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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.
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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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This article is a professional, educated opinion, and should not be taken as advice of any kind. Use at your own risk; anyone doing anything described on this site assumes complete liability.

By C. A. Passinault
Director, Tampa Bay Modeling
Lead Photographer and Designer, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Bay Photography and Design

So, you are an aspiring model, or a new model, and you found Tampa Bay Modeling through an Internet search on modeling, or from word-of-mouth from a genuinely smart model or a friend (We get a lot of that, because people know that we know what we are talking about. Word is spreading!). That’s good, as we are here to help. You want to model, and don’t know where to start, especially with all of the confusing, conflicting information on other modeling web sites, on modeling message boards, and in modeling books.
Well, we can start by saying that you should forget about some of the advice given on other modeling sites and in modeling books. If they say that the only way to model is the agency way, and try to say that there are “land-based” and “online” models, they either do not know what they are talking about, or are trying to limit you by getting you into a modeling career where you are dependent upon others whom may not have your best interests in mind. Don’t fall for the propaganda. Don't allow others to limit you as a model. Dependence upon others is a bad thing, and it is a mistake. Any business or industry where any party has a monopoly over how things work enables corruption and scams, and this is why you should never allow yourself to be dependent upon a modeling agency or allow them to manage you or tell you what to do. Sure, agencies have connections for modeling work, but models can obtain and cultivate those SAME connections on their own (without the competition which agencies will automatically send to those connections. What, did you think that the agency would only refer you to a job prospect? They work for your competition, too!), and they can book themselves into those SAME modeling jobs that they would usually get through the agency, at the SAME exact pay rate, if not better. Agencies only have power over you if you allow them to.
In many cases, people try to pass themselves off as modeling experts by repeating the same lame, limiting, controlling information as everyone else. They follow the crowd, and don’t think for themselves. They try to make models think that there are limited ways of doing things, when the opposite is true. In many cases, some of these people are attempting to mislead new models so that they can scam them.
And, yes, new models, there are a lot of modeling scams out there. With lots of competition in the modeling industry, and few modeling jobs, some people simply feel that the best way to make money in the modeling industry is to scam people who have dreams of becoming a model, and this is sad. It doesn’t have to be that way. People who actually know what they are doing know this, too.
There are a lot of modeling books out there which claim that the agency way is the only way to be a model, and those books are written by models whom are a part of the limited, old modeling industry. The information is outdated. There is also confusion between the terms “land-based” and “online” models. There really is no difference. What the terms are supposed to mean is that a land-based model is an “agency-represented model”, or a “real” model with a professional modeling career, and an online model is a wannabe model who promotes their career, online, without going through an agency, trying to book modeling jobs on their own, and not succeeding. Terms aside, we have to agree that a model who sticks with online promotion is doomed to have a limited career, and is an amateur who should not be taken seriously, especially since most "online" models do not bother to invest in their careers and are notoriously flaky, but, likewise, a model who is dependent upon a modeling and talent agency is also limited in their modeling career. In fact, a model who is dependent upon anyone is limited, and allows themselves to be controlled and, sometimes, even exploited by those who do not have their best interests in mind. A true, professional independent model does not allow dependence to factor into any facet of their modeling career. Also, Independent modeling does not equal Internet modeling. There is a difference, and, the fact is, only the ignorant don't know it. If they don't know these things, what can they do for your career? We know that they cannot follow through on their claims if they don't know the business; only the models can find out for themselves, through experience.
The truth is, there are agency-represented models, and freelance independent models. The land-based and online descriptions are misleading because promoting a modeling career online is only a small part of being an independent model, and it does not define what an independent model is. An independent model has an advantage over agency-only models, because an independent model also uses modeling and talent agencies as one of many sources of jobs. Independent models are not dependent upon agencies, and therefore have an advantage over limited agency models. Independent models, whom go out and demonstrate that they have value as a model, and that they are bookable, also inspire agencies to work harder for them simply because the agency doesn't want to be cut out of the commission for a modeling job that the model will usually book without going through them. As a result, the models whom are dependent upon the agencies for jobs are often neglected, and rightfully so, which further increases the advantage that an independent model has over agency models. An independent model makes the agency work for them, like they are supposed to, as well as react to them. Agency-only models do not have any such leverage because they are entirely dependent upon the agency, and the agency knows it.
The thing is, new models are ignorant (which does NOT mean that they are not smart. There is a difference; learn it), and there are unethical people out there who take advantage of new models. The best defense for this is to educate yourself before making the attempt to start a modeling career and to become a model.
New models, read the following steps to becoming a model, and take heed. This is better information than you will find in any modeling book.

How To Become A Model

1. Learn about modeling.
Read Tampa Bay Modeling, Independent Modeling, Florida Models, and our other modeling resource sites. The more you learn, the better off you will be as you start your modeling career as a new model. Being a new model does not mean that you don’t know what you are doing. It doesn't have to! Knowledge is power, after all. Also read Modeling Your Future, exclusively here on Tampa Bay Modeling (and on Tampa Bay Modeling fliers which people are claiming are giving them headaches with all of that information crammed onto a 4 X 5 inch index card flyer. It’s easier to read on here. We promise!).
Also, don’t listen to the advice given out by local talent agencies. We are now, as of January 24, 2015, hearing stories that they are giving out bad advice and self-serving information which may not be in the best interest of the model. Agents and their agencies have NO BUSINESS telling you what to do; after all, they are supposed to be working for you. Also, keep in mind that they work for your competition, too. Do you really want to trust them? We certainly do not, especially as they keep proving to us that they cannot be trusted.
If the agency wants to tell you what to do, insist that they hire you and put you on payroll, where you are an employee and they have to withhold payroll taxes and pay out for things such as Workers Comp. Make them pay you minimum wage in addition to the pay from working modeling jobs. They will not do that, however, even if they keep trying to do inappropriate things such as act like your employer, because they work FOR you, you are not an employee (you are technically an independent contractor, which is a self-contained business), and the agency is a middleman which is supposed to find and refer you to modeling jobs. Oh, and another thing: They do not book you into those jobs. You have to go to the go-see (audition or casting), and land it yourself, and the agency gets a 20% cut from both the job and you IF you are booked into the job; you do ALL of the work, and they agency merely refers you.
If an agency wants to manage you, insist that they only manage you on an exclusive basis, because it is a conflict of interest for them to be working for, and managing, your competition. It’s only fair, right, if they are trying to tell you what to do if they are supposed to be working for you.
Then we have agents who try to tell the model which photographer to work with and what kind of photographs that they need. First of all, never work with a photographer whom an agency refers you to, as you can never be certain if the photographer is splitting fees with the agency, something which is not only illegal, but also against the law, deceptive, and unethical. Then we have agents who think that they know about photography. Well, they are not photographers, and they are not casting directors, either. If you want to know what is needed in your portfolio and for your composite cards, go to a photographer whom specializes in this, and leave the agent out of it. If the agent insists, fine. Make them take pictures for your portfolio for free. Don’t be surprised if they waste your time because the agent, surprise, is not a photographer and does not know what they are doing. An agent whom thinks that they know more than a professional photographer, or whom thinks that they can compete with one, is a fool, and so is the model whom listens to them. You do want to be able to compete with other models, don’t you? Well, those models have effective portfolios and composite cards because they went to the source, which is a professional modeling portfolio photographer.
That said, agencies do have their use if they accept their proper place and do what they are supposed to do, which is work FOR the models. A smart model uses agencies as one of many sources of jobs, and obtains representation from several in the same market so that they agency is forced to work harder for the model.

2. Don’t get scammed.
Avoid advertised modeling jobs especially if they claim that no experience is needed. Avoid modeling schools, as they are not worth it, in our opinion. Don’t buy anything from anyone advertising modeling jobs. Don’t buy anything from a modeling and talent agency, or anything that an agency tries to sell you. Don't buy anything from anyone that an agency refers you to, as you cannot be sure that the agency is not making money from the referral (Florida modeling and talent agencies are only allowed to make money by finding and referring models into jobs. They are forbidden by state law from making money selling anything to models, by splitting fees with those who make money by selling things to models, and from referring models to photographers as a condition of representing the model. At the time of this writing, it is illegal for agencies to make money off of models by selling them things or by referring them to those who sell them things, but you need to think about something. Although these practices are illegal, and unethical if the agency is misleading the model and making money in ways that an agency shouldn't, even if the State Of Florida did a stupid, short-sighted thing like deregulate agencies and make such things quasi-legal, don't you think that it is common-sense that these regulations were imposed upon agencies to begin with, and that there was a good reason? Laws could change one day, if the State Of Florida were to decide that it was no longer cost-effective to look over the shoulders of agencies and to make them accountable for what they do, but wrong is still wrong! Use your brains, people!). If any modeling and talent agency endorses a modeling boot camp workshop or any kind of modeling school, RUN! (Sorry, angry model. What you were trying to do is unethical, unprofessional, and a blatant conflict of interest. You are not as smart as you think that you are, are you? Do you really know what you are doing? Are you trying to set up yet another modeling scam? Do idiot photographers kiss up to you and support you because they do not know what they are doing, as well? No wonder you cannot compete with real professionals! For those of you wondering what we are referring to, there is an over-the-hill, man-hating, old-industry model who was trying to do modeling boot camps in the Tampa Bay area, and she had an agency sign off on it. They also hired her as their director of new faces in full knowledge of what she was trying to do, putting her in the position to refer new models to her boot camps, which makes us seriously question the ethics of both the model and the agency. Don't get scammed, models! As for the photographer who backed her, we would suggest that he learn how the industry works before trying to work in an industry which he is too ignorant to understand, as it is our opinion that he is supporting someone who is doing something unethical. These people made the mistake of attacking me and Tampa Bay Modeling, and they are paying for it. The angry model has since left Florida, and is doing something else. We wish that she would take lessons in manners and stop using profanity to get her point across, as it is our opinion that she is crass and lacks class, as well as learn to properly debate. In our opinion, and experience, most modeling scams are run by jaded, burnt-out stage mothers, models, and agency people who feel, we suppose, that it is their right to mislead and rip off others. Fraud cannot be justified, regardless!) Under Florida law, it is illegal, and agencies are not supposed to do that, at all. Also, and this is very, very important for those clueless amateur models out there who use free portfolio networking sites, and who think that they can build an effective, professional modeling portfolio with TFP/TFCD (most will find out the hard way that they can't, and they will realize this when they don't book any work and cannot compete with real, professional models, professional models who were smart enough to invest in a professional portfolio from a qualified modeling portfolio photographer. The professional modeling portfolio photographers will not work for free, either, because if they are able to to give the models the portfolio that the model has to have for their career, it would be a stupid way to run a business giving away something beneficial for free. A professional does not give away the store to those who are in the market for what they are in business to do!), avoid high-risk modeling work until you know what you are doing, and have decided what market that you want to work, as high-risk modeling work will limit your marketability as a model; high-risk modeling includes nudes, glamour, boudoir, modeling in skimpy bikinis, “sexy” modeling, fetish, and modeling in provocative poses (New models should avoid high-risk modeling at all costs, because it can destroy their modeling careers before it has a chance to start! You can choose to ignore this and do whatever you want to if you wish, but pictures are forever, and you'll find these lessons out the hard way. You may also find out that once the pictures are out there, that no one can undo them or remove them, and the damage that can be done to the career of the new model may be permanent. This is another reason that new models should only work with established professional photographers who know what they are doing, and avoid the risks of working with amateurs who do TFP/ TFCD. Save the models... from themselves!). High-risk modeling is for experienced professional models ONLY, models who have experienced the full range of a modeling career, and who make an educated choice to specialize in high-risk modeling. Any new model who recklessly jumps into high-risk modeling is a fool, in our opinion, and they deserve what happens to them and their modeling career (sorry, but we've seen too much ignorance and willful stupidity in the modeling industry lately, as well as idiots taking advantage of ignorant new models, and it needs to be said). Even the experienced professional model knows that high-risk modeling will permanently limit their marketability as a model, and limit them to the few legitimate high-risk modeling jobs which are out there. Why would you accept limitations in your career? Do you think that a company is going to want the face of a model who does things in their career which directly conflicts with the image of their company to represent their product or services (also, a model could be legally liable, in our opinion, if the company finds out about potential conflicts after they are using the image of the model, and the model failed to disclose what they have done)? Do you think that they are going to tolerate conflicts when they have other models, models who are just as good, who don't have such limitations? New models, protect your image as a model, and maximize the potential, and the market flexibility, of your modeling career! Sure, this is scary stuff, but modeling for the new model can be safe if they take out the time to learn more about it before jumping in.

3. Invest in your modeling portfolio before you go to any agency.
This is very important, because a lot of modeling agencies are scams which make their money by selling portfolios and comp cards to models, instead of finding models work. If you go to any agency without an established modeling portfolio, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of being scammed! Find a reputable professional photographer or photography company which specializes in modeling portfolio work, and invest in a five to six look modeling portfolio photography session. You will need at least five looks for your composite cards.
Try to find a photographer who charges by the job, and make sure that their portfolio demonstrates a range of good work, and that they guarantee their work. Also, avoid booking the services of a photographer on rates alone, as most photographers who charge low rates usually charge low rates because that is all their work is worth; finding the cheapest photographer is a false economy, and it could backfire (a real professional photographer who is worth booking because they are actually able to give you a professionally relevant, and effective, portfolio is going to know what fair rates are for the market and for the job, and it won't be the lowest)! Avoid photographers who charge by the hour, as haste makes waste. Avoid photographers who have a lot of nudes and tacky pictures in their portfolio. Avoid photographers who have no business shooting modeling portfolios, which include wedding photographers, portrait photographers, and event photographers; make sure that the work which is represented in their portfolio is professionally relevant for modeling portfolios. Also, avoid shooting your modeling portfolio in a studio setting, which is more appropriate for consumer portraits; the best modeling portfolios are shot on location. To obtain an effective, and professional, modeling portfolio, you will need a photographer who has experience working with models; the more, the better. Wedding photographers cater to a less specialized, consumer market, and most couldn’t shoot a modeling portfolio if they had to. They dream of it, though. Do NOT waste your money and time investing in a modeling portfolio which will not allow you to compete with professional models!
The reason that you want to invest in a modeling portfolio before you go to an agency is because a modeling and talent agency is only supposed to work for a model, finding them jobs, and they are only supposed to make money by referring models into modeling jobs. At the time of this writing, it is against the law for any agency to make money by selling modeling portfolios or by referring models to anyone who sells modeling portfolios, and it's against the law for a good reason. An agency will use your portfolio and composite cards, which you would already have when you are trying to book modeling jobs, to market you. Agencies are not supposed to manage you, as they work FOR you (as well as your competition, who are other models whom they represent, too), are not supposed to tell you what to do, and are not in business to sell models anything. Go to an agency for a modeling portfolio, or to be referred to a “professional” modeling portfolio photographer, and you open the door to being scammed. Modeling and talent agencies are in business to find work for models, and they are not as qualified to evaluate modeling portfolios as a photographer who is in business to photograph modeling portfolios is.
You have to be sure that an agency is doing their job, and the only way to ensure that is to make sure that they cannot make money by selling you anything. If an agency refers you to a photographer, you cannot be sure if they are making money from the referral or not. If an agency is making money by referring models to photographers and other services, there is no incentive to work for the model and get them jobs, which takes more work to actually do, and is more difficult, than it is to simply sell some chump aspiring model services (models going to agencies to start a modeling career, especially when they are unprepared, are easy targets for scams). In Florida, making money by referring to photographers or by selling models portfolios is also against the law.
Go to someone who is qualified to give you a modeling portfolio, and who is also honest about what they are in business to do. Be safe and efficient. Go to a modeling portfolio photographer.

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