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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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TFP and TFCD

This is an archive of relevant mail and our replies organized by subject. The date of the mail bag will be noted for each letter, with a link to the related mail bag. This archive is updated on the first of the month when relevant mail is posted in the current mail bag, and the newest letters are added to the top. Other sections of the Tampa Bay Modeling site link to this section so the mail and our responses can be used as reference and support content. We really like this way of archiving so great letters and our replies are not lost in old mail bags and can be easily researched. Enjoy!
~ Model Monica Stevens, Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Is TFP For Me? - POSTED APRIL 2006.

What do you have against TFP’s and professionals collaborating together to build their portfolios? I noticed that TFP/TFCD is on your scam section, too. TFP is not a model scam!
-Sandy

May I ask how serious you are about your career? If you’re a model, do you intend to model free of charge? If so, let’s see how long you are able to work in your career. If so, what is the point of becoming a model in the first place?
We don’t have anything against TFP’s. I agree TFP’s are often not scams. Some professionals may elect to do it, but most do not. Most professionals that I know are too busy earning a living in their careers and don’t have time for charity work. The problem with TFP offers is that often, while most are not model scams, some lead into model scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Nine times out of ten, you really do get what you pay for, and models really need to question the motivation of others who offer them free services, who don’t make money working as a professional, and who elect to work with nothing but amateurs. Why are they offering to shoot models at no charge? What is their motivation? How do they earn a living? If they don’t earn money working as a professional photographer, is there anything that they can truly offer a model that will benefit their career? Do they even know what they are doing, or are they some guy with a camera looking to meet pretty girls (coming soon: A Tampa Bay Modeling original story series about “Chester GWC - Model Photographer”. I am not kidding about this upcoming black comedy serial)? Many photographers offer TFP simply because they don’t have anything else going on in their career. Food for thought: How many TFP offers do you see for male models? How many TFP offers do you see for CLOTHED models? How many TFP photographers have genuine professional models who earn a living through a modeling career in their book? I don’t see a lot of male models, tastefully clothed models, or professional models in TFP work, that’s for sure. Model portfolio photography should be about obtaining professional pictures for a portfolio and should not be used as bait or as a prelude for asking some girl out. Think that I want to be buddies with all the photographers that I work with? Please. I’m selective about who I am friends with, and so is everyone else.
I’m not a fan of TFP’s, and I am speaking from experience. Many years ago, when I was a brand new model with no clue about the industry or what I was doing, I did TFP to build my model portfolio (some idiots on a portfolio networking site suggested this ill-advised course of action). Keep in mind that this was back in the day before cheap digital cameras where photographers had to invest money and professional training into camera gear, film, and film development. The cost of entry into the photography field did keep it limited mostly to those who were serious and made figuring out who the professionals were a lot easier, but the few legitimate photographers in the market seldom offered any freebies. Many liked my looks, though, and I managed to book a few TFP sessions. Although I was lucky and no one took advantage of me, I can say that was far more trouble than it was worth and sometimes indirectly cost me more money that I would have paid had I booked a professional portfolio photography session from an established professional photographer. If I could do it again, I would have saved a lot of legwork, time, and headaches and would have simply paid and invested a few hundred dollars into pictures from a professional photographer who could actually do something for my career. Once I learned my lesson, I finally invested some money into a real modeling portfolio and my career began to work for me because I gave it what it needed.
In my opinion, TFP’s are nothing more than shortcuts that cheap models and photographers use to avoid paying for what they need. We all know that taking shortcuts often costs more in the long-run in any career. You only cheat yourself by taking shortcuts! If a model or photographer cannot scrape up a little money to pay for what they need and invest in their career, their priorities are not conductive to surviving in a competitive industry such as the modeling industry and they are not being very smart. Speaking as a model, I don’t respect professional photographers who work for free. Professional models are not inclined to work with or contact photographers who they do not respect, either, and we value our time too much to waste it, too. Why is it that TFP photographers are always whining about models who don’t follow through on their “bookings”? While I do not condone anyone setting up something and then flaking out, we all need to realize the primary law of human behavior: people will always do what they feel is in their best interest. Actions always outweigh words. If a model decides to blow off a TFP shoot, do you think that they respect the photographer to begin with? I don’t think so. Some photographers may think that they are undercutting photographers who charge for their services by offering free photography services. What often happens (and recent investigations have proven this to be correct) is that the photographer digs themselves into a hole and acquires a reputation of being a TFP shooter or doing substandard work, even if they actually do good work! When they finally wake up and start charging for their work, it is a lot harder to climb out of that hole. I know a photographer who used to do TFP many years ago. While some models worked with him, none of them respected him or his talented work. He was perceived to be a schmuck who could not be taken seriously. A true friend of his (a girl who was not a model and had nothing to gain by taking advantage of him) sat him down one day and told him the truth: That models were taking advantage of him for services that common sense indicated should cost SOMETHING at the very least. The photographer woke up and started charging for his work. It took a couple of years to shake off his reputation of being a free shooter and work that was harder than it should have been. He is now a major player, commands a high level of respect, and makes a respectable amount of money in the modeling industry while doing what he has always loved to do, and models treat him very well.
This TFP controversy can be solved easily. TFP photographers can quit being chumps and stop underselling themselves. They will earn the respect and the pay that they deserve, as well as work with genuine professional models.
There are some professional photographers who make a living by charging for their services and are concerned about the market being corrupted by guys with cameras and aspiring photographers shooting “models” for free. I wouldn’t worry about it. From what I’ve seen, perceived value keeps everything in check. Most professional models who are serious about their careers do not go the TFP route, and if TFP photography were really a threat, TFP photographers would be swamped with work. This is not proving to be the case at all, and the market should balance itself the way it should by creating separate markets of the haves and have-nots.
Did you know that most people outside of the modeling industry automatically assume that model portfolios are an investment that cost money? Take some time and think about this. People who think that TFP’s are the way it is done learn this misconception from others, and often it plays on the greed of people who think that they are entitled to something for nothing. Any business professional that you ask outside of the “modeling” industry would laugh at they suggestion that they could become a professional in any career without making a reasonable investment into services from professionals who make a living doing what they claim to do.
As for me, I don’t trust or respect any professional who works for free. It’s not a profession if it isn’t a real career (career=income and respect). It raises too many questions for me to take them seriously, and this is how it should be. Models who want to insult a photographer should contact them and ask them to give them free portfolio pictures. I guarantee you will piss off any working professional photographer with an inquiry. If the photographer chuckles and wants to do TFP anyway, the model should ask themselves if it is worth it and really wonder about the motivation. I’d have to wonder about their self-respect, and would wonder if there is something wrong with their work. Most models would walk away, and I don’t blame them.

~ Model Monica Stevens, Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

   

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