First of all, it should be noted that in Germany, the employment of babies aged 0-3 as models is prohibited and requires the parents’ explicit consent. While there are strict regulations for the employment of children and adolescents, Germany doesn’t have any laws for babies under the age of three. The public opinion on baby models is divided − while they are a scandal to some, others would love their baby to become one. But what exactly does it mean to make your child a baby model ? In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the right approach.
TIPP 1: Social Media
Now of course, babies are not able to create or manage their own Instagram account. So if parents want an account for their child, this is going to be their job. Generally, like regular models, baby models should be represented with their versatile qualities. But you should always make sure you respect your baby’s privacy and never give away the photo rights to strangers − especially on sites like Instagram where you might get a few requests. Even though you may be tempted to think that this could be a chance for your baby, always research the agency or the account first. Finding out later that your baby’s photos were used in a questionable context would be a disaster.
TIPP 2: The Morning and the Day Before the Photo Session
For models, diet is a constant and often controversial topic, but what about baby models? First of all, it is important to keep in mind that generally, there is a lot that can be done wrong when it comes to feeding babies. When thinking about a photo session, you might also start to wonder whether you should feed your baby something extra healthy before the shoot. It is important to note that you should always feed your baby healthy and nutritious foods, not just as a reward for a photo session. Additionally, parents should make sure to bathe their child before the photo shooting and dress the baby properly for the season, but still in a fashionable outfit. It is also very important to prepare a bag with fresh diapers, wet wipes, spare clothes and baby food just in case.
TIPP 3: The Shooting
When planning a session, it does not make a lot of sense to only plan for a short time slot or to assume that your baby will play along. Keep in mind that your baby will be in a completely unfamiliar situation with new faces all around; so at first, your baby will not know what is going on and need time to get used to the new environment. Reputable agencies will be prepared for this and know that pressuring the baby won’t help. And let’s be honest − without the joy of the baby’s natural laugh, what are these pictures even worth? Therefore, just be patient and give your baby the time to shine. If the photographer insists on following through with the photo session, we would recommend you stop the shooting and continue on another day.
TIPP 4: The Parents’ Role During the Shooting
Once the baby got used to the new surroundings, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to leave your child with the photographer and go for a coffee somewhere. Even if the photographer has children of his or her own, it doesn’t mean they are automatically going to get on well with your baby, too. You should always take your time to support your baby, especially when the child feels uncomfortable or starts to cry. If you plan ahead, you can even bring your kid’s favourite toys to the session. However, these toys should not be used as a way to make the baby feel pressure to laugh or smile. After all, the baby’s reactions often depend on the mood of the day. Sometimes your baby might be completely happy, but something else gets in the way of your shooting. In a professional setting, there should always be a way to express criticism respectfully and in a constructive manner. So if you are unhappy with the outfit of your little one, for example, just talk to the stylist.
TIPP 5: General Tips
Always make sure you agree with all the essential details like schedule, required time and the planned outfits beforehand. As parents, you know your child best and can decide what to do in each situation.
Social media is a good source of information to read about other Moms’ and Dads’ experiences with photo shootings, ratings of the agency, or valuable tips, for example. If you’re unsure, they can help you decide.
If your little one gets hungry during the photo session, make sure that feeding is not going to become a problem. It’s best to bring a rather simple snack that’s easy to serve. Messy babies might be funny and cute, but they are also time-consuming and a lot of work − so maybe save the tomato sauce for another day.
Find out more about baby sed cards and always have yours with you for the shooting. There are similar rules for baby modelling as there are for regular modelling: being present and being seen are going to help you move forward. A lot of emphasis is put on size, weight, body, clothing and shoe size.
The most important thing about a shooting has to be that the baby is having fun and the parents can enjoy the session, too, without any feelings of discomfort. This is why genuineness is the single most important element when it comes to baby photo sessions. Because what does a baby’s laugh stand for if not fun, joy and happiness?
TIPP 6: What to Do When Your Baby Turns Three
As mentioned above, Germany only has regulations for contracting children above the age of three. From that point on, there are strict rules and a lot of forms that you are required to fill out if you want your child to be a model. Among others, there are required documents from the school, from a doctor and children’s services as well as a form in which the parents explicitly give their consent. So if you decide that you would like your child to keep modelling after they turn three, make sure to get the necessary information about the requirements beforehand.
In the end, it is you as parents decide whether you would like your child to participate in a photo shoot. It is important to take your time to decide and think about the implications. You know your child best, but you can always seek advice from people who also spend time with your child. Once you have made up your mind, you can get started.