I remember being in college and I would use my Christmas gift money on buying new compcards come the New Year. I remember not spoiling myself with those cute shoes, and buying new compcards instead. Before the cheaper opportunities you can find at places like Compcard.com there was basically one option, going to a printing company office and paying $100- $150 for 100 cards. You started with a place where headshots were also printed.
There wasn't the option to buy only 30 or 50 cards. It was 100, that's it! So you had to make sure you were printing something you wouldn't later regret spending your Christmas money on. At the start of my pursuits I made many compcards, many before I even started working with agencies. I was testing out what card would work, and also understanding my look as a model and how to promote myself and what I did have to offer print modeling. Trial and error was a big part of it. I think you grow from learning from mistakes and trial and error with printing compcards was a big part of knowing how I could fit into this modeling business, while being so darn short.
Usually around this time of year was when I would try to produce something amazing. Something that could be marketed and used until the summer. I would print the cards adn then spend the following weeks mailing and research agencies I could freelance with, and trying to get opportunities. Approaching better -more professional photographers, working on creating better images, so that I could again produce a new compcard and try again. It was a lot of trial and error and growth during those years.
But after I ended up working with a photographer which lead to getting my first tearsheet and after submitting my compcard inventively to photo-editors at magazines and trying to approaching aspiring brands, I got some credit, some proof I COULD model well. That I was a good model, and gave the agencies I would later end up working with the belief that I could, despite my height.
When making a compcard it is a good idea to be selective over the photos you put on your compcard and it is better to show two great images that are marketable, than a handful of just ok ones, to fill up the back of the card with 4 photos. It is better to show less-if it is good quality- than show a bunch of not so good images. You might waste your money.
Also I think it takes a creative mind, an energetic personality, and up beat approach to get ahead as a model. Showing up, being pretty, skinny, whatever, is not enough.