Terms and Phrases You Need to Know Before Starting as a Model

As a new model in the business, you will get confused by all the terms and phrases that agents and other people in the agency use. Here are some common phrases that you should know before starting as a model.


Time for print is a term usually used by photographers that hire models on their own time. A model exchanges the time that they spend in front of the camera for their book. Usually, photographers use this term when they want to create a book or portfolio of their own or want to try new techniques such as lighting.


Voucher is referred to the paper signed by the model and given to the modeling agency. This process usually takes place after the model has completed the work and takes the voucher to their agency in order for the client to get billed.


Tearsheet is referred to a page of a magazine, catalog, or various print jobs that the model has participated in.

SED card

SED card is another term used for books and takes its name from its creator, Sebastian Sed. It is pronounced zed with a z.

Catwalk model

This term refers to the models that do live jobs such as fashion shows. This can also be applied in cases where a designer wants to show their clothing and needs models for this type of job. Runaway models are the ones that the general public is most familiar with because of the television coverage that these shows get.

Mother agent and mother agency

Mother agencies are usually the agency that represents you in general. In some cases, different models are represented by various agencies in different markets. For example, a model can be represented by an agency in New York and another in Paris. Mother agencies are the ones that make sure that the schedules won’t overlap each other and take a cut from agencies that are under their supervision.


Markets, as a term, are used to specify the geographical location of major modeling agencies. The common ones are New York, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and Paris. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any local markets, and agencies will push models to strive and move out to one of these markets.


A huge event where models are required to participate in order for the clients to choose the best option. In most cases, their go-see events are paid and prestigious.

Day rate

The fee that models are charged for a day of work, usually eight hours.

Commercial models

Commercial models are the ones that we see promoting certain products such as clothing and beauty products in magazines and catalogs.

Books and booking

These terms are used interchangeably. Books are a collection of work that a model has done. It can also be referred to as the work schedule, and the term booking is used in this case.

Age category

According to the age of a model, you are categorized into different categories of the business.

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