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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.

Standards have dropped in the Tampa modeling industry 1. Standards have dropped in the Tampa modeling industryStandards have dropped in the Tampa modeling industry. By C. A. Passinault.
Agency TFP and dumping the modeling portfolio market 2. Agency TFP and dumping the modeling portfolio market
The difference between TFP and professional collaboration 3. The difference between TFP and professional collaboration
Amateurs pretending to be professionals 4. Amateurs pretending to be professionals
Studio training wheels 5. Studio training wheels
Stumbling in the light 6. Stumbling in the light
The aftermath 7. The aftermath

By C. A. Passinault, Director of Tampa Bay Modeling



Agency TFP and dumping the modeling portfolio market

Consider this:
Professional photographers will not offer TFP to new models who are in the market for a modeling portfolio, as this is not a way to run a business. They lose money by giving away services that are supposed to be valuable and worthwhile. If a photographer is bad at business, are they a professional, and can they do anything for your modeling career, especially since providing a model with an effective modeling portfolio and career tools requires a head for business and marketing? Also, can you trust an agency which refers new models to an amateur for TFP, knowing that no professional who can actually do something for a model is going to do TFP?
A possibility: Modeling agencies could be referring models to TFP for their portfolios to make a point, misleading the model and wasting valuable time, to later set the model up for paying for a portfolio from someone who is affiliated with them, and where they can unethically and illegally make money from the referral. An added bonus is that this tactic also dumps the market for legitimate, qualified modeling and talent photographers who work independently of the agencies, costing those photographers business if the photographers are unable to adapt to the new conditions of a manipulated market.

I felt that they WERE dumping my market, referring models to aspiring amateur photographers who couldn’t get the job done. Sure, I’m sure that the agencies know that TFP isn’t cost-effective, and it is largely a waste of time, but let’s face it: They probably don’t really care (In that case, though, wouldn’t an agency knowingly misrepresenting the effectiveness of a referral be misleading, which would make it a scam? A lie is a lie, and if they are not honest with you, you cannot trust them, especially if they are setting the model up for a disappointment so that they later can sell them on something. “See, we told you so! It was your idea to do TFP, and now you know that it didn’t work. No, we didn’t tell you to do TFP, it was your idea, and we simply tried to help you out by sending you to a photographer who should have been able to help you out. You tried it your way, and failed, because you don't really know what you are doing and don't know the market like we do. You now need to do it our way so that you can succeed in getting a good portfolio. Here, now we can send you to a photographer who can give you a real portfolio. You pay them, and then we can get you jobs after you get a real modeling portfolio!”).
The agencies could be giving the models enough rope to hang themselves by referring them to TFP with photographers whom they know can’t get the job done, as those photographers are not a threat to what a real photographer can do, the models don’t get work, and later, when the model feels that they have failed on their own, and they come crawling to the agency for help with their career, the agency can then sell them professional services. It’s unethical, misleading, and manipulative, but it would work for an agency which is running a photo mill scam!
There is more to this possibility, too.
Think about it: Independent models and talent cost agencies money. Also, if the agencies were not getting a lot of jobs and job leads, why not burn the photographers who were in business of modeling portfolio photography by pumping up TFP as a good way of building a modeling portfolio? With the agencies recommending it, it has credibility with new models, and it is a good way of burning the portfolio market because they dump it. You might be wondering why on earth an agency would refer a model to a “photographer” who would give them a mediocre portfolio at best, but think about this: Although in the short-term the market was bad, it would eventually get better, but later rather than sooner. The agencies were not getting many jobs, and even if the models had the best portfolios that they could get in the market by investing in them from professional photographers, it would not do them any good, because if there are no jobs to begin with, then you can’t book them. With fewer jobs, the agencies can concentrate on established agency models who already have effective portfolios and neglect most of the new models, anyway, if they are really booking models into work. So, in the short-term, you can burn the new models and the professional photographers who work independently of the agencies by referring new models to TFP. The models learn their "lesson" that you get what you pay for, and eventually buy services from the professional photographers who are affiliated with the agency because the models would still need effective portfolios once the market picks up. In the mean time, while teaching the models “a lesson”, and that they “need” the agency to guide and manage their career, manipulating and conditioning the models to be dependent upon the agency, the independent professional photographers who are not affiliated with the agencies lose work. Hey, if the agency is losing their shirt, the people who refuse to play by their rules should lose their shirts, too, right? Regardless of what motive that the short-term strategy had, agencies which actually book models into work will not refer them to TFP photographers for long, and the models will eventually have to invest in a portfolio which will be able to market them and book them work. If the referral to any professional photographer is from the agency, however, it is high-risk, because the model cannot be sure that the agency is not making money unethically (and illegally) by receiving kickbacks or commission from the referred shoot. It is far safer to directly go to a professional photographer who is not affiliated with any agency, and who specializes in modeling portfolio work, and invest in their services, as there are low risks for conflicts of interest, and since the photographer is actually in business to give the models effective portfolios, they are not only better than the agency-referred photographers, but are more qualified to identify what the models need, and to give them effective portfolios. A professional modeling portfolio photographer who is independent of the agencies is more qualified than ANY agency to identify what you need and to give you an effective modeling portfolio, because that is what they are in business to do. This said, what, you’re going to trust the opinion of an agency over someone who is more qualified to give you one? Agencies are not the only way, and they are certainly not the end-all, be-all source of a modeling career! Agencies work for models. That’s it. Models are in charge. An agency is in business to find and book models into work. Agencies are not in business to sell modeling portfolios or composite cards to models, or refer them to a photographer whom they “recommend”. You have to be sure that the agency can only make money the way that they are supposed to, and make them work for you! And models wonder why so many so-called agencies out there illegally and unethically make money selling portfolios, and don’t do what they are supposed to do (baiting a model with jobs and then selling them something is deceptive, and it is a scam. Why do you think that agencies are not legally able to sell modeling portfolios or divide fees with anyone? At the time of this writing, in both 2011 and 2013, it is the law, and even if it were not, it would still be fraud! This is what a photo mill agency is, and it is too common in Florida, even being against the law! They also cannot make money by referring models to photographers, which is known as "dividing fees", and if any agency refers you to a photographer, the only way to ensure that they are not making money this way, which is unethical, a conflict of interest, and illegal, is to refuse the referral. How do you know that they are not making money from the referral? If you allow them to refer you to a photographer, you don't! If an agency makes money this way, what is their incentive to make money by doing what they are supposed to do, which to to find you work? Many models who get scammed this way never hear from the agency again once they pay for their portfolio. Congratulations! You were scammed by an agency! Some agencies double-dip by making money both ways, and while some stupid models might be cool with this as long as they book work, consider that you had to pay out to an agency, either directly or indirectly, in order to get work, when the agency is supposed to work for you and get you work without charging you anything to get you work! Legitimate agencies don't do that! You paid out money that you did not have to if this happens, and were ripped off! If they scam you, you cannot trust them! Some may refer the models to jobs, but in most cases the model never makes their money back).
If any agency does this dumping strategy by referring models to TFP photographers for “practice”, and then, when more jobs are available, later turns around and tells the model that their portfolio is not good enough, that the portfolio is the reason that the model is not booking, and that now the model needs to buy services from a "real" professional photographer that the agency recommends (of course!), the model needs to consider what is going on. The model needs to remember who it was that referred them to a TFP photographer in the first place and wasted their time. The model also needs to evaluate wether or not the agency is trying to manipulate them by “teaching them a lesson” and then setting them up for a portfolio shoot later on down the line where the agency could unethically and illegally make money from the referral. Conspiracy? Perhaps not. Open your eyes. Can you really trust modeling and talent agencies? Any agency which promotes that it represents models and gets them work, and then makes money by referring models to photographers instead of (or even in addition to) doing their jobs IS A SCAM, simply because they misled the model in the first place. Can you trust someone who is not straight-up with you? Can you trust someone who is supposed to work for you, but instead tries to tell you, their boss, what to do when they are also working for your competition, which are other models who are competing with you for the same jobs? This is WHY models need to put, and keep, agencies in their place, make them work for them, and only use them as one of many sources of modeling jobs. Models should never, ever buy anything from the agency, or from whomever they refer them to.


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