Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Become a Preteen Model

careertrend article image
catwalk 16 image by Diorgi from

A preteen model normally works for commercial clients, such as department stores, toy manufacturers and age-specific clothing designers. While this can be a very satisfying career for a preteen, as a parent you must fully understand how to begin your child’s modeling career. Prior to starting the journey in the preteen modeling industry read as many books concerning the modeling industry as possible so you are well-versed in industry terminology and processes.

Schedule a photo shoot session with a fashion photographer in your area. In order to begin a career in the modeling industry as a preteen model you must have a sizable portfolio showcasing look versatility. If you do not know where to look for a photographer, contact a local talent agency and ask for a photographer referral that specializes in teen models.

Organize photo shoot outfits and scenes prior to arriving for the photo shoot. Most teen models work in commercial print ads, such as advertisements for shoes, clothing and other teen-related products. Plan to shoot in at least three different outfits. Each outfit should be completely different from the previous to showcase versatility and style. Do not worry about creating high-fashion makeup artistry for a preteen model. Instead, outline a makeup scheme that is natural and age-appropriate.

Arrive at your photo shoot at least 15 minutes early to discuss your session with the photographer. If you selected a professional fashion photographer, the photographer will suggest poses and even alter your wardrobe selection to create a well-rounded modeling portfolio. Explain your goals as a preteen model so the photographer can create images that align with them.

Review the shots after the photo session. Select the top eight photographs and place them in a model portfolio, which is available at any hobby retail store.

Select five of your best shots to be placed on your composite card, which is also known as a comp card. A model comp card is an 8.5-inch by 5.5-inch glossy card that features up to five of your best photographs and your physical stats. You can order the cards through online photographic reproduction services.

Contact local talent/modeling agencies in your area and discover the agency submission guidelines. For models, many agencies host open calls. For an open call, arrive at the scheduled time and bring your portfolio, composite cards and a parent or legal guardian. During an open call a model agent will review your portfolio and conduct a short interview.

If the agency only reviews submissions through the mail, send three composite cards as well as a cover letter explaining your desire to sign with the agency.

Exhaust all the talent/modeling agencies in your area until you are offered a contract. As a model you will be given an exclusive or non-exclusive contract. Exclusive contracts prevent you from signing with another agency while non-exclusive allows you the freedom to sign with more than one talent agency. Carefully review the commission structure for the agents. A talent agency should never receive a commission of more than 20 percent from work secured through their efforts. After you and your parent or legal guardian have signed an agency contract you will be an official preteen model.


Never pay any fees to a talent agency or management company to represent you. Legitimate agencies only make money if they find you modeling jobs.


Do not sign with a modeling agency if it require you to take specific modeling or acting classes in order to be represented.