A couple of weeks ago we were in Italy on holiday and one evening, while in the apartment earlier than everyone else thanks to a sleeping baby, I started browsing Facebook. Scrolling through a lot of noise, my attention was drawn to a post from The Baby Show (who I have been following since falling pregnant with Violetta) regarding a competition they were running to find the face of The Baby Show 2018).
We’ve dabbled a bit in baby modelling and Violetta is represented by Kids London Ltd. She’s attended a couple of professional shoots for Baby London Magazine and Children Salon and was down to the final two for the new John Lewis advert, but we don’t push it and just take things on as, when and if they come up.
This competition seemed like a fun one to enter; simply sending off two photos of Violetta with a little story about her. I checked hubby was happy for me to enter her and sent it off. To be completely honest, I didn’t give it another thought as out of all the entries they were bound to receive, I doubted Violetta would be noticed.
I was wrong!
I received a call saying that she had been selected as one of nine finalists and we were asked to attend a photoshoot from which the winner will be chosen.
This was such an exciting phone call and I was beyond excited to take Violetta along for her big opportunity. I was also acutely aware that the last time she had a photo shoot she could only just sit, there was no fidget-bottomed, dance loving, into everything toddler to contend with!
We had an early start and had to ride a rush hour tube across London. Violetta decided to start her shmoozing early; making choo choo train noises, waving at all the commuters (and lavishing big smiles on those who waved back) and saying ‘bye bye everybody’ every time we pulled into a station. It was pretty amusing. After a false start getting on the wrong train and then ending up on a platform in the wrong direction, we made it to the studios and headed down to meet the lovely team.
There are a lot of people involved in a baby photo shoot; more than you’d imagine! After introductions to the ten or so team members we were invited to make ourselves comfortable. We were given a wonderful goody bag with a toy dragon from Mamas and Papas (which on the train home I discovered Violetta had named Peter, I’m guessing after the photographer1), a Mam bottle, a railway book, a flannel and a huge bottle of aloe vera moisturiser. What a lucky girl!
Violetta made sure everyone said hello to her on a cheeky little set walkabout and then it was time to see the stylist. Fitted out with a super cute JoJo Maman Bebe outfit which fitted into the theme of the shoot (top secret at the moment, so I promised not to share that bit!) she was ready to go.
Now, as I mentioned, I had no idea how Miss V was going to behave on set, but I had my fingers crossed that my usually well behaved girly would be on top form for the lovely photographer.
Thankfully, she was, although we had great difficulty trying to get her to sit still in the middle of the set and smile. Who knew toddlers find it somewhat tricky to do that when surrounded by new and exciting toys, a white canvas and a very flashy camera!
We had 45 minutes to see if we could get a good picture and believe me when I tell you that Violetta tested out every single part of the set; the toys, the props, the adult sized hat, the tripod, the backing and even the photographers very expensive professional camera. He was incredibly kind and they had the room in fits of giggles when she worked out which button took a photo and then went on to take a whole series of selfies!
About half way through the shoot she snuggled down with a pillow and said ‘ni-night everybody’ before pretending to be asleep. A cheeky snack break was in order followed by more fun and games, songs, dances and twirling. I had a little peek over the producers shoulder and saw a fabulous photo of her reaching up to the sky (something she’s learnt to do in Mummy’s Tiny Feet dance classes).
We were made to feel so welcome and involved and I absolutely loved the positive attitude of the team who were running the shoot. Believe it or not, I was even asked to take part in an interview for The Sunday Times news review magazine about parenting in a digital age. Who knows whether I’ll make the final piece, but what a wonderful opportunity to be given nevertheless.
If you are thinking of entering your little one into a competition or pursuing some baby modelling for them, I would say go for it! Violetta loved her experience today and had a fantastic time meeting new people and experiencing something very unlike her usual everyday. Whether she wins or not, I’m proud of her for being the sweet, fun, cute, giggly and forthright little toddler that she is and for confidently playing up for the little crowd of onlookers at the shoot.
If you are wondering where I stand on bringing my child up in a digital age of parenting, I’ll blog about that another time and I’ll let you know if I make it into the article and how Violetta gets on with this competition too!
Feel free to ask any questions, especially if you are thinking of getting your little one involved in something like this!