champion, Adidas, and Xfinity Mobile.
If you and your child are local to the tristate area—or in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Los Angeles, or South Florida and are prepared to travel to NYC—fill out the submission form here.
Founded in 2016 by Teri Bostaji, the former director and vice president of Wilhelmina Kids & Teens, this agency reps children from infancy onward in the NYC area. Teri B is known for prioritizing the well-being and happiness of young talent above all else. Considering that its clients have landed gigs in ads for Nike, Anthropologie, Oscar de la Renta, and Aéropostale, this agency is one of the best options if you want to kick off your kid’s modeling career.
To submit your child for representation, fill out this form and upload three images.
Zuri considers itself to be one of the largest youth agencies in the country, with departments specializing in both commercial and print advertising, along with film, television, and theater. The commercial division books talent for broadcast and cable commercials as well as digital media. The print division focuses on high fashion, beauty, fitness, catalog, in-store, digital branding, product, editorial, and billboard campaigns.
Zuri also has an “Adaptive and Inclusive” division, which books disabled talent across national print ads, commercials, and TV/film projects. The agency has also taken a public stand against the sexualization and exploitation of children. For this reason, Zuri makes sure to book their talent only for age-appropriate shoots.
With offices in Los Angeles and New York, Zuri has booked their talent on campaigns for Target, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Chevrolet, Zara, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
If you are interested in signing your child with Zuri Agency, you must fill out its submission form. The agency will ask for details about your child’s age, appearance, measurements, and location. You also must provide your department of interest (theatrical and/or print), a video reel, a voiceover sample, and three to four home photos. Professional photos are permitted, but not required. You must live within two hours of driving distance of Los Angeles or New York City and be available two to three times per week.