Is your kid cute enough to be a model?

 The actual image that was used on the cover of City Parent magazine, featuring Hudson and Susie.

The actual image that was used on the cover of City Parent magazine, featuring Hudson and Susie.

This is part of the ongoing "Letters to my Son" series.

Dear Hudson,

When you were a baby, your mom thought you were so beautiful that you should be a model.  It started with a social media contest to be on the cover of City Parent magazine.  Your mom made it her mission to win that battle.  She leveraged every person that she knew, and she had all of us reach out to get as many votes as possible to get you on that cover.  In the end, it came right down to the wire, and we had a group of 10 people at the Firkin on King working the crowd and getting last minute votes from strangers if they thought you were cute enough to beat out the other kid.  You, of course, won the contest and went to your photo shoot.  You were so easy to work with that your mom explored further into what it would take to get you into modelling. 

The most prominent kids modelling agency, Kamera Kids, is pretty close to our home, so she put in an application and sample portfolio of shots we took around the house to see if we would get a callback. 

 Showing a little brand affinity with Volkswagen for our portfolio.

Showing a little brand affinity with Volkswagen for our portfolio.

 One of the model shots we sent in for the portfolio.

One of the model shots we sent in for the portfolio.

Shortly after submitting, we got the call to head down for an introductory session.  I was on parental leave with you, and your mom was well back to work when the call came in, so it was just the two of us that headed down to the meet and greet.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but when we arrived, I felt very much out of my element.  There were at least 20 families around a long narrow room.  We each brought our portfolios, and some paperwork filled out.  We exchanged a few words with the staff, and they collected our packages to go to another room for review.   

While the team was away looking at each kid's pictures, another staffer walked us through what to expect, both today and on shoots if they chose us.  Shoots would often happen in the suburbs, and they would bring in two or three kids for each shoot, in case one of them was having a bad or unpredictable day.  

We would be responsible for constantly updating the team with new measurements to ensure that we were considered for work.

At the end of the session, which lasted 45 minutes, the primary agent once again came into the room with two piles. She told us the first pile would be the children that, for whatever reason, they would not be offering modelling contracts.

 Hanging out at Fuel, waiting for our shoot.

Hanging out at Fuel, waiting for our shoot.

This announcement stirred up quite a bit of commotion in the room as parents prepared to hear the destiny of their children. As we waited to see who made it and who didn't make it, some the parents began to chitchat. The mother on my right mentioned how this experience was so exciting, while the father on my left explained how he felt this felt just like being in gym class and hoping to be picked on the cool team.

Unfortunately, both the mother and the father received their applications back for their children. In fact, about half of the second-round picks all got cut that day.

 Hudson and Nathan waiting outside an agency for a HBC shoot.

Hudson and Nathan waiting outside an agency for a HBC shoot.

At the end of the meeting, Hudson was offered a contract to be represented as a model by Kamera Kids, a division of Sutherland Models, but only until the age of 2 years old.  It was $195 up front to have the agency set up and manage the file.  Jobs would be paid $150 if they use any images from the shoot, and $75 if we showed up and they didn't need us or didn't use our pictures.

We went on dozens of shoots that year.  And, we had fun doing it!  We always made sure to be a few minutes early, so we often got to be the first choice kid.  You got your first driving lessons, even if we were just in park.

Your pictures appeared on billboards, posters, in magazines, and on packaging for products.

Everybody said that kids go through a big personality shift that happens at the age of two. I figured that we would get to take advantage of the six weeks you were born early and had a late start.

Man, was I wrong! In May 2013 you learned the word "No", and you decided to use it for everything. All of a sudden the happy-go-lucky child that we'd grown to know and love was gone and the "no-machine" was born. You were strangely picky, turning your nose up at many of your favourite foods and refusing to wear any clothing that you had not picked out yourself. Poor Papa and Paula got it head on when you went to visit because we hadn't picked out the right selection of clothing that matched the way you wanted.  You refused to wear anything that they had. They had to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, so you had something to wear!

The good news is that your terrible twos phase only lasted a few months. It seemed to switch just as you were able to understand things that were explained to you a little better. It also helped that we started to get a better idea of your fashion sense. Once we stopped matching the wrong clothes, you were much easier going.  

We have yet to return to modelling!  They mentioned that we would be welcome to reapply after he turned four years old, but the time commitment has seemed too much to get back into it with both parents working.