How Familiar Are You With the Modeling Industry Lingo?

How Familiar Are You With the Modeling Industry Lingo?


Model 101: Things you should know

Before it’s time to do a go see, attend an open call or casting there are industry terms that you should get familiar with. Have you ever heard someone mention the words buyout, weather-permit, or booking sheet? Afterwards, you’re left standing there thinking to yourself, what in the blue hell are they talking about!?! I know… trust me! I feel your pain, but don’t get your panties in a bunch. Help is on the way.

My purse is loaded with model brain food! Let’s talk about different types of picture finishes for a sec. Are you familiar with different photo paper types (i.e. matte, gloss, etc.)? If your answer is no, keep scrolling. I have the goodies and this is your roadmap. You’re well on your way to becoming a model who has familiarized his/herself with the industry lingo. Btw, don’t be stingy share this information with others. There may still be a few things that they’re not 100% clear on and knowledge is power. 🙂




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CATTLE CALL Open call where several models are interviewed at one time COMMISSION Agency’s percentage for each booking is automatically deducted from the model/organization employing the use of a model.

COMPOSITE CARD Card featuring model’s measurements and cross section of photo work.  

CONFLICT Two competitive clients or products.  

CONTACTS Sheet containing printed film provided by the photographer from which best photos are selected.

DAY RATE Model’s fee for an all-day booking.  

EDITORIAL La creme de la creme of assignments; booking made directly by magazines (not advertisers); prestigious, though low-paying.  

FITTING The try-on of clothes to determine a fit before booking.  

GO-SEE Professional term for a model’s interview.  

GLOSSY Photo reproduction printed with a shiny finish to send to clients; primarily for commercial models.

HEADSHEET Agency’s poster with headshots of models from each division sent to clients.  

HEADSHOT Photograph of shoulder and face only ADVERTISING A commercial booking or product endorsement.  

AFTRA The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is the union for television and radio performers.  

ART DIRECTOR Coordinator of photo layouts and advertisements who oversees sessions and decides on the format.

ASSISTANT The apprentice photographer who assists in both the studio and dark room.  

BOOK Portfolio of model’s photographs and tear sheets.  

BOOKING AGENT Model agency representative who arranges go-sees and coordinates bookings.

BOOKING Model’s job assignment; scheduled by his/her agency.

BOOKING SHEET Day-to-day sheets maintained by the agency, recording all of the model’s assignments and appointments.

BUYOUT The fee negotiated between client and agency to buy a model’s rights to his/her image, voice and likeness in conjunction with an ad to run for a specified period of time. Buy-out agreements may be renewed and renegotiated at additional cost. (Buy-outs usually occur in point-of-purchase ads, non-union commercials and national or regional advertising campaigns.)



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CASTING DIRECTOR The person who selects the model/actor for the job.

CASTING Models for a specific job or project

HEADSHOT Photograph of shoulder and face only.

JUNIOR A beginning model or a youthful appearance.

LAYOUT Ad agency‘s plan for the look of the advertisement or catalog.

LOCATION Site for photo session outside of the studio.

MATTEDull” non-glare finish for a photograph.

MODEL’S TOTE BAG Large bag containing model’s makeup, book, etc.

OPTION When a client “reserves” a model’s time before actually confirming the booking.

POINT-OF-PURCHASE FEE An additional fee paid to the model for continuous usage of billboards, packages, counter displays, etc.

PORTFOLIO A model’s book of photographs and tear sheets.

RATE A model’s hourly fee.

RELEASE A contract signed by the model after the booking, permitting the client to use the photos from that session.  

SAG Screen Actors Guild is the union for film and television performers.

SEG Screen Extras Guild for “background” or “atmosphere” TV/Film performers.

SERVICE FEE Agency charge paid by clients for all services rendered.

SHOWS Live modeling (as in fashion shows) STYLIST Organizes clothing, accessories, and sets for the photographic session/fashion show.

TEARSHEET Page “torn” from a magazine depicting model’s work, included in a portfolio.

TESTS Photos taken of a beginning model so he/she can develop expertise in front of the camera.

TRIP On-location booking involving one or more days of work.

VOUCHER The model’s invoice submitted to the agency after the booking.

VOUCHER SYSTEM When agencies pay their models before Agency receives payments from the client.

WEATHER PERMIT Booking that is contingent on weather conditions. A weather permit fee is usually agreed to by the client and agency to ensure that the model is paid for the day, even if he/she doesn’t work.


“The more you know, the more you’ll grow.”

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About Fantasy

Tiffany “Fantasy” Clements is an American journalist and Tastemaker… who specializes in developing creative content for websites, behind the scenes press, and event recaps. She’s also an innovator and the executive director of marketing and branding at Keiani Enterprises full-service agency. Tiffany has a knack for strategic planning and relevant content development, which leverages brands and helps small businesses propel forward. In her spare time when she’s not writing her fingers to the bone, over a Community cup of coffee, she swaps ideas with like-minded entrepreneurial peers in order to grow, learn, guide, and elevate. Follow her via social network by clicking any of the links below. Don't forget to say hello!

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