Here is an idea that will make you money and win clients for you in more ways than one.  It’s a Wedding comp card.  It helps you to get noticed and considered for Weddings you might not have even been considered for before because it’s originality.

In the modeling game a comp card (some call a Zed card) provides a small collection of pictures and basic stats on card stock or rigid paper. It is a standard marketing tool that has been around for many years and is still very essential to have today if you are a model. Comp cards are relatively inexpensive and are versatile sales tools but they have been used by models not Brides.

We could try a new twist.  We use comp cards instead of wedding invitations even though they have the same basic information but the comp cards have pictures of the Bride and Groom when they were kids and shots from a walk in the park, at the beach, attending church together, being a pair.  They get mailed to the guests of the Wedding instead of invitations.

You the photographer using your tools has taken the invitation sale out of the loop and credited it to your side.  Comp cards give the photographer the ability to show prospective clients or anyone who is invited and will show it to a slew of other folks, a selection of pictures from a wedding you have put together for a unique and individualistic approach to a copycat business.  Success is based on doing things that other people don’t. want to do.  This is one way to get you out of the long line of does-its.  Everybody does-it!


The ultimate success of a comp card comes down to the quality of the photographs. The quality of the photographs comes from best possible pictures the parents and the players have on hand and maybe a little Photoshop here and there can make a silk purse from a sow's ear.  A couple shots from the days the kids were just kids, cradle shots, high school graduation, first time arrested, and other moments that we all relate to in life.

Most important are at least one of each of the bride and Groom eye-catching, grab-your-attention-from-across-the-room head-shot of the two for the front of the card.   You can have great photos and a poorly produced comp card and still come out with something useful.

Pricing:  This has come about because of computers, digital imaging, and digital printing. Today you can produce an innovative comp card for what it used to cost to do a cheap business card.

Your digitized photo sizing, cropping, and retouching are normally handled in a ‘Photoshop' type of program. A good scanner helps…  The comp card layout, type, and graphics can be handled in the same type of program or in a page-layout program. This is where your creativity can come in, but because of color-management issues and postscript-error problems, a lot of headaches can arise. 

For those looking for the highest quality comp card production, (full color offset printing,) you may want to enlist the services of someone who is knowledgeable on these issues. For those who are trying this on their home computer, and looking to use an ink jet printer, then just start playing around and have fun. Work for a finished 5x7 size is a good idea and Sam's Club or Costco will give you volume pricing.

What does a good photograph give you? A photograph produces very smooth, graduate and realistic color. A photo transitions from the high lights to shadows very evenly with no sudden jumps or posterization and carries recognizable detail in both the highlights and the shadows. This is what we would like in the printing of a comp card. We want it as close to high quality photographic print as possible and not break the bank doing it.

Color ink jet comp card printing is something some have tried on their home computers. It can work if you are just doing a few cards. It is true today that some of the better ink jet printers can produce quality as good as a photograph and can print on both sides.

Your layout for your comp card should end up 5 ½" by 8 ½" final size. This is half of an 8 ½ X 11-inch piece of paper (you are cutting a standard size piece of paper in half). You create a layout a sheet with two front comp card and another with two back of the comp card, so you end up with a front and a back sheet. You then glue the front and back together and cut in half to make two complete comp cards for the approval of the Bride.

I think it is best to use a spray adhesive to glue the sheet together. Also, working up a jig to help align the sheets is helpful.  This method is only good for proofing.   Then I give them to or

A friend of mine bought a $4000+ Xerox commercial color printer with book capacity for $300 dollars and drove a couple thousand miles to retrieve it and four days on the road with a friend to split the driving.  The purpose was to find a high-capacity color printer for wedding, event and book printing usage.

 This monster was, after cardiac arrest, almost too heavy, and a few repairs almost running, not perfect which is why it was cheap, and the cartridge lights came on as low.  Almost all the colors needed replacement. Calling around, it came to $385.00 per color per cartridge and the eight colors would cost about $3100.00 plus shipping.  Big cartridges, but printing Church directories, not that popular anymore, Facebook is cheaper.

The moral of the story is sometimes a deal is not a deal if you don't research and we used to say, "check the back door of the trailer before you floor it”.   You must be smart in business by not buying on emotion or failing to do the research.  Upgrading it was also mucho dollars and no revenue for it.  Bad buy.

When my friends store went under, one of my friends Noritsu film developers went south, because of age and sexual orientation (It was all flocked up) the cost of overhaul was $24,000 from Noritsu. Cheaper to farm it out and scan the negatives for the occasional roll of film that came in. 

Bottom line both went away by a metal scrap dealer who gave nothing for the pair. Claiming 50% of both were plastic and he had to metal it out.   He said we should be happy he would take it away.  I agreed, we don't know what's buried in the back yard nor where.