Well, lately at castings I have been noticing a few interesting things.
1. Compcards are not being taken.
2. portfolio's are not looked at.
You might be wondering, does this mean you don't need these things to model? The answer is YOU Totally still DO!!
But you should know why casting directors are more inclined to just take your photo at a casting.
Your photo is taken at the casting, and you do sign in and fill out a casting sheet, but casting directors, photographers, and editors are taking natural snap shots vs. the comp card.
Today I even had a chat with another model while at a casting who said "models never look like their compcard anyways."
I said, "I do!"
(Cause I do! I make sure the photos on my comp card do look like me! And I find that important and take pride in the fact I can be diverse but it looks like me.)
But she is right, many models are overly photoshopped, and a comp card can often lie about what the model really looks like. Photoshop has perhaps caused casting drectors to not take comp cards and instead prefer to not even see them, or the portfolios and just book the model based on the natural digital snapshot taken at the casting.
However, however, however, however,don't think you can skip the comp card, no no no, you DO have to have a comp card still, and you do still need to have a portfolio. Yet the modeling industry, and advertising industry and marketing industry has become more about being natural, and not so much about over produced photos. A comp card is how you get a modeling agency to work with, you mail the agency by postal mail it is still a MUST have, no questions, but be aware that the type of images and the interests of many casting directors these days is all about being natural.
What does this mean for you?
It means you don't have to spend a fortune on your modeling photos and that commercial print photos with a natural look are not complicated to create and that you should not be going broke to take them. You need basic shots, and here are examples of print modeling photos to inspire you.
You do need a portfolio still and of course comp cards but I am letting you know that I am noticing more and more, more than ever, casting directors want to see the real you!
Also be aware of the casting details before you attend, today at a casting for a pharmaceutical ad, which is conservative a girl was wearing super high heels, and for something this conservative, it is better to tame down the heel height, and bring sandals, --most models change their shoes for castings, but be aware if actually your heel height is making you look wrong for the part. Also come prepared for your photo to be taken, don't be a mess when you walk into the casting, look ready, with some pretty makeup but not caked, and bring a hair tie, or hair clip, sometimes you are asked to pull back your hair.
Finally, when it comes to creating your comp cards don't shoot with an amatuer photographer, take yourself more seriously, and don't shoot with anyone who doesn't understand what print modeling is-the results of the photos will not help you if the photographer does not understand YOUR needs. If you really want to model you have to notice where you fit into the industry and where you can really find opportunities and the photography you use to market yourself does matter.
More on my podcast here on modeling comp cards and casting tips: