How to Create Comp Cards

Model Composite Cards – The Secret Starter Kit for Photography Models

This is not something difficult to understand but many male and female models do not use model composite cards, sometimes known as Zed cards. But, they should!

Why? Read below and you’ll discover the important role these small pieces of paper can play in your modeling career.

Promoting Yourself with Modeling Comp Cards

What are comp cards?

In a nutshell, comp cards (short for composite cards) are a form of advertisement and promotion to give to modeling agencies at open calls or potential clients for fashion, commercial, and other types of models.

They come in many different shapes, layout styles and sizes giving models the benefit of being creative when choosing how their promotional piece will look.

model composite cards

model composite cards

Benefits of Zed Cards

You’ll find that there are many advantages of having composite cards made to promote yourself as a model. Here are just a few …


There is an old saying in the modeling industry; If you want to be treated as a professional model, look like a professional model. This stands true for the images you show also.

When you present your composite cards with beautiful, well-chosen photos to an agency representative or a potential client, he or she knows that you are serious about your career and will treat you as such.

By no means does this insure that you will get a job with that client or agent but it sure puts you way ahead of many of the other models who are in competition with you.

You will not get a second chance to make a first impression!

Don’t be so anxious to start your female modeling career that you skip a step which could open (or close) a door for you.

Your cards are that important. Be a professional and hand them a comp card instead of a snapshot.

Most people don’t throw away pictures!

By now you may be thinking; “What if I just have normal business cards made to leave with agents and clients?”.

Yes, you could have business cards made for less trouble and expense. And, I encourage you to do just that.

Business cards are another way of presenting yourself as a professional model.

But, agents and clients sometimes throw out business cards or they put them in their pockets and lose them.

Model Composite CardsMost people hesitate to throw away pictures, which is what your comp cards look like.

They are more likely to file your composites along with the other professional models in their files for future reference.

So, you have at least a small chance that they will see your photo again.

Which, by the way, leads to …

Comp cards show what you look like as a model

One more thought about business cards. Unless there is a photo on the card, the client still won’t remember your look when she is ready to choose models to represent.

Now it becomes your business card versus the other 100 composite cards she has on file. Who will win out? You guessed it!!

In addition to your head shot on the front of the card, the agent can also see 4-5 pictures on the back along with your all-important stats.

This is your contact information and other important aspects of what you have to offer as a model.

Give yourself a chance to model

Give yourself a chance to be seen and contacted by always leaving your composite card with all contacts.

There is a certain safety in numbers, the comp cards are not that expensive, so don’t be stingy with them.

Composite card layout and design

Below is an outline for basic comp card design to give you an idea of what your card will include. You can see examples of composites at CompCard.Com . Notice how professional these look as compared to just sending a photograph.

The layout is pretty simple for a two-sided card

Front – The front will generally include a photo covering the front of the card (I suggest a good, strong headshot here) along with your name in bold letters.

Back – On the back there is room for about four to six images showing different looks (indoor and outdoor) in a variety of outfits with at least one good full-body shot (swim wear or tight-fitting clothing).

What Else Do You Include in Comp Cards?

On the back of the composite, include statistical information such as …

  • Contact information (Who to contact, phone, email, web address, etc.)
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Bust size / Cup size
  • Waist size
  • Hip size
  • Dress size
  • Shoe size
  • Hair color
  • Hair length (short, shoulder length, long)
  • Eye color
  • Type(s) of modeling jobs preferred (i.e. commercial, fashion shows, runway, glamour, artistic, promotional, etc.)

How and where to get composite cards

It’s really a simple process to have your comp cards designed and printed.

IMPORTANT: The first step is to have photos made by a professional model photographer who can give you usage and reprint rights.

I can’t stress enough the importance of starting with great pictures. If you send in a snapshot that your cousin Irma took, you’re going to get a snapshot on a comp card — A disaster!!

With that said, there is no need to feel overwhelmed with the details of getting your comp card ready.

There are many companies online who have design styles and templates online which will help you every step of the way.

One, I mentioned above – They have a wide variety and are relatively inexpensive printers.

Remember, there are many different versions of Zed or comp cards so it’s all up to you how your finished composite card will look.

Now you can start your modeling career off right by having professional composite cards you’ll be proud to show. Just do it!


If you are ready to take that next step to learning how to model, check out my book below. It’s available on Kindle and ready for instant download. Just click the picture to buy now…

About the comp card video:

Modeling advice question of the week: “What is a Comp Card? Do I really need one if I want to be signed by a modeling agency?”

Do you want to get signed by an agency and get real paid work as a model? I hope you learned some good tips about model composite cards and are ready to start today. Do something now!


Filed under: Modeling Tips