When you start out in the world of child modeling, or when you nail your first audition or casting call, you’ll be on top the world. As the excited parent of a child who is now a successful model, you’ll be happy as larry. But sooner or later the subject of payment will arise, and you might be left feeling bewildered. How much should you expect to make from child modeling? What is a reasonable fee? Am I getting paid enough for this? Will my child be rich?
It’s a big question, and unsurprisingly it’s hard to provide an accurate answer. When you’re working with child modeling agencies to win work for your child, there are a lot of factors in play which will affect how much your child can earn. My aim here is to give you an idea of what is reasonable in various situations.
Different Types of Photoshoots
Different types of work will earn your child different amounts of money. For example, the big winner category is advertisement work. It’ll often have a high reward associated with it, and for a full day’s work you can hope to earn as much as $900 to $1,300. The shoot will be hard work, and whether you’ll be needed for half a day, a full day or even longer is hard to judge, but this opportunity should net you around $800 – $1,000 on average.
Meanwhile, if you child features in a magazine cover you will earn a little less. Clients know that parents love to see their child in magazines and that this will also act as a boost to your child’s modeling career, so they don’t feel as if they need to pay you as much. The shoot will likely be a little shorter than an advertising shoot, perhaps half a day, and you can hope to make perhaps a few hundred dollars for this – say $300.
If you want to get a feel for the “basic wage” of a child model, consider a photo shoot for a magazine article. This will only take a few hours, and will pay perhaps $70 per hour. It can be more, up to $100 per hour, or as little as $50 per hour, and again this will vary depending on how much the client thinks you will want to see your child feature in their magazine or on the complexity of the shots that they’ve planned.
There are much bigger opportunities out there which will earn far, far more – work in the music, film or TV industry, for example. That sort of thing is further down the road, and opportunities will be both varied and hard to come by, but keep your eyes open. The potential rewards are huge.
As a couple of final notes on the above:
- Don’t forget that the child modeling agencies who win you this work will expect some commission! The agents will take something like 20% of your fee (check your contract!). This means that if your child is earning $80 per hour for a magazine article shoot, she will take home net pay of $60 after commission.
- You may get a “chaperon fee” in addition to your child’s modeling fee. This won’t be much, but should cover travel expenses and give you a little reward for your time.
I’m sure that the above has shown you that the amount of money you can earn as a child model is highly variable and will depend on many factors! But keep at it, have fun, and make sure you’re easy to work with. You’ll carry on winning new opportunities, and the money will flow in. And who knows, maybe your little darling will make it big one day!