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child modelling any advice

(88 Posts)
michellehemple Sun 19-Sep-04 21:08:03

I sent some pics to a few model agencies and have been offered assesments for my son and daughter to have assesments with the following agencies, one called childsplay, one called models direct, one called juliet adams, and another called BMA models does anyon0e know if these agencies are any good. Any adv0ic0e would be very much appreciated. Thankyou Michelle

Mirage Sun 19-Sep-04 21:13:37

Avoid models direct like the plague.They have been on watchdog & charge a lot of money to put your child on a website that any old pervert can access.You are expected to pay a lot of money out & there is very little chance that your child will get any work.

I don't know about the others,but beware of being asked to pay a lot of money for a portfolio,as ypou shouldn't have to do this with a reputable company.

Twiglett Sun 19-Sep-04 21:16:15

message withdrawn

tammybear Sun 19-Sep-04 21:19:17

dd was given a contract for a modelling agency called angel faces or something like that. i had to pay £70 for registration fees or something or photos. cant quite rememeber. i didnt go through with it as they said if she was to be used by a company for a "photo shoot" then i would be given a few hours notice perhaps and have to make sure im there when they say. seemed too much trouble for dd at the time as she was only 8 or 9 months old. i dont really like the idea of them taking money off me just to be able to use dd, make sense if its out of commission or whatever if she gets a job.

poppyh Mon 20-Sep-04 13:51:56

Dd had assessment with childsplay.It cost £25 and she then got in.Trouble was they wanted about £500 for her to join the agency!Got some advice and was told do not join any agency that expects you to pay,they tend to be a con.
Try Elizabeth smith dont have address, but its in London.Its the only child agency recommended by model association.

Dahlia Mon 20-Sep-04 13:54:13

Ditto comments about Models Direct - they charge a fortune and then you never hear anything from them. Big con.

emmagee Tue 21-Sep-04 09:52:25

Try Kids London, they are in Dulwich, very good, don't charge you anything you have to keep them updated with photos. Re Tammybear's coment about short notice, that is fairly common, I used to be called the afternoon before a casting and maybe one or two days before a job which was fine as we lived in East Londion and many castings etc were in the Shoreditch/Clerkenwell areas. It is boring, tiring and there will be loads of other people there so be prepared for long waits. Only do it if you and your child enjoy it would be biggest piece of advice.

meysey Thu 23-Sep-04 13:03:40

The problem is finding out which agencies are reputable. Does anyone know which ones don't charge, apart from Kids London?

Even Elizabeth Smith charge a fee for an assessment. We have been offered a place with Truly Scrumptious who are very high profile and they want a fee to be in the book and for photos. I just don't know what to do.

The one firm recommended by some "anti rip-off" models association was Bizzykidz and they charge too for being on their website, although they boast they don't have charges to join!

Scallywags is another high profile agency that charges.

Maybe someone in the know could do a Mumsnet list of agencies that don't charge, as this thread comes up time and time again, but no-one seems to be able to give the full picture.

Mirage Thu 23-Sep-04 22:01:30

DD is with Pat Keeling,but they are in Leicester,so not much use to you.They only charge £20 registration/admin fee which covers dd for 3 years & only require us to send in 2 snapshots every 3 months to update her file.They are very good

elelulu Fri 24-Sep-04 16:43:57

anyone has had experiece with bizzikidz? their web site looks the most promising of all (no fees apart from a small fee to the webmanager, and especially they do not put the pics of your kid on the internet - photos can be viewed only by their clients and not any odd pervert...

if anyone has used them, could you please provide some comments?

meysey Fri 24-Sep-04 18:08:03

we have been with bizzykidz for several months and have not had a single casting so I am not sure what to think. another agency has offered us a place but I am wary of throwing good money after bad.

on a previous thread there was a mum who said bizzykidz were good... hope she was genuine!!!

willow2 Fri 24-Sep-04 18:36:34

OK, here's the lowdown. You should not be charged to "join" an agency. You may/will be charged for your child's photo to go into a model book - a book that is sent out to magazines/advertising companies/fashion houses etc etc containing a photo of each child on the agency's books. It may be that some agencies don't charge this cost up front and instead deduct it from any future earnings as they come in. (This is what happens with adult models' portfolio costs.) It is always worth asking if they can do this.

That said, I used to book kids for shoots and I hated using these books as they were so quickly out of date. My favourite agency didn't bother with a book, just a headsheet (a poster with headshots of all the kids) that cost about £5 to go on. Instead, when I was casting I would call up and say something like "I need boys and girls, ages 3 to 5." The agency owner then sent me recent snapshots (taken by the parents) of all the kids on her books in that age category. This worked much better as I had an idea of what the kids currently looked like. Sadly, the agency shut down a while ago. It might be worth trying Bruce & Brown though as I think they work along similar lines. Sorry, don't have the number to hand but they are based in Kensal Rise, London.

elelulu Sat 25-Sep-04 10:35:53


may I ask you how much money they asked?
Thank you

CP3 Sat 25-Sep-04 10:44:58

My Daughter is with Sylvia Youngs and has never had to pay any money out. She has had a few jobs when younger for toys boxs and Argos. My advice would ne never to pay anyone for taking your child on

elelulu Sat 25-Sep-04 16:41:30

Isn't Sylvia Young a theatre school?

cp3 Sat 25-Sep-04 16:50:13

Yes but they have a seperate model agency! So you dont have to go to the actual school. They keep your photo on file and phone you up with auditions for adverts, tv etc and its down to you wether you want to go or not. I havnt been to many as cant be bothered to traipse up to London all the time. But i was also lucky that she was chosen just from her photo for a vivid imangiations shoot and then was asked back.

michellehemple Sun 26-Sep-04 21:29:23

could i please have the address or number for this agency I have received offers from various model agencies, models direct, childsplay, juliet adams, bma and sandra reynolds, but not sure whather to take them up as they charge a fortune. (apart form BMA who only wants 35 pounds for both children. Many Thanks.

childmindersam Sun 26-Sep-04 21:46:09

mirage, thanks

has your child had any work from this pat keeley agency? have just made an app for my ds

SADIELONDON Sat 09-Oct-04 00:41:44

I have read some awfully misguided information on this link and think that a few things should be clarified, especially to Willow2, as she is passing incorrect information to unsuspecting parents. The non-payment of fees that Willow2 is referring to is ONLY applicable to adult agencies. Elisabeth Smith, the founder members of the Association Of Model Agencies no less, actually charge to interview children, charge for photography and charge a yearly fee to just be on their books. Their fee is also one of the highest charged at the moment. So to say that an agency should be avoided if they charge fees, which was the implication, is quite ludicrous as they are most certainly reputable. All agencies operate differently and no two companies policies are the same. Basically, if you know a company is good and you want the chance to be represented by them, you must pay as much or as little as they charge to represent you. As sad as it seems, that is how it is. Not all agencies are bad, but not all are good. In particular, Bizzykidz was mentioned. Call any child casting director in the UK and they will know who Bizzykidz are, Elisabeth Smith and Norrie Carr too (Bizzykidz actually supply all the babies for Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow on CBBC on Saturday mornings, so that should speak volumes really). And that is how you check an agency is legitimate, not by reading misleading information that can only confuse a parent more than they have been already by being given conflicting advice. No agency can guarantee work, but if an agency is getting loads of work, it is not their fault if the client does not choose your child in particular. They merely give a portfolio to a client to choose from. Please God they do choose your child, but you can't be seen by the client if your child is not with the agency at all and therefore in their portfolio. In my personal experience, I have found that I would much rather be with an agency that charges £1,000 a year and gets loads of work every week (even if my child wasn't chosen), than pay £30 a year to an agency that gets no work and is just merely satisfying my dreams of making my child famous. Most of the other agencies mentioned I have either not heard of, or would not be interested in to be fair, but still, it depends on what you are looking for in an agency. Elisabeth Smith specialise in photographic work and Bizzykidz specialise in TV, but both agencies do work in both fields though. Good luck everyone!!

SADIELONDON Sat 09-Oct-04 00:49:51

In reply to Meysey's message saying 'The one firm recommended by some "anti rip-off" models association was Bizzykidz and they charge too for being on their website, although they boast they don't have charges to join!' Bizzykidz are actually one of the only 2 agencies that I know of in the UK that do not charge yearly fees at all. The fee they charge is not to be with them, but if you read their information it explains that it is to be on the website, for model cards, for header sheets and for looking after the website until the child is 17 years old. It is not a joining fee at all then if it is paying for a service and you are getting something for it. If you pay something that is merely a joining fee, then that money is just to be represented by them and not getting anything in return for your money other than that. That is probably why that anti-rip off agency that recommended Bizzykidz did so as they are clearly one of the best value agencies if they charge a one of payment for up to 17years. What other agencies do that at the moment?

Mirage Sat 09-Oct-04 10:51:18

Hi Childmindersam,

Yes,DD got her 1st job a week after registering & until a few months back was 'working' 2-3 days a week.

She was the baby that NEXT used to fit all their 0-6 month baby clothes on & was also in the Cosatto catalogue.

She hasn't had anything for a few months now,but we don't mind.If she never gets any other work at all,we still have the catalogues ect to show her when she is older.

meysey Sat 09-Oct-04 11:14:34

good to have the extra info sadie london as it is so hard to digest everything and work out what to do

elelulu, have since met quite a few other mothers with kids at agencies (elizabeth smith, norrie carr, truly scrumptious, bizzykidz)the fees are roughly similar for most of them, around £20 for assessment, £120 to be in the model book for a year, and money for photos £50-£80. bizzykidz is £80 for website as a one-off fee + less money for model book photos which are optional.

SADIELONDON Wed 13-Oct-04 00:14:03


willow2 Sat 16-Oct-04 00:33:01

Dear Sadie,

Have to say I'm a tad peeved at your allegation that I am passing on incorrect information to unsuspecting parents. If you read my post again I make it perfectly clear that lots of good agencies do charge you to go in to a model book -and I did not say that you should avoid these agencies. And yes, I know all about Elisabeth Smith; I have interviewed her several times - both in print and on television - and think she runs a tight ship. Yes, she charges an admin fee for an interview, but she doesn't actually charge people to "join" her agency as Models Direct appear to. There is a big difference.
And yes, I have experienced a lot of different agencies - I've worked with all the ones you mentioned - the point I was making was that, when I was casting kids, I preferred using up-to-date photographs than model books that, by definition, were often well out of date. (It takes several months to produce a book and then it is around for the next year - so a picture can, theoretically, be over a year old.)That was my personal preference - and there's nothing wrong in my stating it.

willow2 Sat 16-Oct-04 00:38:00

Just realised that your post "slagging" off my advice was your first ever post on Mumsnet - unless you have changed your name. May I extend a cordial welcome to you.

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