Common terms you are bound to hear in your career as a model. It will help you to know what they are talking about!

Kristina Schapova August 20, 2015 0

Applying to Modelling Agencies

Today we decided to put together the most common model terms you will need to know to help your career as a model! Your A-Z rundown! Model Booker’s love their lingo (One of our co-founders, Nicole, use to be a Model Booker and I’m sure if you asked any of the past students they would have to agree… it can sound like a second language if you are unfamiliar with the model terminology!).

So.. here you go!


Agency: A business that makes money off the talented people they hire and train (like models and actors). An agency acts as the representative for this talent and negotiates, finds work and pays them directly.


Book: Also known as a portfolio, folio or model portfolio book. See Portfolio.

Booker: Refers to a person who works for an agent who organizes the models’ job schedules, negotiates prices and contracts on their behalf.

Booking Out: This is when a model lets their agent know they are unavailable for certain days/dates (for example when you go away on holidays).

Buyout: A client will ‘buyout’ for the unlimited use of a model’s image (for all rights). The fee is negotiated by the agency on behalf of the model based on things like geography, type of media, etc.


Call Back: When a model is wanted back for another audition (the model has been shortlisted).

Call Time: Starting time for a job. Also known as ‘check in’.

Casting: Models come in and the director will select the models who best meet the job requirements. Also known as an ‘audition’.

Casting Agency: Specialised in finding talent for things like singing, acting and dancing. Their models do projects like: TV, photo-shoots, video and advertisement casting. These models don’t usually have an exclusive contract and can work for different agencies.

Casting Detail Sheet: A sheet of paper (for the model) that has important information about a casting like: call time, direction, client etc.

Catwalk / Runway:  Is a narrow, elevated platform or floor design that runs into an auditorium and walked on by the models who are demonstrating clothing and accessories (during a fashion show).

Close Up: In film, television or photography it is literally a close-up of a person or an object. Close-ups are standard shots used regularly along with medium and long shots.

Composition Card: Also known as a Composition Card, Composite(s), Comps, Z Card or Sed Card (pronounced Zed Card). Composition Cards serve as a models business card.

Copyright: Are exclusive rights granted to the author / creator of an original work. This including the right to copy, distribute and change the work. These rights can be licensed, transferred and/or assigned.

Cuttings: See Tear Sheet


Editorial: Articles or photographs that are seen in newspapers or magazines (not an advertisement).


Fitting: When a model attends an appointment to try on all their garments prior to the job (to make sure everything fits and allow for any alterations to be made).


Go-See: Where the client will interview a model(s) for a specific job.


Hairstylist: The person who will style the model’s hair for a job.


Lingerie Model: Models intimate apparel.

Location: A photoshoot or commercial that takes place somewhere that isn’t in a studio.


Makeup Artist: Someone who specialises in doing makeup.

Model Agent: Also known as an ‘agency’.

Model Release Form: A legal document provided by the client or photographer and has to be signed by the model or the models agent. It gives the photographer permission to use photographs taken during that job. If photographs are used without a release form ( or distributed in a way different from what is stated in the release form)  then the model can sue for breach of contract.


New Face / In Development:
When a model is new to an agency and is still developing their skills. A model in development will be sent to a lot of go-sees and castings but will not yet be promoted to the main model list. A model can be in development for 6-12 months.


Plus Size Model:
This model wears larger garments, is tall, in proportion, toned and is between sizes 12 to 20. There is no market still for BiB male models. In North America these models sometimes earn more than editorial models!

Polaroid: Also known as digitals or digi’s. It is a natural photo that shows off the models raw beauty (agencies need to see these photos in model applications). This is something every model needs in their portfolio if they are serious in this business.

Prints: Prints are printed negatives.


Storyboard: A series of images which explain the concept of a television commercial to the client and creative team.

Stylist: A person who chooses clothing and accessories for a photoshoot or TVC.

Set: Usually within a professional studio or on location. It includes all the essentials for shooting. E.G. Lighting, camera, hair / makeup / fashion stylist and art directed scenery.


Tear Sheet: A page torn out of a magazine. Also known as a ‘tear’. Also known as ‘cuttings’.

Test Shoot: This is a photoshoot done for the model to get images for their portfolio book and composition card (shows a range of different looks).

TVC: Also known as Television Commercial.

TFP (Time for Print): Time for print (also known as trade for print / test for print / TFP, and sometimes print for time (PFT)) is a term that many photography will use to describe an arrangement between a model and a photographer whereby the photographer agrees to provide the model with an agreed number of pictures of the best photographs from the session, and a limited license to use those pictures in return for the model’s time. A variant of this arrangement is time for CD or trade for CD (TFCD).


AAM Team

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