What Are Comp Cards and Why Do Models Need Them?

International male model Jonah Taylor composite card back

Jonah Taylor’s international comp card back

Comp cards are essential to a model’s career. Without them, a model will look unprofessional and inexperienced. Likewise, strong comp cards are a model’s ticket to booking jobs and leaving a lasting impression. This is how clients and agencies will remember them, i.e. How they look, How they photograph, How much experience they have? All this depends on a model’s comp card. So now that you understand why they are so important, what are they?

Comp cards, otherwise known as composite cards, Z cards, or zed cards, are basically a model’s business card. This is how an agency will market them to potential clients. The size may be a bit larger than a regular business card, but the concept remains the same. Models will leave these cards behind with clients and agencies as something to remember them by. Comp cards are typically 8’5″ x 5’5″ in size and feature a strong head-shot and name on the front, with a diverse, yet prolific selection of a few photos on the back. The backside will also display a model’s measurements which typically includes: (bust, waist, hips for women) and (suit or chest, waist, inseam for men), height, weight, shoe size, eye and hair color, nationality as well as contact information. It is important to note that the photos used for a model’s comp card should be their absolute best. This is an opportunity to showcase the best of their work and market themselves by leaving a lasting impression on potential clients. Many jobs may depend on this.

Modeling mentor Jonah Taylor's comp card head shot.

Example Head shot

Recently comp cards have taken to the internet. Many agencies now use online databases and websites to display and send out models’ comp cards. Agencies and models have been taking to this due to its convenience and is less expensive. If you are a new model and looking for a place to order comp cards, www.printcompcards.com is a good place to start. So there you have it, composite cards are essential to any model as they are their best marketing tool. For this reason, only the strongest photos should be used. In recent years, comp cards have taken to the internet, but still remain a necessity to have printed. A prolific composite card is vital to landing high end modeling jobs. So as a new model, make this one of your first goals.


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