From Nikonians Wiki
Generically, the model is the human subject of a photograph. Specifically, a model is a person in a commercial model shoot who is appearing as an imaginary person, rather than representing themselves, so that the image can be repurposed without further permission being sought. Typically, a model signs a model release which sets out the assignation of copyright and other legal issues, to prevent later misunderstandings.
A professional model brings much more to the shoot than physical appearance. Most models are able to move rapidly through a series of standard poses, as well as being able to follow detailed verbal direction from the photographer when refining a pose, or creating a new pose suited to the image.
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