Modelling Terms You Need To Know

What's the difference between a booker and an agent? Who hires a model for a catwalk show? Where are a model's measurements taken? In this handy two-minute guide, we give you all the words you need to know if you want to become a model. 

In this video, learn essential model speak with the top terms in the model industry. From how to describe the book of photos that models use to show their work, to the name for the team of agents who look after new models, this guide of basic model phrases will have you speaking like a backstage regular.


A casting is the process of choosing models for a job. This can be in person, where lots of models go to meet casting directors and show them their walk, or done direct between the booker and the casting director over email. 


The client is the designer, brand or magazine who books the model for a job.


Polaroids are natural pictures of a model with no makeup and plain clothes, to show clients exactly what they look like.

New Faces

New models are known as new faces. Each agency has a special team of bookers to work with the model at the start of their career, from the moment they first walk into the agency until they make it big.


Clients and photographers hold a go-see to get to know models for future projects. This usually involves inviting the model to meet, either at the client or photographer's studio, or at the model agency, and going through their book to see their work, and seeing the model walking as they would on a catwalk.


Everybody is different, so a model’s measurements are important to book each job. They are: height, bust or chest, hips and shoe size. 

Casting director

The casting director is the person who chooses models for a job – for editorials, campaigns and catwalks shows. Many casting directors work on a freelance basis, and a client will employ them to choose the best model for the job according to their eye for new talent.


A model keeps all of their best photos in a book to show clients. A model book is also known as a portfolio.


Before a model is confirmed to work on a job, they are held on option. This is the last step before booking a job. 

Model Card

Each model has a model card with their photo and measurements, also known as a composite or comp card. These are kept on a wall or board at the agency, and given to clients for castings. 


Scout is the person who finds new models. They work everywhere, from concerts and airports to shopping centres looking for new talent. 

Learn more about scouting with Iris Minier, International Scout with Elite Model Look. 


A model must learn how to move on the catwalk. It’s called a walk, but there’s much more to it than that. Catwalk coaches teach models how to walk in a controlled, confident way. 

Read our interview with former Elite Model Look Finalist turned catwalk coach Ruben Rua.


A stylist is the person who chooses and organises clothing for photo shoots. They also advise on how clothing should be worn at a catwalk show. 


The most established models of the agency are known as the Mainboard. They have their own team of bookers, and there is usually one team for the women models, and one for the men.


An editorial is a photo shoot published in a magazine.

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