I normally hear from aspiring female models, but recently I heard from an aspiring male model on Facebook, he wrote "I have read your blog and I am determined to get my compcard as soon as possible. As a young men, I was wondering do you know where I can look for a photographer that shoots compcards and what should I do after I get my compcards? Should I start sending them to agencies or wait and not send them till I create a portfolio?"
My reply may inspire you as well:
Your portfolio is something that grows with time and experience. So it is best not to just fill up the pages in your portfolio just for the sake of filling them up. You only want to show professional, quality photos in your portfolio that show off your assets.
However I would make sure to include your portfolio a nice headshot, smiling, then another looking more serious and also commercial print catalog style photos, then photos modeling a product, a watch, a cell phone, riding a bike, drinking a coffee, holding a basketball,-“acting” like you are using the product. I would study commercials and ads involving men. Also look in magazines such as GQ, Esquire, and even some women’s can inspire you because male print models are used often even Cosmo magazine. Consider this; for fashion modeling the men are not smiling. For Print modeling, they men do.
You should have both types of shots, depending on your height. Male fashion models are 6’ usually. However even if you are shorter you need a shot in a suit, formal, and a shot in casual wear, jeans. Remember is best NOT to show logos on the clothing you wear for your comp card. What if you go to a casting for Kenneth Cole, when your shirt screams Calvin Klein on your comp card. At this early stage, stay away from logos on your clothing in the shots, unless it is something you HAVE modeled for before.
Your comp card should read stats similar to a female print model, but sometimes share more details.
Height. Eye color. Hair color. Shoe size. Waist size. Shirt size. Inseam.
I've seen some male comp cards have also a suit size or neck size, but I suppose that is similar to a dress shirt size.
You do not need swimwear or to show off your chest if you don’t want to, so don’t think you must. Here are some examples of what a male should focus on for commercial print modeling photos, from Macy’s.com, to give you the vibe of the personality to show in your own photos.
Commercial print modeling also welcomes men, males, of all ages and sizes, so target “commercial print modeling agencies” your comp card, mail by postal mail to print modeling agencies, talent agencies and casting directors. Modeling for a male print model is just as tough as it is for a female to market themselves and you have to be aggressive and positive about it. At the early stages, you might freelance with a few agencies, or try to book some of your own work through submitting a headshot and your comp card to casting directors for print and commercial work as well. Google, commercial print modeling + your city, talent agency + your city, casting directors + your city, then get some stamps and envelopes and mail your comp cards by postal mail. A LOT of them. It will be a process. This whole thing called making yourself a model, is one.
P.s: I use a PRATT portfolio you can find them in art supply stores. Usually it is an investment like $100 for a good one.