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Creating a Comp Card: Getting Started with a Professional Model Comp Card

model-comp-card-a-must-have!

Jobs, photo shoots, travelling and lots of new experiences: As a model you will certainly have a variety of exciting new challenges ahead of you. But as in every job, you will need application documents to attract potential customers in the industry. This is where the famous comp card comes into play, the business card for models and for all those who plan on becoming one. You would also like to have your own comp card with professional photos to gain a foothold in the model business, amaze clients and get jobs? But you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about your own comp card, how it’s created and how you can best present yourself with it, so as to convince potential customers of your skills.

1. What is a Comp Card Anyway?

Comp card is short for “composite card”, as you compose pictures and data to represent yourself. As a model, a comp card is your personal "business card", showing photos of you, through which you present yourself. DIN A4 or A5 formats are commonly used for this. Among your pictures it also includes your most important body data like measurements, height, weight, age, and so on. With a comp card, clients get a quick overview of your look and can quickly see whether you’re right for their project. Your comp card is thus the first impression you make, and it should definitely be convincing! After all, beautiful pictures immediately catch the eye and create interest in further pictures of you and in working with you. Furthermore, a well-designed comp card does not only look great, but is also a sign of tidiness and reliability, qualities that are important to every client.

Fun Fact: You might have heard people use the term “Sed Card”, at some stage. This term also describes a comp card but it derives from the name of the sed card’s inventor: Sebastian Sed. In the 1960s, Sebastian Sed was a co-owner of the successful model agency Parker-Sed, and in order to make the selection process of models easier, he invented the "business card" for models, which is used worldwide today and which therefore bears his name, mainly in German speaking countries.

2. Model Comp Card: Content, Layout & Format

A comp card is usually created in an A5 format and contains your personal data such as name, measurements (height, chest, waist, hip), shoe size, dress size, hair colour and eye colour. Your comp card will also include 5 varied photos of you.

With your online go-Models comp card we’ll tell you exactly which pictures to upload. The front of the card shows a large portrait photo of you, ideally with eye contact to the viewer. On the back side you will find more photos from different perspectives and with varied styles, outfits and poses. Here, your personal data will be presented, such as body measurements and your contact.

Your comp card should definitely contain the following types of pictures:

  • Large, expressive portrait picture with a high degree of recognition (with eye contact)
  • Closeup of the face in colour (your face should be clearly visible, neither hair nor jewelry should cover it up)
  • Profile photo (taken from the side)
  • Unretouched Polaroid image (without make-up)
  • Several full body shots (simple outfits)

Important: The pictures included in your comp card should always be as up to date as possible and should be updated regularly, especially if you change your hair colour or haircut. Otherwise, misunderstandings can occur if the customer books you on the basis of an outdated comp card and you suddenly look completely different at the casting.

3. Comp Card Photo Shoot: Perfect Pics for your Comp Card

In order to get great photos for your comp card, there are some important points to consider before and during, but also after the photo shoot. We have summarised our go-Model tips for you:

  • Create your comp card with professional photos, preferably from a photographer.
  • Practise makes perfect: Prepare for the shoot by taking some test shots at home. Either with a tripod and self-timer or with the help of friends or family. Show the results to those around you and get honest feedback so that you can work on poses and expressions as efficiently as possible.
  • At the photo shoot: Show your versatility by presenting different styles, outfits and poses! Choose outfits that you feel comfortable in, but also keep in mind that they should show off your body. From jeans and T-shirts to cute evening dresses, the more choice the better!
  • Show yourself in different settings and present different emotions (joyful, serious, playful...). The more variety you show at the shooting, the more choice you will have later on when it comes to actually creating the comp card.
  • Use the different photos to show how flexible you are when it comes to expressing yourself. Your most valuable tools are your mouth and eyes, with which you can create different facial expressions and moods.
  • The photos can of course be digitally edited by the photographer or by yourself, but do not use filters! Also make sure that the photos are not retouched too much, as a certain naturalness should be preserved.
  • Your natural self and your self-confidence will get you there! "I am beautiful just the way I am!" should become your life motto, as your inner attitude will also be visible from the outside. Whether in a tight mini dress or in casual everyday clothes, if you love yourself, it will definitely show in the photos!

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4. Creating a Comp Card: Online or Printed Version?

Online applications have become extremely common on the job market, and the same goes for the model business. As a model you should have an online comp card and update it regularly. At go-Models you upload your profile and your comp card onto our online model portal, so potential clients can find and book you quickly. This is of course a big advantage in these fast-moving times, and you shouldn't miss out on it!

Nevertheless, it is advisable to also have a solid, i.e. printed, comp card that you can hand in as an application document at a casting or a personal audition. This does not only make a good impression, but it also increases the chances of potential customers remembering you, after. To increase your employment chances you should therefore have two versions of your comp card, an online version and a printed one.

5. How Much Does Creating a Comp Card Cost?

Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question, because the requirements for the creation of a comp card can vary. The total cost can, for example, depend on how many shoots the photographer has to do to get enough good material for your comp card. Besides the photographer's fee, there are usually additional costs for make-up artists and hair stylists. The range goes from 400€ to about 3000€. Nevertheless, such an investment is important and worthwhile, because that comp card will be your figurehead, making it the basis for your entry into the world of modelling.

But if you have experience with InDesign or Photoshop, you can of course create a comp card by yourself and save money. If you design your own template, you should make sure to use a decent background and simple colours. Less is more in this case and you should also avoid embellishments and decorations in your design. If you would like to have your final product printed, there are lots of service providers online that offer this service at a decent price.

If you are at the very beginning of your modelling career and are a bit short of money, a TFP (“Time for Prints”) shoot might be the right option for you! Such a photo shoot is completely free of charge, as it serves as an exercise for the photographer to try out new techniques or settings. The pictures resulting from such a shoot therefore do not have to be paid for. With a TFP photo shoot you can easily gain first experiences in front of a camera without having to pay for it.

You can read more about TFP-Shootings here: https://go-models.com/uk/magazine/tfp-shooting--get-your-personal-shoot-soon

6. Your Online Comp Card on go-Models.com

Comp cards are crucial to modelling and they are used all around the world. At go-Models we will help you create your online comp card starting right now! The advantage at go-Models: your online comp card can be downloaded and printed directly from our platform. This means that while you are still at home, waiting for a job, your comp card might already be lying on your next client’s desk!

The more beautiful your comp card turns out, the higher the chance of you getting awesome jobs! So, use all the time you have to work on yourself. Do some more research on different ways to get professional photos, be it by via a paid or a free TFP photo shoot, and create professional images that you can use to impress customers. Also, make sure to register with us and upload a digital comp card to our platform. At go-Models you can’t only apply directly for jobs, but you can also be contacted by clients at any time. Come register with us!

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