here is the real story. My daughter was an actress at 9, and her manager was a former child actor who was really concerned about parents getting ripped off. We also went undercover to one of these agencies. When she was born my wife’s roommate in the hospital was a working actress, and she did go to some baby auditions - unsuccessfully, as you will see.
Warning number one: Do not ever go with a so-called agency who will charge you for photos or direct you to someone who will charge you for photos. Babies change their appearance every week. You don’t need pictures for babies. You do need pictures for older kids, but my daughter got her first job with a picture taken by a friend, and only got her professional head shots after already working.
Second: your baby is cute. Almost all babies are cute. Directors don’t care about cute. Directors care about bringing in their ad/shoot whatever under budget. That means that a baby who can be separated from its parent without crying is going to beat out a cuter looking kid. Our daughter did not get jobs as a baby because she wasn’t great at separation, and because we lived far enough away from New York so that she was a bit cranky by the time she got there. So, DCnDC is correct.
Third, in Seattle you can start out slowly by finding a local commercial photographer who would be willing to give your baby a shot. We know one outside of Chicago who often uses the babies of friends.
Fourth, modeling is not unionized, and I’ve heard that getting your money is sometimes a pain. All I know is that my daughter who was a SAG member snuck in one non-union commercial when things were slow, and her manager had to work pretty hard to get her money.
Oh yeah, the rip off. We went to one of those get your child into TV places. They did the whole spiel, and showed some pictures of kids who got jobs supposedly through them. Then they separated everyone into individual rooms to give the results of the evaluation. (Because if we saw that everyone “passed” the jig would be up.)
There was a contract, which they would snatch away immediately. However they made the mistake of leaving us alone in the office. We found a copy in a desk, and took it. On the back, in very small print, they were forced by NJ law to give the percentage of kids who ever got jobs - tiny. Not something the average proud parent would have the chance to read.
Here was our manager’s evaluation. Their service was to send pictures to agents. But agents look at any pictures they get, and people could send their own without paying these clowns. The pictures are taken by a partner in crime, and are way overpriced. It was true that one kid who went through them got onto the Cosby show - but the first thing her parents did was to get her a real manager. In any case, as I said, for babies (who were most of the clients) pictures are totally worth it.
So, give it a shot, but don’t spend any money and be careful. And if the baby starts crying every time a casting director takes her, give up.