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First modeling portfolio picture of a Tampa model on Tampa Bay Modeling. All portfolio photographs, unless otherwise noted, by C. A. Passinault, lead photographer for Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Photography and Design, as well as Director of Tampa Bay Modeling. C. A. Passinault is a top photographer, as well as a modeling expert.Second model photograph on Tampa Bay Modeling. Click on the image for an anecdote of the modeling shoot which produced this picture.In this third picture, you can see why the Tampa Bay area is one of the best in the world for modeling portfolio development work. Photograph by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault.Image four of our online portfolio of another Tampa model. This photograph, if we are not mistaken, was taken on location in the Tampa Bay area. The best modeling portfolio photographs are location shots.This is another great picture. This is the fifth model photograph on Tampa Bay Modeling. Pictures featured in our thumbnail array may not be the same as those of models which are in our featured model section, but often, they are one and the same.Unmatched in any Florida modeling market. The quality of this image is excellent! Photograph by C. A. Passinault, our resident photographer and modeling expert.Another top Tampa model gets their look on. The best models can obtain a wide range of looks, as you can see when you look at other pictures of this model!Is it any wonder why more and more companies and art directors are booking independent models without going through an agency? Proof that you can be a professional model, with a lucrative career, without being dependent upon an agency to find and book modeling jobs!Another awesome photograph of a Tampa model by modeling photographer C. A. Passinault, lead photographer Aurora PhotoArts, and director of Tampa Bay Modeling.For modeling portfolio work in the Tampa Bay area, nothing beats location work. Studio photography is not nearly as cost effective, or appropriate, for modeling portfolio work.Keep in mind that this picture, for a modeling portfolio, was taken by a qualified modeling portfolio photographer, C. A. Passinault, for a specialized, professional market, which is modeling. A wedding photographer or a portrait studio will not be able to give models what they need for an effective modeling portfolio, as you have to know what you are doing!This is the 12th picture in our Tampa Bay Modeling online portfolio. Yet another Tampa model shows a marketable look in their portfolio. The best models are capable of the most looks, and are not locked into a single look!Agency model or independent model? It doesnt matter, anymore, especially in Tampa Bay. Professional models like this one can be booked without going through an agency, saving both the model and the job agency fees.Modeling portfolios need at least six looks, and by looks, we mean different looks. A composite cards needs at least five, on average, with a headshot on the front, and four different looks on the back of the comp card. This Tampa model is demonstrating a marketable look right now, in this photography. Picture by C. A. Passinault.



By Tampa photographer and designer C. A. Passinault

Tampa Bay Modeling

Modeling Composite Cards

By C. A. Passinault, lead Tampa photographer and Tampa graphic designer, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Bay photography and design.

The Myths of Cheap and Expensive Comp Cards
It can be argued that the modeling agency-referred laser composite cards are inexpensive and that they get the job done. Well, the smart model realizes that you get what you pay for, and in today's competitive modeling industry, it is no longer acceptable to settle for making compromises and taking shortcuts to get the job done. The professional model is obligated to do the job better than other models, and any agency which tells the model otherwise is hurting their modeling career.
We are about to teach all of you models about value versus cheap, and how the best quality composite cards can actually be less expensive than the cheap ones in more than one way.
The following numbers given are only used as an example, roughly equivalent to observed rates, but in no way exactly like the rates of any service company. Let's take a look, shall we?
Cheap laser composite cards.
Modeling agencies refer models to these low quality composite card printing services. For $80.00 or so, the models could obtain 200 laser-printed composite cards. That breaks down to 40 cents per card, and while they do get the job done, the quality is mediocre at best, with flimsy paper stock and washed-out colors.

RATE: $80.00
COMPS: 200
PROS: Inexpensive
CONS: Low quality paper stock and washed-out colors.
POINT: These cards are the same as most of them out there, so the model really won't look worse than the other models using them. They won't, however, look better, either, and will get lost in the crowd.

With new digital presses and competitive printing services, the modern model has more options when printing their composite cards. They no longer have to accept the cheap laser cards, and can step up to the best quality at an unbeatable value. Models should never settle for services with the lowest rates (this goes for photography, too). They must evaluate the total value of the service.
The best modeling composite cards out there are printed on 14 point paper stock on digital presses using a 4/4 color process. The cards are thick and high quality, with rich colors, and once coated with a UV coating they have an almost plastic feel. With the UV coating, these composite cards are fairly robust, and will last much longer than laser cards. The colors also do not fade with time. These composite cards are awesome, but the initial outlay is more expensive. The model can expect to pay out at least $250.00 for printing alone. With design and set-up overhead, 950 of these cards, the minimum printing run. goes about $350.00.

RATE: $350.00
COMPS: 950
PROS: High quality, thick composite cards with excellent color. Cards are robust and last forever.
CONS: More expensive initial outlay for a good number of cards.
POINT: Broken down by the numbers, these composite cards blow away laser composite cards in every way. They will get the model noticed, are less expensive per card, and have outstanding color and overall quality. Some may argue that investing in 900 to 1,000 composite cards is overkill, and that the model doe not need that many composite cards. This would be true if the model was dumb enough to be represented by only one modeling agency. Once you factor in that a smart model is represented by several modeling agencies (each require at least 150 comps, and often more), and that the model needs composite cards for their independent modeling efforts, all those cards become necessary. If a model limited themselves to 200 composite cards, they would only have enough to stock one modeling agency with comps, and would not have the comps needed to obtain modeling jobs on their own- This must be considered when an agency tells that model that 950 comps are too many, as small composite card orders make the model more dependent upon the agency!

You get out of your modeling career what you put into it.
In closing. models need to realize that overall value in obtaining their modeling career tools is what they should look at and not the lowest costs. Going cheap only handicaps the modeling career of the professional model, and makes them more dependent upon modeling agencies which may not have the best interest of the model in mind.
Smart models invest in the high quality composite cards, allowing them to compete successfully against other models, as well as giving them the flexibility to maximize the job leads in their modeling career. If you fall for the agency line and go for the 200 cheap laser cards, don't blame us when smarter models book all the modeling jobs out from under you. Blame the agency booker who gave you the bad advice.


C. A. Passinault, who writes the Tampa Photography Blog, is a Tampa photographer who is a modeling composite card and actor headshot expert, and has done them for many years. These comp cards and headshots have proven to be effective in large markets such as New York and Los Angeles.

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UPDATED 05/04/08

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