Modelling Jargon Explained

“You’ve been put forward in a search”, but what does that really mean?

For models and talent, agency jargon can be confusing and difficult to understand what it really means. You hear the words ‘searches’, ‘portfolio views’, ‘shortlisted’, used lots when speaking with your agent, but you are maybe left feeling a little confused and unsure on exactly what”s happening.

This blog explains what a few of these modelling agency terms mean, it may seem obvious, but if you are new to the industry this isn’t always the case!


If you are a registered model with Models Direct you may well have viewed our extensive client list – our client’s are brands, companies and industry individuals who have contacted the bookings department and we have provided models and talent to for their latest photo shoot, commercial or advertising campaign.

What is a ‘Search’?

At Models Direct there is a team of booking agents who’s job it is to coordinate modelling assignments from beginning to end. When a client contacts us with a brief, our booking agents will create a search from our database of models and talent that fits the criteria the client has provided. The talent criteria can vary hugely depending on many factors including, location, budget, looks, experience, etc. Once the search is complete it is then sent to the client for them to view and consider.


This is your online portfolio, think of it like your modelling CV. This is what clients will view when you are put forward to them in a search so it needs to look the best it can be, it can be the difference of getting selected or not! As a model with Models Direct you will have your own log in and password to access your ePortfolio online, this is so you can make sure it includes all the relevant information, your contact details and measurements are updated when need be. It’s also incredibly important to make sure your photographs are current and of a high quality, often client’s will select models without a casting or audition, simply from ePortfolio’s so it’s essential yours stand out above the rest!

ePortfolio Views

This is the amount of times your ePortfolio has been looked at by a client. If you find that you have had a high number of views, but are yet to be shortlisted selected for an assignment then perhaps you might review your ePortfolio and make sure it is showing you off in the best way. A member of the Models Direct team is always very happy to look through it with you and will offer and help and advice where they can.


This is a very exciting time, if you have been shortlisted for an assignment then it means you are one of the client’s favoured options for the job! When a client receives a search they will then create a shortlist of the talent they think would be right for the role, at this point a member of our bookings team may well contact you to let you know you have been shortlisted and find out your availability and give you some information about the assignment to see if you are interested in it. At this point the job is still not guaranteed, so do not change any of your plans or make travel arrangements – there will be time for this if you make the final selection.


Castings are just like an interview, they are an opportunity for the client to meet you in person to see what skills you have depending on the job. A casting will often be held if the the client is looking someone for a speaking role or a very particular look which you can not determine from just an image. Castings are unpaid and the work is not guaranteed, this would be explained to you if a member of our team contacts you regarding a casting opportunity.


Assignment is the term used for the modelling job, the nature of the job can vary from photoshoots, fashion shows, films, TV, commercials, the list is endless, but they are all referred to as modelling assignments.

For any other modelling questions please visit our FAQ page where you will find lots more helpful modelling info!