As I’m Judging CuteKids…

I’ve noticed that a lot – almost half – of the pictures entered into the CuteKid contest are ones where the child is looking away or has a hat or sunglasses on. How is a judge/agent/casting director going to be able to tell what the kid looks like?


  • Make sure pictures are in-focus and close-up to the face on the head shots – this is the most important rule!!
  • No distracting patterns on clothing
  • No hats, sunglasses or anything else that covers the face or head

Send two close-up headshots and one full length shot (AGENCIES PREFER NON-PROFESSIONAL PICTURES) with:

  1. The child’s name
  2. Contact info
  3. Date of birth
  4. Clothing size
  5. Height in inches
  6. A cover letter saying where you live and the parent/guardian contact information.

If it’s an email, write everything (sizes, etc. ) in the main part of the email together with the parent’s contact information also.

When an agent or manager is going through hundreds of pictures of children, the ones that will stand out are the ones that are following these rules above.


No related posts.


  • Angela Moses

    Do you know of some reputable talent agencies in the Tennessee area? What agencies do you recommend? I’m really new to this. :)

    Thank you,
    Angela Moses



  • shante

    Judy, first thanks for the tips because I may have sent a pic or two with Tyrah in a hat….also I just noticed that on her July entry I put in the 20th as her birthday it is the there a way to fix that?

  • judy

    Hi Shante!
    First of all, you’re welcome!
    And your entry is fixed…:)
    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hi Angela,
    I don’t know personally of agencies in Tennessee, but Google a list and find out! Then you ask if they charge any “upfront” fees, if they say “no” you are good to go! Good luck!

  • Tiffany

    Hi Judy,

    I would really like feedback on my daughter’s photos. Everywhere I go someone is mentioning how i need to get her into modeling or something. However, I don’t seem to take good photos or have good luck with this contest. please inform me of what I need to do to make her standout!!!

  • Sarah

    I have an older child ( boy) he is 15.
    He has a few pics & is very photogentic.
    I just don’t know where to start.
    Should he have a portfolio of 8×10′s?
    Do scouts rely on internet now?
    Thanks in advance. Hope to hear from you.
    Sarah, IL.

  • Selina (CA)

    I have adorable identical two-year old twin grand daughters. I have entered their pics at least three times now. (Never selected for anything, not even a “sneak peak”.) I am wondering what I am doing wrong. This last entry does not seem to be listed under the “Mutiples” I have sent messages three times trying to get this changed to no avail. Please assist me in properly listing them…Thank You

  • Sonia

    Is there any way to get feedback on my photos? I thought I did what you said, and entered them in many contests but never seem to have luck. The kids that won are adorable! Don’t get me wrong. Just it seems my kids faces have similar looks to many winners, but get passed by. Would love some feedback!
    Thanks :) They were entered in the June contest, not sure how to show you their photos though.

  • Tiffany Machnic

    Hi Jade,
    I just entered my 18month son in the Cute Kid contest. After doing so I noticed the tips you have posted. My son wears glasses so I entered him in the contest wearing his glasses, should I have taken them off?

  • Tiffany Machnic

    My last question was directed to a Jade, my spell checker changes everything, please excuse the name mix up. It should have said Judy. Thank you.

  • Antonia

    Madison is clearly the winner….her eyes, coloring, warmth….all extraordinary.

  • tiffany

    HI I was checking to see if you know of any baby agents in San Antonio Texas? I have 7mnth old identical twin girls.


  • mary

    hi thankyou for the tips could you take a look at my pictures i would love some advice thanks

  • Beth

    Judy, I just entered my daughter on the cutekids contest and the picture should have been cropped with just her face. I am not sure I can change it and I can’t get a response from the email adress I have for them. Can you help?

    thanks this is for alayna Lair

  • Giovanna Laird

    Not sure what I do next. How do I find out if my babies have what modeling agencies are looking for?

  • jackie egnell

    Hi Judy,

    I was wondering since I am in Canada, will my child still be looked at and judged.

  • judy

    Hi Sonia,
    Unfortunately I can’t look at photos individually – I won’t do that unless I can do it for everyone, and with 2 million members that would take me awhile. :)

    You just have to keep trying!! But mail those photos to modeling/talent agencies to – you will get feedback easier that way.

  • judy

    Hi Selina,

    Just because you entered our contest, it doesn’t guarantee a “win.” We get hundreds of entrants a month! They are judged by a variety of industry professionals…I would also send pictures to modeling agencies as well.

    And I emailed you to fix the “multiples” issue – I am sorry that you never got a response.

    Thank-you for your patience!

  • judy

    Dear Sarah,

    He doesn’t need professional pictures!! If he is 5’11″ – 6’2″ start sending pictures that YOU took into modeling agencies. If someone represents him, they will help him get a portfolio.

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hi Tiffany,

    Unfortunately I can’t give feedback on everyone’s photos, because we have over 2 million members. Just make sure they are in focus and close-up, and send them into modeling agencies to get feedback! Also, every agency is different – so you have to start marketing your child to find out if you get a response. There is a LOT of competition in the modeling industry – you have to keep trying again and again.
    Good luck!

  • judy

    Yes, definitely!!

  • judy


    The way to find out is to start sending your baby’s picture into modeling agencies!!
    Just don’t let anyone charge you for representation – especially for a baby. And NO PROFESSIONAL pictures, babies change every few weeks.
    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hi Beth!
    I emailed you – sorry about that! We will fix asap.

  • judy

    Dear Mary,
    I can’t view everyone’s photos with 2 million members, but I can answer specific questions if you have any!

  • judy

    Dear Tiffany,
    Yes, – they are wonderful! In fact, we are doing a model search with them in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in August!!

  • judy

    Sunglasses are usually not a good idea, but we’re all learning as we go! There are always exceptions, but I would stay away from anything around the face.

  • Kimberli

    Hi Judy,
    I have a 2-year-old son who everyone tells me should model. You keep mentioning modeling agencies (besides CuteKid)… do you know of any you would recommend? We are afraid of counterfeit agencies. Any suggestions, tips, or recommendations? Thanks!!

  • judy

    Hi Kimberli,

    We are not an agency – we create opportunities for members like – please note the difference. We do not book jobs or represent anyone.
    If you would like agency names that look legitimate to me, I need to know where you live, and what city you are near.

  • jackie egnell

    Judy, I went through the answers and was unable to find out if my child will be looked at, even if we are in Canada. The reason I am asking this is because the children I have looked at on the Website are from the States. I am wondering if it is even worth for me to spend money. Also, another question for you, I got an email from cute kid saying an agent had looked at my child. What does this mean?

  • Cammy

    Hi Judy,
    I am looking for an agency in the Seattle area that works with babies and toddlers. Do you know of anyone up my way? Thank you, (and thank you for your fun articles!).

  • April

    I am looking for legitimate Agents in Houston Tx for my 6 month old. If ou know of any please let me know.

    thank you,

  • judy

    Yes, April – Page 713 is GREAT!! You have to see if they rep babies though:

    Good luck!!

  • Kristin Anderson

    Hi Judy,
    Just read your article, but a little too late, as I just entered my daughter Gia in a hat. Although, it doesn’t cover her face and she has other pictures in her photo gallery. Could you please let me know if this photo will work. If it isn’t ok, will I be able to change this contest entry photo? Thanks Judy

  • Kelly Allen

    Hi my Dughter was the june overall winner and we are going to go to NYC for a month to give modeling a try. I don’t think I will have time to get pictures to some of the modeling agencies before we get there. We are going in a week. Can you drop pictures off at the agencies?
    Thank you,

  • Eboni

    Judy, thanks for the tips, they are very helpful! I have a beautiful 3yr old full of personality, who loves to dress up, put on shows and model. Everyone tells me I need to have her modeling or acting..and she ASKED to be a model! lol!

    I’m weary though because I know the business can be so shady! Do you know of any good agencies in the Washington DC/ MD area?

    Thanks and sorry for the book! :0)

  • judy

    Hi Eboni,

    Yes, great agencies in DC/Virginia are: The Satchi Agency and T.H.E. Agency – find out if they have children’s divisions for modeling.

    Good luck!

    Let me know what happens…

  • judy

    Dear Kristin,

    That is fine – The CuteKid is not an agency so we are a little more understanding of the rules :)
    But if you send pictures into modeling agencies, you should send without a hat or any accessories

  • judy

    Hi Kelly Allen,

    Yes, you can definitley drop off pictures at the agencies, unless the receptionist says otherwise, of course.

    Make sure you go to Wilhelmina, Ford, CESD and Abrams – they are great.

    Good luck!! Please let me know how the trip goes!!

  • Brittney


  • judy

    Hi Brittney,
    You shouldn’t be paying for a modeling agency – they should be paying YOU. I don’t know where you live or how old your child is, so your question is really vague. Please let me know more information.

  • Debbie

    Hi Judy
    I am wondering what a good agency I could take my child to here in the Seattle area. I have not heard of any good leads and wholly agree with you that they should be paying for us if they want us instead of us paying them. Any insight or leads would be helpful

  • Nick

    Can you pass along any agency names in NY for babies?

  • judy

    Ford Models
    111 Fifth Avenue
    NY NY 10003

    257 Park Ave south
    NY NY 10010

    300 Park Ave south
    NY NY 10010

    20 West 20th
    Suite 1008
    NY NY 10011

    Abrams Artists
    275 Seventh Ave
    26th floor
    NY NY 10001

    Put on all of the envelopes: “Attn: Youth Division”

  • judy

    Dear Debbie,
    Seattle Models Guild is FANTASTIC!!!
    Let me know what happens…

  • Karen Simmons

    I have a 2 yr old and a 6 yr old boy, with the exception of the age, they could pass for twins, very handsome boys, I was wondeing if there were any agencies in the Houston area I could take them.

    Thank You

  • judy

    Page.713 in Houston is terrific!

  • DJ

    I am taking my 4 year old to the Grapevine Mill search. What do you suggest for her to wear or not to wear? She wants to wear jeans and a white tank top. Is that too plain?

  • Ms Holli

    I was a model when i was a teenager in the atlanta area, we live in Alabama now and my 15 yr old son was a model for Kiddin Around (rip off) when he was 3, now I have a 8 yr old who is constantly being asked to take pics for photogs walls, or if he is a model, he has a ethnic look, shaggy sunkissed brown surfer hair, dark complexion, beautiful child…loves pics, great personality, funny, follows directions, & wants this so badly. We are willing to go anywhere to find a legit agency, Atlanta is the closest or Tennessee, but we would go to NYC or CA for him as well… Do you know of any agencies in Alabama, Georgia or the Southeast that wont rip me off like Kiddin around did! I was young and ignorant then, Please give me some names of good agencies, and will FORD and Wilhelmina,etc take the mail in pics and actually look at them? I have a friend in NYC who is a model for Model Mayhem and she is trying to help me out but we need better pics, to do him justice. Thank you for your time! Id love to hear from you! (He is also entered in the Cute Kid contest as Evan- he is only 8 and they put him as preteen, is that right?)

  • judy

    Dear DJ,
    It didn’t matter what she wore – good luck!!
    The results will be posted on by Sept 15th!!!

  • Christa

    Hi Judy,

    We live in Fayetteville, NC (military family) and I was wondering if there were any modeling agencies near by? My daughter will be 3 Sept 18. She is a ham, loves having her picture taken, and she loves to dress up. She always asks: How do I look? And twirls around.. like I said.. Ham.



  • Icemom

    I have a 6 years old son, who loves to model :-) The problem is, we live in Iceland but are moving to Atlanta in June 2010. Should I begin to send photos to agencies now or should I wait? I could fly him to the US if he got job, but obviously not only for castings. Are kids ever hired only by photos?

    Thank you.

  • Stacey Rose

    GOod Day, We live in Raleigh, NC . The agencies I have seen here, charge for the services. Any better thoughts?

  • judy

    Hi Stacey,

    A legitimate agency will not charge for their services – keep looking!! Are you near another city? Because all I see in that area are modeling schools, which are NOT modeling agencies.

  • judy

    No, kids aren’t really booked by photos. I would wait until you get here, so if someone (an agency) calls you in right away you will be good and ready. Good luck with the move!!

  • judy

    Haha, thank-you for emailing Christa!
    You can Google “model agency Fayetteville” and start calling the companies listed – just don’t let anyone charge you ESPECIALLY at that age!!
    Good luck!

  • Kelly Allen

    Hi My Daughter was the cute kid in June and we went to NY for the summer and worked with Generations and had a good time. We live in SC and the next big city is Atlanta. We would like to some work through out the year there until we go back to NY next summer. Do you recommend any agency in Atlanta. I have been contacted by SYLVIA’S Models. Do you know anything about them? Thank you,

  • Jaimie M.

    I was wondering if you would know of any reputable agencies that are not going to cost me a fortune or make me take their classes that cost hundreds of dollars in the Baltimore, Maryland or surrounding areas all the way up to Southern PA. I have 3 very photogenic daughters and although my youngest is an infant, my other two absolutely love to model and have their photo taken. My oldest is actually very interested in modeling and acting. (she is 7) I would appreciate letting me know of any reputable agencies that you know of in my area so I don’t get ripped off! Thanks so much!If anyone is around this area, I am a photographer and my website is, I love to do headshots!

  • Liz

    Can you give us the name of an agency in Denver? Our daughter is 9 months old and we’d like to look into modeling.


  • judy

    Hi Liz,

    I don’t know any of them personally, but try Maximimum: and Donna Baldwin Talent: – their websites look great.

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Dear Jaimie,

    LOVE your website!!

    The only agency in Baltimore that I know of is Nova Models – can you get to D.C.? Because T.H.E. Artists are TERRIFIC down there!

  • Leslie

    Our daughter Brooke was signed to Stone Model and Talent Agency in Cleveland , Ohio when she was 3. We stricly were looking for print work, but they insisted on her taking acting classes. Aside from the massive fees included and them wanting to take ner to New York at the age of 3, we withdrew her from the agency. We have not since had any offers. What can we do?

  • Amy Cornell

    I live in Rochester, NY and want to get my beautiful daughter Taylor into modeling/acting. Can you tell me if there is a reputible agency anywhere near us. Some of the buisnesses seem to only want to take your money. Do we have a better shot at sending in photos to Ford or Wilhamina? In addition, I would love some feedback on Taylor’s pic. I have been told, like many others I am sure, that she should get into modeling/acting from the day she was born. I would love to speak with you further if we could e-mail. Thank you, Amy

  • judy

    Hi Amy,
    If you are within one hour from NYC, then definitely send pictures into Ford and Wilhelmina!! Post #19 on this blog has a list of kid’s agencies in NYC. :)

    Unfortunately I can’t give feedback on everyone’s photos, because we have over 2 million members. Just make sure they are in focus and close-up, and send them into modeling agencies to get feedback!

    Every agency is different – they are looking for different looks at different times, so one person can’t tell you if your child has “IT.” You have to start marketing your child to find out if you get a response.

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Dear Leslie,

    Sorry this took me so long to answer – I just noticed it from before…

    From what little I know, it sounds like you just have to keep trying! She should not have been offered acting classes under the age of 5 – it’s just too young. Talent agencies don’t even represent (in NYC at least) kids that are under 5 years of age.

    This business is SO frustrating, but you have to hang in there and keep trying and trying – especially with younger kids, they change every few months so keep sending those pictures in. Also, agencies change what they are looking for all the time so you never know when your time is going to come.

    Just please don’t pay for anything anymore, because it won’t help you at all – you can (and should!) market your child to agencies for free. Contests and modeling competitions, etc. are different. They can be great to, depending on who sponsors them and if they are legitimate. But sending pictures to agencies and having an agency sign you on in a normal circumstance should NEVER cost anything.

    Thanks for posting! And good luck to you.

  • Stephany

    Hi Judy,
    I’m very interested in pursuing my 4 yr old daughters interest in modeling. She just LOVES the camera and having her picture taken. We are near Phoenix Az. I have contacted a couple “agencies” and all they want is money to which I quickly said “No thanks”. I was wondering if you knew of any reputable agencies near Phoenix. I also would be willing to look in the Los Angeles area since I have family there.
    Thank you so much for all of this helpful information on your blog

  • judy

    Hi Stephany,

    You are so smart!! Good for you to not pay any fees.

    This agency looks legit in your area: – just don’t pay for a “seminar,” etc. – I think you know that already!!

    Also, if you’re anywhere near Scottsdale, Robert Black is the Ford Agency there: and they are great!!

    You can’t really market your child in LA, because you need to be able to go back and forth to castings, callbacks, fittings, etc. so it’s a waste of time to target agencies there.

    Other than that, just Google “model agency Phoenix” and start calling around to see who reps kids, and who doesn’t require upfront fees or professional pictures.

    Good luck – thanks for posting!!!

  • CM

    After submitting photos to modeling agency how long does it usually take for them to respond? Do they respond to most submissions? After they respond and ask to meet with you what should you expect? What are they looking for generally at that meeting?


  • judy

    Dear CM,

    Usually agencies do NOT respond to most model submissions, you have to keep sending every 2 – 3 months just to have the greatest chance of them seeing your pictures.

    If they request to see you, they’re looking for personality and a natural look. Specifically, all agencies are looking for different things, so I can’t help you there. But do keep trying, because they change what they are looking for all the time!

  • Francesca DellaMea

    Hello Judy. I just wanted to let you know that I have submitted my daughters picture to a management company in Baltimore. We got a call last week and she wants to interview my daughter. Can you tell me what to expect? I don’t know how to prepare my daughter. Elena is excited. I am trying to keep her grounded. Just wondering if you had any helpful information for me.


  • Wanessa

    Hi Judy

    I have a son his 2 years old now his very energetic and loves camera im search some agencies but i don’t know any good one in my area BOSTON MA do you know any ? Can you give me some idea how can i start help him in this area

  • judy


    These 2 are terrific in Boston for a child that age!
    Model Club, Inc.
    Boston Agency for Children

    Good luck!

  • Natalie

    I just submitted a picture of my two-year-old twin girls to the June contest yesterday. The picture that I put in was a full-body shot just because I thought their pose looked cute. After reading through this, I’m wondering if I should have put in more of a close-up. I have the same picture that I used, but zoomed in farther. Is there any way that I can switch it out? If not, that’s ok- I’ll know for next time. Thanks!

  • judy

    Dear Natalie,
    I have sent you an email about that. We’ll work on it!

  • Sara Graham-Sprague

    Last month I took my son Cayden for his 3 year pictures- he had so much fun and followed the photographer’s directions so well (surprising for him)! I really think he has the personality for modeling! I’ve been thinking about sending his photos to some agencies. Do you know of any good agencies for children near Detroit, MI?
    Thank you

  • judy

    Dear Sara,
    Glad you guys had a good time getting Cayden’s photo taken.
    This agency is fantastic! They take all ages, and they are in Southfield.

    The I Group Model and Talent Management

    Good luck! Let me know how everything goes :)

  • sheryl

    i was curious of what agency would be a decent agency in akron ohio area.
    i have an 11month old daughter that is very long & slender and takes great photos & my 3 1/2year old son also is long & slender and takes great pictures… just an idea I had to see if maybe could get a good college fund going for them! :) thanks much!

  • judy

    Dear Sheryl,

    Pro-Model and Talent Management is a great agency! You might also want to read this.

    Also, we have launched a new program called the VIP Kids Club recently. You can create your child’s profile in our database, where agencies, casting directors, etc. can look through and spot Cute Kids across the nation, and there will be more resources for you to get their face out there. You can check it out through your member homepage.

    Good luck!

  • Mary Cornelius

    Are their any agencies that accepts toddlers in the killeen,Austin Tx area you can recommend? How many photos should be sent to the agencies? All smiling photos or mixed? Thanks

  • judy

    Dear Mary,

    It depends on how old he is – different agencies have different preference!
    The best resource we currently have is VIP Kids Club! Check it out at

  • Brittany B

    Hey Judy :)
    I just entered my child into the cutekid contest for the second time (month of October). I read some previous posts on here that hats aren’t always a good idea. It’s really cold here and I took them of him outside in a hat. The picture I sent in is gorgeous, in my opinion. Now I’m worried it will get passed by due to the hat! His whole face is showing but not his hair. Will the picture most likely be passed by due to the hat? Should I just send in more photos?

  • Crystal

    Hi Judy,

    I too have a cute little girl…and have sadly paid an agency $175 for nothing. I saw the listing for the companies in NYC but I am in MA. Are there any in this area that u know of that can be trusted?


  • judy

    Hi Crystal!
    Model Club is great in Boston.
    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hi Brittany,
    Hats are not a good idea, but this photo is so gorgeous that I wouldn’t worry about it.
    In the future try to avoid those types of accessories.
    Thank-you for posting!

  • Jessica K

    Hey Judy,
    When does cutekid usually announce their winners on their page? And when do they usually contact their winners?

  • judy

    Hi Jessica!

    The winners are announced mid-month of the month AFTER…so for example, October’s winners will be announced mid-November.

  • Brittany B

    Hey Judy,
    Just wondering if you’ve heard anything about quick book agency? We got a letter in the mail that Aiden was selected for full agency representation. It seems like it could be a scam though. Have you heard anything about them?

  • Beth


    Do you know any legit modeling agencies located in cleveland ohio?

    How can i join my 13 months old in modeling?thanks and more power…

  • judy

    Try Midwest Model Management – they take babies older than 6 months!

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