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Modelling Glossary



Fashion items that are worn to complement clothing such as jewellery, hats, belts, handbags and scarves.


A person who plays a character in theatre film or television projects for the purpose of entertainment.


An amount of money paid to a model by their agent on behalf of a company that wants to book them for a job. This money is usually paid in advance in order to secure the model's services - especially if they are in great demand.

Advertising Agency

A company that creates advertising campaigns for clients to promote a product or service to consumers. They typically approach modelling agencies to select models for print and television commercial campaigns.


A trained skin specialist who works to enhance the skin by using facial treatments cosmetic make-up services exfoliation treatments body wraps and waxing. Some aestheticians work with dermatologists to offer other services such as laser hair removal microdermabrasion laser skin resurfacing and many types of chemical peels.

Age Range

The ages that a model can portray; this is typically 5-7 years over or under the model's actual age.

Agency (Modelling)

A company that represents models actors and talent of any kind. A modelling agency is responsible for representing and promoting its roster of models and booking jobs for them. Modelling agencies usually handle contracts payments and the whole business side of the model's life.

Agency Book

The book agencies distribute to all of their clients to promote their models. The book contains the comp card for each model represented by the agency. Models are often required to pay a fee to have their comp card printed in the book.



Whatever the model stands in front of during a photo shoot. In a studio this is usually seamless paper or a faux location scene.

Beauty Shot

A close-up shot of part or all of the face (lips eyes etc.). This kind of photo is usually used in a cosmetics print ad or in a magazine editorial about skin care products make-up products that kind of thing.


The condensed story of a model's life - basically a resume with particular jobs highlighted.

Black and White Photo (B&W)

A photograph that is taken specifically to produce black white and grey images. Black and white photos are often suggested for head shots.

Blow Up

Also known as an Enlargement. A photograph that has been enlarged from a negative or slide.


Typically an amount of additional money paid to a model after a job is completed. Bonuses can be given when a shoot is long or when a client wants to use the shots more often than the original contract. The agency will take their agreed percentage for any bonuses paid. Bonuses are not always given in cash; for example if designers can't pay the models' full day rates for a runway show they may give clothes as a bonus.

Book (verb)

To secure a job.

Book (noun)

A collection of tear sheets or photographs demonstrating a model's abilities in front of the camera. See Portfolio.


The person at a modelling agency who schedules appointments books jobs and sets assignments for models.


A specific modelling job or paid assignment.

Booking Conditions

The different factors that may exist in a booking for which the model will be paid more. An agency establishes booking conditions that outline fee specifications for overtime or weekend work weather permitting bookings cancellations or bonuses for a variety of other conditions.


When you tell your agent you're not available for a job for either professional or personal reasons and the agent cannot book you during that time you've \"\"booked out\"\" for that time.


The memory in a camera that stores digital photographs before they are written to the memory card.


The process of selectively darkening part of a photo with an image editing program.


A retail store employee who is responsible for buying clothing from the manufacturer. Buyers typically attend fashion shows and visit designer's showrooms looking for clothing their customers will like. If they visit the designer's showroom then the clothes will usually be shown by models.


An arrangement in which a client issues a model a flat fee or one-time payment for use of their work for a specific period of time rather than pay residuals. This fee should be quite substantial.



A specification on a call-sheet that means clean hair and clean face. You should show up for the photo shoot with no make-up on and freshly washed hair. The opposite of this is \"\"hair and make-up ready\"\" which is pretty self-explanatory.

Composite Card          

Also referred to as a comp card zed card or model business card. A comp card is a piece of card stock printed with at least two photos of you in various poses settings outfits and looks (the widest variety possible). It includes your name your contact information usually your agency's info and all your stats. Comp cards come in lots of different formats depending on the city agency and the type of model or actor you are. Agencies will usually issue comp cards for you after they sign you.


The number of models posed in a photograph. Some standard fashion configurations are singles doubles triples and groups.

Contact Sheet

Also called Proofs. A photographer's term for a sheet of film printed with small versions of all the photos taken during the photo shoot. From the contact sheet the photographer and the client will choose which shots they want to print and enlarge.

Cove Studio

Also called a Cyc Studio. This is a photography studio that has no corners - instead it's sort of rounded everywhere with built-in backdrops. In photographs corners and edges (like where the wall meets the floor) tend to look ugly. A cove studio eliminates this effect. Seamless paper gives the same effect in a regular studio.

Cyc Studio

Pronounced \"\"syk\"\" cyc is short for \"\"cyclone\"\" studio. See Cove Studio.


Daylight Studio

A photographic studio that is lit with natural light usually by way of windows and skylights.


The person who makes sure that clothes fit the model properly and pins them if necessary.


Fashion Fit Modelling

A male or female model that fashion designers and garment manufacturers use to size and measure clothes for production. Fit models have the perfect proportions for a given clothing size. They are used by designers to piece together new creations see how they move and develop their patterns. The key for a fit model is to never gain or lose an inch. Fit models can be hired by manufacturers in permanent salary positions. Often clothing manufacturers do not hire separate fit models for each size. Instead they measure the clothes on a standard size (size 8-10 for women; size 40 regular for men) model and then use computer programs to magnify those dimensions for each different size.

Favoured Nations

Contractual term for a photo shoot in which each model is getting paid the same day rate. The highest paid model on the shoot usually gets paid less than his or her usual rate. This helps eliminate accusations of unfair work practices and general griping by lower-paid models that are working just as hard as the highly-paid model. Models don't look as good in photographs when they feel they're being cheated to pay the star.


The session that takes place before the photoshoot 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.

Freelance Model

A model listed with multiple agencies (as opposed to one particular agency) or a self-promoting model who works without an agent. Most commercial print models are freelance and work as independent contractors.


Garment District

The area in a city that houses a majority of fashion designers and manufacturers such as Bond Street Savile Row Soho and Great Portland Street in London; and New York's Seventh Avenue.

Go-see A model's appointment to see a potential client.



Models are paid halftime for all travel time.

Head Sheet

A poster displaying head shots and information about models represented by a modeling agency. Models may have to pay to appear on an agency's headsheet.



Any place other than in a studio 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.


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.

Modelling Agency

An establishment that does business on behalf of the model such as booking jobs and collecting payment for the model for percentage fee (typically 15-20%). An agency can be an individual person or a company.


The conveying of an emotion to enhance an image and suit the specific assignment - models need to be able to act.

Mother Agency

The agency that discovers develops and launches a new model. Mother agencies that operate in small markets may pass that model on to a larger agency in a major market once they have been launched. If this case the mother agency gets a percentage of that model's gross future earnings usually for 1-5 years after they go to the larger agency.


Photographer Release

A contract signed by the photographer giving permission to the model to use the photographs taken during a particular sitting.


Also called a Book or Model's Book. A notebook containing a collection of a model's best photographs (usually size 8\"\"x10\"\") and tear sheets demonstrating their abilities in front of the camera. Models can usually purchase good portfolios stamped with their agency's name and logo directly from the agency but plain black portfolios work fine too.

Prints For Time

An agreement between the model and photographer to whereby they work for each other on a mutually beneficial basis and no money changes hands. The photographer provides a selection of prints from the shoot in recognition of the model's time commitment.



Sheet listing a model's education experience and vital statistics. The resume is usually attached to an 8X10 or a composite.


Tear Sheet

The actual page torn from the magazine a model appeared in. Models put their tear sheets in their portfolios. Tearsheets are even better than photos because it shows the kind of work the model has already done.

Test Shoot

When a model and photographer work together on a new idea or on their portfolios. No fees other than sharing film-and-developing expenses are involved. Model and Photographer Releases should be signed before the session.



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.


Zed Card

See Composite Card.