Pittsburgh Modeling, Models and Talent
What is a model's Comp Card?
Here are a few observations about a models comp card. What is it? What's it for? What's it look like?
The comp card is one of your greatest tools in getting work. Basically, it’s a card, around 5” x 8” in size, printed on both sides. The front side of the card is usually the models’ headshot along with the model’s name and agency logo. The backside of the comp card usually has multiple shots of the model, usually four in number. The actual size and design of the card isn’t always standardized, but the Modeling Agency will sometimes want all their comp cards to be similar to convey the “look” of the agency.
Pittsburgh Modeling, Models, and Talent is a web site dedicated to the education of models in mid to small towns like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati. To many people interestied in modeling, the industry is a mystery. This site will help answer the questions that many potential and novice models may have.
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|The front side “head shot” is by far the most important of the five images. It’s the biggest in size and should definitely show the model in his or her best light. This is the image that will be seen first. There is no other way to make a first impression. Just keep in mind that when a client is shopping for a model, they are usually sitting at their desk leafing through a pile of these cards. Yours should stand out and be informative. No super “high key” shots where you can’t really see what the model really looks like. The backside of the card is used to communicate information about the model, visual and written. Somewhere on the back of the card is usually listed the height and measurements of the model. As far as the images go, the key word here is versatility.|
Even though the agency has sort of pegged you for a “category” of modeling, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other jobs that you would be appropriate for. You can’t always guess what the client will be looking for. He may want a short, flabby, middle-aged Indian woman. You just never know. Just concentrate on communicating versatility. Here are a few suggestions.
Show a wide range of expressions. The client might not need a smiling person. Maybe you’ll need to look sexy, or concerned, or surprised.
Show some skin. Sometimes the client needs to know what you body looks like. Nothing ticks off a client like having a model show up that isn’t what they expected. If you sow some skin on the comp card, they’ll know what they’re buying. If you have a six-pack, show it off. A word of warning though… Don’t get carried away. If you look too sexy, it turns a lit of people off. They wonder just what kind of modeling you do… If you know what I mean.
Have at least one of the shots be full body. Clients like to see the proportion of the person. Again, it’s about information. Do you “look” tall? Do you “look” short, or maybe even look normal? They want to know.
Try not to have any images of yourself wearing the same outfit or in the same location or background. It makes you look inexperienced. When I see this, I just assume that the model has just put together a portfolio and has little, if any, real modeling experience. It’s even good to have different photographic styles on your card. It helps subconsciously, to tell people that you’ve “been around”, and that helps clients think that they are not taking as big a risk selecting you for their project.
Here are a few FAQ’s regarding Comp Cards
What’s the standard size for a comp card?
I measured a couple I had and the size is 5.25 inches wide and 8 inches tall.
Who usually the picks images for the card?
The Modeling Agency (if you have one) usually insists on choosing the photos for the images to go on the card. They have experience in knowing what to look for and aren’t as biased as you probably are. Their opinion is much more objective than you or your mom’s.
How many comp cards should I get printed?
When I asked the agency how many they usually get printed, they told me 100. If I were a model, I would do a little marketing on my own and would probably get more printed, say 500.
Where can I get comp cards printed?
The agency told me that there are hundreds of places around.
If I am represented by an agency, who pays for the printing of the cards?
What’s the Cost for 100 comp cards? About $135.00
How often do I need to update my comp card?
The agency told me the norm, unless a drastic change was made to your look (hairstyle).
Who does the layout for a comp card?
The agency will take of that for you. If you aren’t represented by an agency, you’ll need to find a friend or maybe the printer can help you.
Where do I get pictures for a comp card?
There are a few photographers around that specialize in this type of photography, and I'm not one of them. I have a friend, however, that shoots model's portfolios. As a matter of fact, he shoots many of the Talent Group's models. If you want ot see his portfolio, click here. His name is Alan Adams and his studio is down stairs of mine. If you ending up shooting with him, tell him I said "Hi".
Comp Card Samples
Special thanks to The Talent Group for letting me use these model comp cards as samples!
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