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September 28, 2009
Gap casting call reaches out to Sacramento - and beyond


Lots of folks (and you know who you are) think they've got a kid with "MODEL" stamped all over them. Well, the Gap retailer is looking for you. Er, your kid, that is.

Gap's national casting call is under way nationally - and here in Sacramento. Babies and toddlers (4 years and under) and children (ages 5 to 10) are eligible to ender for a chance to be featured in Gap's store windows coast to coast starting in February 2010. Last year, the company received more than a million entries.

Here's how it works:

You have until Oct. 22 to enter your child's photo by uploading it to Gap's judges will narrow the field to 20 finalists. They'll be flown to San Francisco for a photo shoot. Then - as with any contest (reality show or otherwise) - America votes for the four winners, which include one boy and one girl in each of the two age categories.

To sweeten the deal, there also will be a Fan Favorite Award. The child that receives the most votes through Nov. 17 sets sail - parents in tow - on a Caribbean cruise. On Dec. 7 the Fan Fave will be announced along with the 20 finalists. Voting is also done on the Gap's Web site. In addition to having their sweet faces plastered on Gap storefronts, the winners get a $1,000-gift card and a Disney on Broadway package.

Now, we all know parents make the best photographers, right? Well, just in case some of your family photos have body parts missing, here are some tips from professional photographer Stefano Azario:

* Get close: A Grand Canyon shot is great, but if your child is a postage stamp, look for a tighter pic. Make sure the face is visible.

* Show personality: Kids are loaded with spunk. Let them show it! Avoid stiff smiles and forced poses. And, please, hats off. They're cute, but the judges want to see their faces and hair!

* Watch the background: Simple is best so your child stands out, so move the giant stuffed animals.

* Try different angles: Take photos from different perspectives and photograph your children at their eye level rather than standing over them.

* Use natural lighting: Take advantage of sunlight, especially as the days get shorter. It's more flattering for enhancing skin tones and colors. Try not to shoot with the sun behind the camera. How many photos do you have of subjects squinting or giant shadows across their faces?

Above all - have fun!!!!!

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