Sunday, April 20, 2008

Modelling tips: Comp card

I am pretty confident I do not have to introduce the term portfolio to my readers. I am not too sure about the term comp card though. Some models have never heard of it and models that have heard of it, may still not have one.

A comp card (short for composite card, also called Z-card or zed-card) is an A5-sized card (5 by 8 inches) with a couple of your best pictures, some relevant statistics and contact details. You may compare it to a business card. Every business man has one, often with very impressive job titles (e.g. assistant executive floor manager, which means that the guy helps cleaning the floor). You don’t have an impressive job title, it’s just ‘model’. But then again, you have your looks. They are much more impressive than any job title, so why not put them on your business card?

So why have a comp card when you already have a portfolio? Well, there is a clear difference. When you go to a client or agency, you obviously take your pf with you, right? And when you go home, you take your pf back with you again, leaving the client with… ..nothing. Well, you are leaving a dazzling impression of course, but these tend to fade over time. Why not leave a couple of pictures, some statistics and your contact details? And why not put those o none single card? That is the sheer essence of the comp card. What if a client is seeing 10 models in one day? The client will have a hard time keeping all these beauties with their impressive portfolios apart. What would you think of the chances of the model that left a comp card on the client’s desk? It could be you.

So what should be on your comp card? The main picture should be a nice headshot. Your name should be on it, and your measurements. Your e-mail address of course and if you have a website, your url, should be listed. There is room for couple of other pics, to show your versatility. Check my article on
portfolio selection for more tips.

I think we agree by now, you should have a comp card. But should you invest loads of money in it? Well, it depends. If you are aiming for a professional career and your portfolio has matured, you may want to invest in a large number of professionally printed comp cards. High quality cards will make you look professional. If your portfolio is still developing, your best shots now will not be your best shots in two months time. So you will want flexibility and it would not be wise to have a large number of cards. And with smaller numbers, high quality print work is very expensive. So do the next best thing: design a comp card in Photoshop yourself (see the link below) and have it printed as a photo. This way you’ll have a fairly good quality at a reasonable price without having to have huge numbers of prints. In either case, have a pdf-version as well, to send to clients by email. They are easy to make, easy to adjust and free to copy.

More resources:

A do it yourself-tutorial

Tips (note: commercial site)

And more tips

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