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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.
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SEPTEMBER 2006

Letter Of The Month: A Model Walks
A model recognizes a model job scam for what it is and walks away.

INTRODUCTION BY MODEL MONICA STEVENS

Well, it is another mail bag where we have to make adjustments to the format. Thankfully, this one went up on time this month. With all of this work and a lot of meetings with models and lawyers concerning our fight with model scams in the Tampa Bay area and exactly what our course of action is going to be, there has been little time to actually relax. I have not been having much fun, and I’m not a happy model.
My boyfriend and I went walking along the beach in Clearwater the other night, and he was asking me why I seemed so down. I shouldn’t have been down, especially since it was a beautiful evening and he tried his best to help me relax. We had just finished having a candlelight dinner at this nice little restaurant on the beach, which should have been a treat considering my crazy career schedule and the fact that I have a hard time allowing myself to slow down. The waves were doing their regular crashing thing and the stars seemed to shine much like they do on a crisp winter night around Christmas, except this was a hot summer night with the aroma of suntan lotion and the only thing that we had on were swimsuits. Clearwater beach on that night reminded me of one of those Carribean island beaches that I love shooting on, but even the rare environmental serendipity did not raise my spirits. I was sad, and it sucked that I couldn’t get into it and enjoy myself. It was kind of like that old Supertramp song “it’s raining again”, even though the skies were clear and the stars were shining, it was raining on my heart and soul.
I told him that I was depressed because of all of the liars and con artists in the Tampa Bay modeling industry. Sure, my career is hardly affected by model scams because I spot most of them easily and am able to avoid them. I also book lots of model print work without going through model and talent agencies, and my career is a textbook case of what a professional independent model should be; my mind is free, I think for myself, and I see things so much more differently than the models who choose to be controlled by an agency and are dependent upon an agency to get any work. I should be enjoying the advantages that I have over mere mortal models, but I don’t. The problem that I have is that I actually care. I care about other models, I care about the integrity of the Tampa Bay modeling industry, and I even care about the reputable model and talent agencies. Making a difference and being a success can be so bittersweet.
My boyfriend, who is far from a model and knows as much about the modeling industry as I do about football, didn’t know what to say. The only thing that he could do is smile over at me and take my hand. It actually worked a little, and we talked about other things as we left a trail of footprints that the waves washed away as quickly as we left them. Damn, I should have been a foot model. Then again, this isn’t exactly the market for reputable foot modeling jobs.
Well, it is time to get to these letters. It is already September, and there are only another dozen weeks left in 2006 and three more mail bags until the new year. I’m sitting here at my place in Hyde Park now, it’s a bit cooler out tonight, and it is already feeling like summer is drawing to a close. There is a nice breeze moving my curtains, and every now and then they’ll rise up and blow over my computer as they brush my face. There is nothing like the feeling of an breezy room after a bath. I’m actually sitting here quite comfortable in my underwear and a bathrobe, so I’m enjoying the night air and it is helping my mood, which I will need to answer these letters. Thank God I am not on the ground floor. It’s great to be young and beautiful, and I will just have to enjoy it because such things can never last outside of pictures. Could it be that I am in love with myself? Whatever. What trouble can I start this month?
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Hi Monica,
I have a story that you need to hear!
I am a professional model from Tampa who saw a job post on a model job board recently from a model consultant company, and I sent them my composite card and information. They contacted me, told me that they liked my look, and invited me to a go see.
The go see was in a cramped office packed with models. When I finally met with one of them, the situation changed. They told me that my composite cards and my modeling portfolio were not good enough for them to be able to refer me to the jobs that they had, and that in order for them to refer me to work I would have to buy a portfolio photography shoot from them and some modeling classes. I asked the man why he thought that my pictures were not good enough when I have no problem booking work with them. I am a print and fashion model, and don’t normally do the promotional modeling bullshit that they were advertising. I only considered it because they said that it was a regular gig and the money was good for that sort of work. I shouldn’t have to tell you, Monica, that print modeling is competitive and that you need good composite cards to book those jobs while there is not point for promotional work. The man told me that the cards were not good for them to use to get me jobs because they were not sure if I was a good model or not, and the only way that they could tell is if worked with them by buying the crap they were selling. I asked if they were an agency. The man said that they were not a model agency, that they were a model consultant company, and that they only made money by helping me as a model and not by booking me into any job. He told me that model and talent agencies were a dying way of doing business, that it was better to be an independent model and to book work on my own with out an agency, and they could teach me how. He then said that they could refer me to all of these high paying jobs for free- I realized right away that they stole that shit from the Independent Modeling web site! Of course, referring me to their jobs really wasn’t free because I would have to buy services from them before they would consider me for any referrals into the jobs that they supposedly had lined up.
At this point, I knew that they were a typical model bait and switch scam, but I was curious to see exactly what they were selling. I asked to see samples of their pictures. Let me tell you that it was hard to stop from laughing when I saw them because the quality and the composition of the pictures was terrible. I couldn’t imagine anyone buying that shit.
I told the man that I would consider it and they I would be in touch. He told me that I would have to decide then and there in order to be considered, and I flatly told him no. The man told me that he couldn’t see how I was a professional and questioned if I really booked work as a model. At that point, I had enough and told him that I booked work on my own from what I learned from your web site and Independent Modeling. He looked aggravated as I left.
I was still curious and hung around outside where they could not see me. As the other models left, I asked them if they were fed the same lines. Every single one of them told me that they were told that their modeling portfolios were not good enough and that they would have to buy services from them before they could ne considered. Every single one!!!!!!!!!
What is a little funny is that this place has a statement on their web site that you don’t need a portfolio done or pictures taken if you already have already them and they can refer you to jobs with the professional pictures that you have. What a load of misleading bullshit! I guess they are the ones who decide if what you have is professional or not, and their motive of selling you something makes that a real conflict of interest!
I have forwarded my complaint to the federal trade commission, and made sure that several of the other models did the same, too. Thank you for teaching us how to recognize these assholes and make them pay for what they do to models!
- Lauren, a model from Tampa Bay

Hello Lauren,
Your story is very similar to other accounts that we’ve been hearing from models all week. We are very aware of them ripping off Independent Modeling and popular model job boards. They are already paying for what they are doing, though, because models are recognizing the true source of the material that they are using and are walking out in disgust. You’re not the only model who threw Independent Modeling in their face and walked away. A few models threw Tampa Bay Modeling in their face, too.
They are underestimating the intelligence of models and their model consultation scam where they try to resell information from Independent Modeling is backfiring. It’s going to backfire even worse as time goes on. Tampa Bay Modeling is in full cooperation with our ally Independent Modeling, and we will continue to teach models who to recognize and fight model scams while Independent Modeling saturates the market with constantly refined modeling tools and ideas, making more models aware of the free source of superior tools and undermining the baiting potential of using stolen material to sell to models. It’s a business tactic that works wonders, and there is even a beneficial side effect. When models know the true source of what they are trying to twist and sell to them, it destroys their credibility as professionals.
This is exactly why we do not have to go out of our way and fight scams directly. We can simply take the low risk strategy of educating models and supplying them with tools, and the models can easily fight them. Picketing scams and putting a ton of work into battling them directly is less effective and riskier. We cannot do to them what their stupidity does to themselves, and it will be fun to watch them get into fights with a majority of models in the industry.
Oh, yes, we are also about to update our scam fighting and scam reporting resource. The FTC is a good way to report fraud and deceptive trade practices, but we are also going to add even more information such as the Florida Attorney General’s office and local law enforcement. Let’s make those who use deceptive trade practices pay for their fraud against models.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

NEXT LETTER

September 2006 Mail Bag

E-Mail us and let us know what YOU think! If you wish to add to one of Monica's answers or disagree with her and want to post an answer of your own, please let us know what letter and month you are replying to and if we see that it is relevant we may add it to that month's archive.

C/O Monica Stevens, Mail Bag Editor

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