Most of the pictures I publish are what I consider “art.” You know – the stuff you hang on your wall. If it’s a portrait, it should still be art. Ditto for the dance pic. Meaning there should be some skill in their execution – you know what I mean.
Sometimes, however, you need photographs to do more for you than be art. They gotta earn. Perform work for you. They need to be a tool.
Like Wikipedia says:
A tool is any item that is used to achieve a goal, especially one that is not consumed in the process.
Maybe the ultimate photographic tool for the dancer is the comp card. Again I turn to Wikipedia (hey, it beats typing):
A comp card (also called composite card, z card or sed card) is a marketing tool for actors and especially models. They serve as the latest and best of a model’s portfolio and are used as a business card.
Hey Wiki – they’re for dancers too. Because like the model, a dancer needs to market herself. In as concise a manner as possible they need to highlight – both with pictures and words – what they look like, what they have done, and what they can do. Business cards don’t tell enough of a story. Books tell too much of one. Comp cards are a single sheet and thus are convenient, yet are large enough to say what ya gotta say.
And a picture, you know, says a thousand words. But sometimes you need those words, too. Just not a whole lot of them.
Traditionally they are 8 ½ x 5 ½ and two sided. This allows for a large enough size to convey enough information while being able to fit in a folder. They can also be economically printed (although one shouldn’t skimp on the printing – go for the best).