A composite card (sometimes called a "ZED") is a model's business card. In most cases, your Comp Card is your one and only opportunity to make a good first impression. The Comp Card helps to get you noticed and considered for projects. It provides a small collection of pictures and basic stats and contact information. Typically it's 5.5" by 8.5" printed on card stock, however 5" by 7" works well too. The Comp Card is a standard marketing tool that has been around for many years and is still very essential to have today. 

I know from my experience as a photographer that Comp Cards are very useful in hiring talent. Comp Cards are often displayed in racks on the walls of modeling agencies. This makes it easy to go into a modeling agency and quickly scan the talent they have available. Comp Cards are also mailed to photographers, art directors, and others to advertise new talent or to show updated looks or expanded capabilities of an established model. Comp Cards often are held in a photographer's talent file for future project consideration. They give the photographer the ability to show prospective clients a selection of talent available for a project in addition to providing a resource file for the photographer's reference when projects arrive. Comp Cards can be used in other fashions, but they remain a very essential marketing tool for a model. Now, if you are wondering if YOU should have a Comp Card the answer is an emphatic "YES". 

Model Stephanie Baxter
© 2005 JaxDigitalPhotographer.com

Most, if not all, agencies require that you have a Comp Card. Typically the agency will tell you that you need to shoot with THEIR photographers and get your Comp Cards through them. The reason behind this is simple; simple "economics", that is. An agency will charge between $500 and $1,000 to work with their photographer and get 500 Comp Cards printed. First let me say that I know of numerous "aspiring" models that have given up their dreams of modeling right at that point simply because they just could not afford to pay those fees. And, of course, the agency INSISTS that they get Comp Cards. Second, anyone that gets THAT many Comp Cards printed typically has 480 left a year later. 

It's a FACT that you change over time! You'll change your hair style. You'll change your hair color. You'll gain or lose weight. You'll love one picture in particular one month and another picture the next. And, most assuredly, you WILL improve as a model the more you work with photographers. So, why would you ever want to print 500 Comp Cards only to have them be OUTDATED in three to six months time?

What I recommend - and provide to most of the models I've worked with - is what I call an "E-Comp Card". It's a DIGITAL Comp Card put on a CD  (see Stephanie's E-Comp Card above and Krystal's E-Comp Card below). And, since it's a digital file, it can easily be sent via e-mail.  Typically, when you need to replenish your on-hand supply of Comp Cards, you take the E-Comp Card CD to your local photo center and ask to have it printed. It's THAT easy and the best part is that you only pay for the Comp Cards you NEED and will USE. And, when you want to change some information or a picture on the Comp Card you just simply come back to me and I quickly and inexpensively make the change and supply you with a new CD.

Model Krystal Hill
© 2006 JaxDigitalPhotographer.com


A portfolio, or "book" as it’s known in industry terms, is a model, make-up artist, stylist, or photographer’s formal representation of their abilities—the portfolio tells a client, art director, model booker, artist’s rep, or photo editor exactly what the represented talent is composed of.

This composition conveys the represented talent’s level of professionalism as well as their abilities, limits, desires, style and business-charisma, in about 15 to 30 images. Some creative will include tearsheets within pockets located in their portfolios, as well as Comp Cards or business cards. Often you can find a resume or client list within those same pockets; however, no book should be crammed—it should be clean in appearance, both in and outside, and always up-to-date.

Most books carried by professional talent today varies in 9 1/2 x 12 1/2-inch (outside measurements) formats to 11 x 14-inch (inside sheet measurement) formats, with the 9 1/2 x 12 1/2-inch the most popular. Although, the small 8 x 10 inch print size is acceptable to use - and a lot cheaper to get printed.

Model portfolios should include at least two or three good headshots, as well as at least two recent images for each STYLE of modeling you are interested in. So, that's two Casual shots; two Swimwear shots; two Fashion shots; two Glamour shots; two Lingerie shots, and so forth. 

So, how's YOUR portfolio these days? If you haven't updated it in the past 3 to 6 months it's time to!


Throughout my years of working as a photographer I have had the pleasure to work with some very fine people "in the industry". Below are just a few of the many talent agencies and managers (in NO PARTICULAR ORDER) that I have worked with and would recommend.

Remember, the name of the game is "Get Yourself Out There!". So, I highly recommend that you send (or e-mail) your Comp Cards to each and every one of them. Tell them "Jax Digital Photographer sent you".

Alexa Model & Talent
4100 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Suite 228
Tampa, Florida 33609
(813) 289-8020

The Christensen Group
235 Coastline Road
Sanford, Florida 32771
(407) 302-2272

The Diamond Agency
204 W. Bay Avenue
Longwood, Florida 32750
(407) 830-4040

First Coast Talent & Modeling Agency
100 Festival Park Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 356-4244

Florida Stars Model & Talent
225 W. University Avenue
Suite A
Gainesville, Florida 32601
(352) 338-1086

The Hurt Agency
400 N. New York Avenue
Suite 207
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-5700

Mgmt First
448 Central Park West
Suite 4D
New York, NY 10025
(212) 866-9671

Forte Productions
11414 Banner Court
Suite 2108
Orlando, Florida
(407) 465-0300


Want to look your best for YOUR very special moment? Of course, you do! Jax Digital Photographer recommends the services of a Professional Makeup Artist. Our Makeup Artist will stay with you throughout your photographic session to provide you with the best looks possible. Please contact the Makeup Artist of your choice directly.

Mary Frantz

Sunshine Jones

Faythe Hall Mesic


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