Explained: Shit Fashion Photographers Say


All you hear is BS?

Worry no more, here is a list of Fashion Industry Jargon explained. Plus a video. Just because.

Including cats.


Beauty Shoot - A story told in images that are of the face from the shoulders up and closer. Usually consists of 5 different but cohesive hair and makeup looks and focuses on beauty (hair, makeup, nails).

Book - Another word for portfolio but its usually the printed version which i believe everyone should still have. Usually no more than 10 images that need to be updated regularly. Including tear sheets.

Booker / Model Agent - the booker is responsible for finding the model work and to be the contact for any questions and needs regarding modeling. Each agency consists of 1-several bookers per department (new faces, main board etc). Each model has a booker asigned to them and is the go-to person for them.

BTS - Behind the Scenes - usually for photos, videos taking by people while shooting. Images  include the photographer/team or just the location etc. and are not used for publication unless its an article that talks about Behind The Scene stuff. Mostly used for Social Media.

Budget - When you shoot for a client they usually have a set budget for each person on the team or a combined budget. This needs to be talked about beforehand, so everyone knows what to expect and if they are getting paid cash, trade or both.

Call Sheet - Includes all the information and details of the shoot - creative team, contact information, date, time, location etc. and I usually attached it to my moodboard (see here). This needs to be send out by the photographer a few days before the shoot to everyone on the team.

Call Time - The date and time of the shoot for each person on the team. Might be different for each person or the same, depending if you have several models etc.

Camera-Ready - That means for the model to get to set with hair and makeup done because there will be no Hair or Makeup Artist.

Collection - A selection of outfits and individual garments that fashion designers put together every season and that reflect predictions of upcoming trends, including color, cut, line and proportion.

Commercial Shoot - A shoot that promotes a brand, designer or product, so the focus is on the product. Unlike Editorials were the focus is on the story/art. The images will be used as ads in magazines, billboards, catalogs etc and are paid shoots.

Comp Card - Its another form of a model portfolio but usually in a large postcard format that has one large headshot on the front and smaller images on the back. It also includes the name, measurements and agency (which will print them) and the type of modeling the model specializes in.

Fashion Editorial - A story told in images that is not necessarily focused on the clothing (more the story/art) published in a Print or Online Publication. An editorial usually consists of a minimum of 5 outfits and 1-2 images per outfit and is unpaid since the team works for exposure and tear sheets.

Fitting - this usually happens a day or two before the shoot but can sometimes be the same day before hair and makeup. It means the stylists will have the model try on all the outfits she put together to see if they translate well. This is usually a longer process and will require a lot of taking off clothes and putting them on.

Go-See/Casting - When a client is looking for a model to hire for a shoot/campaign and the model meets with a client for the first time.

Hold - When a model had a potential job but its not 100% secured the model agency puts a hold on the model.

Implied Nudity - This implies that the model is nude but doesn't show any private parts (i.e. topless but with the back to the camera). She/he will be nude on set but strategically covered to not show any nipple etc.

Kit Fee - Sometimes a makeup artists or hair stylist will ask to have her costs of product covered for a test shoot which is called a kit fee.

Look Book - A shoot that represents a designers newest collection. The focus is on the product.

LOR - Letter of Recommendation - it's a document you get from the magazine which insures the clothes for you when you borrow clothes from showrooms/designers. It usually includes the date of the shoot, the publication and the stylists name (or photographers if there is no stylist) on it. This does not guarantee you to get into the magazine.

Model Release Form -  This is a document, usually one page, that lists the conditions agreed to between the model and the photographer. Each model release form differs but basically outlines what type of shoot it is, and what restrictions or limitations the model or photographer has when using the images for personal or professional purposes. The majority of model release forms require the model to waive (or dismiss) their claim of ownership/copyright to the photos, which means that they do not own any of the photos, nor are they allowed to make a profit from selling the images. They are allowed to use it for promotional purposes, however.

Model Package - A selection of models from an agency that you can choose models to shoot with from, either for a test, an editorial shoot or a client.

Mood / Inspiration - An image, anything that sets the tone of the shoot

Mood Board - A collection of images to represent the look and feel of the shoot (see here), so everyone on the team knows what to prepare for.

MUA - Short for Makeup Artist

New Faces / Model Development - Models that are working on their Book and are available for test shoots. They are usually new to modeling or the agency. This is good practice for the photographer to perfect their directing skills. 

Option - If you book a model for a test or paid shoot and something happens and the model cant make it (if you were doing a test and they are getting a paid shoot in they will have to take the paid shoot), the agency will send you other Model Options to choose from so you dont have to cancel your shoot.

Polas - Unedited images of the model shot in natural light usually with a phone to show off to clients what he/she really looks like. Images from shoots can distort what the model actually looks like because of clothing, editing, makeup etc.

Portfolio / Port -  a collection of your best images to show to clients or have on your website. Make sure to update regularly and only have your best work in it.

Print Publication - A magazine that is printed on actual paper and you can either buy online or in a store

Props - Objects used as another point of interest. It can be an elaborate set or just one chair. 

Pulling Clothes - Means going to showrooms / stores to borrow clothes for a shoot that you will return after. Usually you have to eave your credit card information so if anything gets lost or damaged they will charge you the full amount. 

Pull Letter - Same as LOR. 

Showroom - A place that represents several or one designer and has all their sample pieces to show and lend out to stylists/magazines

Story / Storyline - Used to make it easy for everyone to understand what the shoot it about (similar to a moodboard but verbal or in written form). Modeling is like acting and the model needs to get in character to deliver what is envisioned. 

Tear Sheet / Tears - The images you get from the magazine when your story has been published. Derives from literally tearing out a page in a magazine. Now you usually get them delivered digitally to add to your digital portfolio as well.

Test Shoot / Model Test - This means shooting for the first time with a model, makeup artist, stylist etc. So to speak testing her/him out. Its good for everyones book and to see if you want to work with them again on other projects. Test shoot are free just like TFP shoots. 

TFP / TFCD - stands for Time for Prints/Photos + Time for CD. This does NOT mean Time for Pay as I have read on some websites. Its a shoot where everyone gets together to be creative and everyone walks away with amazing images for their Book.

Trade - this means you work for trade, everyone on the team gets paid in product. So say you shoot a lookbook for a shoe company that just started out and they don’t have a budget they will offer you a certain $ amount in shoes or let you pick a pair or more. Make sure to talk about pay beforehand!

Wrap Time - The time the photographer estimates the shoot will be over

Now I want you to tell me some terms of weird things people say in your field. Or maybe I forgot something, then please tell me!

xoxo Erika