A Glossary of Essential Modeling Terms and Phrases

Celebrity Fashion shoot in Kerala
Fashion shoot in Kerala

As an aspiring model or a rookie in the fashion world, it is challenging to learn all the jargons used within the industry. To facilitate your learning process, we bring you a glossary of all essential terms & phrases related to modeling that is necessary for understanding this profession better. 

This blog will speed up your learning purpose and provide an official version of words never heard before while debunking some myths commonly associated with this entertaining world.

Let’s begin without further ado.

Key Modeling Terms and Phrases: A Glossary of Words & Phrases

In the modeling world, being familiar with the industry’s unique terminology and jargon is essential to communicate effectively and confidently in navigating your career. 

This comprehensive glossary of modeling terms and phrases will help you understand the language of the modeling world and enhance your professionalism.

  1. Agency

A modeling agency is a company that represents models, helping them find job opportunities, negotiate contracts, and manage their careers.

Agencies typically earn a commission based on the model’s earnings from booked jobs.

  1. Book or Portfolio

A model’s book, also known as a portfolio, is a collection of photographs showcasing their work and versatility.

A well-rounded portfolio should include various images, such as headshots, full-body shots, and editorial or commercial work.

  1. Call Back

A callback is a second audition or meeting with a client after an initial casting.

Models who receive a call back have made a positive impression and are being considered for the job.

  1. Casting or Go-See

A casting, also known as a go-see, is an audition or interview where models meet with clients, photographers, or designers to be considered for a job.

During a casting, models may be asked to walk, pose, or present their portfolio.

  1. Commercial Modeling

Commercial modeling encompasses various modeling work, including print advertisements, catalogs, and promotional materials.

Commercial models often represent a more diverse range of looks and body types than fashion models. They may be hired to promote various products or brands.

  1. Composite Card or Comp Card

A composite or comp card is a marketing tool models use to showcase their best images, measurements, and contact information.

Comp cards are typically distributed to clients, casting directors, and photographers to promote the model’s work and secure job opportunities.

  1. Editorial Modeling

Editorial modeling involves appearing in fashion magazines, editorials, and other print publications.

Editorial models are often required to convey a specific mood or theme. They may work with high-fashion designers and renowned photographers.

  1. Fitting

A fitting is a session where models try on clothing or accessories before a fashion show, photoshoot, or other jobs to ensure the proper fit and styling.

During a fitting, adjustments may be made to the garments, and models may receive instructions on how to wear or present the items.

  1. Freelance Model

A freelance model is a model who works independently, without exclusive representation by a modeling agency.

Freelance models are responsible for finding job opportunities, negotiating contracts, and managing their careers.

  1. High Fashion

High fashion refers to luxury fashion design and haute couture, featuring exclusive, custom-made clothing and accessories.

High fashion models typically work with top designers, photographers, and stylists. They may appear in prestigious fashion shows and editorial spreads.

  1. Lookbook

A lookbook is a collection of photographs showcasing a designer’s clothing line, accessories, or a specific collection.

Models may be hired to appear in lookbooks, which are used for promotional purposes and to present the designer’s work to buyers and the fashion industry.

  1. Market Week

Market week is when designers and fashion brands present their latest collections to buyers, retailers, and the press.

Models may be hired to showcase the clothing or accessories during showrooms, presentations, or runway events.

  1. Measurements

Measurements are the specific dimensions of a model’s body, such as height, bust, waist, and hips.

Accurate measurements are essential for clients to ensure proper fit and sizing when booking job models.

  1. Mother Agency

A mother agency primarily manages and develops a model’s career.

Models may have additional representation in other markets or countries, but the mother agency serves as their main point of contact and support. 

  1. Open Call

An open call is a casting event that models can attend without a prior appointment to meet with potential clients, agents, or casting directors.

Open calls may attract many aspiring models, making it essential to stand out and make a lasting impression.

  1. Plus-Size Modeling

Plus-size modeling is a category of modeling that focuses on representing larger body sizes and promoting body diversity.

Plus-size models may work in various areas of the industry, including fashion, commercial, and editorial modeling

  1. Runway or Catwalk

The runway, also known as the catwalk, is the platform where models showcase clothing and accessories during a fashion show.

Runway models must possess excellent walking and posing skills and the ability to convey the designer’s intended mood or theme.

  1. Scout

A scout is an individual who searches for new modeling talent, either independently or on behalf of a modeling agency.

Scouts may discover potential models through street scouting, social media, or industry events.

  1. Show Package

A show package is a collection of comp cards or portfolio images representing the models an agency is promoting for a specific fashion week or season.

Show packages are sent to designers, casting directors, and clients to help them select models for runway shows or other jobs.

  1. Test Shoot

A test shoot is a photoshoot organized to build a model’s portfolio or experiment with new concepts, lighting, or techniques.

Test shoots are typically unpaid, with the model, photographer, and other creative team members collaborating on a trade-for-prints basis, exchanging their time and skills for images to use in their portfolios.


As an aspiring or working model, it’s essential to understand the terminology and phrases commonly used in the industry. Familiarity with these terms will help you communicate effectively and demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your career. 

Use this glossary as a resource to move through the modeling world and climb confidently on the ladder toward success.

Neeraj is a digital marketing specialist who believes in content marketing to assist rising talents and businesses to achieve their career goals and vision