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Baby love: Gap launches its fifth annual modeling contest for kids and babies

October 2, 2010 |  7:59 am

Gap Think your kid is ready for his close-up? Gap is launching its fifth annual Casting Call contest, a nationwide search for the next faces of babyGap and GapKids.

This year, the mega-retailer is asking parents to submit photos of their kid(s) sporting their favorite pair of jeans.

Kiddos age 4 and younger are eligible for babyGap; kids ages 5 to 10 can vie for billboard stardom through GapKids.

Simply upload a photo at; Entries will be accepted through Oct. 24. Judges will select 20 finalists -- 10 for babyGap and 10 for GapKids –- who will participate in a Gap photo shoot in San Francisco and receive a $500 Gap gift card.

The 20 finalists will be displayed online on Dec. 6, at which point America will vote for the winners. In February 2011, the four winners will be revealed in Gap store windows nationwide (they will also receive a $1,000 Gap gift card).

Tempted to upload an image of your little one? Below are some photo-taking tips from child photographer, Stefano Azario, who shoots campaigns for Gap:

Get close: Zoom in to get as close as possible to your subject’s face so it’s clearly visible. If your subject’s too far away, they’ll get lost against the background.

Show personality: Truly memorable photos let your subject’s personality shine through. Avoid stiff smiles and forced poses as they can come across as artificial and generic. Instead, take your time and follow your subject as they relax in or move through an environment that’s comfortable to them. Also, avoid hats –- they’re cute but we want to see faces and hair!

Watch the background: Shoot the photo against a simple background so your subject really stands out. Don’t forget to move anything nearby that might be distracting.

Try different angles: Try angling the camera or shooting from different perspectives to make your photos more memorable. It’s also important to photograph kids at their eye level rather than standing over them.

Use natural lighting: Sunlight is much more flattering than indoor lighting. Use filtered, natural light to enhance colors and skin tones. Try not to shoot with the sun behind the camera as it will likely make the subject squint and will also cast strong shadows.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photos: A few current babyGap models. Credit: Gap