Glossary of Modeling Terms and Phrases
When first starting out as a model, some of the modeling terms and phrases may be unfamiliar to you. Not to worry! Here's a list of the most common terms and phrases we use in the business.
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. AFTRA is a television and radio artists union.
A form used by models to record the names of clients, job descriptions, number of hours worked, rate of pay, and expenses. The model has the client sign the form (voucher) and will give the client one copy, the agency one copy and will keep one copy for herself. (See also Voucher.)
A model's portfolio book of photos.
Factors that may exist in a booking and for which the model may be paid more. An agency establishes booking conditions that outline fee specifications for cancellations, weather permitting bookings, overtime or weekend fees, or bonuses for a variety of other conditions.
A mass interview or audition where numerous models attend. (See also Go-See.)
Commercial models can be any age, any size, and any height. Commercial models can do everything that isn't normally associated with high-fashion, such as product ads (housewares, food products, travel industry, tech devices, and the list goes on).
If you think you'd like to become a commercial model one of the best resources is a book titled "How to Become a Successful Commercial Model" by Aaron Marcus.
High fashion models that appear in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, GQ, Details, W, Numero and work for clients such as Armani, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, and other high-end clients are usually referred to as "editorial" models.
The term “market” refers to the various geographical locations in which models work and earn a living. New York is a “market,” Paris is “market,” Tokyo is a “market,” and so on. It can also refer to the category your particular look falls into, such as the fashion market, commercial market, plus market, petite market, etc.
The major markets are New York, Paris, Milan, and Tokyo. Secondary markets are Chicago, Miami, Australia, Taipei, and so on. Local markets are much smaller markets and usually where most models originate from before heading to a secondary or major market.
A mother agent is a person or agency that initially discovered you. A mother agent will help you develop your look, build your book and market you to major and secondary markets. A mother agent is an important part of your team and can help you navigate the various markets and manage your career long term.
Runway/Catwalk models do live runway shows, showrooms and other types of jobs where a designer or client needs the model to walk and show their clothing. Female runway/catwalk models are a minimum of 5' 9" but 5' 10" - 5' 11" is better. Male runway/catwalk models are a minimum of 6' 0" - 6' 2"
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
TFP means Time for Prints. It is when a model will exchange their time to pose for a photographer and the photographer will, in turn, give the model prints for their book. Usually, this is done by a photographer who may be building their own portfolio or they want to try new lighting techniques or styles.