Model Glossary

Model Glossary

Model agencies and agents, represent models and are managing their careers, training and promoting them to book assignments with clients.

Models don’t pay a membership fee or to join an agency, because agencies earn a finder’s fee more commonly referred to as a commission from the models’ earnings whenever they successfully finish a job they are booked for with a client.

The model agency takes care of everything business related with the client, such as contracts and payment so the model just has to focus on their modeling.

Art Director

A person from an advertising agency or a magazine who is responsible for the design, layout and message of a project.

They will generally look for compatibility between a model and their project to see if they are a good fit, and will usually have a say in what model to choose for the assignment.

Artistic Nudity

Artistic nudity focuses on and portrays a models body in sensual moods through revealing poses.

Because of the photography styles nature, artistic nudity is more frequently intended for galleries rather than commercial work.

Beauty Shot

A beauty shot is typically a photo of the face or parts of it, such as the eyes or lips.

A beauty shot is usually intended for commercial use like print ads, magazines, make-up, hair and skin care products.

Body Check

Some assignments require a precise message conveyed through a specific body type.

In the case where the shape of the body is critical, a casting director may want to view the models figure in total.

This is usually done in a bikini or otherwise tight garment.

Body Parts Modeling

A model specializing within the category of body parts, are typically hired to show a certain part of their body for commercial purposes in prints and advertisement to better showcase and promote a specific product.


Sometimes on rare occasions, payments aren’t always given in the currency of cash and an assignment may be paid through a bonus instead.

The bonus can be anything, but will typically be either clothes or other products based on what field the client works in.


A booker is a person who takes care of all things related to the bookings of assignments for models within a model agency.


Having booked an assignment correlates to a model having been accepted for a job.

Book Out

Being booked out correlates to a model not being available for assignments due to already having the specific date in question, assigned to someone else in the calendar.


Boudoir is when an elegant shoot involves a lingerie style, partly clothed, nude glamour or similar, emphasizing sensual or sexual implied photography, usually but not limited to a bedroom setting.


Or recall, is a follow up selection process with fewer model candidates after a successful initial audition.


Or sometimes referred to as call, is the specified time where a model is expected to be at a specific location plus be ready to work.

Camera Ready

Usually agents at modeling agencies will negotiate the attendance of both hair and makeup stylists for a paid assignment, but sometimes a model will be expected to show up camera ready, if the stylists won’t be present. This includes taking care of hair, makeup and wardrobe beforehand by the model.


Is a collective set of as little as 1 to several designed ads as well as events, which promote and create awareness for a particular brand, service or product through various media, shows, and interactive engagement.


Also referred to as audition and model call and are like job interviews for a specific modeling gig, where a model meets with a client, be it a photographer, art director from an agency or casting director to present themself, their comp card and portfolio for evaluation for a particular opportunity.

Casting Call

Is an assignment announcement put out by industry related producers, casting directors, art directors and the likes, for models to show up and audition for.

Casting Detail Sheet

Is a paper given to a model with important detailed information about a specific casting, mentioning the calltime, who the client is along with other key notes.

Casting Director

Is the person responsible for casting models for a given project. They will decide if you get the assignment or not.

Catalog Modeling

Is most typically when a model poses in new clothes to create pictures for a client’s catalog, but may also be used for other products than just traditional clothes.

Cattle Call

Is an audition where a large multitude of models are brought in for a casting director who is seeking a very particular look.


If a call sheet is stated with the term clean-clean, it means the model should show up for the assignment at hand with a clean face wearing no make-up and freshly washed hair.


Is either a person or a company who needs a model for a particular task, show, event, magazine, commercial assignment and so on.

Cold Read

Known in large from the acting industry and means when an actor and sometimes a commercial model are required to read a short script and perform at an audition with no prior preparations.

Composite Card

Is basically the name for a models business card and may also be referred to as a comp card, sed card, zed card or simply z card.

It serves as a compact version of a models portfolio and showcases the latest and very best photos, usually one headshot on the front with the name of the model and four photographs on the back along with the basic stats, contact and possibly agency information.

Casting directors or clients may not necessarily select a model at the time of the audition, and so leaving a comp card is very favorable and may increase chances for being booked when a choice is later made, as it helps to keep a model fresh in the mind of the casting director.

Commercial Modeling

Whenever a photo is being made with focus and purpose of promoting a product, service or event through marketing or advertising with the aim of profiting, it can be considered commercial work.

Commercial Nudity

Because some products are used in relation to showering, maintenance and grooming where nudity is perfectly natural, a commercial with focus on such products are best presented with a model posing nude, yet where nothing shows.

It’s important to keep the nudity implied as to not distract and divert from the main focus of the product advertised.

Composite Pull

Is when a model agency promotes their model list to clients or when a client quickly wants to see a large selection of models in a specific category for an upcoming job. The agency then pulls the comp cards out of their list and sends them to the client as requested.


Is a description of a select number of models posing in a photo, usually referred to as singles, doubles, triples and groups.


A photo taken by a photographer is entirely their property by copyright and may only be used with consent from them.

Creative Director

Is a person within an advertising agency or magazine with the overall responsibility for the creative design of an ad or editorial.


Or deferred compensation is a payment arrangement which usually forfeits the models normal salary in return for a specified percentage of continuous future earnings.

This could have either positive or negative implications, depending on the following success, and so thorough strategic analysis is greatly advised for the best outcome.


Is the person who makes sure the clothes fit the model correctly.


Can be either text or images, usually created for a specific publication to assist in illustrating a topic theme or point made by a writer.


To be exclusive means a model works with a single agency within a certain area or for a given timespan. Taking on other agencies outside the aforementioned area is perfectly fine according to the contract, unless otherwise specified.

Exclusivity Clause

Is an exclusive contract made as part of a modeling job, which may involve not working for a competing company or brand throughout a set amount of time, which is a deal that notably also pays quite well.


Also referred to as expos, are commonly large forms of trade shows for a myriad of different activities.

Fashion Fit Modeling

A fit model works as a live mannequin for clothing designers in order for them to create new designs by testing them to see how well they move and function when worn.

Fashion Modeling

Is a mainstream modeling type which conforms to showing and selling clothes, shoes and accessories.

Favored Nations

Means financial equality for all models booked on the same assignment regardless of any individual model pay grade, to accommodate fair practice and diminish possible internal complaints, resulting in better work atmosphere and project results.

Figure Modeling

Or life modeling, is a type of artistic nudity modeling commonly referred to as art modeling, aims to portray the figure of the body in its naturally unaltered size and shape.


Is the event that takes place before an assignment, where a model is brought in to have the clothes prepared and fitted for the shoot, usually accompanied by stylists, seamstresses and designers.

Flat Fee

Is an all-encompassing payment which includes everything involved from the session to the usage payment amount.

Freelance Modeling

Is an independent model either listed with multiple agencies and / or self-promoted without the use of an agent.

Glamour Modeling

Opposed to other types of commercial modeling where a product is the key focus and selling point, in glamour modeling, the model is the actual product.

Golden Light

Also referred to as golden hour or magic hour and is the time at either dusk or dawn where the sun is low on the horizon, adding both a golden nuance as well as a particular attractive soft characteristic to a photo.


Is an audition much like any other where a model goes to meet with a client to make a good personal impression and to show their portfolio book. However, it’s not necessarily for any present assignment but more for possible future upcoming jobs they might have.


Is a description used when clients pay half of a models hire fee per hour, for the travel time spend to and from an assignment.

Haute Couture 

Is the industry definition translated from its origin in French meaning high fashion, which means exquisite and unique garments and accessories of the highest grade.


A headshot is a signature photo, showing the face and sometimes shoulders, with the main focus being on the look, expression and personality of the model, along with the feel and mood of the photo.

Head Sheet 

Is a poster or website page which advertises a model agency to its potential clients, by showing a multitude of their rosters model headshots, which the agency feels best represented by.

House Model

Is a model who is hired by a designer, or otherwise prominent brand or store to regularly model for them.

Implied Nudity

Is in essence a suggestive method of showing nudity with class, without being revealing, meaning no sensitive areas being shown, while still preserving an alluring look and feel.


Is the order, number and the position of the models during a fashion show.


Shooting on location means doing the photo shoot somewhere else than the studio.

Locations vary and can be pleasant and warm but may also be cold, rough, wet, noisy and so on, so it’s generally a good idea to do some research on the location beforehand for both physical readiness and mental mindset attunement.


The look refers to a model through many combined aspects ranging from appearance, charisma, appeal, personality, expression, uniqueness, mood and feel.

Look book

And sometimes mood board, is a collection of photos compiled together to show off a model, photographer, stylist, clothing line, fashion trends or to simply give a feeling of a certain mood or look in general.

It’s usually part of a work process aiming to align the ideas and expectations of the different artists involved within a mutual project.

Meet And Greet

Is an informal meeting or gathering between different parties within the same business field.

In the world of modeling, models may take the opportunity to meet potential clients and introduce themselves in hopes for future auditions and assignment considerations.

Model Bag

Is just a name given for any conventional bag, which contains important essential things needed by models to get through a working day full of auditions, presentations, go-sees and shoots.

Model Release 

Is a legal document wherein a model gives permission to use the work made by a third party. They are provided by the client or photographer and signed by the model or agent, serving to protect the parties involved.

It is a written agreement on how and on what the photos will be used. If the photos are being used in relations not specified in the agreement, the model may carry out legal actions and press charges to sue the client for breach of contract.

New Face

Also referred to as a fresh face and is a new model within an agency with little or no prior experience with modeling, whose main objective is to build up their portfolio.

Open Call

Is a specific time within a model agency, usually once a week, where anyone aspiring to become a model, can freely walk in for a quick review without an appointment or previous modeling experience.


Is when a model is put on hold for an assignment and yet must remain available to the client and may not accept any other offers throughout this time duration.

A second option made by another client during the same period, secures the model for them, should the first option holding client decide to release the model.


Or also referred to as grant of all rights, meaning that a specific job, shoot or project done by a model, is forever owned by the client, with no future obligations to the model in regards of usage, commissions or rights.


Sometimes referred to as the book or model’s book. A portfolio is a book containing a models collection of work. It is an essential part of a models career since potential clients will determine to work with you based greatly on the pictures you have within.


If the client or brand still wants to use the pictures made with a model after the original contract has expired, the model is then subsequently paid residuals in compensation for the extended ongoing period of usage.

Runway Modeling

Runway models walk down runways with focus on presenting the latest designer clothes in front of important, influential people, media and prospective buyers.

Show Room

May be for public showing, but is typically off limits to the public and is where a designer promotes their collections to the press and to potential clients.

Sheet

Is a form handed to a model at a go-see, where they are required to state their name together with their agency’s contact information along with any other similar information the client might request.

Spec Shoot

Also referred to as speculative work, because it’s a project with pictures shot prior to any client involvement, with hopes of selling the pictures to them after finalization of the project.

With poor prior client research or marketing skills, this form of business usually ends up being a bad gamble deal for anyone on the creative team.


Include measurements of height, hip size, waist size, chest or bust size, shoe size and stats like eye color, hair color and clothing size.

Age or weight is not needed.


Sometimes an industry alternate name when referencing models, who appear in a project or photoshoot.

Tear Sheet

Are pages torn from publications that verify authenticity, proving that the model have prior valued experience from being publicized, which brings exposure and prestige for a model, who benefits in landing future jobs.

Because of their significance, it would be desirable to have them placed within a models portfolio.

Time For Print

Also commonly referred to as TFP and sometimes trade for print, test for print and time for pictures.

TFP is a mutual beneficial arrangement between a photographer and a model at no cost for either party, where the model trades their time and commitment for the photographer’s pictures instead.

Test Shoot

Or simply tests, is a term used for whenever a model is getting pictures taken to build up a portfolio with an agency or alternatively when a photographer wants to try out a new idea with a model.


Sometimes on rare occasions, payments aren’t always given in the currency of cash and an assignment may be paid through a trade agreement instead.

The agreement can be anything, but will typically be either clothes or other products based on what field the client works in.

Trunk Show

Is the term used for more informal events and fashion shows made by a designer to market their product and clothing line, to additional areas with local vendors and retailers away from the designers flagship headquarters.

When available to the public, it’s also a great way to inspect, get to know and explore the full extent of a designers clothing line, which would otherwise not be showcased in a small boutique because of possible space capacity limitation.


Mostly used in commercial advertising, it’s the term used for a specific model needed for a particular job, based on their appearance and resemblance to different stereotype roles such as doctor, teacher, parent, athlete, scientist an so on.


Used by a model agency to bill a client, it is given by the client and signed by both the client and the model and contains comparable information to a model release, while also documenting all work done, all fees along with usages negotiated for the job as well as the agency fee. Each party involved attains a copy each by the end of the shoot procedure.

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