The Use of the Fashion Model's Zed Card

The Use of the Model's Zed Card A Zed Card (Comp Card, Zed Card, or Model Card) is the number one marketing tool for a model. They serve as a model's portfolio, business card and interview. A comp card typically contains a collection of 2 or more pictures and the models basic stats - height, eye color, etc. - printed on 2 sides of an 8.5" x 5.5" piece of card stock (12 pt stock.) Comp cards have been around for many years as the essential marketing tool for a model and they will retain this standing because they are an inexpensive way to effectively and professionally showcase a model's ability. Composite cards are used on three major levels - they are used at first by models, then by agents and lastly by the agent's clients. Level 1 - Models use composite cards to promote themselves to modeling agents. When a model attends an open call they will typically meet with the agent, have their portfolio reviewed and briefly be interviewed. Open calls are mostly busy, so not a lot of time can be dedicated to each person trying out. When the interview is over, the model leaves their composite card behind - never their portfolio. When the open call is over the agents will gather to discuss the turn out. This is where the composite card comes in to play. When the agents are discussing who they liked and didn't, they can refer to the composite cards. This card is the only reference that the agents have to your portfolio and ability. A good card is going to leave a much better impression of professionalism, experience, ability and expertise than a snap shot or nothing at all. Level 2 - After a model has been contracted with an agency, it becomes the agents responsibility to market the model (that doesn't mean the model should stop promoting themselves.) You will notice that agencies usually displayed their comp cards in racks on their walls. This is done for the same purpose that an art gallery displays art work. The intention of displaying the composite cards is to give any visiting client a visual catalog of the talent that are available, and in turn making the modeling agents task of finding materials and promoting their models easier. Although this aesthetic pleasing display is this an effective method to boost bookings, it is not the primary marketing method. Agents primarily send composite cards via mail to photographers, producers, art directors, magazine editors, other modeling agents, and many other potential clients. Level 3 - This stage is for the ones who pay the bills - commonly referred to as the "clients." Once the comps have been sent to the clients, it is entirely in their hands to decide who they want to use. Yes your agent should put some good words in for you, but ultimately it is the clients decision. From this point the client may choose you directly, or they may want to meet you. But either way they are going to pursue you further only because they have seen your look - and this is almost always first seen on your composite card. Clients usually retain an index of all of the cards that they have received so they can refer to a visual guide when selecting models. Some clients may have anywhere from 100 - 1000 models indexed in their company. This is why you need a good, professional comp card that makes a great first impression. The ultimate success of a comp card is going to come down to the quality of the photography that appears on it. The quality of the photography stems from the quality and talent of the model along with the professionalism and creativity of the photographer and his or her team. The better your photography is, the better your zed card will be. On the front of your card you will want an eye-catching shot that sets the stage for the type of model you are. For markets like Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Kansas City a smiling shot works great since these are commercial markets. However, markets like New York, Los Angeles and Paris will be best approached with a high fashion photo on the front. Most importantly good production is key. Good production will make your photos look better, and bad production will bring the quality way down. Bad production makes you look as unprofessional as bad photography. For more modeling articles search this web site further or check out: Zed Cards | Comp Cards or and click on the resources section