A- Z of model terms


Agency - the company that is booking you work. Model Agency or Casting Agency.


Book - also known as a Portfolio.

Booker - a booker is someone who works in a model agency and keeps track of which clients hire which models.

Bookout - Notification to your agent that you're not available for a casting or job, for either professional or personal reasons. You are not available at this time, the clients cannot book you during that time, you've "booked out".

Buyouts - This is the payment for the use of model pictures. Often this is negotiated on top of the dayrate and sometimes it's included. The type of use must be set (poster, advertisements, internet, TV etc.), as well as the run-time and the countries.


Calltime - The time at which a model must be at the location and ready to work.

Call Back / Recall - after the first casting a callback or recall is held to narrow down the selection process. So its like a second round interview. It is not unusual to get a callback before getting a job or being turned down.

Casting - Castings are notices of modelling jobs which are made to models, casting agencies, or on modelling websites. They show details of the types of models required for an upcoming job.  Some casting calls are open to everyone and others are more limited. Castings allow models to introduce themselves to the client, who will then make the final decision. The client sets the requirements and makes his/her choice.



Casting Agency - Casting agencies are agencies specialised in finding talented people for different fields like modeling, singing, acting, dancing etc. They work similarly to scouts. They search for perspective persons that could participate in different kinds of projects like TV, photo, video, advertisement casting and others. Often models in a casting agency don't have an exclusive contract and can work for different agencies. The casting agent is paid a fee for representing the talent.

Casting Detail Sheet - Information sheet for the model, which contains all important information about a casting: calltime, direction, client , contacts on the day etc

Casting Director- conducts screen tests and scouts talent for a producer via various agencies.

Catwalk/Runway - Catwalk or runway describes a narrow, usually elevated stage that is used by models to demonstrate clothing and accessories during a fashion show.

Close Up - In film, television or photography a close-up tightly frames a person or an object. Close-ups are one of the standard shots used regularly along with medium shots and long shots.

Commercial Model- shorter than most models with a face that is "girl next door" and can be related to buy most people. Common looking - one of the crowd.



Composite Card - Also referred to as a comp card (or Zcard). A composite card is a piece of card which is printed it is like your own personal business card, it includes your name, your contact information, usually your agency's info and all your measurements. Comp cards come in lots of different formats depending on the city, agency and the type of model you are. It will always have a minimum of two (2) images of the model. Agencies will usually issue comp cards for you after they sign you. You take a comp card to castings so that the client has a reminder of who they have seen and how to book. Attached are some example of Cinema Models comp cards.

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Contest - (Competition) A contest in this case mostly refers to a model contest. This is an event in which models engage in competition against each other, often for a prize or similar incentive. Modelmanagement.com runs it's own international Fresh Faces contest annually.

Copyright - Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to creator of an original work. Protection of rights and distribution are also covered.

Cover Shooting - A photoshoot arranged by a magazine sepecifically for its front cover. Cover shoots are of great significance as it creates huge awareness for the model as the face of the magazine.

Cuttings - Documented releases of a model in magazines, catalogs or other medias.


Direct booking- the client has specifically picked you from all the models suggested. You are not required to cast.

Distribution- where the usage of your work will be forwarded. World wide? National ? Distribution can differ a wage cost.


Editorial - Photographs made to illustrate a story or idea within the context of a magazine. These are usually assigned by the magazine. Editorial images are more often than not high fashion and quirky.

Editorial Models- international height for a female is 5"9 and guys 6"2. The look of an editorial model must be one that stands out from the crowd, whereby a commercial model must be part of a crowd.


Fitting - The session that takes place before the photo shoot where the clothes to be modelled are fit onto the model. Based on the model's particulars, the clothes are usually altered to fit. When you go to a fitting, be prepared to stand around partially clothed all day long, in front of several people. These people will usually be stylists, seamstresses and designers. The fitting is often included in the dayrate.


Go&See - A model's appointment to see a potential client, to present his book and his - or herself in person and to leave a good impression. Often a client keeps the models in mind for his next shoot/job.


Hair Stylist - A hairstylist is someone who cuts and styles hair. He or she often offers other services such as coloring and hair extensions. He or she cares for the perfect hair style of the model at the shooting, runway show or event.

Head Sheet - A poster displaying head shots and information about models represented by a modeling agency.


Lingerie - Lingerie is the word use for alluring undergarments.

Location - Any place where a shoot (photography or film) takes place. When you are on location, it means you are outside the controlled environment of the studio or soundstage and should prepare accordingly.


Make-Up Artist - A makeup artist (MUA) is an artist whose medium is the human body, applying makeup and prosthetic's for theatrical, television, film, fashion, magazines and other similar productions including all aspects of the modeling industry. The makeup artist makes a model appearance become the character of the shoot.

Model Agency - A model agency is a company that represents fashion models, to work for the fashion industry. These agencies earn their income via commission, usually from the deal they make with the model or the client. The model agency presents the models to the clients, promotes them to foreign agencies and is in charge of the models chart, book, portfolio, buyouts, travel etc.

Model Release - A legal document provided by the client/photographer and signed by the model or agent. It gives permission to the photographer to use photographs taken at a particular sitting. If photographs are used without a release, or in a way different from what is stated in the release, then the model can sue for breach of contract. May I suggest that you always have your agent read over any documents first. Be sure you understand everything before signing any documents EVER.


New Faces - New Faces or newcomers are models who are new into business. They are just starting their career and usually don't have a professional book done.


Plus Size - Plus-size model is a term applied for models size 12 upwards. Plus-size models also engaged in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing, they are often used as "real" people for stock photography and commercial photography

Polaroid - Polaroid photos is a special type of photos that are used in modeling business. Polaroids are usually needed for agencies or scouts to see the natural look of the model. This is something every model needs in their portfolio if they intend to be serious in this business. Modelmanagement.com offers professional polaroids for new models who require them or for professionals who need up to date polaroids. Attached are some of our model polaroids.








Prints - Prints are printed negatives, the real photos.


Rehearsals- Practice of the job you have booked. Some designers like to do a rehearsal in their garments to minimise errors on the runway. Some TVC directors like to have the talent rehearse if there are multiple actors in a scene.


Senior model - A senior model is a professional model 40 years plus. As the average age is constantly raising, the advertisements go back more and more to older models to approach their target group. Used in many superannuation commercials etc

Set - This is where the action of shoot takes place usually within a professional studio or within a location. It includes all the elements which make the shoot; for example the lighting, camera, art direction and art directed scenery.

Shooting - Shooting in general means the implementation of photo or film shoots.

Stock Photos - Stock photography is the supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer. Stock images are produced in studios using a wide variety of models posing in different job roles, expressing different emotions etc (see attached examples). Notably, stock photos are meant to be commercially appealing the majority of the population.



Stylist - The stylist is in charge of the outfit of the model and discussing at length with the photographer or director, about theme of the shoot.


Tearsheet - sometimes written 'Tear sheet' is a term used by Advertising agencies to denote a page cut or torn from a publication to prove to the client that the advertisement was published. Media buying agencies are often required by clients to provide tear sheets along with a post analysis of any advertising campaign.

Test Shooting/TFP - An agreement between the model and photographer to whereby they work for each other on a mutually beneficial basis. No fees other than sharing film-and-developing expenses are involved. They work together on a new idea or on their portfolios. The photographer provides a selection of prints from the shoot in recognition of the model's time commitment.


Usage - Models get paid for each different medium in which their photograph is used. These different mediums, or usages, may include: consumer magazines, trade magazines, product packaging, print ads, bus ads, subway ads, billboards, magazine covers, direct mail, magazine editorials, posters, catalogues, brochures, point-of-purchase (point-of-sale or p-o-p), annual reports, book covers, kiosk, duratrans (those big portable billboards that are towed around behind trucks), newspapers, etc. The model receives an additional fee for each usage the client buys. Usages also vary according to time and region. The longer the ad runs and the more markets in which it appears, all drive up the model's fee. The largest usage is the unlimited time usage, worldwide buyout. That means the client can plaster the photograph across every city in the world in every possible usage until the end of time.



Hope you have found this helpful.... I think I covered most terms but email me [email protected]  if you think I left something out.

Bron XX

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