A girl asked me recently what a comp card was, and it is good to know when you are interested in modeling.
You may wonder what is a modeling comp card? Here is the scoop on what a comp card is, how to make one and how to use your comp card.
Printed on 8.5”x5.5” card stock paper--a modeling comp card contains photos, your measurements/statistics and contact information. A comp card shows a selection of images, sort of like a mini portfolio, that highlight what you can do as a model. On the front you should have a headshot or beauty shot and on the back include two to four images depending on how you want to present yourself as a model. The comp card shares your statistics, or “stats”: height, dress size, bust, waist, hips, hair color, eye color and shoe size.
This your best marketing tool as a model, it what you use as a shorter model to mail to print modeling agencies/ or talent agencies. Print modeling agencies do not often create the marketing material for the models they work with, the models work non-exclusive with the agencies, which means they can still model and get booked a lot, but the agency is less hands-on. The model can work with more than one agency by working non-exclusive and she also creates her own comp card, puts together her portfolio over time, and is the one molding her pursuits.
Above are some of my own comp cards I have created through comp card printing companies, usually if a place prints headshots, they print compcards but not always. I would not go to a Kinkos, or print it yourself at home. I would go to a professional service that makes comp cards for models.
Price: $100-$150 for 100 cards is standard.
Style: Four photos on the back has been typical and standard for years for comp cards but there is not a rule in the layout of your comp card, see above for examples of mine, however do not clutter your compcard.
Over the years I have made probably over 25 comp cards. The comp card is what you use to market yourself as a model, yes, even in this digital age, the comp card is needed.
On the side of my blog there are links to comp card service suggestions.
Fashion and commercial print modeling and the comp card: In fashion the modeling agency makes the comp card for their models, for commercial print models, the model makes her own marketing tools, because she is often working non-exclusive with the agency. For more on this see below to self-marketing tips.
Here is more on the basic modeling marketing tools you need.
(Also keep in mind the more you know, the less likely it will be to experience a scam. Also you can skip scams by managing your own photography, being smart about what photos you need to start modeling, and prevent wasting time and money.)
You can find opportunity as a shorter girl working with agencies, brands and magazines, but you do need to know:
1. What photos you need to pursue the modeling you want and can do. Many girls wonder why an agency isn't calling them back after submitting their comp card. Often it isn't them, it is their photos.
2. The self-investment. It takes money and time to get the marketing materials your need, a comp card ($100-$150 for 100 cards), portfolio $100), etc.
3. The ambitious realistic mindset. You will be mailing many agencies, you will be striving to get your own experience and here are some other links on marketing yourself and comp card in professional ways:
My latest segment on Model Talk Radio was about building experience in a smaller town and using your comp card: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/isobellajade/2010/11/11/building-modeling-experience-in-a-small-town
Here are more tips on self-marketing from this blog:
Having a comp card is a must for an aspiring model. But just having it isn't enough, you need to show photos on it that represent what you can do. If you don't show it, you won't be booked for it or sent on a casting for that type of work from the agencies. If you want to model accessories, show it on your card, if you want to model beauty, show it on your card, show your personality and energy, smile, and show you can model products naturally, a cell phone, smile while walking your dog, hold a coffee cup, show some catalog-ish shots of you in a cute dress that is classic. Being natural, not so fashion forward with your styling and makeup is better for print modeling and shorter models.
Focus on making a comp card will best market your assets, without a comp card I couldn't have worked with agencies or booked any of the work I have over the years. To get the modeling agency interested in working with you, you send your comp card to them. At a casting you need to have a comp card. Sometimes the client won't even look at portfolios, but they will ask for your comp card. So make sure you are planning to get one and creating a comp card that markets your assets and fits your realistic modeling goals.
Aim high and strive,