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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

The War On Tampa Model Scams - How We Will Win Before We Start.

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

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

02. French Fry Guy And His Fort Desoto Shoot.
Our favorite Clearwater French photographer talks about shoots, videos, and Independent Modeling.

03. A Tip From The French Fry.
The French photographer from Clearwater sounds off about a questionable model consultation business.

04. Model Consultation Scam.
A model has a bad experience with a model consultation scam.

05. Model Agency War.
Is Tampa Bay Modeling going after model and talent agencies and model scams?

06. Independent Modeling Connection.
A model asks about Independent Modeling updates and how TBM is connected to IM.

 

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

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

French Fry Guy And His Fort Desoto Shoot
Our favorite Clearwater French photographer talks about shoots, videos, and Independent Modeling.

to monique

Hey sweetty pie,

the next top model from Clearwater, how you doing after your photo shoot in the cristal water with some sticky photographer.

You thinging about me during the photo shoot, I am flattered.

By the way the tape that model S. gave you was not the final one ,the music was not good and the editing to.I agree with you for that we never sold it.

But anyway How she doing model S she was ok till she met IM. she did couple Fashion shows with us where she had a fun and learned to be on stage.

Question (This is? -ED):
many companies are "legitimate" and follow the "Florida"'s law like Casablancas, Barbison,JRP, Act Now and the others but they are the "better" scams for the modeling and acting fileds.
They are carreer schools and teach you how to eat, which is very important for photo shoot!
I don't speak about the modeling agencies with TA # who are legitimate too.
but selling workhops on the side throug their friends.

something else:
If my wife knows and like you?
yes she always like the people helping the others.Do you know that she was one of the first model from Alexa when Zusane opened her agencie.
Its mean she was model when you where still in your father's balls.

Can you imagine yesterday we where on the photo shoot for our commercial (who will be on MTV by the way) in the fort Desoto, where I think about you too and I say for myself its sad monica was not there with her nice bikini .

kiss of the Dragon

the fry

- French Fry, a photographer from Clearwater, Florida

Hi there, Fry Guy,
Sticky photographer? Ha ha... I will have to remember that one. That’s funny!
Anyway, yes, I saw your modeling go-see notice about your bikini modeling gig for MTV. Hypothetically, if I were to go there to be considered, would you find fault in my portfolio and then offer me some sort of deal for new pictures and whatnot? The reason that I ask is that I’ve heard rumors, like one that was told to me through a friend a few days ago about a model who went to a go-see somewhere in Clearwater and ended up paying $3,000.00 for runway classes. For what, Tampa? In my opinion, no one needs to pay for any model school, especially with free modeling sites like ours and our friends over at Independent Modeling and Florida Models. What can any modeling school teach a model that all of these sites cannot? A photographer once told a friend of mine that there is bad information on Independent Modeling, but I disagree. Just because everyone does not agree with information put on the Internet (especially when it threatens to make their business obsolete), does not make it bad, or incorrect. Ah, you really must consider the motivation of others when you weigh out the credibility of their opinions. Independent Modeling rocks, as does Florida Models, and so does Tampa Bay Modeling. Agencies are going to ream the sites because it undermines their leverage on models and teaches models how to compete with them.
Snapping back to the $3,000.00 runway rumor, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was not you. There must be someone else who does runway training in that area. I’m pretty sure that you’re not doing anything wrong over there.
Hypothetically, if I were to go over there for that MTV swimsuit modeling go-see, would you know if it was me? I wouldn’t exactly go up to you and say “Hi, I am Monica Stevens from Tampa Bay Modeling, it is so very nice to finally meet you.”. Besides, I may be using a different name as a model than the one that I use on here. So, what clues do you have? That I am a swimsuit model? That I am tall enough to do fashion modeling? That, while I do book work through agencies, that I am not dependent upon them and don’t put up with their crap? That I have never been to your studio and have not actually met you in person before?
There are not a whole lot of clues to work with, though. Would you think that is was me if were the model sitting there and smiling back? Would you know what I was thinking if you looked into my eyes? Probably not, as I am a damn good stage actress, too. I have a gift for playing roles under pressure (as Brain over at Independent Acting can attest to). I can tell you this much, though. I can tell you that you will not be able to find fault in my portfolio, that you will be impressed with my composite cards, and that I would be one of the models that you would want to book into that job. In this situation, it would be my decision, and I may or may not choose to take the time to check it out. Hypothetically, of course. If you are one of the ones finding fault in the portfolios that models already have and then try to turn it into a sale, then you would be wrong. What is your opinion about, let’s sat, if a model came into your studio for a go-see and her portfolio wasn’t that good in your eyes? Would you consider her on the merits of who she was and what she had and refrain from mentioning that you also did portfolio’s, too? I’m sure that you would be overwhelmed with your desire to help her out, but would you realize that the professional thing to do would be to avoid selling her anything and allowing her to go on her way? Your comments about agencies selling workshops through their friends further leads me to believe that you would let that model go on their way. Likewise, if an aspiring model were to call you up an inquire about paying you for a portfolio, I don’t think that you would promise to book her into any job after her portfolio shoot in order to seal the deal and would only let your work sell itself on its own merits.
If I do go to your studio, I don’t think that I will announce who I am. The way that this market is going, I am not sure that it will ever be safe to reveal who I am to anyone. Very few people here on this site even know who I am. The web people over at EOS (the people who maintain this web site) and some of our sponsors, like Aurora PhotoArts, recently asked who I was, and we decided not to tell them.
Alrighty. I now have some observations and some questions for ya, buddy. I recently got the chance to look at your new web site/s. Not bad. I didn’t know that your acting teacher was also a web designer. He must have the eye for design. Oh, and you MUST tell me the name of that cool French song that you have on your site. I like it. As a matter of fact, I am listening to it right now. Vogue.
Ok, on to other things. Who is Model S? Is she a good model? I don’t know about you selling that video, but it leaked out somehow. A friend of mine bought it from some web site a long, long time ago.
Oh yes, in closing, I would like to point out that I am not from Clearwater. I am a Tampa model who lives in Hyde Park. Our staff models live and work from all over the Tampa Bay area, and we recently signed on some models from Orlando and Miami for a special long-term project. Danielle Cooper, our site editor and the sole owner of Tampa Bay Modeling, lives in a big condo over in Clearwater Beach, which is where Tampa Bay Modeling is based from.
Something else- Did you get invited to Independent Modeling’s fifth anniversary party in Tampa on Monday, September 4? It’s going to rock! Your favorite modeling site has been making a difference for five years now! If you are there, I guess you will finally get to meet me after all. If not..... Well, in that case, I’ll have a drink for you! You might not be that interested in going, though, as there are mostly going to be a lot of models there.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

 

A Tip From The French Fry
The French photographer from Clearwater sounds off about a questionable model consultation business.


you will like it , new consulting modeling stuff
(www.Omitted URL.com)

kiss of the Dragon

the fry

- French Fry, a photographer from Clearwater, Florida

Hi Fry Guy,
Thank you for the tip. I hope that these people are not model scams like those other model consultants. I hope that they are not luring models in with the promise of model jobs and then trying to sell them portfolio photography services and composite cards regardless of if the models already have them or not. That would be wrong, and it’s known as a deceptive trade practice.
If you know that they are doing that, please do the right thing and send what you have to the Florida attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission (go to our REPORT A SCAM section in our Model Scam Definition Database for the links and instructions). They like to hear about consumer fraud.
If they are trying to scam models and a fraud investigation is opened up, the next thing that you should do is contact the local media so they can start their investigation. They should be more motivated to do an investigative story about the scam once they find out that the authorities are already investigating them.
If an unethical model and talent agency is doing this, then the next step would be to contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which is the state department that issues TA licenses and regulates agencies. They will be inspired to open up an investigation of their own once they find out that the agency is being publically questioned by the media.
Ah, what great fun it is to make a difference by doing that. One step leads to another, and it is unlikely that a later step will easily work without an earlier one already done. You can do anything as long as you understand how things work and you know how to apply leverage against things that have been set up right. Some might be calling me a sarcastic, manipulative bitch right now, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this process will work. Hell, it already has worked. Think it will get any attention when certain agencies begin to fall like the house of cards that they are? As a professional model who cares about the integrity of the modeling industry, I get a deep satisfaction from walking along the storefronts of model scams that have busted and have been forced to close their business. Touring the wreckage of a defeated enemy after the battles are won by the models just hits the spot for me, especially since we know that they cannot hurt any more models.
By the way, the three step plan that I just revealed is a great way to bring down unethical model and talent agencies anywhere in Florida, too, while the first two steps will wreak havoc on any model job or model consultation scams. Have fun with that, kids, and please remember to stay in model school! Oh, wait, who needs to pay for a model school? You already have sites like ours as a source for the best modeling information, and we are free!
Thank you so much for your help, French Fry!
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

 

Model Consultation Scam
A model has a bad experience with a model consultation scam.

I am writing in reference to a company out of (a Tampa Bay location) claiming to be holding casting calls. It is a classic bait and switch scam and I knew it the second I referenced Independent Modeling in the interview- ( he asked about my agent) because he started stuttering, acted like he'd never heard of it, acting snotty and berating me.
As soon as he realized that I have a brain and don't need him or their "services" he began to insult my character, integrity and even my age(23). He said I was too old to compete with the "16 /17 yr old tall blondes". He also told me that I would never make it in this industry because I wouldn't allow him to sell me on their classes or whatever. It is true that I am inexperienced in this industry but I am learning as much as I can to try and get started. Knowledge is power and I love your website. If you have any advice for someone who knows little to nothing about getting started please let me know. For example, since TFP is so shady how do you recommend I get started? Should I contact Aurora for a consultation? I know I need marketing materials, is the best way to just find a reputable photog and pay for them? Please respond at your earliest convenience. Thank you very much for your time and have a great day.
- Michelle, a model from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hello Michelle,
Independent Modeling rocks! I’m not saying that because I used to be on their staff or anything, but just about everyone who has a problem with my friends is probably doing something wrong and they are threatened by any free modeling resource which teaches models how to get work on their own.
The fact that models are throwing Independent Modeling in the faces of model scams is hilarious, too! The look on his face must have been priceless.
If you encountered anyone who invited you to a model job go see only to have them turn around and try to sell you some service, then yes, that is a bait and switch scam. Any time that you are bait and switched, you become the victim of a deceptive trade practice, which is fraud. You should contact the Florida attorney general’s office, which handles consumer fraud in Florida, and also the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and report what happened to you. If you know of anyone else who encountered the same scam, get them to contact the authorities too. You can get more instructions on how to do this and get the links to the relevant resources by going to Tampa Bay Modeling’s REPORT A SCAM section (incidently, the section is going to be greatly enlarged later this month with the opening of our new model and talent agency scam-fighting resource section for models and abused agency bookers.
While Aurora PhotoArts is a good photography company to invest in model portfolio photography with, it is not the only one. Other great photographers that you should check out include Andy Meng, Craig Huey, Michael Cairnes, Susan Jeffers, and ITD Photos. Also, please note that Aurora PhotoArts is our main sponsor, and their senior photographer, C. A. Passinault, is also the director of Independent Modeling. Although they are our main sponsor, we are obligated to point out other great photographers, too, because we will not endorse one company when it could become a conflict of interest. Know that you will get excellent, professional-quality pictures with any of these photographers and photography companies. As a professional model with experience in the matter, I will say that you should avoid any photographers who agencies and model consultants refer you to, as there is a great potential for a conflict of interest there. I cannot recommend any of those photographers who work with agencies.
For a more comprehensive list of reputable, professional photographers, check out the TALON Talent Online database over at Independent Modeling. They even have a reference star-based rating system which will tell you the ration of good references over complaints that they have on file at a glance. You cannot go wrong booking the services of any model portfolio photographer or photography company on there with a four or a five-star rating (all of the photographers who I have mentioned are currently five-star rated).
Regarding TFP, it depends upon the definition that you are referring to. TFP used to be a term that described a professional collaboration between established professionals. The term has been hijacked by amateurs, though, and what it generally means now are amateur photographers and amateur models running around teaching each other bad habits and practicing poor Quality photography. Most photographers offering TFP (free shoots to aspiring models) either do not know what they are doing or are up to no good; in this case it could be considered a shady practice which has the potential to be dangerous and at the very least usually turns out to be a waste of time. Would you respect a so-called professional who did nothing but free work and never got paid? A part of human nature is something called “perceived value”. Most people do not assign much worth to things that are given to them, while the same person may think highly of the exact same thing if they pay for it. This is why TFP photographers get the dumbass of the year award from me. Not only do they not get paid for what they are trying to do, but the models who do TFP with them are far less likely to like the pictures or respect the photographer because of perceived value. For those unethical TFP photographers out there with shady hidden agendas such as trying to meet “hot girls” to try to hook up with them, they should know that if this is what they are trying to do, then they handicap any chance that they have with any model simply because they handicap the potential for respect that any model may have for them. Women are not attracted to anyone who they do not respect. Please note that I am not condoning the actions of TFP photographers who are trying to hook up with models, I am merely pointing out the irony that what they are trying to achieve becomes less likely because of the reduced respect. If you want to increase the odds that you will be rejected by beautiful women, by all means enjoy yourself. This TFP hook-up irony is something that greatly amuses me while, at the same time, I am also disgusted by the sleazy guys who try this. Talk about mixed feelings!
Sometimes, if you are an established professional model who already has a portfolio, composite cards, and maybe a few tear sheets under your belt, you may find professional photographer willing to do a professional collaboration for time (which used to be known as TFP before the guys with cameras, or GWC’s, hijacked the term). By default, it you already have your modeling career tools, you’re not in the market for investing in portfolio services and the professional photographer will feel better because they will know that the potential for a conflict of interest and cutting the throat of their portfolio photography services is minimal (no professional ever wants to find themselves in the position of undermining or competing with themselves). If you are just starting out and don’t have a portfolio already, it may be very tough to find a professional photographer willing to collaborate with you in this manner. If you are an aspiring model with no professional tools, who shouldn’t even try to book any model jobs until you have invested in the tools that you need. By all means, find a reputable photographer or photography company and pay for the professional photographs to build the portfolio and the composite cards that you will need to work on your own or by being represented by agencies.
I recently took out some time to study what could be the saddest joke that I have ever seen in the industry. It was some misguided model consultant business that bordered on being a model consultant scam. It was run by this TFP model who had used portfolio networking sites to build a portfolio with TFP. The same model was also taken in my the place that you are writing about, and had some of their pictures on her model consultant site. The pictures were so bad that they would have handicapped the career of this model rather than helped to market her. One thing that was really sad and amusing at the same time was that she had this plan where models would be introduced to TFP photographers to build their “professional modeling” portfolio. It takes all kinds, and people really need to know what the hell they are talking about before they form some sort of model consultant business around a bunch of misguided ideas. So, what do people really get for paying her a few hundred dollars? She cannot legally book them into model jobs (and there is no incentive to do that if you cannot get paid for it), she doesn’t know enough about photography to refer anyone to any photographer. The also contradicts herself. The very people who she puts down she also builds up as a source for her “professional” modeling experience. Screw the modeling schools and the pictures that show that you were taken advantage of my some model scam. Do you have tear sheets? What model jobs have you booked and been paid for? Why is your portfolio full of the crappiest pictures I have ever seen? So much for being a qualified model-turned model expert. She should spin it as “I, too, have been victimized by models scams! Let me consult with you today and you can pay me for my time so you can learn from my mistakes instead of making them yourself!”
What does she claim to offer? She claims to be able to offer models her professional connections and profiles on portfolio networking sites that only she seems to know about. Well, guess what? I can recreate her list by spending ten minutes on a search engine. I can also find superior information on this site and on Independent Modeling as well as a list of genuine professional photographers and others on Independent Modeling. The cost? Nothing but a few minutes of my time. People really need to quit taking advantage of naive aspiring models and they need to stop reselling the free information that they take from other sources. Why not just ask for donations out of pity? I’ll be sure to be the first one to send five dollars to the misguided model expert fund if they retire. That business will probably be closed before the end of the year. I am sure that she means well, but it’s more of a joke than anything else. What this is could basically be described as a dysfunctional, mentally handicapped version of a model consultation scam, and there are many others out there who do it so much better, and they are actually a danger to models! I haven’t seen a model scheme that is more pathetic than this one is.
Well, that’s it for my 1,000th rant. Good luck with your portfolio, by the way, and let me know how it goes!
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Model Agency War
Is Tampa Bay Modeling going after model and talent agencies and model scams?

A Tampa agency booker friend is pissed off about your site. What’s this about you models trying to close down agencies. Agencies are a legitimate part of the modeling industry, and they are here to help your career. Just because you models are angry that you’re not booking the jobs that you think that you should be getting, you take it out on the poor agencies.
Are you targeting model agencies in Tampa? If you are, be warned that you could be getting in some trouble.
- Alan from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Alan,
No, we are not going to do a thing about model and talent agencies in Tampa Bay. Who are we to say who is professional and who is ethical when we don’t work there and don’t have all of the information?
Hee hee.
What we ARE going to be doing is to make it possible for agency employees and models to make the agencies accountable for what they do. We will enable them to do the work for us while they help themselves and the integrity of the Tampa Bay modeling industry. Don’t be surprised if agencies that are unethical end up closing. I would think that the reputable agencies will be thankful. Tell me, does your booker friend work at an ethical agency? What motivation does he have to be pissed at us if we only intend to make agencies accountable for what they do and say? If an agency is legitimate and they conduct business honestly, then they have nothing to lose through all this and will have a lot to gain.
This said, models that I know book plenty of work through agencies, and so do I. Although I book work through agencies, I also happen to book more work on my own as an independent professional model. I also do not like some things about agencies and do not particularly trust them or the bookers that I know. In my opinion, which many educated professional models also share, model and talent agencies are a working conflict of interest which should be treated as a source of model jobs and little else. Many model and talent agencies in the Tampa Bay area have earned the mistrust and contempt that professional models have toward them. This has nothing to do with who gets more jobs than others. It has to do with all of the B.S. that goes on in agencies and the crap that they put models through. Agencies are a part of the modeling industry, and I believe that they will always have a place in it, but agencies are no longer the only professional way for models to work in the industry, and agencies are understandably insecure and bitter about that.
Now, model consultation scams are another story altogether. We already have that issue figured out, though, and they shouldn’t be much of a threat to the modeling industry by next year.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

 

Independent Modeling Connection
Model asks about Independent Modeling updates and how TBM is connected to IM.

Is Tampa Bay Modeling a part of Independent Modeling? I noticed that Independent Modeling is now updating again, and that job board looks really good. Do you know what it going on with them?
Thank you.
- Frank from Tampa Bay, Florida

Independent Modeling and Tampa Bay Modeling are different sites which are run by different people. We are allies and often work together. We do, though, often contribute to each others sites. I used to be on their staff, which you can see in their mail bag archives from any search engine inquiry with my name, but left them to work with Tampa Bay Modeling earlier this year. I still contribute content to Independent Modeling, as it is an incredible modeling career resource which is changing the modeling industry (Independent Modeling will also be the key to crippling model consultation scams, as they will flood the market with better tools and information free of charge, wreaking chaos on the market for model consultation scams).
When we can help each other, we often link to the other site. Independent Modeling is linking to our model scam definition database (although they are working on one of their own from what I hear), and we link to the job board. Linking to relevant resources is a good solution when we would otherwise face content redundancy. In our case, a model job board would be too much work, and since their model job board will be the best on the Internet, it makes more sense for us to concentrate on other things and refer models to their advanced resource. Speaking of their model job board, I agree with you. It is looking awesome!
You know, I am actually in a good mood right now, especially after reading the E-Mail that Danielle Cooper, the TBM Editor, just sent me. The war is going well, and the results of our efforts seem to support the accounts of the models who were smart enough to avoid these scams. It’s one thing for a scam to bitch about us, call us a nuisance, and then continue to rip people off. It is quite another for a scam to lose money over what we are doing. If they didn’t hate us before, they surely do now. Just remember, model scams, that this site is only a facet of the opposition that you are facing. We are the tip of an iceberg. You will never be able to comprehend the number of professional models who are determined to make a difference and to make the industry players accountable for what they do. We’re here to make a difference, but we are not everyone. We are only the few that you can see.
What we are doing here on this site is working, and I feel good knowing that all of our hard work is worth it, especially when a scam loses thousands of dollars in business when they steal the property of reputable professionals in order to bait in models with it, they underestimate those models, and then most of the models walk after it is obvious that the sales pitch was stolen and that the scam became obvious from the actions that the models recognized as scams.
Here some questions for those scams out there who know damn well what they are doing to models and that what they are doing is wrong. Can you be sure who the models are that you are trying to scam? Can you completely trust those who work with you? While I am not actually soliciting an answer, I would rather that the unethical, dishonest parasites in the industry pause and consider their options. You will reap what you sow, and you will one day be accountable for who you associate with, and what you say and do. This is the one chance that these people have to clean up their acts and become reputable professionals. Either that, or the models and the genuine professionals in the industry will close you down (we are working on a resource that will inspire scams to become legitimate operations by instructing professionals about how to make it in the modeling industry).
So, how are we winning the war on Tampa model scams before we have even begun? First, we will not take any risks and will limit our potential liability because we really don’t have to put ourselves at risk in order to be effective at scam fighting.
It’s on, and models are winning. In closing, models, remember that you are what you do. You are also who you associate with.
Oh, and before I forget, there is another reason for me to be happy right now. I’m looking forward to the Independent Modeling 5th anniversary party on Monday, September 4, 2006. It’s going to be huge, and the staffs of Independent Modeling, Tampa Bay Modeling, and a few others will get together and celebrate making a difference in the modeling industry. I can’t believe that it’s already been five years! I’m told that the next five years will be the best yet, and the upcoming year will be better than all five years for Independent Modeling!
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

 

CLOSING BY MODEL MONICA STEVENS

You know, I am actually in a good mood right now, especially after reading the E-Mail that Danielle Cooper, the TBM Editor, just sent me. The war is going well, and the results of our efforts seem to support the accounts of the models who were smart enough to avoid these scams. It’s one thing for a scam to bitch about us, call us a nuisance, and then continue to rip people off. It is quite another for a scam to lose money over what we are doing. If they didn’t hate us before, they surely do now. Just remember, model scams, that this site is only a facet of the opposition that you are facing. We are the tip of an iceberg. You will never be able to comprehend the number of professional models who are determined to make a difference and to make the industry players accountable for what they do. We’re here to make a difference, but we are not everyone. We are only the few that you can see.
What we are doing here on this site is working, and I feel good knowing that all of our hard work is worth it, especially when a scam loses thousands of dollars in business when they steal the property of reputable professionals in order to bait in models with it, they underestimate those models, and then most of the models walk after it is obvious that the sales pitch was stolen and that the scam became obvious from the actions that the models recognized as scams.
Here some questions for those scams out there who know damn well what they are doing to models and that what they are doing is wrong. Can you be sure who the models are that you are trying to scam? Can you completely trust those who work with you? While I am not actually soliciting an answer, I would rather that the unethical, dishonest parasites in the industry pause and consider their options. You will reap what you sow, and you will one day be accountable for who you associate with, and what you say and do. This is the one chance that these people have to clean up their acts and become reputable professionals. Either that, or the models and the genuine professionals in the industry will close you down (we are working on a resource that will inspire scams to become legitimate operations by instructing professionals about how to make it in the modeling industry).
So, how are we winning the war on Tampa model scams before we have even begun? First, we will not take any risks and will limit our potential liability because we really don’t have to put ourselves at risk in order to be effective at scam fighting.
It’s on, and models are winning. In closing, models, remember that you are what you do. You are also who you associate with.
Oh, and before I forget, there is another reason for me to be happy right now. I’m looking forward to the Independent Modeling 5th anniversary party on Monday, September 4, 2006. It’s going to be huge, and the staffs of Independent Modeling, Tampa Bay Modeling, and a few others will get together and celebrate making a difference in the modeling industry. I can’t believe that it’s already been five years! I’m told that the next five years will be the best yet, and the upcoming year will be better than all five years for Independent Modeling!
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

 

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UPDATED 07/11/07

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