Model Glossary

Model Glossary

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Abroad - Places outside of the United States where you can go to model, such as London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo.

Accessories - Fashionable items that you wear to complement your clothing, such as sexy costumes, jewelry, belts, pocketbooks, hats, scarves and toys.

Advance - An amount of money or service that an agency may loan to a model or actor. This is to be appreciated, not expected. The advance will be taken out of future work.

Advertising - The action of getting the word out or letting the public know about a product or service.

AFTRA - The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) is a national labor union representing over 70,000 performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media. AFTRA's scope of representation covers broadcast, public and cable television (news, sports and weather; drama and comedy, soaps, talk and variety shows, documentaries, children's programming, reality and game shows); radio (news, commercials, hosted programs); sound recordings (CDs, singles, Broadway cast albums, audio books); "non-broadcast" and industrial material as well as Internet and digital programming.

Age Range - The age range you appear to be. Generally between 5 - 7 years over or under your actual age.

Agent - The go between for you and the client working on your behalf to book the job and handle finances as well as a career path.

Appointment/Casting Book - A calendar or date book used to record bookings, go-sees or any other business activities. You may also use this book to keep a record of your expenses for tax purposes.

Appointment Time - A specific date and time that a client would like to see you.

Art Director - a person responsible for developing the look of an ad, editorial or other visual presentation. Can be a an independent contractor or employed by an advertising agency, a magazine or photographer.

Assignment - This is the same thing as a booking or modeling job whereby a model is paid for services performed - runway, print, trade shows and other types of employment associated with modeling.

Audition - This is a trial performance which is given to show the casting directors how well you are qualified for the job.

Availability - Whether or not you are available on a certain date or time to book a job if you are chosen. For example, a client might say only send me people who will be available three weeks from now because that is when we are shooting this commercial.


Beauty Shots - Pictures that are taken from the shoulders up, feature the hair, the skin, the eyes, the smile and the makeup, a clean shot with light makeup and simple hairstyle.

Book (n) - A model's portfolio (slang)

Book (v) - To assign a project of job.

Booking - When you are hired for the job after a casting or after a client has seen your comp card.

Booking Agent (Booker)- A person who works for an agency or who has a privately held business to book models.

Booking conditions - The set rules, guidelines and conditions in which the agency works with the client and the model to ensure proper payment, cancellation policies and working conditions are enforced.

Breakdown - The specifics on what a casting director is looking for in a role these are usually extremely detailed in look and personality can be used for print film theater and television.

Buy-out - When a client arranges a one-time payment or flat fee for a commercial or print job, rather than pay residuals.


Call back - After a casting call a select group of people will be called back for a second review by the client the others will be eliminated from the decision making process.

Call sheet - The final specifics with all details that the model will need for a booking (job). The call sheet is sent to the agency where a copy is sent to the model.

Casting call - Clients will call in specific groups of people to find who they are looking for to represent their product. You will be asked to come during certain hours from 10-5 or you might be given an appointment time such as 10:05 as they may schedule people in 5 minute intervals to avoid crowded waiting rooms and help move things along smoothly.

Casting Director - The person who selects the talent for a particular modeling or acting job.

Catalog Work - Modeling which will be used in catalogs produced by a manufacturer or distributor to sell clothing or other items.

Cattle call - A huge casting usually open to the public where other castings are only available through agencies. A typical casting may involve seeing 50- a couple of hundred people a cattle call could be thousands depending on how many days the search goes on for.

Character Look - A model who is not necessarily a beauty, but who may have strong interesting facial features and selling attributes for specific products.

Checking In - Calling the agency to see if you are right for any of the castings they have that day. Ask your agency about their policy for checking in.

Child Model - A young model who promotes products such as toys, clothes and food in ads on television. Usually, child models are between the ages of 2 and 12.

Client - A person or company who a model actually works for and who pays the cost for advertising or production.

Commercial Look - A look that is appealing to the targeted audience. Usually this is someone that they can identify of the same age or ethnic background.

Commercial Print - A type modeling that sells products that are generally purchased by their targeted audience. Fashions are not sold by this type of model.

Commissions - A percentage of the total amount of money paid to an agent on behalf of a model.

Composite Card (Comp Card, Zed Card) - A card used to promote the model that contains several photos, the model's stats and contact information.

Contract - A binding agreement which outlines specific terms and performance guidelines between two or more parties, such as an agent and model or model and client.


Day Rate - This is the amount of money paid to a model for one day regardless of how many hours that model works. .

Designer - A person who conceives and creates fashions or other unique items.

Director - The person who supervises or oversees the production of a show. This person is responsible for the flow of the show and makes decisions about lighting, staging and overall presentation.

Dressers - The people who work back stage at a fashion show to help the models with quick changes by having the garments ready for them and helping them with buttons or zippers. They also keep the dressing room neat by hanging garments after they are worn.


Editorial Print - These are pages in a magazine which tell a story or idea and where a model might be presented in a role that complements the storyline. There is the opportunity for a variety of models to work in this category from fashion to general or commercial looks.

Electronic Media - This is generally related to sounds or images that are made for the purpose of selling a product or idea. They can be presented live on radio and television or in video, film and slide productions.

Equity - Actors Equity association (AEA) - The union for performers in theater Your professional acting career will probably include acting for theatre and "live" industrial productions. The AEA is the professional actors' union that has jurisdiction over these areas as-well-as stage managers and sometimes directors and choreographers.

Exclusive - This means that you can work for only one specific agent or group because of contractual obligations.

Expenses - The amount of money that you spend on items or travel related to your work as a model.


Fashion Model - This is a model who meets the specific size and height requirements to model designs in live fashion presentations or fashion layouts in newspapers and magazines. (Typically 5'9" to 5'11" - strong angular features)

Fashion Show - A formatted fashion show which takes place on a runway, stage or other locations that can house an audience.

Feature - A magazine article with models or models sectioned off in a box helping to visually tell the written story.

Fee - The rate of pay that an agent will charge the client for booking you. This can be an hourly rate or daily rate.

First Option - When you are the client's first choice but they are not quite ready to book you for the Job they will call the agency and put a first option on you for a specific time and date. The agency will then check your availability and you will not be able to make other plans on that day until the client releases you.

Fit Model - A model with standard proportions who tries on newly manufactured clothes before they are presented in a show or layout.

Fitting - When the model tries on clothing and outfits to make sure they fit properly and can be altered before a booking such as fashion show, commercial or print shoot


Garment District - The area in a city which houses a majority of fashion designers and manufacturers, such as New York's Seventh Avenue (also known as Fashion Avenue).

Glossy - The type of finish on a professional photo which is most commonly used for head shots. A glossy can be ordered in quantities of 50 and sent out to casting directors or agents with a resume attached for the purpose of getting booked for commercials or films.

Go see - A client will set up what is called a "Go See" to see an agency's new talent or to view prospective models and or actors for an upcoming job or event. This is different from a casting in that it may not be for a specific job.


Hair and make up ready - The client wants you to do your own make up and hair. This depends on what the client wants. Natural pretty full make up and your hair done nicely according to their needs up or down if more formal for designers you might be more formal or high fashion.

Hold - When a client or casting director places you on hold for a specific Job pending final decision from the head honcho's.

High Fashion - This is a term (and category) used regarding the best of the current fashion trends.


Informal Modeling - Trade show or other event assignment where a model may demonstrate products or hand out samples or flyers for a specific client.

Interview - A meeting at which information is obtained, usually between a model and an agent or client.




Location - A area outside of the studio where you go to take pictures, such as a beach, a vehicle or a specific building, street or country.

Lingerie ready - Same as swimsuit ready.


Major Markets - These are cities that, because of their large populations, pay the most money for commercials and advertising. Great areas to launch a successful modeling career are New York City, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Makeup Artist - This is a person who applies makeup professionally to models and other people before they appear on television, in films or any other public platform.

Model Calendar - A file or sheet used to chart a model's schedule, appointments and other activities.

Modeling Agency - An agency that specifically finds work for models.

Model release - A document signed by the agency on behalf of the model or by the model allowing the client to use the models' likeness (photos) for what was agreed upon by all parties.

Monolog - A prepared piece that may be read at an audition by the actor.


Non-union - Not belonging to any union. A non- union actor cannot work on a union project unless they obtain what is called a waiver.


Online Model - A model that works exclusively online performing live shows and appearing in pre-recorded videos.

Overtime - Any time that you may work after an eight hour day, after hours, on Sundays or on Holidays; or other times as established in a specific work contract.


Parts Model - A person who works in print or commercial jobs that photograph just your hand (or other specific body parts). For instance, a model with long slender hands which are well groomed should take a few photos of the hands holding different products.

Payout - The percentage of total earnings that a website pays out to their online models.

Petite Model - A model who is under 5'6? and who wears sizes under a 6.

Plus Size Model - A model who wears a size 12 and above.

Portfolio/ Book - A book of photographs comprised of work that you have done representing different clients products and test shots.

Producer / Production Coordinator - A person who brings together all of the aspects associated with a specific production, such as the hiring of models and the selection of location and production staff. The coordinator's tasks begin when the production is developed and ends at the completion of the project.

Promotional Modeling - Trade show or other event assignment where a model may demonstrate products or hand out samples or flyers for a specific client.

Pose - A specific way a model might stand in front of a camera.

Print Model - A model who is photographed regularly for catalogues, newspapers, magazines, billboards and other advertising announcement forms.

Proofs - Unfinished, unretouched photos prior to post-processing.



Rate - The amount of money agreed on for a specific assignment.

Reshoot - You may be asked to come back and be photographed a second time for a job because of problems that may have occurred or changes requested by the client. You should be paid for this at the same rate as the original shoot unless a new rate has been negotiated.

Residuals - An amount paid to the model and agency every time a commercial is shown.

Resume (for actors only) - This is a background information sheet attached the back of a photo on all of the work that a actor has done. A model's resume is her portfolio.

Revenue Share - The percentage of total revenue that a website pays to their online models.

Runway - This is the place where you walk when you're giving a live fashion presentation. It is also referred to as a catwalk or ramp and is always elevated above the crowd. A runway can be shaped like a "T", an "L" or a straight line.


SAG - The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is a labor union founded in 1933 to protect performers.

Sample - This is the first garment or original garment made by a designer which is then used to fit, to show, and to copy from.

Sample Size - This is the size that the designer cuts his or her garments in. There are different sizes for each type of modeling - such as junior, petite, plus and fashion.

Script (also called Sides)- The words that a model must speak for a commercial.

Shoe Model - A female shoe model wears size 6-7 and a male shoe model wears size 10. They model shoes in shows and print display ads.

Shoot date - A specific date that a print ad or commercial will take place.

Showroom - A room in the designer's establishment which is used to show buyers the new fashions.

Showroom modeling - When a model wears a line of clothing so that buyers can choose what they like. They are meeting with the buyers in a show room. In some cases the showroom hiring the model will be basing their decision solely on how the clothing fits the model and they only expect the model to walk well and show off the clothing by the way that they wear it. For other show rooms, this model must be loaded with personality and sales ability. In many cases the model is actually the link and sales person between the showroom and the client buying the clothing. Many showrooms will use the same model for years and years because the buyers have a great rapport with that model.

Spokesperson - A person who speaks publicly about a product or service on behalf of a particular client or cause.

Spread - This can be a photo layout that covers two pages of a magazine, booklet or portfolio.

Stats (Statistics) - These are the measurements of a male or female and include clothing size and height as well.

Stylist - This is a person who selects accessories to complement the fashions that are going to be worn in a presentation or layout or put on display.

Swim suit ready - Make sure you have a manicure and pedicure nice light color squared off nails. Waxed and shaven legs,bikini area and arms too if they are showing dark hair.


Tear Sheet - The actual torn out sheet from a magazine or publication that you appeared in. These are placed in your portfolio.

Test shoot/ free test - A session with a professional photographer serving several purposes, if you have not worked this will give you a few pictures for your portfolio. It will help to make you more comfortable in front of the camera and it can be an update to how you look if you have taken some time off and the last pictures of you in your portfolio are out of date. A photographer sometimes gives a "free test" to a model when they want to test equipment or build a new relationship with an agency. This is a great opportunity for a new model as it can save money!

Totebag - This is the bag that a model uses to carry the necessary tools for the job.

TradeShow (same as promotional or informal)

Trunk Show - A type of fashion show that's usually held in a store to promote a particular designer. This show travels from city to city and the garments are carried in a trunk.

Typecasting - This is when you get a part in a film or video because of the way you look.


Union - The entities with in the industry that govern what actors can and cannot do according to the by laws of the union. Being a part of the union involves dues and affords the actors benefits such as insurance and set rates of pay.

Usage - The different markets and media in which a models image will be used. Usually associated with additional fees apart from the initial fee for shooting the images.


Voucher - What a model or actor will fill out when a Job is completed for records involving themselves, the client and the agency.


Wardrobe - The collection of clothes that you own that can be an asset to you as a model..




Zed Card - Same as a Comp Card.