Why Do I Have to Take My Parents to My Photoshoots?

  • Freya Hill
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You’ve been thinking about becoming a model every day for as long as you can remember, you feel really confident about your ability to pose, you’ve started researching agencies and then boom! They ask for your mum or dad to come along with you.

By law, child and teenager models are required to be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or model chaperone (a representative from a model agency) up until the age of 18. Let us explain why.

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Safety Is Top Priority

Firstly, although we appreciate that you will have done your research about the industry, you can never be too careful when it comes to finding modelling work as a young person. Having a parent or guardian with you is not about causing you social embarrassment, it’s about making sure you’re 100% safe.

You might be asking yourself this; ‘So when I’m 16, I’m not able to make decisions about being safe, but when I’m 18 I’m suddenly able to look after myself?’

To some extent we can see why you’d think this, but many young models will continue to attend castings and photo shoots with an adult at their side long after the legal age limit has passed. Some agencies and photographers will ask for you to be accompanied by a responsible adult even up until the age of 21. It’s all about when you feel comfortable going it alone as well as when the law says you can do so, so think of your mum and dad as your personal bodyguard, not as an embarrassment factor!

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Advice and Support

Your parents are there to give you advice and support. You will be amazed at how daunting your first few photo shoots are but having a familiar face in the background can be really reassuring while the professional photographer is taking photos. They will also be able to look after your bags, grab you a bite to eat and help explain any forms that you might need to read through.

Who knows, if your parents are really cool maybe they could get a few back stage snaps on their iPhone for your social media profiles. In this digital world it is important to post pictures of your day-to-day role to gain more followers. Sharing images and special moments is the perfect way to build up your social media activity.

Don’t Be Embarrassed

If you’re totally confident about modelling and you think that having family members lurking around will be off-putting, don’t worry, most studios will have a separate room where your parents can sit back out of the way and enjoy a coffee. We must stress though that you shouldn’t be embarrassed turning up with your mum or dad, agencies and agents will be expecting to see them with you. You will honestly look sillier turning up without them and then not being allowed to do the shoot.

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Parent Approval Is a Necessity

Finally, you will often need a parent or guardian’s signature if you are under the age of 18 and wanting to participate in modelling. This will be for either (or both) a consent form (to say that you have your parent’s permission for you to model) or a permit (which allows you and the team to work together). Without these signatures the photoshoot cannot go ahead so don’t try and avoid taking your mum and dad with you, be the knowledgeable and professional person and know that they will be required.

One further word of advice; if you are over the age of 18 years old but you look particularly young, it’s well worth carrying your ID with you whenever you meet casting agents or photographers.

The Travel

When travelling to large cities such as London or New York it is important that your parents are with you at all times to ensure you don’t get lost or meeting with the wrong people. Little ones and young children will naturally have their mum or dad organising the photoshoot and travel arrangements.

However, the worry is when your 14 year old daughter for example starts to hide their lives a little more and could be arranging to meet with scam artists without your knowledge. Teens are impressionable and naive (even though they think they’re not) and need to be monitored and able to speak openly to their parents. Check their privacy settings to ensure they can’t be messaged so easily and encourage for communication at all times. If they have a professional Facebook page or Instagram account, make sure you have the logins too to monitor who they are speaking too. It is a very difficult age but even if you are not the most popular family member in their eyes its worthwhile to keep them safe.

It is important that you always tell your parents who you are talking too online and never arrange to meet up alone. Their wisdom and life experience will be able to help you make the right decisions over the wrong ones. Don’t get annoyed yet listen to their advice to keep you out of danger.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.