Glossary - 250 terms explained
Pronounced "eight-by-ten glossy." Also called a headshot, it refers to the standard size of the photo commercial print models and actors are required to provide to
agents and casting directors. It's used as a noun: "You're perfect for the part - I've got to show Mitch your 8x10 glossy."
An employee of the advertising agency who works for a particular brand, like Sony. The accounts are referred to by the name of the client or the product ("the Sony account," "the Revlon account"). The account executive is the person in charge of making the client happy. Account executives are usually present at photo shoots and castings to ensure that the model and the photographer are successfully carrying out the wishes of the client. See advertising agency.
What the director says on the set to indicate that the cameras are rolling and that the actors should begin the scene. It literally means "start acting"
The industry that promotes products and services to the general public in hopes that people will buy or use those products and services.
The company that specialises in creating ads for big brands. Almost all of the ads you see on TV or in magazines, are created by an advertising agency. Let's say you own a company that makes jeans. You want to sell more jeans than you're selling now. The advertising agency looks at your jeans, figures out who would want to buy your jeans, and then comes up with the best, most engaging way to reach those potential customers and tell them how great your jeans are. The account executive is your main contact at the ad agency and oversees the development of your ads. The creative director, art director and the copywriter come up with a clever ad that will make everyone want to buy your jeans and you love it. They want the ad to be a picture of a good-looking model actually wearing the jeans. Someone from the ad agency contacts a modelling agency or a commercial print modelling agency and tells them what kind of model they're looking for (someone your potential customers will relate to and want to look like). The modelling agency then sends the ad agency some headshots of models that could be a good match. The ad agency casts the models. They hire a photographer, who will secure the location, hire a stylist and make-up artist and run the shoot. On a job like this, the model is working for the photographer, the modelling agency, the advertising agency and the original client (the president of the jeans company), all of whom may show up at the photo shoot to see what the model looks like in the jeans. For our purposes, that's what an advertising agency does.
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. Agency also can refer to an advertising agency. Ad agencies contact modelling agencies when they need to hire models for TV commercials and print ads.
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 required to pay a fee to have their comp card printed in the book. You will be required to pay a fee to have your comp card printed in the book.
The person who represents you, sells you to clients and books jobs for you. You may have a specific agent who books jobs for you or several agents at your agency may share the booking. A modelling agent is the same thing as a booking agent. "Agent" is sometimes interchangeable with the term "manager" in modelling, although the laws may be changing to create more of a distinction.
What you can use to keep track of your schedule. Comes in very handy when filling out vouchers and making sure you've been paid for all the time you worked. You can also use an electronic organiser.
At an ad agency or magazine, the person who designs the look and feel of the ad or magazine. Sometimes the art director may have a direct impact on the kinds of photos they want, but the models usually don't have direct contact with them.
A tryout for a film, TV or stage part. When a model auditions for a modelling booking, it's called a go-see.
Black and white, as in a black & white photograph (the only other alternative is colour). Photos used as an actor's headshot are almost always in black & white.
Whatever the model stands in front of during a photo shoot. In a studio, this is usually seamless paper or a faux location scene.
Extras in a photograph, a TV show, a movie or a play. (As in, "I worked two days as background on a new pilot.")
BATHING SUIT SHOT A photo of a model in a bathing suit.
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.
Short for biography. This is the condensed story of a model or an actor's life made available to public relations companies. It's basically a resume with particular jobs highlighted.
A chunk of additional money paid to the model after a job is completed. 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.
To book a model's time for a job; also the book or portfolio a model carries to go-sees, jobs, etc.
Do not use this term. The correct term for a booker is booking agent or agent.
A booking is a job or work that a model gets. When you get a job, you say you "booked" a job.
Another term for agent. This is the person at the agency who represents you and books jobs for you. Again, referring to your booking agent as your booker can be considered demeaning, so don't do it.
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. As a professional, you need to be responsible for your own time. Don't expect your agent or your clients to remember that you're going home for your Grandma's birthday next week or that you booked a job through your other agency that day. To help prevent cancellations and angry clients, you should keep every booking agent you work with aware of your schedule.
The product a model sells in an advertisement.
The person from a department store or clothing store responsible for buying clothes to sell in their stores. Buyers typically attend fashion shows and visit designer's showrooms looking for clothing their customers will like.
An agreement by an agent and a model that allows their client (Vogue, the Gap, whatever) to use the TV commercial or photograph that the model appeared in wherever and however they want, for a specific time period, and for a fee. See usages.
A second (or third or fourth) audition for a job. When a client has seen everyone for a particular job, they will then call the people they liked best to come back and try out again. There can be more than one call back.
This is the exact time you need to show up for work. If it's a TV commercial, expect it to be pretty early in the morning. If any special make-up or costume is required, your call time may be at the crack of dawn.
The notice that goes out to all people involved in a photo shoot (or commercial shoot) that gives the details of the shoot. Important information on the call sheet includes your call time, the location of the shoot and how you should appear upon arrival. Clients may want the models to arrive already in full make-up and hair or they may want the models to show up barefaced (see clean-clean). If you don't know this information by the night before the shoot, call your agent and find out. Not following directions causes a lot of expensive, wasted time in the studio and may stop you from getting hired by that client again.
A device for taking photographs. Are you ready for your close-up?
An advertising campaign.
A casting call for models.
A call put out to actors or models for a specific role or job. Casting and modelling agencies usually host the casting calls, which may also occur at production offices, studios, hotel suites, etc. A closed casting call is one in which the talent has been handpicked and invited to appear. An open casting call is usually advertised in the trades (papers) and is open to anyone.
CHARACTER MODEL/ CHARACTER ACTOR
Character models and actors are hired to play the nerd, the fat guy, the librarian or the little old lady from Pasadena. These talented folks usually have several different characters they can play. Character actors and models rarely become household names, but this is an extremely lucrative field if you've got the right look. See Types of Models to learn more about this type of modelling.
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.
CLIENT The one who pays your salary. A model can have several types of clients: 1) The person or company who hires you for a job. These kinds of clients include: fashion magazines, fashion designers, clothing catalogues or advertising agencies; and 2) The product manufacturers who hire the ad agencies to produce the ad. A representative from the client company usually shows up at photo shoots to ensure that the photos are making their products look good. Modelling agencies have clients, too. These include 1) Anyone who wants to hire a model for a job, like a fashion magazines, a designer or an ad agency and 2) The model. When modelling agents refer to their "clients," they are usually referring to the models they represent, but it could also mean the magazines and advertisers that hire their models. Whenever you're on a shoot, treat the clients with respect. They are the ones paying you and they will not hesitate to fire you if you behave unprofessionally or waste their very valuable time.
A photograph taken up close, usually of a face. When you're ready for your close-up during a photo shoot, try to avoid quoting Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. ("I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.")
Actors that primarily work in TV commercials. This is a broad category that includes children, old people, and every walk of life in between. Some commercial actors also do commercial print modelling.
A person or an agency that represents actors for TV and radio commercials (and not for print ads - that's a commercial print agent).
COMMERCIAL PRINT ADVERTISING Advertisements that appear in print for consumer products and services. This includes any ad that appears in a magazine, a newspaper, on a poster, on the side of a bus, etc. In print ads, there's no such thing as a bad accent, bad dialogue or poor English (although you do have to be able to follow directions). See commercial print model.
COMMERCIAL PRINT AGENT
A person, agency that represents models or actors for work in print advertising.
COMMERCIAL PRINT MODEL
A model who works in commercial print advertising. Commercial print models are the ones you see in ads for everything: toothpaste, diapers, cars, maxi pads, dentures, dog food, travel agencies - everything. Commercial print modelling is not as restrictive as fashion or editorial modelling, since advertisers need to appeal to a wide cross-section of the general public. It truly is "womb-to-tomb" modelling. There are modelling agencies that specialise in commercial print modelling alone. There is some fashion modelling that commercial print models do, but it is generally not as well paid or as high-profile as editorial modelling.
The percentage your agency takes from your earnings.
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.
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.
There are several types of contracts models encounter. 1. A contract from a modelling agency guaranteeing a certain amount of work per year. (Note: If a modelling agency likes you, they may actually tell you they've "signed" you, but in fact, you will sign nothing. That's just the way it's done. Only in rare cases will an agency ask you to sign a contract.) 2. Contracts from companies that sell products. These contracts, usually cosmetic contracts, are the brass ring of the modelling world and are worth a great deal of money, of which your agent will get a percentage. 3. A contract offered to winners of modelling contests like Ford's Supermodel-of-the-Year contest and Elite's Look-of-the-Year contest. The winners receive a modelling contract. However, if you win, you are not handed a check for this amount. You have to work for it. The dollar amount merely represents the monetary value of the work the agency promises you.
These are the actual words written for a TV or radio commercial, including the dialogue spoken by actors. Ad copy refers to all the text in a print ad.
At an ad agency or magazine, the person who oversees the overall creative direction and design.
Pronounced "syk," cyc is short for "cyclone" studio. This is a photography studio that has no corners - instead, it's sort of rounded everywhere with built-in cyc backdrops. In photographs, corners and edges (like where the wall meets the floor) tend to look ugly. A cyc studio eliminates this effect. Seamless paper gives the same effect in a regular studio.
The room photographers and lab technicians use to develop film. The darkness ensures that the photos don't get ruined or overexposed. These days, even top photographers don't develop their own film. Most rolls of film are sent to specialised labs that develop them.
What a model is paid per day. This varies depending on your status, the market you're in, and the client. Day rates can range from £400 to £10,000 and even up to £25,000 for a really big name. Now you know why so many people want to do what you do.
A photography studio that is lit with natural light, usually by way of windows and skylights.
An audio tape of original music that singers and musicians use to demonstrate their talent, ability and versatility to club booking agents, record label executives, managers, radio programmers and DJs. Demo is also used to refer to an audio or video tape used by models and actors for audition purposes. (also see reel.)
The target audience for a particular ad, commercial or product. (Sometimes shortened to "demo.") The most coveted advertising demographic is 18-to-49 year olds, because they spend the most money and are the most influenced by advertising. At a magazine, the demographic is the readership of that magazine.
A type of modelling in which the model demonstrates how to use a product, usually at a department store, car show or trade show.
A person who designs clothing, accessories, jewellery, etc. Designers can be instrumental in the career of a model and may propel a formerly unknown model to the top of the industry just because he or she liked that model's look (Calvin Klein did this with Kate Moss).
To develop raw film at a lab into professional photographs or to develop raw talent at an agency into professional models.
A photograph in a magazine that is printed across two pages. The crease between the two pages is called the gutter. Being the middle girl in a triple configuration may seem great at first, but you're going to end up smack dab in the gutter. Arguably the most famous double-page photograph in fashion appeared in Vogue in the 1970s and starred Nastassja Kinski and a rather large boa constrictor.
To no longer be represented by your agency. It's like being fired. The best ways to get dropped by your agency are behaving unprofessionally (showing up late for jobs, being rude to clients), and not getting work.
The highest-paid, highest-profile fashion modelling. These are the models that appear on the covers and in the fashion layouts of Vogue, Bazaar, Cosmo, Elle, etc. The top 25 female fashion editorial models in the world are also known, for better or worse, as supermodels.
An agreement between a client and a model to work exclusively with that client. For example, a designer may pay a model to do their runway show exclusively, and not to do anyone else's runway show.
An exposition is like a large trade show. Expos usually showcase new products, new stores, and new services, which sometimes require the use of demonstration models.
A model who appears in the background of a photo, and is paid accordingly. It's the same thing an extra in a movie or a TV show does - populate the environment.
Male or female model with a very specific height, size, and shape. Men must be 6' to 6'2'' tall and wear a 42-regular suit. Women must be at least 5'8'' and wear a dress size 4-6 (sometimes 8). With few exceptions, all fashion models have good skin, long legs, well-defined features, and generally slender frames. However, different markets tend to prefer different looks. In the midwest, the desired look is pretty much all-American, while the New York market allows for a far greater range of ethnicities, exotic or unusual features, and edgy urban style (punk hair, body art, etc.)
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.
There are lots of different film stocks, brands, sizes and formats photographers use. As a model, you don't actually handle the film but you should have some idea of what the photographer is talking about. This is especially useful when you're hiring a photographer on your own to take your first professional photos. All film can be divided into two types: colour and black and white. The photographer will use one or the other depending on the look he or she wants. Let's say the photographer chooses colour film. Then he or she has to decide between colour slide film and colour print film: Colour slide film (also called transparency or reversal film) is used to make slides. It's also direct positive film - that is, the film that goes into the camera and the film the slides are made of is the exact same film. The slides are then turned into prints. Colour print film is what most consumer cameras use. The film that goes in the camera is sent to a lab when the roll is finished. There, the film is processed to a negative. The lab enlarges the negatives into colour prints. Black and white slide film and black and white print film are also available. Fashion and editorial models' comp cards should include a mix of colour and black and white photos. Actor headshots and commercial print models should use b&w for their headshots.
The same as an option but for actors. An acting term that means the same as first option.
A male or female model fashion designers and clothing manufacturers use to size and measure clothes for production. Fit models must have very specific measurements and proportions that are geared towards fitting clothes for the greatest number of customers per size. Clothing manufacturers do not hire separate fit models for each size. Instead, they measure the clothes on a standard size (for women, size 4-6; for men, size 40 regular) model and then use computer programs to magnify those dimensions for each different size.
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, and will be more interested in looking at the clothes than at your naked bits and pieces. Just relax.
A partial denture that child models are sometimes asked to wear when they've recently lost some front teeth. It gives the illusion of teeth in a photo-like dentures for preschoolers.
When an American model works abroad, the foreign country takes a chunk of that model's pay. The foreign tax can be as high as 30%. Keep a copy of all your earnings statements, because if you can prove to the Internal Revenue Service that you already paid taxes on your earnings in another country, you can deduct those earnings from your taxable income.
Types of film. Common types include large format, slide, transparency, 3 *, 3 *, 4x5 and 6x7.
A model or an actor listed with multiple agencies (as opposed to one particular agency) or a model who works without an agent. Most commercial print models are freelance and work as independent contractors.
A photo that shows the model from head to toe.
A foldout magazine cover that extends.
When an agency agrees to take you on and represent you, you have "signed" with that agency. However, you do not actually sign a contract. Getting signed is a verbal agreement between the model and the agency. Managers may in some cases ask the model to sign a Management Contract that is promissory and allows a manager to collect money for them and represent them. Commercial print models can freelance for several different agencies, and therefore do not necessarily sign contracts with their agents. Sometimes, an agency may decide that they want to represent you, but because they don't ask the model to sign anything, the model may not realise he or she has been "signed." This happens all the time. The only, and best, thing to do in these ambiguous situations is to ask them flat-out. Something like this will do just fine: "So, you are going to represent me, right? Just checking."
An appointment to see a client, casting director or photographer about a potential booking. Go-sees are like mini-auditions, so you should bring your portfolio, comp cards or other photos and dress and behave appropriately. Request go-sees are when a client calls an agency asking to see specific models. General go-sees are when the client calls the agency and asks them to send over a specific type. For example, their ten best brunettes.
Profit before agency percentages, taxes, etc. are taken out. Models take home 80% of what they bill and that's before taxes.
A photograph composed with a group of models (more than three).
1) The crease in a double-page photo spread. 2) What you end up lying in if you drink too much alcohol.
Models are paid halftime for all travel time. If your day rate is Â£100 an hour, you'll get Â£50 for each hour you travel to and from that job. Your agency also gets 20% of half-time travel rates.
Pronounced "oat-ko-chure." That's French for "high-fashion." Couture is extremely high-end, tailor-made designer clothes that only a few dozen people in the world can afford. High-fashion editorial models work in couture. See our foreign languages glossary, with modelling terms in several different languages.
A promotional poster or foldout card containing multiple headshots of the various actors or models represented by an agency. A headsheet is mailed to each of the agency's clients to promote their current roster of talent. The actors or models that appear on the headsheet must, however, pay for the privilege, that is, publicity.
A photograph taken of the face from the shoulders up. Black & white (b&w) headshots are an actor's calling card, along with a resume glued or stapled to the back of the photo.
Modelling for covers and editorial layouts for the top fashion magazines in the world and in print ads for designer clothing.
The fee the model receives for working one hour. Most jobs have a one-hour minimum and the hour is billed in 15-minute increments. See day rate.
A type of modelling performed in an informal atmosphere, usually a store or a mall, where models wander around showing the clothes directly to the customers. Trunk shows use informal modelling.
Just as you insure your car and other valuables, some models insure parts of their body. Lloyds of London insured Angie Dickinson's legs, and in 1993 Christie Turlington insured her face for a million dollars.
The agency assigns a number to each job they book one of their models on. You will see the job number on your statements, invoices, and checks. It's a good idea to keep track of the job numbers for each job you are hired for, to make sure you are getting paid correctly.
Copies of a designer's clothing, shoes or accessories reproduced, manufactured and sold for less money. Knockoffs can be as subtle as one designer "borrowing" elements of another's designs for their own, or as blatant as the guy selling fake Prada bags out of his van, right on the street.
The part of the camera that the light goes into. Regular, zoom, wide angle and telephoto are all types of camera lenses and determine what the photo will look like.
Studios are full of lights and all or some of them will be pointed at you. Types of studio lights include strobe lights, tungsten lights (very, very bright lights) and spotlights. A photographer's number one concern is the film in the camera, but their number two concern is light.
A clear Lucite plastic box that lights up, used for viewing contact sheets and slides. Also called a light table.
A device used to measure the intensity of light for a photograph. Photographers or their assistants will hold a light meter up in front of the model before taking the photograph.
The collection of clothing introduced each season by a fashion designer or, in some cases, a clothing company (as in "Versace's Fall line").
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 sound stage and should prepare accordingly.
A small magnifying glass used to examine contact sheets. Photos on a contact sheet are only an inch or so high. The loup enables the photographer to view the photos in detail and decide which ones to blow up.
To do a mail-in is to send comp cards to agencies via US mail, as opposed to dropping comp cards off in person.
A big city that has a large need for models and actors. Currently, the major markets world-wide for models are: New York, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Sydney, Munich, Hamburg, Miami and Madrid/Barcelona. Working in a major market gives you access to more jobs but you'll also encounter a lot more competition than you would in a smaller market.
In addition to an agent, the person who personally manages and guides your career. Managers cannot actually book jobs for you but can connect you to the people and clients who can. Most managers don't manage beginning models and instead work with models that are more established. Sometimes a modelling agency is a called a model management company and sometimes people who call themselves managers may legally be acting as your agent. Ask them.
The week in New York when every designer who doesn't put on a runway show can show their wares to the press and to buyers. Designers who show during market week show lingerie, hats, purses, jewellery, shoes, luggage, scarves, furs, wallets, hair accessories - anything that's fashion but can't really be shown on a runway. Instead, models walk around the designer's showroom in front of buyers and press, giving everybody a close-up look at the handbags, shoes, hats, nighties or hairpins that the designer is selling.
Plural of medium. Media is a broad term used to describe any avenue of communication. Television, movies, magazines, newspapers, the internet are all forms of media.
A smaller city that has some need for models and actors. Currently, the minor markets in the United States are Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Boston, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. Minor markets offer fewer and lower profile (but still perfectly respectable) jobs, but the level of competition for those jobs is much lower. You have a much better chance to stand out in a small market. Starting in a minor market is a great way to learn the ropes, gain experience and make valuable contacts before taking on a gigantic market like New York.
A women's clothing size in department stores. Misses is adult women, petite is small women and juniors is child-teen women.
The bag, backpack, or totebag that models carry. This bag contains everything the model needs to get them through the day: a portfolio, comp cards, makeup, hair stuff, cab/bus/subway fare, three different kinds of bras, three colours of pantyhose, and most importantly, a nude thong. Link to "model bag" article.
A legal document provided by the client and signed by the model or the agent that allows the client to use the photographs for various usages. The client is only allowed to use the photographs for usage’s they have bought.
Happy, sad, pensive, joyful - the emotion the model is asked to display in a photograph or on a runway.
The agency that discovers, develops, and launches a new model. Mother agencies in smaller markets discover and develop a new model, and then may pass that model on to a larger agency in a major market. If that happens, the mother agency gets a cut (percentage) of that model's gross future earnings, usually for 1-5 years after they go to the bigger agency. The individual agent at the mother agency who nurtures the new model is called the mother agent.
A type of film. The film after its been processed into prints.
What's left of your gross earnings after paying the agency percentage is paid.
A person or job that does not have union status. Models and actors can belong to one or more of several unions, or guilds.
Anyone who fits the description listed by the casting or modelling agency is welcome to audition. These may also be referred to as "cattle calls," since often many, many people show up and are herded into a small waiting room.
There are two kinds of open calls. The first is when unsigned models looking for agency representation show up at an agency and present themselves and their photos. Most agencies host regular open calls when they will meet with these hopefuls and give them an appraisal. The second kind of open call is like a cattle call audition. Say a toothpaste company wants to find a model with perfect teeth to appear in all their new ads. An open call will go out for all models that fit that description.
When a client calls an agency to hire a model for a specific job and time period, the booking agent saves the model's time by writing it in his or her big, fat scheduling book, and then tells the client that the model has been put "on option" for them. Being "on hold" and being "on option" both mean the same thing. There are several kinds of options, or holds, that a booking agent can give to a client: 1. First option or tentative option (same thing). The first client to book a length of time with a model is given a first or tentative option. The client then has first right and first refusal, which means they can confirm the model for the job or decide not to. 2. Second option. Client A is holding the model's time with a first option, but has not confirmed the job. Then, Client B calls and says they want to use that same model at that same time. Client B gets a second option for that model. The main difference between first option and second option is that the client with the first option can confirm the model for the job, but the client with the second option for the model cannot. Second options are also given to clients when the model may be out of town, sick, or the booking agent is just not sure of the model's availability. A second option does not necessarily mean that the model is already booked. 3. Unavailable. In this case, the model is fully booked with a first and second option for that time period, and will not be available that day. All these options and holds can get confusing but don't worry too much about it. That's why you have agents.
1) Exposing photograph film to too much light and ruining it; 2) Getting your face plastered on every magazine cover, billboard, and bus in the country, causing people to get sick of you and causing your agent or manager to diagnose you with overexposure. The fastest, and only, cure for overexposure is a few months out of town, preferably somewhere out of the way like Tahiti or Tibet.
From the Latin for "per day." When on location, the amount of money you can spend on meals, transportation, etc., and get reimbursed by the client. Per diems vary depending on your status, the client, and the city you're in. For example, a top model sent to Paris for an Elle shoot is going to have a slightly higher per diem than a model on her first job in a small town. Models in smaller markets - especially beginning models - may not get a per diem, and have to pay their expenses themselves. In the acting world, per diem means day rate.
The fees your agent and/or managers take out of the money you make. World-wide, agents usually get 20% of your gross for each job, and managers get the same. In some smaller regional markets, agents may take 15%.
The all-purpose term for the person who assists a model, a modelling agent, a photographer, etc.
Still photographs that are filmed with a film or video camera and turned into static videos. Photomatics are inexpensive ways to turn a photo shoot into a television commercial (usually a pretty cheap looking one, however.) It's like a slide show put on videotape. A photomatic is another usage, however, and, because it's going onto video, the model must be paid day rates according to the rules of the actor's guilds (like AFTRA).
A type of camera that pops out the developed film instantly. On castings and go-sees, Polaroids are usually taken of every model and stapled to their resumes and headsheets. P-O-P Short for point-of-purchase. This is anywhere a consumer purchases a product. Sometimes a model's likeness is used at a point-of-purchase, like a cosmetic counter that displays a poster of the model wearing the company's make-up.
Also called a book. This is the notebook a model brings to castings and go-sees that contains their best photos, usually size 8 * " x 11". 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.
One of the many stances or positions a model assumes during a photo shoot or a fashion show. Strike a pose - there's really nothing to it.
A story written by a public relations company distributed to the media. Press releases are used to announce vitally important events in a model's life, such as attendance at a movie's premiere, or a recently signed contract.
The main subject in the photograph, as opposed to an extra or background model.
Prints are what the photography lab makes with the film the photographer gives them. It's just another word for photograph.
Photographs shot for print mediums (magazines, print ads, etc.)
1) An event that may require models to promote a product, a service, a new store, etc.; 2) A type of advertising.
Also called proofs. See contact sheet.
PROOFS See contact sheet.
A public relations company is sometimes hired by a modelling agency, a model's manager, or by the model to promote and publicise the model and his or her career. Public relations representatives distribute stories (press releases) to the media about a client's comings and goings in order to get that client's name in the papers or magazines. A big agency in a big city has a PR company it uses regularly to help promote all of its models. Known more commonly as PR.
A sheet sent by the client to the modelling agency to confirm the job, the model(s), the dates and times, the location and the hourly or day rate they agree to pay. The agency signs off on it and sends it back.
Short for day rate. The amount of money a model or actor earns for a job. Rates are paid by the hour, the half-day or the day. Rates are negotiated by the model or actor's agency.
Ready-to-wear (translated from the French, prÃªt-a-porter) clothing is clothing that is not custom-made for a customer. Customers can buy ready-to-wear right off the rack in a store. The opposite of ready-to-wear is wildly expensive couture clothing. All the clothes at the mall and in large department stores are ready-to-wear, from The Gap to Barneys.
The piece of paper you get every time you make a monetary transaction. Keep them all. You'll need them when tax time rolls around.
A videotape montage of an actor or a model's work. This could include clips from movies, TV shows, commercials, industrials, student films, etc. Directors and cinematographers have reels of their work, too.
A big silvery flat thing, or a big silvery umbrella, that is positioned around the photographer's subject to reflect all the light onto it.
A document or contract signed by the model or actors that specifies how the client can use the photographs or film.
This is the fee paid to the actor or model (and the director, photographer, writer, etc.) every time the commercial, television show, or movie is broadcast after its initial run. Residuals vary according to region, the number of times the work airs, the agreement in the contract, and what type of part the talent had. Some actors receive residuals for years, if the show or movie is rebroadcast frequently. Usually, residuals decrease with each successive broadcast.
Your education, training, and professional history condensed onto one page, neatly formatted and typo-free. Résumés are usually stapled to the back of the headshot (but should be facing out for easy reading). Once signed, models should use a comp card instead of a headshot and resume.
The original piece of clothing made by a designer for the model(s) to wear.
This is the minimum amount of money an actor must legally be paid for a day of work. The unions set scale, and it changes frequently. As of the year 2000, scale was hovering right around £600. Check with SAG and AFTRA for an updated figure.
When a model is "discovered" on the street, it's usually because a model scout saw them and approached them. Scouts can either be on the agency's payroll or work independently. When a scout finds someone with potential, they will try to get their discovery signed by the agency. If an agency wants to represent the model, the scout receives a percentage of the model's future earnings for the first one to three years. Note: There are many disreputable scouts out there who are looking for gullible young people, not potential models. They may approach you and tell you they'll get you signed with an agency, but all they really want from you is money for classes, money for photographs, or money for representation. Legitimate agencies do not make models pay for representation.
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD (SAG)
Usually referred to by its acronym, SAG. It's the union an actor must belong to in order to work non-background roles in film (as well as in all television shows shot on film, which covers most series TV). Becoming a member of SAG is a bit difficult. New members earn entrance into the Screen Actors Guild by meeting one of the following eligibility requirements: 1) An actor is cast and hired to work in a principal or speaking role for a SAG (union) production; 2) An actor has a minimum of one-years' membership as well as principal work in an affiliated performers' union (AFTRA or AEA); or 3) An actor is cast and hired to work in an extra (background) role for a SAG production at full SAG rates and conditions for a minimum of three work days. In addition, at the time of joining, a performer must pay an initiation fee plus the first half of his/her annual dues for that year. According to the federal Taft-Hartley law which applies to California, New York, and most other states, a non-SAG actor may be cast and permitted to work for a SAG production, under a union contract, for thirty days. After that time he/she needs to join the appropriate union in order to accept any additional union work.
A few minutes of film shot to see how an actor looks and sounds on film under different circumstances, in various lighting and make-up, etc. See testing.
Seamless paper rolled down back of a photographer's studio to eliminate all corners, edges, and shadows in the background of a photograph. The same effect can be achieved in a cyc studio.
SET The place where a film or commercial is filmed, either in a studio or on location.
Where clothing designers display their collections to buyers, sometimes using models. Showrooms are usually not open to the public.
The piece of paper the model signs when he or she arrives at a casting, open call, or go-see. It lets the person in charge know who showed up and which names to call.
SLR CAMERA A single-lens reflector camera. Whatever you see through the lens of an SLR camera is exactly what you'll see on film. In some other cameras, the image through the lens is very different from the image that is captured on film.
SPEC SHOT Test photos taken for a specific job. The photographer will take the photos hoping to sell them to the client.
A photo of the model playing a sport (like Gabrielle Reese playing volleyball). SPOT A television commercial. It's often used to refer to an ad that runs locally, as in "Last week, I did two spots for the Toyota dealership on Route 180."
STAGE PARENT A negative term used for a somewhat pushy parent who really wants their child to be a model or an actor.
Short for statistics. These include all the specific sizes and measurements a model needs to print on his or her composite card. The stats required depend on the type of model (fashion, commercial print, male or female). A female fashion model must list her height, waist in inches, hips in inches, bust in inches, cup size, dress size, shoe size, hair colour, and eye color. A male fashion model must list his height in inches, chest in inches, waist in inches, inseam in inches, shirt size, collar size, sleeve length, suit size, shoe size, hair colour, and eye color. Adult models do not list their age or their weight. Children list hair colour, eye colour, their height in inches, size, and date of birth. For infants and babies, weight, length in inches and date of birth are all that's required, as well as a photograph taken within the last six months. Children under five need to have new photos taken every six months (these can be Polaroids).
A still photo, as opposed to photography for film and television (motion photography).
The frame-by-frame depiction of a television commercial in drawings. Storyboards are good for getting an idea of the image or scene the photographer or director will attempt to achieve during the shoot.
A very bright light used in certain photo shoots (as opposed to a daylight studio). The strobe is actually like a giant flash bulb that the camera is connected to that provides a bright white light.
The controlled environment photographers use for photo shoots. The opposite of a studio shoot is a location shoot.
A professional hired to style the clothing, hair, and makeup for the models on a photo shoot. The stylist can choose the clothing, add accessories, design the set, and design the look of the hair and makeup (but not actually do the hair and makeup - usually the stylist will direct the hired hair and makeup artists). You can always tell the fashion stylist because they wear the coolest clothes.
A term for a very famous, wildly successful (almost always female) fashion model. The term was spawned in the late 1980s to refer to a small group of ubiquitous women.
This word refers to anyone hired to appear in a photo, TV, print, commercial or fashion shoot. Model and actors are the "talent," as opposed to the behind the camera people hired for the job, such as grips, makeup artists, photographers, stylists, etc.
An agency that represents actors (who agents refer to as their clients). One or several hundred agents can work at a single agency, and each individual agent can represent one or dozens of clients.
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. See our article on putting your portfolio together.
Shooting a few still photographs or a few minutes of film of an actor or model to see how they look or sound on film under different circumstances, in various lighting and make-up, etc. Tests on film are called screen tests.
An event which is sponsored by a manufacturer to promote their products. Models will often be used to draw attention to the participating vendors' exhibits.
Or trade papers. These are the industry-specific publications that contain news and information relevant to a specific industry. For the fashion industry, the main trade paper is Women's Wear Daily (WWD). For models, it's Tearsheet. For actors, it's Backstage. For the movie industry, it's Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
Just like rock bands, designers go on tour. These multi-city, multi-department store tours are called trunk shows because the designer packs up all their clothes for the road in these big black trunks. Trunk shows are almost always held at department stores as a way for the designer to publicise and sell a new line of clothing directly to customers. Models will usually accompany the designer on tour and model the clothes right in front of the customers. Sometimes, the designer will hire local models for each trunk show. See a list of upcoming trunk shows in your area.
1) A general description of a character, included in breakdowns to help cast roles. Clients might be looking for a suburban mom type, a rugged outdoorsy guy type, or a sexy babe type. 2) A skill some models find helpful when looking for work between modelling jobs.
Casting according to broad categories. Sometimes an actor will be cast repeatedly in the same role, where they always play the Italian mobster, the blonde bimbo, Superman, etc. Some actors try to avoid the typecasting syndrome by choosing a variety of roles and demonstrating their range.
A type of organisation whose members may be actors, singers, dancers, set designers, truck drivers, writers or factory line workers. Unions are also referred to as guilds. The main guilds for actors are SAG, AFTRA and ACTRA.
The fee paid to models for using photographs in various formats, or usages.
Models get paid for each different medium in which their photograph is used. These different mediums, or usage’s, 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. Usage’s 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, world-wide buyout. That means the client can plaster the photograph across every city in the world in every possible usage until the end of time.
A speech or dialogue delivered from off-screen, as narration. Many actors specialise in doing voice-over work, which includes radio, animation (cartoon voices), TV commercial narration, movie previews, video games and interactive software. While the voice-over actor usually doesn't appear on screen, he or she does lead a life blissfully free from screaming fans and avoid nasty run-ins with the paparazzi.
A form models use to get paid for their work.
Every agency provides vouchers to its models, and it is the model's responsibility to bring the voucher to the job, have it signed by the client and the photographer, and then return it to the agency's accounting department. One copy goes to the photographer, the second copy goes to the agency for billing purposes, and the model keeps the third copy for accounting purposes. [Graphic: actual voucher with mouse over text. Link to the Money Centre to learn more about keeping track of vouchers and filling them out correctly.] Using the voucher, the agency bills the client for the model's time and then pays the model his or her percentage of the gross (80%).
A term used by the client when booking an outdoor job. If the weather is not good, the client has the option to hire you for an extra day.
See composite card.
1) A type of lens that magnifies the photographer's subject; 2) To rush quickly to your next go-see when you're running late.