Yes, I admit it. I am an aspiring Momager trying my best to help my son Cash and daughter Shelby smoothly break into the world of baby modeling. Cash started modeling young, really young – in utero to be exact (photo right) when I did my first and only paid modeling gig for international swimwear company Pezdor of Barcelona, Spain. Cash’s first modeling assignment outside the womb was an unpaid job for Zuzii Footwear, a developing infant footwear company. We took this particular job for fun as well as experience, and it went extremely well.
I stumbled across a Craigslist posting seeking babies in his age range to model infant shoes and decided to give it a shot. Be forewarned, many Craigslist postings seeking baby or children models are a scam. Ads will lure you in with lines like, “DO YOU HAVE THE CUTEST KID?” Then after your initial contact with the advertiser, they waste no time requesting your attendance at *free modeling seminars* or *interviews.* They will then undoubtedly ask for money to put your child on their casting site or for professional pictures. I happened to get lucky and find an honest company that was planning a legitimate photoshoot for their product. Again, I stress the luck part. Craigslist is definitely not the place to look for castings for your children.
About one week after sending in some basic snapshots of Cash, Zuzii responded, saying that Cash looked like a happy baby and that they would love to shoot with him. In exchange for our time, they offered him 3 pairs of shoes, custom-made for his little tootsies! They even came out to our neck of the woods and met us at a local park to take his measurements. I liked this because I had the chance to meet with the Creative Director and feel out the situation in advance of the shoot. I signed a release form, giving them full usage of the images for their promotional use. Had I not met with them that day, I would have been very nervous about going to the actual shoot. This initial meeting allowed me to see that they were professional and legitimate.
Zuzii rented out the beautiful Studio 13 in downtown LA for the photo shoot. They were extremely organized and accommodating. Every baby was booked for an individual time slot in order to give each one undivided attention. Since Cash was so young and couldn’t sit up on his own, I sat out of the shot and propped him up most of the time. They did have me hold him for a few shots, in order to get a different angle on the shoes. For some reason, I assumed that my face would not be in those pictures. Unfortunately, it was. This is so unfortuate because not only was I assuming that I wasn’t in the shot, but I was actively trying not to be in it, as well. This combination made for some very interesting facial expressions on my part. I actually look like I hate my baby in a few of them (photo right). Oh well, lesson learned, I suppose.
If someone walked in on a baby photoshoot and did not see the baby, they would be completely justified in assuming that the adults there were possible mental patient escapees. I don’t know what looked sillier – the photographer, myself, and Cristin, the Creative Director, all simultaneously blowing raspberries at Cash or the three of us doing a jolly little jig together. It was a tough job, but it was all worth it when we got the perfect shot of his happy little baby smile. Although, he did break out his best ‘Zoolander’ face for the money shot of the day (photo left).
Baby Cash grows like a weed so unfortunately he never had the chance to wear his awesome new custom-made shoes. In the amount of time it took from the measurements to us receiving the shipment, his little monkey toes were already hanging over the edge of the sandals. Luckily, his 4-month-old cousin, Cole, was in the market for some new kicks, so we happily handed them down.
At a mere 3.5 months old, Cash was surprisingly cooperative and enjoyed being the center of attention. I chose to do the shoot for experience – not just for him, but for me, too. I liken it to a warm-up shoot. Now when (notice I say when and not if) we book our first shoot, I will have that much more confidence in the situation. Whether it will be on a much larger scale or in a small and intimate setting similar to this shoot, I will at least have a little experience under my belt and not be walking into the situation completely green and blind. Overall, a great experience and that was really enjoyable.
Written by HMB Contributor & Product Reviewer Michele Dahl. Follow her foray into the world of baby and toddler modeling here on HMB! You can follow Michele on Twitter @MomNamedElle