Small glossary of the model agencies.

The 11 most important terms for models and those who want to become one.

1. Agency commission

The Agency commission is a cost item when booking a model through an agency and will be charged to the model and client. A commission is a cross-industry compensation model for companies that are regularly paid based on success.

At model agencies - as a mere intermediary - the agency commission represents the sole business basis of a model agency. Commissions of more than 18% are not legally permitted in Germany. Section 2 (2) of the Broker Compensation Ordinance sets a corresponding maximum limit. Nevertheless, the commissions of the model agencies usually vary between 20% and 30%. The increased commission rates are justified with an increased administrative effort and the costs of creating presentation materials for the model sedcard.

In other European countries, these commissions or deductions are often much higher; This is not least because models abroad are not assessed as self-employed, but have to be employed subject to social insurance!

2. Application

Application is understood to be the application of a model to a model agency.

Unlike the common opinion that a successful application as a model agency requires a maximum of standardized requirements, it is much more decisive to which agency a potential model applies!

Particularly Outside of the classic fashion model area, there are no real requirements for a model application. For example, there is no specific age limit for models. Dimensions also play a subordinate role when it comes to models for advertising productions. Here, however, we also speak of people and less of models.

The sought-after aesthetics lie much more in the proportions of the model. Play it too Factors such as healthy skin and safe demeanor play a major role. Modeling is a profession like any other and demands professionalism and reliability. The personality of the model is a decisive factor to work successfully in this industry.

Model agencies usually need for the first application two meaningful pictures, as well as personal information. The Photos not professional his. The agency creates a sedcard with professional photographs upon inclusion in the card index. As a rule, the costs are initially taken over by the agency and offset against incoming fees. The pictures are a portrait and a full body picture.

The model agencies need some information in the application letter:

  • Date of Birth
  • Dimensions (chest - waist - hips)
  • Contact details (name, address, mobile number, email)
  • Height
  • Hair color eye color
  • Cup size (for female applicants)
  • Shoe size
  • Dress

The models send the photos with a corresponding cover letter to the agency of their choice. Online applications are now preferred. Parents must be taken along for applicants who are minors.

3. Bookers

A Booker works for a model agency and takes care of the booking process; thus establishes the contact between the model and the client or offers the model. It is important that the booker develops a good feel for the needs of the customer in order to be able to offer the right models in the next step. The booker is included in the project management team for extensive projects and is then part of the team, for example when it comes to realizing an elaborate promotion or a fashion show. In addition to the booking, the booker also takes care of the maintenance of the card and the customer acquisition. With this he covers a large part of the operative business of a model agency. Booking is one of the most important departments in an agency. The booking is managed by the so-called head booker. There is neither a course nor an apprenticeship for this profession. Entry into the industry usually takes place via an internship in a model agency.

4. Booking confirmation

A Booking confirmation is a binding commitment from the agency to the model. The booking confirmation contains all data such as fee, period, place for the order. The agency sends the customer an order confirmation which is identical in content to the booking confirmation. In the order confirmation, all questions such as time, place, fees, etc. are expressly confirmed to the customer in order to avoid misunderstandings. Customer or model agency are entitled to assert their rights in the event of non-compliance with the agreement of the booking confirmation. The model must also properly confirm the booking. This is usually done through a prior agreement, the option.

5. Buyout

The buyout is one Remuneration for granting the model's usage rights to the client in order to be able to use the resulting image / video material.

A separate assignment of rights or the granting of use must be taken into account for every media production, because the right to one's own image basically excludes further commercial use. In addition to the agreed model fee, the customer pays an assignment of rights. In other words, the customer buys the right to use the images for certain purposes for a certain period of time.

In the case of large-scale campaigns, the rights of use are limited in terms of time and space in addition to the media channels (i.e. the type of exploitation; for example, all online media). Agencies use the VELMA table to determine the buyout. The table breaks down the various media channels and territories and recommends calculating a percentage of the model fee.


A "casting" is the term for the first introduction of a model or an actor to a client and can also be understood as a process of role selection. The casting is divided into two variants in keeping with the times. The e-casting and the live casting.

6.1 Live casting

This is not about the application in the form of images, sound and writing, but the physical presentation of candidates to the client or the casting agency. The live casting is based on the model job to be filled. For actors, the casting can also include acting and speaking roles. The live casting is usually recorded and documented using casting videos. The preselection and casting videos are then forwarded to the respective directors and producers. The final cast will be decided again afterwards. Casting is an important success factor, especially in advertising productions and fashion shows, since even small discrepancies in the appearance can endanger the success of the production. Although the casting online is actually carried out by a casting agency, in the industry the application of a model to a model agency is already understood as a casting.

6.2 e-casting

This is not about the physical presentation of candidates to the client or the casting agency, but about them Application for a model job using current images and video material.

The model agency or casting agency receives clear guidelines in advance for the desired image and video material and passes them on to the modes and actors. The material is then passed on to the directors and producers, similar to the live casting.


The fitting is often part of a model job and is carried out shortly before the production or the event. Specifically, it's about Trying on clothesworn at a fashion show or the costume / oufits for a photo or video production. An expense allowance will be paid for the fitting, depending on prior agreement.

8. Model contract

The Model contract serves to define the rights and obligations between the model agency and the model in writing. Without a signed contract, the model will not be offered to the customer, as the agency is usually only allowed to invoice and make a booking in the name and on behalf of the model.

The Model contract is therefore the right to represent the model and the agency to conclude contracts on behalf of and on behalf of the model.

In addition, the model agency contract regulates certain flat fees and assignments of rights within the framework of an engagement. In practice, additional agreements are often made with the model and the client, as only basic framework conditions are clarified via the model agency contract. Part of the model agency contract are, among other things, the basics of cooperation, booking bases and financial matters.

The model agency contract is usually concluded when a model is accepted by a model agency and then applies to all future model jobs that are concluded between the model agency and the client.

The model can conclude such a representation agreement with any number of model agencies. Exclusive representation is not permitted under contract law within the framework of the independence of a model!

9. option

The option is a essential part of a model booking. The option serves the purpose of only presenting models to the end customer who are ready to carry out the order in terms of time and given conditions.

The option is a contractually binding commitment from the model to the agency, whereby the model has the option to relativize. Options are limited in time. So the model can give the modeling agency a binding commitment by a certain date. If the client or agency does not give a confirmation by then, the option expires.

In addition, the model has the option to prioritize options. Depending on the time when the option came about, the model assigns a "first option" to the first request and a "second option" to the subsequent request. So if the first request becomes obsolete, the broader request then receives the first option. A model can also reject a request at any time and refuse or not grant the option.

10. Overtime

Overtime are hours that can accrue in addition to the agreed number of hours. If a model is booked for a whole day, this generally means 8 hours of pure working time. However, if the model works longer than the scheduled time, this is known as overtime. These If the time is exceeded, the model is credited as a percentage of the daily fee and additionally billed to the customer. The model must immediately inform the agency about any overtime that may have occurred. This information can no longer be taken into account later, as the customer is invoiced very quickly after production.

11. Polas

Polas is a short form of the industry term: "Polaroids" and denotes simple shots in which the model is usually photographed without make-up and in a bikini (for fashion models) or casual (for commercial models). The term technically comes from the past when photos were taken with a Polaroid camera. Polaroids are an important part of the model profile, especially in times of extreme image processing options, where the real appearance of the model often differs greatly from the images in the model book. Polas are also known as "Snaps", "Snap-Shots" or "Digitals".


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