Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bailey's Baby Modeling Gig


We sent in a few photos to a modeling agency that was looking for new babies. Within days, they called us and said they had a job for Bailey. While we were pretty excited about Bailey having a modeling opportunity, I called the agent back and told him that although we were interested, Bailey had a black eye. He told us they could photoshop it out, no big deal, and we were booked.

Two days later, we were showing up for Bailey's first photo shoot. They showed us to the dressing room and had us dress her in a plain white onesie. They were taking shots for a new Bright Start/Baby Einstein pink exersaucer that isn't out yet. They wanted the clothes to be plain so that it wouldn't detract from the product.

They took Bailey from my arms and plunked her in the exersaucer. Then the team of four went to work. The hardest at work was the "baby wrangler" whose sole job was to make the babies happy and laugh. She had a whole myriad of toys and she got Bailey to smile and play while the photographer clicked away.

Not far away, was another person who sat at the monitor and viewed images as they came up and would tell the photographer technical changes for the best shot, "closer" or "more light from the left." Another person would direct what she wanted shots of, "See if you can get one of her holding the catepillar and the flower."

After the first 20 minutes, Bailey was getting bored and a little fussy (it was well past naptime). They gave her a break, taking her out of the exersaucer and handing her to me for a bottle and some downtime. They then brought in another baby waiting in the wings to get photos. My mommy competitive spirit kicked in when they put the "other" baby in the exersaucer and attempted to snap away. It was much to my satisfaction that the other baby didn't want to cooperate at all and seemed to be suffering from a serious case of bedhead that only a baseball cap cures. After about five minutes of trying the new baby, Bailey was back in the exersaucer for round two.

This pattern continued for about an hour. Three sessions later they were done with Bailey. She had made more per hour than Bill or me and she had her first professional photos taken. She was a champ. She smiled, she played, she touched the appropriate bobbles and toys at the right time and enjoyed the attention.

So when will we see Bailey in print? Maybe never. They photograph 10 other babies for the same toy and although the agent didn't seem to care that Bailey had a black eye, the client didn't seem all too pleased. I don't know if we'll be doing much past the exersaucer stint, but it was a fun experience and we got a few pictures to prove that Bailey was once a "professional baby model."

For those interested in baby modeling: One thing I would mention if you are considering "baby modeling" is avoid paying any money to get started. After I submitted the few snapshots of Bailey, the agent emailed me back and said they had a photo slot open for her that weekend to get some professional shots for her calling card and to be listed on their website. All of that for the low price of $395. I balked at paying for the photos and said although we were interested, we did not want to pay $395 for photos that would have to be updated in a few months anyway.

After a few interchanges of this, the agent told me to send me the pictures I had and he would see if he could make it work. If they are insistent that you must pay a fee to get started, go somewhere else. It's a great money maker for them so they all try it, but it's not necessary, especially for babies.

Bailey had never had a professional photo taken in her life. Admittedly though, I have the same camera many pros use so we do have an advantage there, but I don't know how to use the camera to the pros' level of talent. But it seems to me that clients looking for talent don't care how good the quality of the photos are, they can see through that and focus on the content, the baby.

12 comments:

Stacey said...

That is awesome. That is great that she did such a good job.

Kaycee said...

How neat!! I hope we get to see the pics in print!

Mama Mia said...

THAT IS AWESOME..FYI I agree don't pay for ANYTHING, unless YOU have professional pics done. When I was younger I did televison commercials and we didn't pay for anything but the professional headshots we had done (when I say WE I mean my parents)

Heidi O said...

That's great that the experience went well. I hope you do get a print or two so we can see them. She sounds like she did wonderfully.

Thanks for the tips.

Kara said...

Awesome opportunity!

Steph said...

Yay Bailey! I hope you get to have some of the professional pics of her!

Joanna said...

What a neat thing to give a try. I really hope they use her picture. She's too cute not too.

Michelle said...

Very cool. We always thought about doing modeling for the wee ones when we got all those "offers" in the mail but always felt like they would be scams and never did them. I did have people ask sometimes why we didn't, but ... I still feel like I'd end up in a scam :)

Way cool for Bailey though. Do they give you any of the shots, regardless of whether or not the ad goes to print? And what's your thought of doing more with her?

M said...

Oh how fun!

Janet said...

That is so cool! What a neat experience! I hope they choose her for some pics in print!

Aly said...

Wow, you've got a little celebrity on your hands! That is such a neat experience you had. Hope you get more modeling gigs!

Moravia said...

Very Cool. Naomi (my oldest) got a call a call back, but they wanted $700 for the head shots. Um NO