New Venture... "Smile Child Agency"
Of all of the wonderful photography opportunities I've had over five years, I can honestly say that I have the most fun photographing children. While I don't have any children of my own, I tend to do very well hanging out with the little ones. Maybe we have a lot in common... :-)
For the last year I've taken notice of my personal friends and my social networking friends who have signed their children up for expensive agencies. They've been promised a certain number of "call-backs" and received none. The children in turn were disappointed and rather dejected. And of course the parents were out of anywhere from $1,500 - $3,000!
I hate to see people worry about money. I hate to see children burdened by something that should instead build character and a healthy sense of competition.
A late day in November of 2012 a mother came into my studio with her 11-year old daughter. This young lady smiled throughout their entire family shoot, but when we sat down at my conference table to talk, and her mother told me her modeling agency stories - her smile quickly left.
"She has been talking about being a model since she was five," the mother revealed to me. The bubbly 5th grader stood her skinny frame at about 4'11, with long legs and beautiful brown skin (about my shade)! Her teeth had benefited greatly from the dental work her mom sacrificed for a year or so before. Dimples on both sides. Curly hair past her shoulders. Chestnut brown eyes - NOT CONTACTS. Simply put, this baby was CUTE.
Unfortunately at an agency signing, some "adult with a title" told this precious girl that she was TOO DARK. He killed her dream.
I hugged her and I wouldn't let her go until the tear dripping from my left eye had dripped to the floor. Then I looked at her and I told her that if she wanted to be a model - I would do everything in my power to help that dream come true.
To this day she still insists that she no longer has such a dream. She instead wants to be an elementary school teacher one day.
I completely respect her wishes to not have her name or her photograph displayed, but I often wonder if that dream really just passed... or was it CRUSHED?
Smile Child! All children have something beautiful going on inside and on the surface. I understand how important character development is. I acknowledge the importance of self-esteem. I don't want any parent to sign a year - long contract. I don't want you to write me a check for $1,500.00.
Most of my photo sessions start at $250.00, but to be part of the SMILE CHILD movement will only cost $220.00 for a three month term. After three months, your child could have any or ALL of the following:
-(A) A gig (commercial, magazine, contest, etc.)
-(B) A portfolio to continue sending around the country!
-(C) A new sense of pride, confidence, boost in self-esteem and of course EXPERIENCE!!
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