To  assist your knowledge with this business of modeling we have acquired  this list of modeling terms to share with you for you to be acquainted  with.  

Glossary of Modeling & Acting Terms 



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 clothing,such as jewelry, belts, pocketbooks, hats and scarves. 

Account Executive - an employee from an advertising agency who is in charge of the advertising of an account/a product. 

 EXAMPLE: John Doe is the Account Executive for Hyatt Hotels. Jane Smith is in charge of the at&t account.

Advance   - a sum of money paid to you by your agent on behalf of an advertising  company that wishes to book you for a job. This is usually paid in  advance of your working to secure your services particularly if you are  in demand as a top model. 

Advertising  - the action of getting the word out or letting the public know about a product or service. The formats are print, TV spots and radio. 

Advertising Agency  - creates advertising campaigns for companies &selects/hires models. 

Example: BBDO Advertising Agency in Atlanta, GA creates advertisements for at&t.

AFTRA  - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is  a union for performers that establishes specific fees for different  types of performances and protects the model's or Actress's rights. 

Age Range  - the ages that a model can portray (usually a 5 to 7 year span). 

Agency (modeling agency) -  an establishment that does business on behalf of the model, such as  booking jobs and collecting payment for the model for a fee(usually  10-20% of the dollar amount collected).

Agent  - a person who works for an agency or who has a privately held business to book models. 

Appointment 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. 

Art Director  - the artist who creates the layout for ads, illustrates models poses. 

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. Similar to a casting  call but not private.


 Backdrop  - background used in a photographers’ studio. 

Beauty Shots   - pictures that are taken from the shoulders up, featuring the hair, the skin,

the eyes, the smile and the makeup. Also referred to as head-shots. 

Black and White Photo   - a picture that is taken specifically to produce black, white and  gray images. Usually black and white photos are suggested for acting  head shots. 

Blocking  - the actual physical movements by actress in any scene. 

Blow-Up  - enlargement photo from a negative or slide. 

Book (photo-wise)- a collection of photographs and tears a model uses to promote herself. Also called a portfolio.

Booking  - a job assignment

Book Out  - when you tell your agency that you are unavailable to work for certain day(s): for example, a vacation or another job. 

Booker  - person at agency who sets appointments for models. 

Booking - job assignment. 

Breakdown Service  - a professional listing available only to agencies that lists movies, film, TV, and stage projects with the types of Actress being cast. 

Buyer  - retail store employee who purchases clothing from the manufacturer; models show the line of clothing to store buyers. 

Buy-out    - when a client arranges a one-time payment or flat fee for a  commercial instead of paying residuals for the job. This means that you  will not get paid every time the commercial plays - the fee should be  quite substantial. 


 Call Time  - actual time you are due on set.

Call Back -  second interview after a go-see or audition that means they are  narrowing down the selection and they are considering you for the job. 

Casting  - the act of choosing a suitable model for a particular assignment. Usually you audition openly in front of others models.  

Casting Director  - the person who works with advertising agencies to select the talent for a particular modeling job. 

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

Catalog Modeling  - modeling for mail-order books which sells everyday products to average people. Requirements are flexible. 

Cattle Call -  this type of audition where hundreds of models will show up to be  viewed by casting directors or photographers. Usually new models are  sent by their agents so that they can be introduced. 

Character Model    - a model who is not necessarily a beauty, but who may have strong  interesting facial features and selling attributes for specific  products. Some jobs require models with an everyday look, such as a  truck driver, mechanic, grocery clerk, school teacher, cleaning person,  appliance repair person, and so on. Also called commercial modeling. 

Checklist  - a notebook which is referred to daily where you list all of your "things to do". 

Client  - a person or company who hires the ad agency, pays the model's fee. Other times its a person or company who hires' the services of a model directly.

Cold Reading  - a script that you are reading for the first time in front of the client without time to memorize the lines. 

Collection  - group of coordinated clothes being shown by a designer. 

Commentary  - script used to describe clothes for a fashion show. 

Commercial Modeling   - This refers to model photographed to promote a product on  billboards, buses, magazines and newspapers. This type of modeling can  be divided into two prime sections- editorial modeling and Product Advertising. Print advertisements is when a model is used to advertise a product or service. No need to use the word "commercial" in it as 'commercial modeling'  since all printed work is commercialized

Commission  - a percentage of model's fee required as payment to agency.

Most commission's are 10 - 20%.

Composite Card/Comp Card   - card with 3-5 photos of the model and their height, eye and hair  color and size information to promote and distribute to prospective  clients. Currently, postcard-size (6x8) is popular. One side contains a  head shot, the other side several small photographs together with  information about the model. This gets you work on a stronger basis than  a portfolio. 

Contact Sheet- also called proof sheet and index sheet.This  is a contact print of negatives on 8-by-10-inch photographic paper.  These images are the same size as the negatives, and require use of a  magnification glass(a Lupe) to evaluate them. 

Convention Modeling- also called trade show modeling.  These shows use mostly female models to demonstrate products and answer  questions.You must look professional and believable to be a convention  model! 

Copy  - written words to be spoken on a commercial. 

Creative Director  - ad agency employee who determines the model type. 



Demonstrator  - model who shows use of product at a trade show or store. 

Designer  - person who creates the idea for a garment.

Dresser  - helps models dress backstage for fashion shows.



Editorial Modeling  - a model is booked to give a visual concept for what an article in a publication is talking about. Images in the non-advertisement sections  of the fashion magazines, such as Glamour, Vogue, or Seventeen, are  good examples of this type of modeling.The physical requirements are  less stringent than for High Fashion Modeling, but the pay rate is  considerably less. Many more models are needed for Editorial Modeling,   Editorial experience opens the door to other modeling bookings.

Enlargement  - see blow up. 

Equity  - see AEA. 

Extra   - acting job where the actress/actor has no speaking lines, but stands  in the background and adds to the atmosphere of a scene. 



Fashion Coordinator  - puts fashion show outfits together in retail stores.

Fashion Show   - invited audience, stage, music; models walk down runway to show  designer clothing often in a local way. Specifications for a model to be  in a fashion show are not  often required to be tall &  thin. A general audience can see the fashion show. Sometimes local  fashion shows are held inside of nightclubs. The pay frequently isn't as  much as runway shows. 

Fees  - amount of money per hour to employ a model.

Fetish   - fetish photography is adult in nature but not always sexually  explicit, and generally centers around a main theme. It tends to be  photographed in harsh light and extreme settings, and often includes the  use of props.Examples include bondage, leather, feet, etc. 

Figure Modeling   - generally considered more artistic work, usually involving some  degree of nudity. Figure models work with artists for photography,  painting, or sculpture. Figure work is often done anonymously,that is  the model is not readily identifiable in the final work. The focus of  the work is usually the body or body parts, and how they interact with  light and textures. Also called Illustration Modeling or an Artist's  Model. 

Fit Modeling-  modeling the original sample garment to test for sizing -clients choose  a model whose measurements match the sample size exactly. This is  basically done to find any flaws within the garment before it is mass  produced. 

Fitting  - when the clothes are fitted to the model. Usually, a model gets paid less than the normal modeling rate for this time. 

Freelance model- modeling for many clients without agency representation. 

Full-Length Shot- head to toe photograph. 


 Go-see - modeling interview. Model meets a client and shows portfolio. 



Head-sheet- agency sheet, poster, or book of models they represent that goes to prospective clients. 

Headshot  - 8 x 10 size photo of head and shoulders. 

High Fashion Modeling-  high fashion modeling is the modeling of designer clothes, either at  fashion shows or in publications. Sometimes, the modeling of jewelry and  cosmetics falls into this category. The models are hired through  agencies. Of course, the advertisers' expectations also run high. The  agencies choose models with a proven track record for this type of  modeling. 

Hold   - when the agency puts you "on hold" for a job, it means the client is  seriously considering you and wants you to keep the time available for  them first (if anything else comes up for that time, you must notify the  agency before accepting another job). 


 Industrial  - non-broadcast production, often educational or sales films & tapes.

Informal Fashion Show - in stores or restaurants, walk around, no runway. Also called Tea Room Modeling



Line-Up  - position of model and garment in a fashion show.

Location  - assignment site outside the studio. 

Loupe  (pronounced as loop) - an optical instrument (small magnifying glass) to see
slides and contact sheet images larger.



Makeup Artist - applies and changes makeup for photo sessions and runway shows. 

Market Week - 4-6  times per year when seasonal clothing lines are shown to buyers.

Model Agency  - a company which represents model for employment and receives

a percentage/commission of the bookings.

Model Bag  - a large tote in which you carry all your makeup and working essentials.

Model Release   - a document signed by the model or photographer to give the other  party the signed permission to display/publish said photos as desired or  stated within the Model Release Form.

Monologue  - a scene performed by one person for a client that reflects a particular mood and demonstrates your acting talent. 


 Open Call   - casting when the client sees all models suitable for the type  requested. Also refers to a specific day and time of the week when an  agency sees new models that does not have a pre-arranged appointment. 



Photographer Release   - contract signed by the photographer. It gives permission to the  model to use the photographs taken during a particular sitting. 

Portfolio- a collection of photographs or tear sheets demonstrating a model's abilities in front of the camera. Also called a Book. 

Print Ad/ Print Advertisement  - advertisement for a product or service
 and the pay rate is the highest among all modeling jobs.

Print work   - photography taken for catalogs, books, brochures, ads for magazines  or newspapers, magazine covers, commercial photography for household  products, business products and services, glamour products.
*Any modeling job whereas a photograph is published. 

Producer  - person responsible for the day-to-day decision-making on a production. 

Product Conflict- representing two similar products at the same time.
This is to be avoiding i.e., modeling for Coke & Pepsi.

Production Company  - produces video for viewing. 

Promotion  - publicity to advance a product, service or person. 

Proof  - intermediate stage of photo development from which you can choose the best poses.

Also see Contact Sheet.

Public Relations  - person or department responsible for creating an image of a product or service in the eyes of the public. 



Rates  - fees charged by the model. 

Release - same as a Model Release Form or Photographer Release

Residuals  - additional money paid when a piece runs in repeat, rates dictated by the unions. 

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

Rounds  - calling on prospective clients for photography and television. 

Runway  - a narrow raised platform on which the model shows the clothing.
Also called a catwalk

Runway Modeling - Models work on a long, raised platform about four feet wide. 



SAG  - Screen Actress Guild, union for TV and film performers. 

Sample   - a piece of clothing from a line that is specifically created for a  shoot or a fashion show. Many samples are one of kind pieces that are  produced before the line is created. Samples are sometimes marked with  permanent ink or have defects so that they cannot be resold.


Scale Wage  - minimum wage set by the unions. 

Scout  (noun) - a person who scouts/searches for talent.


Scout   (verb) - to look for prospective models from smaller agencies,other  locations, at the mall or on the beach; finding model potential in a  crowd. 

SED CARD  - card with 3-5 photos of model and their height, eye and hair color and size
information to promote and distribute to prospective clients.Currently, postcard-size is popular.
*One side contains a head shot, the other side several small photographs together with
information about the model. Also called zed  or comp-cards. 

Set  - arrangement of props and furniture in a TV or photo studio. 

Shoot  - photo session. 

Showroom Work-  manufacturer's showcase of a clothing line or car line or other  merchandise to buyers using live models - Clothing-wise especially when  the seasonal clothing designs are being shown. 

Sign-In Sheet  - lists the order in which each model arrives to audition at cattle calls. 

Slate  - to state your name on camera before your commercial audition. 

Spec Shot  - photographer's or agency's idea of a comp which he/she hopes to sell to the client. 

Specialty Modeling- a/k/a Parts modeling. Fingers,hands, legs, ears, lips, eyes, back. Anything that is part specific.

Spokesperson  - or spokes model. Model chosen to explain the features of a product/service. 

Stats  - statistical information of a model, including height, measurements, etc.

Stock Photographer   - one whose work is not for a specific client or job, but whose photos  get listed in a general catalog by number for any client to select (for  example, a photo of a talking on a mobile phone and the photo is purchased by a phone company client to be
used in an advertisement or brochure). 

Storyboard  - artwork that shows each scene of a commercial. 

Strobe  - a light unit  used by a photographer. 

Stylist  - a person who supplies a model's wardrobe & accessories.



Tear Sheet    - a page containing the model's image removed from a publication,  usually a catalog or magazine. This sheet is usually added to the  model's portfolio.


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.

Test-shots: photographs take of a model to merely see how the model poses and 
photographs in various attires. These photos are basically taken to see  if the
model has any potential; and if so, what level that potential is on.

TFP (Time for Prints) - Similar to test shoots. Photographer provides time and prints and the
model  is the subject for the photographer to shoot.Generally offered by  photographers who are transitioning into a new area of photography or  trying to build their portfolio of work. 

Trade Shows   - industry promotional display of products/services usually in a hotel or convention center. 

Trades, Trade Papers  - trade publications such as Variety, Backstage, NY Casting,  Actress's Resource Network, Ross Reports, Billboard,Hollywood Reporter. 

Transparencies  - the slide forms of a photograph. Also called slides.

Trunk Show  - informal modeling of one specific designer line, usually in a store or boutique. 



Under-5  - With AFTRA contracts, a speaking role having five lines or less. 

Usage  - additional fees for higher exposure, like a billboard or national use. 

V, W & Z


Voice-over  - background voices for radio or video recorded separately in a recording
studio and dubbed onto visuals. 

Voucher - three-piece  form with a model release on which client acknowledges hours worked by  the model, agency copy used to bill and get paid. 


Weather Permit - a location job that is dependent on fair weather, may be canceled the
day before or that morning.

 Zed Card- card  with 1-2 photos of model and their height, eye and hair color and size  information to promote and distribute to prospective clients. Currently,  business card-size is popular or a little larger. One side contains a head-shot and the other side contains information about the model.