A Definitive Guide To All The Modeling Terms You Need To Know

This is a comprehensive list of the modeling terms you need to add to your vocabulary if you want a career in the fashion industry.

Modeling is much more than photo and video shoots, which is why there are so many modeling terms you must learn if you plan to embark on a career in the industry. It is an industry full of art, fashion, design, and culture and the breadth of common modeling terms reflects that reality. Models in particular have to be trained and ready for anything when they step into a photo shoot or get ready to strut down the catwalk. While models are often stereotyped as being vain or spacey, models actually need to be incredibly alert and sharp when they are on the job.

Modeling Terms
Modeling Terms

A model’s sharpness on the job involves more than just following directions—it also includes recognizing a vast range of words and phrases, a host of modeling terms. As a model, there’s terminology that you pick up throughout your career. These modeling terms are paramount as they not only help you navigate the industry, but also help make you feel like part of a community. Read on to find out the most significant modeling terms that you need to know.

Art Director

The Art Director is tasked with developing the aesthetic/design of the editorial, ad, or other visual presentation from a shoot.

Beauty Shot

This is a simple head shot where the model is photographed with a simple hairstyle and very clean/minimal makeup. There is nothing extravagant or over-the-top in the styling of this photo.

Big And Tall

This is essentially the male version of the female “Plus Sized” models. Big and Tall is used to describe larger male models.

Billing Form

A billing form is a form used by models. They use this form to record the names of clients, job descriptions, hours worked, expenses, and pay rate.


A model’s portfolio of photos.


A person who is in charge of booking and scheduling appointments for models.


Someone who tracks income and expenses of modeling.


This is an arrangement where a client will issue a model a one-time payment for their work, rather than residual payments.

Call Back

This is a second audition before the client makes the final hiring decision. A Call Back is used to view the model one final time.


A term to describe older models (those who are around 40+).

Commercial Model

A Commercial Model is a model that can be booked regardless of age, size, or weight. Commercial models do not work in the realm of high fashion and instead are often seen in various media ads.

Comp Card

This card contains the model’s stats, photos, and contact information.

Contact Sheet

A contact sheet is a roll of film developed by the photographer. The photos are arranged on this sheet so that they can be easily viewed and selected.

Copy Book

This is another copy of a model’s portfolio.

Editorial Models

These are the high fashion models that appear on elite fashion magazines and wear designer products.

Editorial Print

This type of print consists of models shown in fashion magazines.

Fit Model

This type of models has the perfect body structure for modeling, but not necessarily the face or vibe of a print model. Fit models are utilized by designers and fashion houses.


This is a model who works without any agency representation.


A mass-interview where a bunch of models go to a client to get hired. This also allows the client to see the model in person as well.

Haute Couture

This means high fashion in French.

Look Book

A collection of photos that showcase the designer’s looks for the season.


This is another name for fashion capitals of the world. For example, “Paris,” “Milan,” and “New York” are all markets.

Mother Agent

This is the modeling agency where the model is first discovered.

New Face

A model who is new to the agency and is still working to be booked by a client.

Plus Model

A female model who has bigger proportions and wears a larger size.

Runway Model

These models specialize in catwalks and live runway shows where the designer wants the models to walk and display their clothing.

Show Card

A special purpose card that is used to bring attention to modeling agencies.


This is the model’s physical details including height, waist, hips, and bust.


A tearsheet is a clip from a magazine or other print job that the model has worked.

Test Photo Shoot

A test photo shoot is a shoot paid for by the model for them to test different looks, styles, and angles to build their portfolio.


In modeling this term means “very slim”.


An invoice signed by both model and client. At the end of a job, the model will give the voucher to their agency so the model can be paid and the client can be billed.

If you have more modeling terms to add to this list, don’t hesitate to comment!