How much do model agencies earn

Become a child model: "Mom, I want to be on the catwalk!"

Hand on heart: If a show like "Germany Next Top Model" had existed 20 years ago - I would have been one of the very first on the applicant catwalk. (Provided, of course, that I had been let up at all.) To be a model was my big dream for many years as a boy. My parents were not completely enthusiastic about my mannequin ambitions, but they supported me in every way.

They signed declarations of consent. They funded a photography course. They accompanied me to castings and fashion shows. Finally, my mother even paid me to be included in a so-called "model catalog": After waiting in line for hours and within a few minutes, three photos were taken of me, for which a bill for almost 700 marks followed. After these overpriced recordings, I never received an order. The only time we ever heard from the agency again was as part of a warning from the consumer advice center.

Our expert

Carolin Kock is a managing partner at the children's model agency "Boys & Girls". The model agency was founded in 1994 with the permission of the Federal Employment Agency and is one of the first model agencies to specialize exclusively in children. The agency arranges "New Faces" and camera-experienced child models between the ages of zero and 16 for fashion, advertising and TV spots. The model agency's card index includes around 1000 child and baby models. "Boys & Girls" is a member of INCA DV (Association of Casting Agencies and Acting Agents).

How do serious model agencies work?

Paying a fee for recordings is not dubious - only the amount was of course absurd in my case. At the Hamburg children's model agency "Boys & Girls", for example, the creation of a sedcard is charged at 30 euros.

"We collect this contribution for the effort of the photo selection, the processing of the photos and the file creation", explains the managing director Carolin Kock to me. And the recordings are not only used for the set card: "The parents get a nice selection sent to them after our shoot."

I'll briefly estimate what I paid for the last professional pictures of my children. In contrast, 30 euros is a bargain. There are no running costs for the placement at Boys & Girls. Only a commission is due when an order has been placed.

What does a child model earn?

"As a rule, you earn from 250 euros per use," reports Carolin Kock. And adds: "Of course that varies depending on the production and customer and how the photos should be published." There are strict requirements for working hours for underage models: "Child models are allowed to work a maximum of 30 days a year. Children from the age of three can work two hours a day, children from the age of six three hours," explains Carolin Kock.

Schoolchildren need a permit from the school - although there are also schools that explicitly refer to productions after the end of lessons. In addition, every employment of a child model requires an exemption from the authority for health and consumer protection.

Serious agencies do not tolerate any exceptions: "The focus of our work is on protecting children," says Carolin Kock, "that is why we explain the cooperation and the associated administrative procedures with the parents in great detail." I briefly remember my 700-mark shoot. There was no mention of permits there at any time.

What else should parents pay attention to when choosing an agency, I would like to know: "The agency must have a website and be able to prove references, preferably based on productions that have already taken place," Carolin Kock explains to me. She regularly updates new reference projects on her agency's website and on Facebook. She advises against agencies that would like to apply online and thus find jobs without getting to know each other personally. Most of the time, large sums of money would be charged directly. And she knows: As with many parenting questions, when choosing a model agency, the recommendations of other parents are the best way to help. "The exchange between parents who already have their child represented by an agency is often helpful. Both parents and children should feel good about it."

The good feeling should not be lost during the shoot itself. Sometimes not so easy with the small models - the agency and customer have to take this into account: "As a rule, the following applies: the children dictate the tenor!" Explains Carolin Kock. "You cannot assume that children are in a good mood every day. Often it depends on how the children function in front of the camera." It happens more often that shootings are canceled due to illness - that's the way it is with children. In the case of babies and toddlers, this is even factored in: "There is always a substitute child who can take over immediately," explains Carolin Kock.

Becoming a child model - what's the best way to start?

The question that Carolin Kock is asked most often is the one after starting the modeling business: "It's actually very simple: You apply to us by email with a few photos and information about your size and age. We look at them Applications and decide in the team which child fits into our agency and whether we have needs of that age or size. " When you are a baby, starting out in the fashion world is of course a decision made by parents. "From school age onwards, the children usually express their wishes themselves, sometimesto be in advertising ", is the experience of Carolin Kock.

I shelved my personal dream of life as a photo model at the end of puberty. This is what happens to many children during puberty: "When they are teenagers, when their interests change, some teens no longer want to model." But some remain the entire youth. The agency has developed friendly, almost family-like relationships with some of the parents: "In some cases, we notice developments from babies to teenagers," says Carolin Kock. "It's nice to see the children laughing and really blossoming during our shootings." In this way, Carolin and her team discover many talents that they then pass on for TV or advertising productions.

Our author

Silke Schröckert wanted to become a journalist since she first saw Lois Lane in "Superman" at the age of eight. At 23 she became editor-in-chief of a children's magazine publisher.

Today, Silke specializes in family topics and writes for children's and comic magazines. Son Tom and daughter Mina are especially happy about that. On her own page, she writes for the grandparents' generation. At Leben-und-erzieh.de she takes on current issues from the point of view of a mother of two.