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Glossary of Modelling terms

Advertising Agency
The company that specializes in creating ads for big brands.

Agency
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. Sometimes, especially with larger agencies, the agency will "lend" the model money for a photo shoot, comp cards, clothes, an apartment, etc. The agency will then pay itself back by taking money out of the model's first earnings. It is MOT usual for reputable agencies to charge a 'sign-up' or 'joining' fee, or to charge for test shots - if they feel you have potential as a model they will be eager to sign you.

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.

Backdrop
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.

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

Bonus
Bonuses are not always given in cash-designers may give clothes as bonuses if they can't pay the models' full day rates for a runway show. And no matter what form the bonus takes, the agency takes 20% of the value of the bonus. Bonuses can be given when a shoot is long, or when a client loves the pics and wants to use them more often than the original intention/contract.

Bookout
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.

Clean-Clean
A specification on a call-sheet that means clean hair, 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.

Configurations
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.

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

Fashion Fit Modelling
A male or female model 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 loose 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.

Fitting
The session that takes place before the photo shoot 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.

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

Halftime
Models are paid halftime for all travel time. If your day rate is 50 an hour, you'll get 25 for each hour you travel to and from that job. Your agency also gets 20% of halftime travel rates.

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.

Location
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.

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

Portfolio
Also called a Book or Model's Book. A notebook conaining 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.

Resume
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.

Usages
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.