Friday, August 8, 2008

Modeling Comp Card and why models need them

A girl recently contacted me and said "I'm a barbizon student, so for my session 19 they told me I don't need compcards yet esp if I'm a beginner (in the whole acting modeling biz) is this true?"

This was my answer.

I hate modeling schools. They are a waste. Usually it gives you unrealistic perspectives.

And a model DOES need a compcard.
Any model who wants to model, and a model who want to get an agency, go modeling castings, or get modeling work, needs a compcard.

No question.

It isn't just an industry thing, a composite card/ compcard is a mini portfolio of your capabilities as a model, and having a compcard is a great way to market yourself as a model and in general with or without an agency.

From any age.

Babies, to grandmother...models can be all sizes and ages.Maybe not fashion models, but models of all ages are needed and ALL models need compcards. It doesn't matter if you are a new model or have been modeling for years.

A compcard is a mini portfolio card of the type of work you are best to do as a model. It is best to make the shots look like ads, involving a product, modeling a handbag, or making the shot look like a catalog shot.
A sample compcard is above, but keep in mind I am in my 20's and if you are a teen you should not show as much skin on your compcard.

A compcard basically says to the viewers eye what you look like on camera, what you are capable of as a model, and basically is your best marketing tool.

You want your card to tell the person looking at it " yes she can model, and model well and she knows how to work with products and atmosphere, and make it seem believable."
I don't believe in modeling schools that say things like:You don't need a compcard because YOU DO.

Especially because modeling is more about "what you make out of it," than anything else.
Anyone can make a compcard. Go to

But you DO need good photos, you do need pictures that represent the type of modeling you can do. And you do need to not slop together a card but really put time into it.

Once you have your card, you can mail it to agencies, magazines, marketing agencies, and aspiring brands, and as a new model you can use it to promote yourself. Taking a chance on yourself and trying is the first step, and it starts with self promotion. And you need a compcard to do so.

It is important to have a compcard because without it how can you work....when I run out of a compcards I think to myself," Shoot, I can't get work until I have created a new one or re-print some" because they are your life line as a model, they are you marketing tool. And as a marketer, modeling is your market and you are your product and your compcard is your example of the model you strive to be.

I suggest you try to invest in some photos, or work with some photo students, or even have some friends who take good photos take some photos of you. I suggest you make a compcard and do not wait for someone to make what you want to happen.

And modeling agencies are not the end all. Sure it is wonderful to have one, and they can lead you to better jobs, but at the end of the day modeling is your pursuit, so you have to self serve and promote you, and your compcard is your tool to mail to casting directors, to mail to brands, magazines. I suggest thinking bigger than just modeling agencies:

What about marketing companies in your own town/city? Pr agencies? Promo agencies? Advertising Agencies? Sending them to the art director or marketing managers, or public relations managers is also a good idea.

Especially in a smaller city these are all good places to also send your cards. Yes Modeling does take being able to think inventively, thinking beyond the small bubble of just modeling agencies sometimes, and thinking about other places where models are needed, and of course this can mean skipping the middle man. And you need a compcard to do mail and promote yourself. To introduce yourself with. Without one, how do you expect to model?

I had a compcard before I had an agency. How do you think I got the agency? I submitted my compcard? I had to re-make my compcards, and keep trying to get one that worked for me.I had to think about what I have to offer as a model, and put it together on a compcard that makes me come across sellable. An agency wants to work with a model that they can pitch. But the agency isn't the end all, as a model I am very experienced today, but even when I was a newbie, I was busy and I mailed my compcard to brands, magazines, do you think I have gotten where I have gotten?

Here is a segment on Model Talk (my modeling pod cast about the importance of compcards.)

I hope this all helps put into perspective why you need a compcard.

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