Friday, November 25, 2011

Glossary of Modeling Terms

Models: Karen Murdock and Andree de Villers. Photographer: Steve Richard. Circa: 2009.


ACCESSORY - A decoration, piece of jewelry or clothing that adds emphasis to an outfit.

ACTOR - Performers that appear in television, films and/or on stage.


ADVANCE - Money that is paid out before the modeling job is completed. This is deducted at a later time from the model's pay. Advances can be given to cover modeling supplies such as portfolios, clothing, travel expenses, etc.
ADVERTISING AGENCY (AGENCY, AD AGENCY) - Is responsible for creating advertising campaigns for clients, selects models for campaigns. Commission is charged to both clients and models

ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHY – Images that are created to illustrate a service or product for the purpose of advertising.

AGENCY – A company having a franchise to represent another.


AGENCY CARD - A business card containing contact information for the model's agency such as phone number and location.

AGENCY CONTRACT - A written agreement that explains the obligations between an agency and a model, this usually comes from the agency.

AGENCY DIRECTOR - A person that has a management position inside an agency.

AGENCY PARTY - A social gathering, party, gala or celebration that is sponsored by a model's agency. These can include, but are not limited to birthday parties and holiday parties.

AGENT - A person authorized to act on a model’s behalf. Agents are also responsible for arranging jobs for the model that they are representing.

THE ALLIANCE OF CANADIAN CINEMA, TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS (ACTRA) - The Canadian labour union representing performers in English-language media.


The artist responsible for the overall art/design of a project including creating the layout for ads and illustrating model's poses.

ARTISTIC NUDE – Typically this art can be found in galleries, coffee table books and fine art magazines.  The nature of the posing is tasteful though revealing.  Often artistic nude work is in black and cleat or with unique lighting scenarios.

AUDITION - An interview with a photographer, art director, casting director, agent or client where they evaluate you for a particular opportunity. Where specific talents are required, it is not unusual for you to be asked to perform.


BACKDROP (BACKGROUND) - The background used in a photographer's studio.

BEAUTY SHOT - A headshot from the shoulders up, where the main focus is on the model's face, including make up, hair, and accessories.

BIKINI AUDITION - The same as a regular audition, except that one will be asked to appear in a bikini so that the client may evaluate your figure.

BIOGRAPHY (BIO) – A synopsis of a model's life. Biographies are usually a mix of the person’s personal life as well as their professional life. 

BIT - A featured extra role.

BLACK AND CLEAT PHOTOGRAPHY – The creation of monochrome images using photographic techniques. Through the use of either a traditional film camera or digital camera, the artist exposes an image media, such as film or a digital image sensor, to light. The light then affects the image media in such a way as to leave a permanent imprint of the scene on that media. This media is then processed to create a final image or photograph. 

- The physical movements by actors in any scene.

BODY CHECK - A specific type of audition where the casting director need to view a models physique. This is often modeled in either underwear, bikini, or in the nude. If the body check requires nudity, it should always be discussed and agreed upon prior to the audition.

BODY DOUBLE (STAND-IN) - A stand-in for an actor. Body doubles are used for several reasons such as nudity, stunts, physical form (ie: pregnancy), etc. Body doubles are always shown from the back or with their face hidden as they are portraying another person.

BODY MODELING – Fitness modeling centers on displaying an athletic physique. Fitness models usually have the defined muscles of bodybuilders, but with less emphasis on muscle size. Their body weight is usually similar to (or heavier than) fashion models, but they have a lower body fat percentage due to increased muscle mass and reduced fat mass.

BODY SHOT - A full-length photo of a model where the main focus is on the model's body.

BONUS - Bonuses can be given when a shoot is very long, or when a client loves the models/photographs and wants to use them more often than the original intention. If the model is represented by an agency they would receive a percent of your bonus. 

BOOKER - A person or individual who arranges jobs for a model that they are representing.

BOOKING AGENTS - Someone who engages a person or company for performances.

BOOKING - A scheduled and confirmed job.

BOOKING OUT - When a model indicates times that they will be unavailable for work.

BOUDOIR - A great deal of "boudoir" is now created in the photographer's studio or in luxury hotel suites, where it has become very fashionable to create a set of sensual images for women in "boudoir style". This often takes the shape of partly clothed images or images in lingerie, and has become more than just a passing fad for brides to surprise their future husbands. 

BREAKDOWN SERVICE - A professional listing that lists movies, film, TV, and stage projects with what types of actors are being cast. Available only to agencies.

BUYER An individual who selects what items will be stocked in a store, based on his or her predictions about what will be popular with shoppers. Retail buyers usually work closely with designers and attend trade fairs and fashion shows to observe trends.

BUYOUT - Advance payment for future use of a print ad or a commercial for a specific period of time.



CALL BACK – After the candidates have been narrowed down for a particular assignment, you are called back for further consideration. A call back will often entail a more specific process such as a body check, screen test or wardrobe check.

CALL SHEET - A printed list of the day's filming/photography schedule along with the cast, crew, and props needed.

CALL TIME - The time you are to report to the set or location for work.

CAMERA READY - Anyone who is ready to appear in front of the camera. If you are asked to arrive to a set camera ready you should arrive completely dressed, with your hair and makeup done, and ready to begin for the day.

CANCELLATION - Notice of a cancelation before booking is determined by the situation and written into the contract.

CASTING - When a business chooses the model for a project.

CASTING CALL – A posting by a producer, art director or casting director of an opportunity in a film, video, commercial or print project.

CASTING COUCH - A term from the early days of the entertainment industry. It implies a producer is soliciting sexual favors in return for a part in a film or a print project

CASTING DIRECTOR - The person in charge of, or responsible for casting a film video or print project.

CATALOG/PRINT MODEL - A model who is photographed regularly for catalogues, newspapers, magazines, billboards and other advertising announcement forms

CATWALK - A slang term for a runway.

CHARACTER MODEL - Hired to represent a character for a product or service.  There are no set physical requirements; they change on a case-by-case basis.

CLIENT - The person/business that is hiring the model for a specific job.

CLOSED SET - A set that has been closed to public access.

COLD READING - When actors are requested to spontaneously read and/or perform part of a script for a casting director.

COLLECTION - A collection or line in the fashion industry constitutes a group of clothing designs put together to tell a story of the designer's inspiration and new trends for the fashion brand during a particular season.

COMMENTARY - A script that is used to describe clothes for a fashion show.

COMMENTATOR - The emcee at a runway show.

A promotional advertisement on television, radio and other media forms.

COMMERCIAL LOOK - An appearance that appeals to a wide variety of people and consumers.

COMMERCIAL MODELING – In commercial work the product is the central focus of the photo or video.  This includes advertising and editorial work.

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY - Commercial photography predominantly sells a product. It includes advertising, editorial, photojournalism, portrait, fine art and wedding photography

COMMISSION - The percentage of money paid to managers, casting agencies or agents for booking or arranging your services. Typically commissions are 15 to 20 percent of total payment.

COMPOSITE (COMP CARD) - Also referred to as a zed card or model business card. A comp card is a printed card with at least two photos of you in various poses, settings, outfits and looks (the widest variety possible). It includes your name, your/your agency’s contact information and 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 once you’ve been signed.
CONFIGURATIONS - The number of models posed in a photograph (ie: singles, doubles, triples, groups).

CONTACT SHEET (PROOFS) - A test sheet of film used to determine best shots. From the contact sheet the photographer and the client will choose which shots they want to print and enlarge.

CONTRACT - Model Contract is an agreement whereby a, model agrees to provide services for a business or agency.

COPY - Written words in a script to be spoken in a commercial.

COVE STUDIO - A photography studio that has no corners. Also called Cyc Studios.

COVER GIRL – A female model that appears on the front cover of a magazine.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR  - The responsibilities of a creative director include leading the communication design, interactive design, and concept forward in any work assigned. The creative director is known to guide a team of employees with skills and experience related to graphic design, fine arts, motion graphics, and other creative industry fields.



DAYLIGHT STUDIO - A photographic studio that is lit with natural light, usually by way of windows and skylights.

DAY RATE - A model that works at a certain specified daily rate no matter how many hours the model actually works.

DEMONSTRATOR - Someone who demonstrates an article to a prospective buyer.

DEFERRAL - Also known as Deferred Compensation. This is when all or part of the monies due to a model or actor are deferred until a certain event takes place. Talent is often paid a percentage of future earnings.

The person who creates the idea and design of a garment.

DIALOGUE - Spoken words by principal actors.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY A photographic method that stores the image digitally for later reproduction.

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY  - A popular form of photography used to chronicle significant and historical events. The photographer attempts to produce truthful, objective, and usually candid photography of a particular subject, most often pictures of people.

DRESSER - A person who assists and fits the model into the wardrobe.

DRESSING (SET DRESSING) - Items positioned in front of the camera or on the set to make the scene look more realistic.


EDITORIAL - A section of a magazine depicting fashion though is not directly advertising.

EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY - Illustrates a story or idea within the context of a magazine. The magazine usually assigns these projects.

EMCEE - A person who acts as host at formal occasions.

EXCLUSIVITY CLAUSE - A legal document that allows the model to work for only one agency or client.

EXTRA  - A non-speaking part in a film or commercial. They may be part of a crowd or non-descript in the distance. If they are alone on camera performing a specific function, they are considered a "featured extra."


FAD LOOK – A certain style that many people are wearing that is "in style." Often overdone, usually a passing craze.

A person who puts outfits from fashion shows together in retail stores.

FASHION TRENDS -Gradual changes in fashion styles, often set by trendsetters that are collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period.

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY - Fashion photography is a genre of photography devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, or Elle. Over time, fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which the clothes and fashions are enhanced by the presence of exotic locations or accessories.

FASHION MODELING – In this genre of modeling the clothing is the central focus of the photos.

FIGURE MODELING - This is a form of nude modeling normally used for art rather than glamour. In figure modeling, the body is the central focus, such as artistic nude modeling.

The amount of money a model makes per hour.

FEATURED EXTRA - When an extra is clearly visible on camera and not just a blur in the background.

FIT (FITTING) MODELING- A fitting model is a person who is used by a fashion designer or clothing manufacturer to check the fit, drape and visual appearance of a design on a 'real' human being, effectively acting as a live mannequin. A person is selected to work as a fitting model primarily on specifications that generally consist of height, bust-waist-hip circumference, arm and leg length, shoulder width, and a myriad of other measurements as indicated by the garment type.

FITTING – A session that takes place before the shoot or show to determine the clothes to be modeled based on fit.

FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY - Photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides a visual account for news events, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

FINE ART NUDE PHOTOGRAPHY - Is a style of art photography which depicts the nude human body as a study. Nude photography should be distinguished from glamour photography, which places more emphasis on the model and her/his sexuality, and treats the model as the primary subject. Nude photography should also be distinguished from erotic photography, which has a sexually suggestive component. Nude photography is also distinguished from pornographic photography, which is of a sexually explicit nature.

FREELANCE MODEL - A model listed with multiple agencies (as opposed to one particular agency) or a self-promoting model that works without an agent. Most commercial print models are freelance and work as independent contractors.

FULL FIGURE (PLUS SIZE) MODEL - Plus-size model is a term applied to a person who is engaged primarily in modeling plus-size clothing. Plus-size models also engaged in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing, e.g., stock photography and advertising photography for cosmetics, household and pharmaceutical products and sunglasses, footwear and watches. Therefore plus-size models do not exclusively wear garments marketed as plus-size clothing. This is especially true when participating in fashion editorials for mainstream fashion magazines.


FULL NUDITY - Full nudity refers to complete nudity, while partial nudity refers to less than full nudity, with parts of the body covered in some manner.


GIG - A slang term for a booking.

GLAMOUR MODELING- Glamour photography is a genre of photography whereby the subjects, usually female, are portrayed in a romantic or sexually alluring way. The subjects may be fully clothed or seminude, but glamour photography stops short of deliberately arousing the viewer and being hardcore pornography.

GOLDEN LIGHT (GOLDEN HOUR) - The period at dawn or dusk when the outdoor light takes on a golden hue, this is an ideal time for taking pictures.

GO-SEE – A meeting with a prospective client. A portfolio must be brought to a go-see.



HEAD SHEET - A poster displaying headshots and information about a selection of models represented by a modeling agency. Models often have to pay to appear on an agency's head sheet.

HAIR MODEL - A model that specializes on demonstrating the use of his/her hair in print or competition, often for salons or stylists directly.

HAIR STYLIST - Someone who cuts and styles hair. He or she often offers other services such as coloring and hair extensions. He or she cares for the perfect hairstyle of the model at a shoot, runway show or event.

HAND MODEL – A person who models (poses or displays) their hand or hands for the purposes of art, fashion or other products or advertising. Hand models are used in advertising where advertisers want close ups of the product being handled. Most peoples' hands have blemishes such as scrapes, scars, spots, or discolorations, which would stand out in a close up and distract from the product. Hand models tend to have flawless skin and hands, with what are considered ideal physical traits. In female hand models agents often seek long, slender hands and fingers and long nail beds. They also value smooth, hairless, unblemished skin with minimal wrinkles and visible pores.

HEAD SHOT – An 8X10 photo of a person’s face that is submitted to agents, casting directors and directors to try and obtain acting and modeling jobs.

HIGH FASHION MODELING – Models are generally 5 ft 9 in to 6 ft tall and size 0–4 (105–107 lbs for a 5 ft 9 in model). They generally have 32–35" busts, 22–25" waists and 33–36" hips. High fashion models have strong, unique and distinctive features.

HONEY WAGON – Portable restrooms brought to locations by film companies to provide for the comfort of the cast and crew.

HOT SET - Any set or location that is being used for filming, photo shoot or taping. Even if the cameras are not rolling, a location can be considered "Hot" if any of the props, lights, or camera arrangements are set up and ready. It is important to not disturb anything on a Hot Set as to maintain continuity.


IMPLIED NUDITY - Model is typical nude or semi nude during shoot, however nothing is show in the photo or video. In some cases, buttocks will be shown. The essence of implied nudity is that the photograph is suggestive but not revealing.

IMPRESSION - That is the term that reflects one viewing of a print advertisement by an individual. Thus if four people see an ad, that would be four impressions. The number of impressions may not necessarily equal the number of copies printed.

Non broadcast productions. These are often educational or sales films tapes.

INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY - Photography in which an infrared optical system projects an image directly on infrared film, to provide a record of point-to-point variations in temperature of a scene.

INFORMAL FASHION SHOW - Fashion shows that take place
in stores or restaurants. Models often walk around amongst the public with no runway.


JUNIOR MODEL - A model that looks young and can model junior-sized clothing. Youthful type, animated.


KEY LIGHT - Also called "main light." The principal source of light on a subject or a scene, usually in reference to a studio light. The key light is generally the brightest light on the subject, or the one that will have the greatest overall effect on the image.


LICENSE - A special permission to do something on, or with, somebody else's property which, were it not for the license, could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort or trespass.

LINES - Words written in a script.

The sequence of models and garments in a fashion show.

LINGERIE MODELING - Lingerie signifies modeling in undergarments or sensual sleepwear.

LOCATION - Any shoot or video shoot that takes place outside the studio aka On Location.

LISTING AGREEMENT – A legal agreement between a model and an agency that gives the agency permission to market the model to prospective clients.

LOOK - The unique appearance of the model.

LOUPE - A small hand-held magnifying glass that is used to view slides or contact sheets.


MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY - Type of photography employing use of special lenses or attachments allowing close-range photos of a given subject.

MAKE UP ARTIST - A makeup artist is an artist whose medium is the human body, applying makeup and prosthetics for theatrical, television, film, fashion, magazines and other similar productions including all aspects of the modeling industry.

MANNEQUIN MODELING - The process where a live model hold frozen in mannequin-like positions.

MARKET (JOB MARKET) - Any location where there is a lot of work.

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

MEET AND GREET - A networking event to establish a first meeting with a client.

A large bag that models carry all their makeup and working essentials in.

MODEL RELEASE - A model release, known in similar contexts as a liability waiver, is a legal release typically signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph in one form or another. The legal rights of the signatories in reference to the material is thereafter subject to the allowances and restrictions stated in the release, and also possibly in exchange for compensation paid to the photographed.

MODEL AGENCY – An employment agency that helps promote models, schedule casting calls and handles client relations and payment. Agencies usually charge a commission of 15-20% of the total payment for a job.

A scene performed by an actor for a client that reflects a particular mood and demonstrates your acting talent.

The feeling a model projects to suit the specific project.


NUDE ART MODELING  - Art models are models who pose for photographers, painters, sculptors, and other artists as part of their work of art. Art models are often paid, sometimes even professional, human subjects, who aid in creating a portrait or other work of art including such figure wholly or partially.



OFF-THE-RACK - (especially of clothing) made in standard sizes and available from merchandise in stock; "a ready-made jacket"; "ready-to-wear clothes".

When a client is seriously considering you for a project and they want you to keep the time available for them first.

OPEN CALL - When modeling agencies will see prospective models without previously scheduled appointments.

OPEN SET - A set that is open for anybody who has access to enter. Sometimes an open set is open to the general public, but it is usually just open to people who happen to be in the studio, on location or on a studio lot.

PANTOMIME - The term for pretending to speak in conversation when in fact you are only mouthing the word. Most Extras will be asked to act as though they are speaking but they really are not. This is so the audio recording can pick up the principal talent without all the background noise. The sound editors will then add the background noise in post-production.

PARTS MODEL - Also known as specialized modeling. Models feature specific body parts. – ie. hands, feet, legs, etc.

PER DEIM - Per diem is Latin for "per day" or "for each day". It usually refers to the daily rate of any kind of payment. It may also refer to a specific amount of money that an organization allows an individual to spend per day, to cover living and traveling expenses in connection with work.

PETITE - A petite model is 5'6" to 5'8".  Most petite modeling work is in print and body work.

PHOTOGRAPHER RELEASE - A legal statement authorizing the photographer to use the photographs taken during a photo shoot.

PHOTO SHOOT (PHOTOSHOOT) – A photo session with a photographer.

PLUS-SIZE MODEL – Plus-size model is a term applied to a person who is engaged primarily in modeling plus-size clothing. Plus-size models also engaged in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing, e.g., stock photography and advertising photography for cosmetics, household and pharmaceutical products and sunglasses, footwear and watches. Therefore plus-size models do not exclusively wear garments marketed as plus-size clothing. This is especially true when participating in fashion editorials for mainstream fashion magazines.

PORTFOLIO (BOOK, AGENCY BOOK)  - A vinyl or leather book, normally 8" X 10", 9" X 12" or 11" X 14" filled with select photos which show the model at his/her photogenic best and samples of their work (tear sheets).

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY - Portrait photography or portraiture is the capture by means of photography of the likeness of a person or a small group of people (a group portrait), in which the face and expression is predominant. The objective is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the subject.

PRESS RELEASE - A statement that is distributed as a publicity release to the media.

PRE-TEEN MODEL - A model that is under 13 years of age.

PRINTWORK- Photography taken for print media such as magazines, catalog, mail order, books, brochures, ads, etc.

The main performer in the foreground.

PRODUCER - Someone who finds financing for and supervises the making and presentation of a show (play or film or program or similar work).

PRODUCTION COMPANY – A production company is a company responsible for the development and physical production of new media, performing arts, film, radio or a television program.

PROJECT – An individual or collaborative enterprise planned and designed to achieve an aim.

PROMOTION - Publicity to advance a product, service or person.


PUBLIC RELATIONS -The professional maintenance of a favorable public image by an organization or a famous person.


QUASI-FISH-EYE LENS - The Quasi-fish-eye lens produces an image on the film or image sensor that covers the entire frame, whereas a True fish-eye lens has its circular image wholly within the frame.


RAMP – A place designated for runway modeling. A ramp can be slanted or a flat surface, or a stage.

RAMP MODEL - A model who specializes in demonstrating and displaying clothing and garments during fashion shows.

fees charged by the model.

RELASED – This term is used for a model that is told that they are no longer being considered for modeling jobs.


RESIDUALS -A royalty paid to a performer, writer, etc., for a repeat of a play, television show, etc

RESUME - A sheet listing a model's education, experience, and vital statistics. The resume is often attached to an head shot or a composite.

RUNWAY – A raised aisle extending into the audience from a stage, esp. as used for fashion shows.

RUNWAY MODEL – Runway models showcase clothes from fashion designers, fashion media, and consumers. They are also called "live models" and are self employed. Runway models work in different locations, constantly traveling between those cities where fashion is well known - London, Milan, New York City, and Paris.


A one of a kind item from a line.

Minimum wage set by the unions.

SCOUT – One who is employed to discover and recruit talented persons, especially in the fields of fashion and entertainment.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD (SAG) – is an American labor union representing over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide.

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

SEAMLESS BACKDROP – Backdrop used in studio photography that does not have a hard transition between the floor and the wall. Usually paper.

SHEER (SHEERS) - Clothing or drapes that are sheer or transparent.

SHOOT - A slang term for a photo shoot.

SIDES - A portion of a script that is given to an actor to read at an audition.

A list of the order in which each model arrived to an audition.

SLATE - The reference information written on a clapperboard, informally the clapperboard itself

SPEC SHOT – A photograph taken in hopes that it will be sold on its own merits.

SPOKESPERSON -A central figure in an infomercial or spot, usually a celebrity, athlete or original developer of the featured product. Spokespersons lend credibility and provide reassurance of quality by virtue of their charisma and reputation.

STAGE MOM- A term for the mother of a child actor. The mother will often drive her child to auditions, make sure he or she is on the set on time, etc. The term sometimes has a negative connotation, suggesting that the individual is prone to obnoxiously demanding special treatment for her child, or placing inappropriate pressure on her child to succeed.


- Statistical information of a model, including measurements, size, height, etc.

STABLE The roster of models represented by an agent.

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY - The supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online. Often, they are produced in studios using a wide variety of models posing as professionals, stereotypes, expressing stereotypical emotions and gesticulations or involving pets.

STORYBOARD - A sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production.

STROBE(FLASH) PHOTOGRAPHY– The technique of producing pictures of both single and multiple exposure taken by flashes of light from electrical discharges.  

STYLES - Types of modeling that a person would be interested in. Examples would be fashion, glamour, parts, implied nudity, etc.

STYLIST -A person whose job is to arrange and coordinate food, clothes, etc. in a stylish and attractive way in photographs or films

SUBMISSION - The sending of your comp card to a project for submission.

SUPERMODEL - A successful fashion model who has reached the status of a celebrity


TALENT SCOUT - A person whose occupation is the search for talented artists, sportsmen, performers, etc., for engagements as professionals

TEAR (SHEET) - A page cut or torn from a periodical and used chiefly to provide evidence to an advertiser of the publication of an advertisement.

TELEPROMPTER TV - A television screen that displays the cue card lines in a filmed production.

TESTIMONIAL – A public tribute to someone and to their achievements.

TOPLESS – Having or leaving the breasts uncovered.

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.

Trade publications include: Variety, Backstage, NY Casting, Actor's Resource Network, Ross Reports, Drama-Logue, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter

TRADE SHOWS - An exhibition or fair at which manufacturers display their products for the benefit of visiting wholesalers and retailers.

TRANSPARENCIES- An image, text, or positive transparent photograph printed on transparent plastic or glass, able to be viewed using a projector.

A special sale in which vendors present merchandise directly to store personnel or select customers at a retail location or another unique venue. In many cases it allows store personnel to preview and/or purchase merchandise before it is made available to the public. It is particularly desirable to have the actual designer present at the event. Most small businesses do this to get more buys.


UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY - Is the process of taking photographs while underwater. It is usually done while scuba diving, but can be done while snorkeling or swimming.

UNION DES ARTISTES - (UDA) – UDA or Artist union is a Quebec-based labour organization representing stage, television, radio and film performers in French-language media in Canada (the English language labour organization is ACTRA).

USAGE - Models get paid for each different medium in which their photograph is used. The model receives an additional fee for each usage the client buys. 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.


Background or Animated Character voices for radio or video recorded separately in a recording studio and dubbed onto visual

VOUCHER - A legal statement that usually originates from the model's agency that includes the contact information and the model's rates, this serves as a release for the model.


WIDE-ANGLE LENS - A lens with an angle of view that is wider than that of a normal lens, or that of the human eye. A wide-angle lens has a focal length shorter than the focal length of a normal lens. The focal length of a wide-angle lens is less than the diagonal of the film format or the digital sensor.


X (SETTING) - Electronic flash units fire virtually instantaneously and reach full brightness immediately. Therefore no time delay is required. Also refer as X sync. Real time setting that causes the flash to burst in synchronizes or instantaneously as the shuttle open up.

XOGRAPHY - Photographic process for producing three-dimensional images.


ZED CARD - A comp card (also called composite card, z card or sed card) is a marketing tool for actors and especially models. They serve as the latest and best of a model's portfolio and are used as a business card.

Model: Andree de Villers. Photographer: Eric Boutilier-Brown. Circa: 2008.


  1. I appreciate your glossary of terms. 'actually read through most of it. I was puzzled at the end where you mentioned under W- Wide Angle Lens. Since you mentioned this are you going to include at some future time an explanation of all the other type of lenses that are used? Z- Zoom Lens, P- Prime Lens, etc?

  2. The power of technology and the wide acceptance of media distribution have made it difficult for aspiring models to know what to do with their newly found careers.

    I have had the opportunity to meet models from all ages and places. The one quality found in all well determined models is the desire to express beauty and art with their bodies. It is more than just a mere statement.

    Perhaps we should soften our brows and enjoy how women and men express our rigid views.

    I salute Andree and Sarah because they always reach far and beyond.

    Raúl Méndez

  3. Hi Anonymous,

    It is so difficult to put together a comprehensive glossary that includes all terms! We will definitely add in Zoom and Prime Lens and if there are any additional definitions that you would like to see included - please let us know!

    Thank you for your feedback!

    Andree & Sarah

  4. Raul,

    Thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts. Deep down, the core of every image should be the desire to create a work of art from all parties involved.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    Andree & Sarah