DO make sure that your son or daughter are going to have a fun time. If you have a fussy baby, they probably won’t do well on an all-day shooting. If your child is old enough, make sure to sit with them to speak about it and be excited to do it. The ideal child is an artistic, creative child.
DON’T jump at anyone who gives you a business card on the street. Modeling scams exist here just as in other countries. You may find an 'agent' who asks you to pay a high fee for access to their clients. This is a scam. Have a Chinese friend Baidu the agent and verify their credentials. Better yet, try to find jobs through friends who have personal experience with that client or agent.
DO make a model card for your child with their age, height, weight and shoe size on it. This should also include a nice, professional looking photo on it.
DON’T pay an agency money for photographs. This can be another way for agencies to make money (though not always). A reputable agency will accept professional photos taken by an outside photographer.
DO understand that different clients look for different things. Don’t take it personally if your child isn’t selected for a job.
DON’T expect to make a career off your child’s modeling job. That is far too much pressure on your child. Whether you use the money from a job for a fun luxury, or keep a small savings account for the future, remember to stay focused on what benefits your son or daughter.
DO keep your eyes peeled and ears open to any avenue for child modeling. Especially in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, there’s no main source for modeling jobs. People post on WeChat, ask friends of friends, or even approach you at Starbucks. Especially if you have a distinctively foreign looking child, you may end up getting approached often on the street.
DON’T hesitate to walk away. You are your child’s advocate, while agents often simply care about money and others might see your child as a prop. Be sure to negotiate every single detail beforehand. If an agent says the job is three hours, be sure they don’t expect you on set for 12 hours and only shooting for three. The client may push for one more photo, until they get an extra free hour of work. One agent demanded a mother wake up her sleeping baby to shoot. She refused, knowing it was better for everyone if her baby had a nap, especially the baby!
DO try to be flexible. This is China, after all. Don’t storm off because the shooting starts late or everyone seems confused. Prepare as best you can – no food on set? Make sure to pack sandwiches and snacks and bottled water. Three-hour lunch break? Bring toys and coloring and some movies on an iPad. Worried about language barriers? Bring a sympathetic Chinese friend.
Last but not least, having your child model here in the PRD can be a fun experience that can earn some nice money. Generally speaking, a three-hour shoot pays RMB1,500, with more for overnight/long jobs, but can be more or less depending on experience. Just be prepared for all the challenges that child models (and parents) may face.