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Tampa Bay Modeling. The new look of modeling. The future of the modeling industry begins in Tampa Bay. A free modeling resource site for independent models and agency represented models. Tampa Bay Modeling is a part of Independent Modeling, and is also affiliated with Florida Modeling Career and Advanced Model.
  Tampa modeling portfolios, modeling photography services, and Tampa model testing photography services by Aurora PhotoArts Tampa photography and design and Tampa Bay Modeling.
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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JULY 2007

Getting Our Groove

INTRODUCTION BY MODEL MONICA STEVENS

The Tampa Bay talent sites (Tampa Bay Modeling, Acting, Film, and eventually Photographers) and the Independent talent sites (Independent Modeling, Acting, Performer, TALON, the upcoming Advanced Model, and eventually Frontier Society), which are maintained by Tampa Bay advertising agency EOS MediaArts, are finally settling into their publishing and update groove. Some decisions have been made, and progress is ready to be made as a result. Of course, one of those decisions involved me and my mail bag, covering the overall format and the publishing schedule.
I can now say that it is good to be back, and you can expect to see a regular monthly mail bag here on Tampa Bay Modeling. The catch? There is none, unless you were one of the people awaiting regular mail bags on Tampa Bay Film and Tampa Bay Acting. The mail bag columns which were planned for those site have been canceled, at least for the foreseeable future. You're left with me and my mail bag, and those of you who were waiting for it to return have had your wish come true. I know that my wish has just come true. This is what you have wanted, and this is our gift to you and the Tampa Bay modeling industry. Our panel of industry experts have determined that a regular mail bag is needed for Tampa Bay and Florida, and with the high search engine traffic that Tampa Bay Modeling has been enjoying, it would be a waste for our truly dominant voice to be silent. Much remains to be said, and it will take years to address the modeling industry issues which need to be addressed. Our sponsors and my superiors have determined that the mail bag is here to stay.
That's not to say that changes have not been made. They have. They had to change. The down time was used to evaluate the effectiveness of past mail bags and to refine the format. We've brought back some of the old and have blended it in with the new.
So, what changes have been made? Well, since my replies will be shorter (most of the time- things like this long introduction are exceptions), with links to supporting content existing elsewhere on Tampa Bay Modeling and ally sites like Independent Modeling, we are returning to the one page mail bag format like I used to run on the Independent Modeling site back in 2002 to 2005. Our archives, of course, will remain, although only the best of the best mail will be added to the relevant categories. It is like I said- it's a blend of the old and the new. Our format won't be set in stone, though, and you can expect tweaks and new additions to come along in the next few months and years.
I am Monica Stevens, a professional independent Tampa Bay model and writer. Welcome to our relaunched monthly mail bag column. My voice, and this mail bag, is the dominate professional voice in the Tampa Bay modeling industry. No one, and no agency, has the audience and the reach that we do, and the Tampa Bay Modeling site is a far more credible source of modeling information than any model and talent agency, modeling school, model consultant, model agency placement business, or book. They know that, too, even if they are too afraid to admit it. I welcome all of you to join our adventure as we address issues in the local Tampa Bay modeling industry. Welcome to the future of the industry and the new professional standard of modeling in Tampa Bay and the other markets throughout Florida.
As we relaunch my famous (or rather, infamous, to some out there) monthly modeling Mail Bag, please note that we have continued to receive hundreds of E-mails during our nine month hiatus and it will take us the first two Mail Bags to catch up. We will publish and answer the best of what we received. Enjoy.
Before we start, I would just like to thank both Clearwater runway model photographer French Fry and Tampa Bay model Stacy for continuing to write. I am sorry for letting you both down by taking a break, and I look forward to regular E-Mails from you both each and every monthly mail bag. French Fry has his own archive, and other regular readers and contributors such as Stacy may get their own archives, too, once we have over three letters from them. In Stacy's case, she qualifies for her own letter archive, and she may just have one set up in the Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag archive.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

JULY 2007 MODELING MAIL BAG TABLE OF CONTENTS

01. What Is Going On?
A model asks about the lack of updates to the Tampa Bay Modeling and the Independent Modeling web sites. Oh my!

02. Negativity
A Tampa Bay Modeling reader questions why we are so down on the modeling industry and model and talent agencies in Tampa Bay.

03. Tampa Model Agency Question
Which model agency does Tampa Bay Modeling consider to be legitimate? Our answer may surprise you.

04. Print Ads For Children?
A father wants to know if we book child models into print ads. Since we are not a model and talent agency......

05. Looking For A Bonafide Modeling Agency In Tampa
A business owner is looking for a legitimate Tampa Bay model and talent agency so they can book models into their job. If only she knew that she didn't have to go through an agency to book professional models.

06. Model
A clueless model who has fallen and cannot seem to get back up spams us with a resume and bikini modeling pictures. Why?

07. Modeling Agency B.S.
French Fry is back as he sounds off on a model agency photo mill scam!

08. Model Rate Advice
A model wants to know how much she should charge for her modeling services. The more she knows, the less she has to depend upon questionable model agencies who also represent her competition; other models.

09. Model Portfolio Photography Request
Someone wants to set up a model portfolio shoot with us. We would like to help, but since we are not a photography company....

10. Spokesmodel
A model wonders if we have found the Tampa Bay Modeling spokesmodel yet. You would know if we did!

11. Modeling And Taxes
Tampa Bay model Stacy suggests adding tax information to our site. Time to call up our Certified Public Accountant (CPA)!

12. Report Of Model Consultation Scam
A very sad letter from a very frustrated mother of a model.

LETTER OF THE MONTH: What Is Going On?

If you ever get your mail bag going again, I would like this question answered. What is going on with you and your friends?
Work on your web site has slowed to a crawl, and Independent Modeling, despite evidence of a lot of work and some excellent refinements, is still not updating like they say they are or are going to do. Could you give us more information on what is going on with all of these professional models in the Tampa Bay area who have sworn to help the industry and models like me who are desperately seeking answers? Like you, I feel that model agencies are conflicts of interest and that they cannot be trusted for anything more than as one source of modeling job leads. Since we cannot trust the booker snakes over at the model agencies, we really need you! So, where is all this help and support that you keep promising? Promises are fine, but you really need to follow through with your intentions.
We need you.
Charlene Varley
Model

Hi Charlene!
You may want to fix a glass of cold chocolate milk and make yourself comfortable, because this will not be a short answer.
Many of you deserve an explanation, and I'm going to give you one. Also, please note that since I do help out over at Independent Modeling, that I am well qualified to comment on what is going on with them, as well (forgive me, Jillian).
All of our sites are designed and maintained by Tampa Bay advertising agency EOS MediaArts, which is one of our sponsors. EOS is a Passinault.Com company, and the reason that I am pointing this out is about to become apparent.
Between the large number of projects that the EOS web team is doing, the launch of Tampa Bay Film and Tampa Bay Acting, a number of meetings and conferences with our collective staff, a whole lot of research and planning, and a modeling book that C. A. Passinault is working on, we had to slow down for a few months. We had to clarify where we were going with this, as well as fine-tune our schedules and prioritize when and where content updates would be applied. We had to figure out what to do about the so-called model consultants, photographers, modeling resource web sites, and other shady people who were plagiarizing content. We had to figure out how to counter the cyberstalkers monitoring this web site and the web sites of our allies ( Independent Modeling has at least one major cyberstalker; a pissed-off shady asshole of a photographer who made a deal with an agency to keep an eye on the site for them in exchange of being on their modeling portfolio photography referral / illegal kickback list). We also had to make sure that what was published on our sites and made available free of charge would not conflict with the book and publishing projects of C. A. Passinault. We have, for the most part, resolved many of these issues, and regular updates should be able to resume. The issues that we have not fully resolved should be dealt with in the upcoming months as work proceeds. We will fix them as we go.
You see, the main issue is not running out of ideas and new content, which many assumed, but that we have too many ideas and too much content, and there had to be a strategy in place to regulate how and when that content was utilized. This took time, and this is why updates slowed down or stopped on the model and talent resource sites. You may agree that to randomly throw out a ton of content would be a lot like spinning our wheels. Like a fine instrument, the strategy that we would utilize needed to be tempered and polished. We had to be as smart with how we executed ideas as we were coming up with them. A lot of work was done improving communication between the staff of each site, too, so we could coordinate our overall strategy.
You can believe that many will try to threaten us and work hard to try to take us down. We had to prepare to fight what is to come, and we had to prepare to win these fights. We are ready for these challenges, now, because we were not hasty and took the time to properly prepare for them. It's not going to be like Independent Modeling back in 2004 where a lot of time and effort was wasted on adding content to later retract it because of legal maneuvering by the lawyers. Would you want to utilize modeling resource web sites in your career which had unstable content which would appear and disappear without warning? I wouldn't. This should no longer be an issue.
Speaking of Independent Modeling, regular Tampa Bay Modeling readers like Stacy have written in expressing extreme disappointment in Independent Modeling and feel that it has fallen short of its potential if not outright failed. As a professional model who uses Independent Modeling, I feel the same way. It has been frustrating to say the least, and the site has done almost nothing since the new format and the Independent Site network launched in 2005. The past two years have hardly been productive for the site as an online resource for professional models.
I can sit here today, though, and tell you firsthand that, behind the scenes, a tremendous amount of progress has been made. Soon, that progress will become common perception, and the complaints and concerns about a general lack of updates will evaporate. In the near future, no one will remember that there was a two year span where Independent Modeling and the Independent Sites were barely updated.
Still don't believe me? Simply look at the site and the other independent sites. The design and the groundwork is very refined, and you better believe that all that work will not be for nothing. Well, at least it better not be for nothing, because I just finished a lot of work for them and would like to see it used. Wait just a little longer. It will be worth it.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Negativity

I have gone over your site and I have a question. Why are you so negative about the modeling industry in Tampa Bay? All you seem to do is bash Tampa modeling agencies, and it does not help your credibility or your case. You should be more objective and balanced on a web site about modeling in Tampa.
How can you expect the local agencies to help and support what you are doing when you try to convince people that they are bad?
Samantha France

Hello Samantha,
Did you think that there wouldn't eventually be a backlash from models when model and talent agencies have been, throughout the years, overstepping their proper place and brazenly doing unethical things?
Let's get this straight- model and talent agencies in the Tampa Bay area are NOT the modeling industry. They are a legitimate part of the modeling industry, of course, but they are only one part of a much larger whole.
We have no desire to have Tampa Bay modeling agencies help us or our cause and we are not going to pretend that the industry is some rose garden without any thorns. We do not need any agency help, especially since we have a louder voice than they do, a far wider audience, and we currently enjoy search engine superiority with most people looking for Tampa-related modeling information finding our site first. Regarding agencies, we will not kiss their asses like so many others do. Professionals need to grow backbones, and they need to call things as they see them and as they are instead of deluding themselves into believing some idealized fantasy of how things are supposed to be and how they are supposed to work. That's not life, and it is not reality. there is a lot of gray in this supposed black and white world.
You write as if you think that you have to go through a modeling agency to be a "real" professional model and to have some sort of career. This is simply no longer the case. Sure, in the past, and I am talking up until the mid 1990's, it was much more cost-effective to obtain agency representation and allow them to do the legwork in your career. In the past, it was also easier to overlook the flaws of model and talent agencies because many models had no choice but to put up with them.
Flaws? The model and talent agency business model has flaws? Oh yes, it does, and it doesn't take a doctorate in business or even a grade school education to understand, and acknowledge, those flaws.
You are probably one of those ignorant, self-entitled aspiring models who think that models work for, or belong, to a model and talent agency. These characters think that to become a model, that they would have to contact a modeling agency and the agency would "hire" them as models. After hiring them, the agency would sell them portfolios, making them models. The agency would then assign them modeling jobs.
No wonder so many model agency scams and photo mill agencies continue to rip of all these girls who think of themselves as the beautiful ones. The misconception of how the industry works, along with an arrogant attitude about appearance, make these silly girls easy targets and easier prey.
Those of us who know better know that modeling does not work this way. First, let's look at the definition of a model. They are the beautiful people, right? Models are the ones who turn heads with their outstanding looks, and only a select few have what it takes to model, right? Wrong, wrong, WRONG.
There are a lot more models out there, and a lot more people are qualified to be models, than you may think. Modeling is a visual form of acting. Modeling is a visual component of marketing and promotion. If you have a look that someone such as an art director could use to represent their product or service and it fits with their vision for marketing, they will book you. The drop-dead gorgeous misconception of modeling is actually a bit different in real life, as those who are beautiful as defined by mainstream society are usually locked in that one look and may actually find their marketability as a professional model to be limited by the limited range of looks that they are capable of. Sure, the supermodel may be desired (or be an object of lust) by many, and they may actually make a lot of money, but the opportunities are so limited and the competition is so fierce that it is simply unrealistic for most working professional models to work toward such a goal. Find out what your strengths are, avoid cosmetic "enhancements" which may limit your marketability, and work toward achieving a greater range of potential looks in your career. Did you read right? Yes, you did. Cosmetic enhancements, contrary to the belief of the layman, will actually backfire, limiting your marketability as a model by locking you into one or a limited range of looks. The models who yearns to obtain breast implants, other surgical enhancements, or, even worse, injections of botox, do not know what they are doing. These ignorant models may find that investing in such things are a false economy as their career suffers from it.
I know of an agency owner or two who think that they have benefitted from breast implants or some cosmetic surgical procedure. While my opinion that the use of fake additions is their way of dealing with their deep insecurities about themselves and reflects on their character and sincerity is beside the point, I surely hope that these wonderful "professionals" are not trying to set some sort of poor example for the models that their agency represents. Then again, knowing their poor judgement with the hiring of bookers, you never know.
Which brings up another question. Some times I wonder the motivation of those who own modeling agencies. Why are they in the business? Is it for power? Money? Sexual favors? All of the above. Very few model and talent agencies operate legitimately, even when they have licenses, and this is a problem. Do I trust any of them? Hell no! I do like to use them as one of many sources of model go-see leads, though, and in my opinion this should be the limit to how models should be involved with these agencies. By their nature, model and talent agencies are working conflicts of interest, and while they are useful as one of the many sources of jobs for the modern professional model, these so-called model and talent agencies often overstep their bounds and have no business managing the career of any model. Agencies work for models, and models need to realize this so they can put their agencies and the minimum wage bookers who work for them in their place.
Do model and talent agencies like us? After going over my rant, I would think not. I would not have it any other way. While we are not loved by the agencies, we are certainly respected by many, despite what they say and claim. When the models and clients aren't around, we hear that many agency owners have their bookers go onto Tampa Bay Modeling and Independent Modeling to learn about modeling and the modeling industry. Why is this? Because we know what we are talking about, and their is better modeling information on our sites than the agencies can give you. Collectively, we know more about modeling and the modeling industry than most agency owners.
Don't believe me? Listen to all these shady agencies and model placement consultants. Does anything that they tell you sound familiar? It is a known fact that some agencies and model consultants steal information from modeling resource sites and use it to bait models into their scams. It doesn't work as well as they would like it to, though, as many models are educated enough to figure out the true source of the information. These models know that they can get great information on our modeling resource sites for free and do not have to pay these con artists for the same information that they stole.
Are we worried about agencies and model placement consultation scams stealing from us? Not really. Not only does their unethical activity open them up to massive liability, but it backfires and destroys their credibility. How is this? Well, you're on this site right now, aren't you? How did you find it? You probably noticed that most Tampa Bay modeling terms used in search engines bring up our site before anything else, and this is relevant since we are the best source of modeling information and career tools in the Tampa Bay area. I bet the agencies love the fact that people looking for information about modeling and model and talent agencies in Tampa Bay find and read this site before finding anything else.
Think this over, model consultants and agency owners. You know that the odds of someone finding and reading this site before getting to you are excellent. Why risk it? Can you risk models and others reading great information here first when you plagiarize the same information while telling them that we are some kind of model scam? Can you take the risk when the model you are pitching your B.S. to knows the truth, laughs in your face, and walks out because you destroyed your credibility in their eyes?
Didn't think so.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


Tampa Model Agency Question

Hello. Is Alexa really the best model agency in Tampa Bay? What about Benz and Boom? I only see Alexa listed but I'm curious because I'm new to all of this. I'm just doing research before I submit photos to any agencies. Thank you in advance.

- Julianna

Hi Julianna,
We are a bit selective here on the Tampa Bay Modeling web site concerning model and talent agencies and other modeling resources listed on our model resources section. We only list those who we can recommend and who models recommend to us.
If you would like a more comprehensive list of Tampa Bay and Florida licensed model and talent agencies, I would suggest checking out the TALON Talent Online Talent and Production reference contact database maintained by Independent Modeling and Independent Performer. Here is a more direct link for the TALON database section about Florida Model and Talent Agencies.
Regarding the Benz model and talent management agency in Tampa Bay not being listed on our site, they should be listed. I'll have our web team and the models who maintain our Tampa Bay Modeling resource section look into it. If it is missing, I will just have to scold the model who is responsible.
Bad, bad model!
We will be adding more agencies soon.
In reference to doing research and determining if a model agency is legitimate or not, you can study our site. We should have an article and a tutorial about screening agencies soon. Also, avoid model consultation, model placement, model searches, and model management companies like the plague. I have never seen a single one which is legitimate, and if the so-called modeling company is not a licensed model and talent agency ( with a Florida TA Talent Agency license), then there is no incentive to find you a single jobs since they cannot legally be paid for a referral of booking a model into a job.
Model consultants, model managers / modeling management, and model placement companies? Please. They only exist to make money from selling overpriced modeling portfolios of questionable quality. The model agencies and model jobs who they refer their models to can be found in our model resource and job sections, the Independent Modeling model job board resource ( Model Job search for Model Jobs ), and the TALON Talent Online Talent and Production reference contact database. Why pay for that when you can get the information and the leads for free on our websites? Regarding obtaining a modeling portfolio, Find a legitimate professional model portfolio photographer listed on our sites, as they specialize in model portfolio photography. I am unaware of any model consultant or model placement business who can beat the price and the quality that you will obtain by investing in a professional photographer, as that is what the photographer is in business to do.
Model schools? Forget them, too. You will end up paying and wasting thousands of dollars for modeling career information which is not nearly as good as what you can get free of charge on Tampa Bay Modeling and Independent Modeling.
Did you hear a commercial on the radio about some model search or model job looking for models, where no experience was needed? Forget that, too. Were you born yesterday? No business in their right mind is going to book a model into a job when the model has no professional experience. Would you hire someone who doesn't know what they are doing? Sounds like a great way to lose lots of time and money or to go out of business altogether. Just because you hear it on the radio does not make it legitimate.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Print Ads For Children?

Are you accepting pictures of children for possible print ad work? My daughter is 9 soon to be 10. We reside in Plant City, but are frequently near Clearwater Beach. Could I mail you her card and personal information? Thank you in advance for a reply.

K. Knox

Hello K. Knox,
That would be an excellent question if Tampa Bay Modeling were a model and talent agency. Unfortunately, we are not a model and talent agency. Tampa Bay Modeling is a modeling career resource web site for professional models who book work independently on their own or through model agencies.
If you don't want to study the information available on Tampa Bay Modeling and on ally site Independent Modeling and don't want to mange the modeling careers of your children, you may wish to contact a Tampa model and talent agency. You don't have to do that, though. You can help your children book work on their own and guide their careers with the information on our sites. Booking work without an agency is not difficult to do. After all, the last time that you found a job, did you find it through a temp agency? You get the point.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Looking For A Bonafide Modeling Agency In Tampa

Hello,
I am a business owner looking for a bonafide modelling
agency. Could you please help me locate one for some
fashion/accessory shots I need for advertising?

Thank you.

- Samantha

Hello Samantha,
Why does every business owner automatically assume that you HAVE to go through a model agency to find professional models for their job offer or project? It doesn't have to be that way!
More and more businesses are figuring out that they can skip the model agencies and book models into their model jobs directly. By doing so you also save the 20-30% model agency commission and any other fees that they may charge you.
You may now be wondering how to find those professional models.
Easy. If you know anything about business and have ever hired an employee for your business, you are just as qualified to find professional models and to evaluate them for your project as any model agency. Don't let model and talent agencies insult you by trying to tell you that they are more qualified than you are and that you won't know what to look for when evaluating professional models. This is simply untrue.
So, how to you find and evaluate professional models for your model job?
I am so very glad that you asked. Very glad indeed.
Without going into a ten page tutorial on the subject (Independent Modeling is now working on a business tutorial on this very subject, which will be up soon), I will show you my simple three step plan. Please pay attention, students. Here we go.
1. Post your model job on a model job board.
2. Evaluate the models who respond by using a simple risk analysis technique. Look at their web site, composite cards, and their portfolio. A model who has spent time and money investing in quality modeling tools is much less likely to flake out or otherwise conduct themselves in an unprofessional manner. The more someone has to lose, the less of a risk that they are. Take that, model agency owners and bookers! If the model does not have a portfolio, has a bunch of snapshots, or only has some freebie model portfolio networking site or Myspace profile to show you, don't bother.
Model agencies may tell you that they make models accountable for their actions, but you will never be able to get them to guarantee that the models will be more professional. This selling point simply is a false economy. Why? Because the model and talent agency works for the model. If an agency model flakes, the agency may promise to no longer represent the model, but you can never be sure that the agency will really do that, and if they do, the model simply goes to another agency or has agencies in reserve. If an agency tries to tell you that models booked without an agency are less reliable and professional and that they make the models that they represent accountable for their actions, don't believe it! The agency is trying to sell you a service and will say almost anything to talk you out of saving money and finding models on your own. If you have a model agency try to sell you on reduced risk, MAKE THEM PUT THAT IN WRITING. What, they won't do that? The agency refuses to reimburse you for lost money and time if their "superior" models flake? You know the real deal, and so do I.
3. When you book the model into your model job, get all the terms and the payment details in writing, and both of you sign at least two duplicate copies of this agreement.
Make sure that you sign a model release ( a written agreement specifying how the pictures or property developed from the job will be used) and the model pay voucher (a written invoice of pay which the model will have you sign), too. Such documents are available free of charge on Tampa Bay Modeling and on Independent Modeling.
These days, more and more businesses are waking up and are choosing to skip the agencies altogether. Advertising agencies and big companies, which traditionally obtain models through model and talent agencies, are now starting to book independent models on a freelance basis, and are saving lots of money and aggravation by doing so.
This trend is increasing.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Model

(A resume and pictures sent to us with no cover letter)

-Lisa Marie

Hello Lisa Marie,
As there was no cover letter, we can only guess to what you are submitting your information for.
Your choice of photographer for your submitted pictures is interesting. We actually like the look in the pictures which we have submitted to you more. It suits you much better and is far more marketable.
What happened to that model? =(
Question: Was the FHM credit for one of those home town hotties type submission contests, or was it a paid professional print spread?
Please feel free to print out and use this form with every photographer who you decide to work with. Make them sign it as a requirement of working with you. This will ensure fair usage of all your images: http://www.tampahub.com/TampaBayModeling.Com/resources/paperwork/fairuseip.html ( MODEL FAIR USE RELEASE )
We hope that you find this helpful.
Sincerely,
Monica Stevens
Professional Model and Mail Bag Editor
Tampa Bay Modeling
http://www.tampabaymodeling.com

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


Modeling Agency B.S.

Hey guys its the French Fry ,How you doing.

where is my little Moniqua?


I have a new story:
We have a complain from one of our model about (omitted) model and talent agency (Oldsmar-Tampa)
This model have a photo studio and outside pictures (150 pics) and they want outside pictures with cow boy hat style!!) Don't tell me that you cannot find 5 pictures good enough for their composite card .

The truth is that They have 3 photographers which they "recomand" to their "new faces" comp cards,

The owner use to work for Home shopping network (Like the "level model and talent agency by the way"!)
they just sell the pictures like the others.

I just have the prove of it today.
Just another day in the modeling agencies paradise of Tampa bay.

see you soon
the French Fry

-French Fry

Hey there, French Fry! It is nice to be able to answer your letters once again.
Are you sure that they are a model and talent agency? If they are, then they are breaking the law by profiting off of model portfolio services and need to be reported so they can be put out of business. Sounds like one of those model consultation / model placement photo mill schemes. I wouldn't bother with them unless they are a licensed model and talent agency who can legally make money by booking me into model jobs. Why add a middleman to a middleman when you don't have to deal with any middlemen these days?
Oh, and if they ARE a licensed model and talent agency, it is against the law for them to make any money by selling models portfolios, pictures, composite cards, makeup, or anything else. It is also against the law for them to make money by referring models to photographers, too, but we already know that.
Talk to you soon, French Fry.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Model Rate Advice

Hello my name is Lisa, I need advice on how much I should charge a
photographer for my modeling services. The shoot is to model Jewelry.
The
photographer asked if I wanted TFCD or time for fee.
I want a copy of the photos, but I also want to get paid. I just don't
know
how I would negotiate that. Can you help me?

- Lisa

Hi Lisa,
You can charge them anything that you think is fair, but for suggested model job rates, check out Tampa Bay Modeling's model job rates.
Anyhow, am I understanding your situation correctly? Some photographer wants to pay you in prints for a modeling shoot where the pictures obtained will be used to sell a product?
Tell the photographer "no thanks". If they insist on not paying you to model for something which they will financially benefit from, they are disrespecting you as a professional model and, quite frankly, are trying to take advantage of you.
The photographer may insist that the pictures will help you build your modeling portfolio and give you professional tear sheets. Even if the photographer is some-big time commercial photographer and will give you the best pictures that you've ever seen, if they are going to financially benefit from the pictures, they are professionally disrespecting you if they don't pay you for your services.
This, of course, is different than a professional collaboration, which used to be known as TFP / TFCD ( Time For Prints / Time For CD ). Now days, TFP / TFCD is a term used to describe amateur photographers collaborating with aspiring models in order to build their portfolios. This, in many ways, is often a waste of time, and can even be dangerous to one's person and/ or their career. It is a case of the blind leading the blind, and most of the time the only things learned would be bad habits. Portfolio networking sites are notorious for promoting this unprofessional, false economy, with thousands of wanna be aspiring models and guys with camera doing shoots for free and facilitating the belief that models don't have to pay anything for a portfolio. These misguided models think that they are entitled to get free pictures for their portfolio, as the photographer is paying them for their "professional" modeling ability or their potential as a model with pictures. This does not work.
Professional collaborations, on the other hand, are an exchange of services between established professionals who usually make money in their careers and don't need a portfolio because they already have one. These collaborations are the exception rather than the rule, simply because working professionals are busy making a living, and if they do anything for free, it is like throwing away their time and money.
Is the deal worth it? Weigh it out. Who benefits, and of those who benefit, who benefits the most. If you are an aspiring model in need of a portfolio, do you think that a professional photographer who will give you exactly what you need will give it to you for free? If someone offers you something for free, you have to ask yourself how they are benefitting. No one does anything for free. There is always a price in one form or another.
If you need a portfolio, you are better off investing in a portfolio from a professional photographer, as you only get out of your modeling career what you put into it. If a photographer wants you to model for free, especially after you have invested in your career an and they stand to profit from it, they need to pay you. Anything less is not professional and simply insults you as a model.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Model Portfolio Photography Request

I am interested in getting some pictures taken professionally. How do I set this up? Thank you

- Sunny

Hello Sunny,
If you are referring to the pictures found throughout the Tampa Bay Modeling web site, they are done by a number of photographers. Since we are a model resource site, we don't offer model portfolio photography. Many of these photographers, though, do, and they are, as you can see, quite excellent with the photographs that they do for professional models.
You can see which photographer is responsible for the pictures that you like by clicking on the picture. You will also see a photographer credit on the image.
Our main source of photography is from Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Bay Photography and Design. I will let their work speak for itself, and I will also add that they are one of our sponsors and that they are directly affiliated with the Tampa Bay Modeling site. I just had to get that out in the open so we are completely honest with you. We wouldn't want to misrepresent ourselves or mislead anyone like most of the model agencies and all the model scams are guilty of doing.
Other photographers who contribute to this web site are Andy Meng and Craig Huey. I like all of their work, and judging from your E-Mail, so do you.
You can find out more in our modeling resource section in the Tampa Bay Photographers category. Good choice!
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Spokesmodel

did you find your spokesmodel yet?

- Kay

Hi Kay,
We have not found our spokesmodel yet, and it will probably be a while. We will probably select our spokesmodel either through the client list of Aurora PhotoArts or through the Independent Modeling Talent Connection Project. Tampa Bay Film is planning a monthly film festival and talent networking event with sponsor Eventi Events (Like Aurora PhotoArts, also a Passinault.Com company and one of our sponsors who is directly affiliated with our sites). We may find our spokesmodel at one of these events, which will be free to any model with composite cards and a professional portfolio or actors / talent with professional head shots and a resume. I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to all of these possibilities.
Speaking of Tampa Bay Film, they have a free online film festival online right now where you can watch films and show any that you have. Check it out; I've been kicking back at home watching it for the past few months, and they have some really cool and interesting films on their and lots of other content. I guess I am proud of it because I was able to help them put together the web site with them and launch it. Anyway, the experimental films are especially interesting, and I'm really digging the Lonelygirl15 series, which is something that you would never see at a conventional film festival event. Tampa Bay Film is really cool, and Alex over there is still pushing for his own mail bag. The Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag has priority until September, so we shall see what happens with that.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Modeling And Taxes

Hi Monica:

Just wanted to make a suggestion. With tax season upon us it would be great if Tampa Bay put together an opinion post about modeling and taxes. This is something that all models need to pay attention to. It would be great if Tampa Bay put together a list of tax tips and suggestions that other models could use as a guide.It is an issue that is often overlooked and can cause major ramifications down the line or when a model starts to make serious money .

Just a suggestion

Stacy

P.S. In answer to a question that was asked about me a long time ago, I am not a writer and have never published a book about modeling or anything else. My husband is the name that appears on these e-mails simply because I share his computer. I am simply a model working out in the trenches like everyone else albeit I am a bit older (for a model.) I have past the ripe old age of 30 and maybe that is why I sound like the voice of experience when I write. At least I know from all these years in the business I've learned something!

By the way, I miss the mail bag....

- Stacy

Hey Stacy,
That would be great, but none of us here are licensed C.P.A.s. Maybe we could get one of ours to help out, or some accountant out there could be good enough to submit a tax article or tutorial.
I can tell you that being a model is being a self business, and that taxes on your booked modeling work is due quarterly, which is four times a year. All professional models need good accountants, because unless you have some damn good tax prep software, this, unlike booking work and promoting your career without an agency, is something that is very difficult to do on your own.
Thanks again for your great suggestion, Stacy! You are a superb writer who writes some good letters, and I'd like you to write more!

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Report Of Model Consultation Scam

Hi,

I found your website poking around on the web looking at info about modeling agencys, and basically the bussiness. You have louises people model and talent agency down as a model agency that is not a scam. is there anything you can tell me about it? or the owner louise?

Also have you heard of (omitted) models on brandon blvd in brandon florida? They opened a franchise about a year ago there, with 2 other locations in (omitted).
I guess i am a mom that wanted to see my daughter happy and persue something that she wanted to try. Well my story is we seen the ad in the local paper a year ago january for the opening of (omitted) models here in our local area. We went to the place and they told my daughter that she was very pretty, tall and said she should not have any trouble getting jobs, that they had clients that they worked with here in the area... such as beals, dillards ect...

Remember i knew nothing about , and still really dont...know anything aabout modeling. So we called up my daughters grandfather and he gave my daughter 600 dollars so she could have them do a model shoot for her composite cards that she would need to give to clients. They did her hair makeup and a guy named (omitted) was the photographer. The agency branch is run by two sisters.....(omitted) and her sister. I do not know if you know of them or not. They told us when the composite cards came in that we would have to send them out in envelopes with a cover page to a list of agencys they gave us. And that we were suppose to check in with them every month or so not visa vera that they were busy trying to get work for all of the models. Well we did that sent out the cards in the mail. Then sent out more two months later like they told us........nothing..........Now my daughter is really thinking that she is ugly that know one wants to give her work.......And i am figuring that we will never see the return of 600 dollars with a scam. They kept telling me everytime i called that it takes time..... then we were out of composite cards so it cost another 100dollars for 50 of them....... sent out again like we were suppose to...nothing.......then i just stopped and said this is rediculous... we are just going to keep paying more and more for composite cards and my daughter has not gotten ONE paying job.... We had one place in orlando BMG ask us to come over for a open call.. i didnt even know what a open call was.....It took us a hour or so to get there from here in brandon.. went into some little old house and the woman said my daughter had no experience at all and that she needed to tone up........and we were out the door 10 minutes later with me saying every swear word there is in the book.... (The model scam) has not been helpful at all in trying to get my daughter work ,,,, no comunication,,,, just alot of crap talk that came out of her mouth... we havent heard from her in forever......... So it has been about 4 to 5 months since i had mailed out composite cards for my daughter and i said to her well nicole i am going to send out a couple more we still have quite a few left........and when these are gone i am done...unless you(nicole) want to pay another 100 dollars for a reorder. Which leads me to the question of louises people model and talent agency... she called the other day and thought that nicole was a pretty girl and was going to see if she could get some work for her from beals or dillards here in town... she called back a couple of hours later and said that they liked nicoles picture at dillards but seen she has done zip for work.......and she is waiting to hear back from beals to let us know......... but in the mean time she wanted us to take a picture of nicole with no makeup on with her hair up and down and in a swimsuit forward , side , side so she could see if there was anything or anybody that might have a interest in her maybe even in ny.......is this what goes on...... and is this louises agency a scam or ligit. I am so mad and so confused it is not funny... so my daughter nicole who is 16 that is 5'8"tall and between size3-5 thinks she is a ugly fat pig...and thinks . that is why nobody wants her........... any help or information would be greatly appreciated...

- Donna

Hello Donna,
It is no surprise that you found the Tampa Bay Modeling site by doing a search on the Internet. Most people looking for modeling information, especially when it comes to the Tampa Bay market, find this site and read it before finding or talking to anyone else. The search results are very relevant, as we are the best source of modeling information that you will ever find. No wonder model scams and unethical model and talent agencies are angry about us and this site.
Louise's people is one of the few good model and talent agencies in the Tampa Bay area. So are Alexa and Benz. If you see any model and talent agencies listed in the Tampa Bay Modeling Resources section, you can rest assured that they are licensed by the State of Florida and that more than one model recommends them. For a list of all Tampa Bay model and talent agencies and other Florida model agencies, you can always check out the Florida model and talent agency section on the TALON Talent Online contact reference database over at Independent Modeling (You can tell that I love TALON and that I love the model job board format over there. There is nothing better, in my opinion, and they will change everything in the industry for the better; and I'm not just writing this because I helped create it, either). Please note that we are not liable for the actions of any model and talent agencies listed on the Tampa Bay Modeling site, as they are not affiliated with us in any way.
That said, you should know that you don't have to have agency representation in order to have a career as a professional model. Agencies are not the end-all, be-all, and are only one of many ways of models to obtain model job leads for go-see's. If more people and models were to realize that model agencies are not everything, then model placement and consultation scams like the one that you just described would not nearly be as effective.
Did you know that you can get the same list of agencies on Tampa Bay Modeling and on Independent Modeling's TALON Database free of charge? Why go through model placement businesses and have to settle for their overpriced model portfolio services when the information is free on our model resource sites?
I am sorry to hear that your daughter has self esteem issues resulting from your modeling experience. You should realize that this is not the business for someone to find themselves or in which to validate their self worth. A model must be sure about who they are, must educate themselves on how the industry works, must realize that they cannot take rejection personally and that being rejected merely means that your look does not fit what others need at that time, and that rejection is a part of this business. Beauty is something that is hard to quantify; what I may find attractive may be different from what other may find to be attractive. Feel free to study the Tampa Bay Modeling web site and others, such as Independent Modeling. We are here to help, and it will not cost you a penny.
The M.O. of a model placement business, model consultation business, or a model management business (They are all actually the same thing) is that they have the "contacts" and the "career guidance" for models. Only they know which agencies to refer you to and only they know how to guide your modeling career.
This is bullshit. You are better yet giving $1,200.00 to a charity and calling it a day. Your career would benefit more if you did anything else than go to the model placement business.
$1,200.00 you say? Where did I get that figure? I will explain below.
I will now outline how these model placement business operate. Please pay attention, models. I am about to save your careers.
1. The con artist running the model consultation business looks at modeling resource sites like Tampa Bay Modeling and Independent Modeling for modeling information and modeling career ideas. They steal what they want and use the information as bait for unsuspecting models. They also go onto free modeling job boards to find sources of model jobs and postings of model jobs.
2. The model consultation business posts these job posts in the papers and on other model job boards as jobs that they are referring models to. They announce go-see's and castings for these jobs. Sometimes they will contact the source of the job and offer them models. Other times, they won't. Most of the time, they portray themselves as the only way of getting into these jobs.
3. The models show up at these castings, unaware that the model job information is available on modeling resource sites for free. The model consultation business takes a look at their modeling portfolio and composite cards and nitpicks them. They tell the model that their portfolio is not professional and that the model needs to buy a professional portfolio and pictures from them before they can consider them for the job.
4. The model consultation representative will then tell the model that they can guide the model's career and that they know the best model agencies to refer the model to. They will also give a few snippets of modeling career information that they learned from modeling resource sites, sometimes quoting it word for word and passing it off as their own knowledge. The model still has no idea that all of this modeling information is available free of charge on modeling resource web sites.
The model consultation business then pitches the model their services and guidance for their modeling career. The model wants to be considered for the jobs, and is convinced that their portfolio is worthless and that they need these proposed "professional" services.
The model compromises and gives the model consultation business their money.
The beauty of this scheme? By pitching jobs that may or may not exist and promising to introduce the model to agencies, the model consultation business is every bit as tempting as an agency would be without the legal risk. You see, if they were a licensed model and talent agency, they would be breaking the law and would risk both fines and losing their license by trying to make money by selling model portfolios. This way, they retain the allure of an agency, the potential jobs, without the risk. Like a photo mill agency which makes most of it's money by selling pictures, they can do that with less risk without actually being an agency and having regulation imposed upon them.
The catch? They will not tell the model this, but because they are not an agency, it is against the law to make money by referring or booking models into those jobs. So, what is the point of referring models to those jobs OR CONTINUE to refer models to more jobs if they could not legally be paid for it? Oh, that's right, that is not what they are in business to do. They are only in business to sell expensive portfolios of questionable quality. The jobs are merely the bait to get them in the door.
If they pitch models upon the promise of booking model jobs, which they cannot get paid for because they are not an agency, and they try to discredit the model's existing portfolio to convince them to buy what the model supposedly need, can you trust them? Is this not a deceptive practice? What are they really selling, anyway? Is it not a bait and switch scam to advertise a job to use as bait to in order to lure them in and sell them a service? Also, if they steal information from others in order to pass it off as theirs to sell back to models, won't they steal from you, too? After all, you've already been lied to.
5. After taking the bait, the model does a shoot with them and pays around $600.00 (at least three of these model consultation scams charge this for their shoots, and Tampa Bay Modeling knows this because we track these people). The reason that the model is willing to pay such a high fee, of course, is because they bought into the claim that the model consultant business can place them with agencies and refer them to jobs.
With the shoot done, the model awaits their pictures. Surely, the model consultant will make them a professional model and their investment will be paid back with their first job booked as the newest supermodel! Anyway, the pictures do finally come back, and the model is disappointed when they range from poor to barely-average quality. The model consultant agrees that they do not have enough usable shots for their comp card or their modeling portfolio. The model consultant makes remarks that lead the model to believe that their inexperience as a model is the reason why the pictures are not very good, and the model, who is unsure of themselves after listening to what the model consultant has been telling them, believes it. Some models are not sure that they can ever model, but the model consultant fires off a pitch disguised as encouragement. The model consultant tells the model that they have potential, and that they should have enough pictures for their comp and their portfolio if they do one more shoot. The model is convinced to pay ANOTHER $600.00 to do the shoot. This, of course, is where I get the 1,200.00 figure from. The "our photographer is the best and you are starting out is the reason why the pictures are bad" to "You have potential and we are sure that we can market you as a model after one more reshoot but you have to pay the photographer again" scheme is so common that you may as well count on it. Because this works, the photographer is not worried about doing a good job since they double their money with steady reshoots. This means that, despite what the model consultant tells the model, that the photography and portfolio is always of inferior quality than if the model were to go out and find a professional photographer who guarantees their work and can actually give the model what they need.
So, the model ends up paying for two shoots. The investment never pays off. Oh, and there is something else to note about these shoots, and I find it disturbing. The overpriced photography sessions are almost never one on one with the model and the model portfolio photography. Even though they are paying out all of that money, the model has to share their shoot with several other models, and they never get the focus or the attention that they deserve. What I find most disturbing about these group shoots is that it shows just how successful that the model consultation and placement scam is with tricking models into buying their portfolio services.
6. The model obtains their pictures from both photography shoots and has a small number of composite cards printed on low quality paper ( Let's say 200 laser composites). The model consultant tells them that they will now submit the model to the supposed job.
The model, for some reason, never books any work, and no agency will touch them. What happened? the model consultation scam has already made their money with the model, and they are busy on a new scam cycle with stealing model job posts and modeling information. They are now working on new models to scam.

Anyway, Donna, in closing, here is what is wrong with these model consultation schemes and the model jobs that they supposedly offer. Listen up.
No professional business is going to risk booking an amateur model or someone with no experience when there are so many established professionals to choose from. There is far less risk. If you hear a radio advertisement or see an ad claiming that they have model jobs and that no experience is necessary, DON'T BELIEVE IT. Either they are a model scam, or they have no clue what they are doing. Either way, they are useless for the career of any model, and will do far more harm than good for your modeling career.
Any model job offer, regardless of the source, is only relevant for professional models who already have a modeling portfolio and composite cards. Any one doing a go-see or an audition has no business judging the quality of a model's portfolio and offering them any service. To do so is a conflict of interest, is highly unethical, and is known as a deceptive trade / business practice.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

CLOSING BY MODEL MONICA STEVENS

Well, models, this is all that I have time for this month. The July mail bag is nine days overdue (it is now July 9), and I chalk that up to my busy schedule, some long answers (not going to be the norm, I'm afraid), and a new format.
This is a work in progress, and you can expect some changes in the coming weeks. The remainder of this mail bag will have to be continued in the August mail bag, along with the remainder of our catch-up mail scheduled for that mail bag. Stacy's letter about underweight models, which she sent last fall, will be answered next month. Due to the volume of letters which I am shifting through, we are not setting a topic for the next mail bag. We should be caught up in August, and we will be publishing the best letters that we receive up until July 31, 2007. I am also looking into reformatting the old mail bags retroactively with our new mail bag format. Stay tuned!

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

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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. We will let you know if new content such as letters have been added to mail bag archives!

E-MAIL: TampaBayModeling@Yahoo.Com

C/O Monica Stevens, Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

THIS MAIL BAG IS SUBJECT TO EDITING AND CONTENT CHANGE AT ANY TIME AND WITHOUT WARNING.

UPDATED 09/08/07

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