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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.


MAY 2006

Represent Yourself

01. A Large French Fry
02. Agency Booker Responds
03. Agencies Will Always Be In The Game
04. Curiosity Made Me Wonder
05. A Cry For Help
06. Wants To Model
07. Disappointed Model

Hi everyone! It’s time to rock out with the May 2006 mail bag. This is the second mail bag for Tampa Bay Modeling (and this will be the last time that I bring up what number mail bag it is- I promise!), and since I’m still going over things this will be a short one. The NEXT mail bag on June 1 will be larger and better, as I will have more time to put into it.
In recent days, our model scam section came online, and it has caught the attention of many, many people. Some love it, and some really hate it. I really don’t understand why some people hate it if they are not doing anything wrong. If any so-called professional that does not want us to help the modeling industry, then they are either paranoid that someone is pointing fingers at them (which is not the case), or they are probably pulling some sort of scam.
Since time is short, let’s get it started. Before we do, however, please note that we had some issues in the first week of May that delayed this mail bag from going up. For a while, it looked as if it never would, especially since the Tampa Bay Modeling site was suspended and placed on standby by our technical sponsors from May 8 to 10, 2006. In those two days, we were overwhelmed by complaints regarding a perception that the site was closing down. See one of the best letters at the end of this mail bag, and next mail bag will have plenty of them. Thank you all for your concern and support. As of now, May 10, 2006, our issues have been resolved and the decision was made to support this site and other modeling resource sites for years to come, regardless of the costs! I’m glad to still be here, as I love helping models and the modeling industry. See the post by model Danielle Cooper in today’s OPINION section for more.
Now, since I finally got this mail bag up ten days late, I’m working on the next one, due on Thursday, June 1, 2006. Enjoy!

E-MAIL OF THE MONTH: A Large French Fry

Hey how you doing Monica or Ann or what ever .
The French Fry is back.
I can see that everybody in your website want me to write something to you.
OK if you are in Clearwater beach you are not far from us please stop by I am sure that you will teach well the "Turns" to our new models who are not spoiled yet by tampa bay modeling scene.

I agree with you about the TFP, maybe you are photographer or one of your boyfriends is?

couple things:
#1 the Rules about modeling in Florida are the most stupid laws have never seen in the world.
This TA # is just the official way to scam the people.

#2 the agencies in Tampa specially one (find which one) collect everybody: young, teens , mature ,actors.....
certaintly have couple "teams" of models for Fashion shows, Parties, dinners escort etc...
We saw couple models from them who told us that they are paid better if they where more "open" to the parties.

in the 90's Paris Elite model:
the boss, a kind of playboy and his staff was very well organised.
Night clubs, dinner with their clients and the new faces(from East Europe) and cocaine.

the Boss "M" when he wanted a new girl said to one of his bookers: please send me this one to my appartment.
when the poor girl was in front of him:
do you want to be famous sweetty? you can imagine the rest of the story.
finaly the police catch him and his team more because they have a trouble with the Elite Ukraine with escort girls from East Europe and John Casablancas was full of them.

All these stories to tell you that this business is one of the worsts business of the planet.

I came to florida to don't see all these BS.... but surprise its the same here.

# Tyra Banks and the "next top model"
you are top model when you work not when somedy said you will be the next top model.
This tyra (who don't know walk by the way) sell more herself that the girls who are not very nice by the way.I think they are there because they pay the Tyra modeling boots camp only.don't tell me that on 250 millions of americans you have these models look only.
Or if yes I understand why the Models from East Europe are "Top"!

#the agencies are what they are but if you want the real contracts with a big client you have to be with them. L Oreal and the others will don't speak with you.its between friends only!

OK that set for now Stevens.
I will be in Paris for couple weeks I am going to the civilisation a wild.

- French Fry (Kiss- of the Dragon)


Nice to hear from you again, fry guy! I missed you, and I have to say that your letter is truly entertaining. For those who are new to reading your letters, they should realize that you’re French (I couldn’t speak French if my life depended on it) and your English is broken at times (don’t fault him for the broken English). While the broken English does make the letter a little funny at first, and I am not going to fault you for that, you really do make some great points!
Ann or Monica? There is no Ann here, and although my real name may or may not be Monica, it’s not that. On here, though, the name Monica Stevens is correct.
First off, the Clearwater Beach thing. Yes, we are both in Clearwater. I’ll see about making time to drop in for a visit, but I cannot promise anything. Here’s the deal- I promise that I will call first if I decide to do so, especially since I’ve never been to your studio and I would need directions. Then again, I might just thank you for the offer right now and politely decline (it’s not that I don’t want to be nice to you, it’s just that there are stories of another photographer who tries to make nice with those who criticize him in order to learn more about them in an effort to neutralize them in the modeling industry. I’m not saying that you would do that, but I’d rather play it safe right now. We can converse here every month).
Ok, on to the TFP (Time For Prints- Also known as TFCD or Time For CD. This is supposedly a exchange of work between a model and a photographer at no charge with the intention of mutually building portfolios. In reality, it is mainly the realm of amateurs and those with unprofessional motives. Please do not confuse TFP with professional collaborations). While we are friends with several reputable photographers in the Tampa Bay area, none work here on the site currently. Our opinions about TFP are not from a photographers viewpoint, but rather a models. At first glance, getting free pictures may seem like a sweet deal for us models, but we all know that you truly get what you pay for. Most TFP offers are too good to be true, and are offered by perverts with cameras or aspiring photographers who can do no more for our careers than they can do for theirs. If you read between the lines, they are working for free and only for free. How professional can their work be? I can understand the argument that they are practicing and building a portfolio, BUT it is also a well-known fact that those who practice mistakes only perfect mistakes- It is far better to study books on photography, practice what is explained, collaborate with more experienced photographers (without stealing from them), and pay professional models to build a photography portfolio (While it may cost a model less than $1,000.00 to build a portfolio from a couple of photographers that can showcase the number of looks that they have, it is estimated that before a photographer is good enough to make a living as a professional photographer that they may invest between $6,000.00 and $15,000.00 to obtain beginning equipment and build their book- I’m glad that I’m a model, and it makes spending a few hundred on a professional modeling portfolio much easier to accept graciously with this in mind!). It makes more professional sense to seek out a professional photographer who is good enough, experienced enough, and professional enough to get paid fair rates for the work that they do! Pictures for a modeling portfolio are a career investment, and it’s better to save time, work with professionals who can give us professional pictures, and avoid unnecessary risks. This is why we do not like TFP.
Ok, the TA# (Talent Agency License issued through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation). We all know that model and talent agencies have a high potential for unethical conduct and conflicts of interests (i.e. we have the jobs so you play by our rules if you wish to book work through us). Because of the high scam potential, the state of Florida regulates them. TA# licenses are a good thing, and go a long way to keep this often sleazy industry in check. If you look at the requirements, they are very strict. For example, it is a felony to operate a model and talent agency without a TA# license. Now, I think that I understand why you think having a TA# is stupid. Are you still planning to start your own agency? I recently read a post on a modeling site where you were looking for bookers for a new Tampa Bay model and talent agency. If you get a TA#, that’s great, but did you know that you won’t be able to make money doing model portfolios as a photographer if you are running an agency? Read more about the terms of maintaining a TA# license HERE.
Alright. Now on to sleazy agency practices and escorts. Are you sure that this is going on in Tampa Bay with the agencies here? Wow. I am represented by several of the best model and talent agencies in Tampa Bay, and I not only book lots of work but have never been required to go to any parties. Love them or hate them, I have never had an unprofessional experience with any booker or owner of any of the agencies who represent me. Maybe I am just lucky, or maybe I was smart enough to do my homework and figure out which agencies were reputable before going to them and allowing them to represent me. Yes, the modeling industry can be very sleazy and very dangerous if you choose to take shortcuts and remain ignorant. So can any industry. Ultimately, you will get out of modeling what you put into it. Smart models who work hard at their careers will find scams and questionable situations rare at the most. This said, I remain baffled at what agencies you are referring to, but I can guess about a few of them that I know are scams.
America’s Next Top Model? I agree that the show has become somewhat of a running joke. The first season, however, was actually cool and it really did have useful information in each episode. The last few seasons, though, have become sensationalistic, with soap opera-like melodrama, and I don’t watch it anymore. I hear through the grape vine that upcoming online modeling magazine and resource site Advanced Model will cover the show starting with the 2007 season. In regards to the models on the show representing the best that America has to offer, I have to agree. Most of them are not the best, and I am guessing that they are cast for dramatic purposes to add to potential conflict between the participants. Ooooh, Lesbian skinhead model versus Bible thumping wife model? Who the F cares? Teach viewers useful information about the modeling industry or risk becoming a professional joke.
I know some American models who could give those Euro girls a run for their careers, too.
In my opinion, Tyra Banks walks very well, too. I saw a brief snippet of an episode of America’s Next Top Model while channel surfing a few weeks back, and she performed a turn in front of her charges that made me envious. I wish they I could turn as well as she could, and this is coming from a model who is very experienced with runway! That’s why she is a Supermodel, too, I suppose.
Now, on to your final point, which you made pretty well. You stated that models would need agencies to book the big contracts. Well, at this point in time, you’re absolutely right. We never stated nor implied that agencies are useless in the career of the professional model. In small markets like Tampa Bay with fewer jobs, a freelance model working independently will give any local agency a run for their money. In a major market such as New York, there are two reasons that a model would choose to work with agencies. First, there are far more jobs, and a model wouldn’t have the time to handle bookings on their own. It would make sense to delegate the workload through agency bookers. Secondly, for now at least, that’s how it’s done there. Businesses are used to obtaining models through agencies, and budget their projects for it. It will take years before they change to booking more models independently.
This said, if a model has the look that an art director is looking for, is professional, and works hard, there is no reason why the model cannot book without an agency involved regardless of the market. It just may be harder to do in larger markets. The “between friends only” is never absolute, and if you think that businesses are loyal to agencies then you have another thing coming. If they like the model they are going to book them, regardless of which agency is not involved.
I really liked your letter, French Fry. Please write back so we can post your latest letter in the next mail bag. By the way, I am going over you older E-Mails, and may post them into one of the subject-organized mail bag archives (although they do refer to Independent Modeling an awful lot).

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


Agency Booker Responds

The response that I got from you, Monica, was totally uncalled for. Since I do not know who you are, I cannot say if your claims of booking work through our agency is accurate, but I can assure you that no model is worth representing with your snotty attitude, and if I find out who you are, we will no longer represent you regardless of how much work you are booking and how much money that you make for us. There is no model making enough money for us to justify the attitude that you are showing.
Show yourself, silly girl. I will show you the door and pray that other agencies represent you so they can deal with your unprofessional attitude.
- Jay

Hi Jay,
I doubt that you will show any model the door. Tampa Bay model and talent agencies are hurting for money these days, and they often put up with just about anything when a model makes them money.
Models need to know that most agencies will not follow through on the threats that you voice or even make those threats, for that matter. Like it or not, model agencies are no longer the only way to book work, and to attempt to exert the leverage that you are attempting on such a slippery slope may cause you to fall on your ass. Could it be that you don’t like models who think for themselves?
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Agencies Will Always Be In The Game

Hi Tampa Bay Modeling. I think that model agencies will always be a part of the career of a professional model. To do away with them completely is simply not possible, and to say that you can have a successful modeling career without being represented by an agency is very misleading and may hurt the models that you claim to be trying to help.
This is more than my opinion. It is a fact. Just ask supermodels like Roshumba!
Your site is full of misleading information, too. I will recommend that models read it so they can see the mistakes that you all make and learn from them.

Howdie Natalie,
I am going to guess that you are a fan of her book “an idiots guide to becoming a model”. I would have to say that the supermodel knows the demographic of who her book is marketed to quite well, and since you aren’t exactly realizing the potential of what a modeling career can be, I’m going to assume that you fit into that demographic. I don’t agree with some of the things that are published in that book as well as other “Modeling” books out there.
To accept model and talent agencies as the only legitimate way of booking work as a model is the same as handicapping a career. I like it when models like you accept limitations and let an agency run their career. It leaves more jobs for models like me to book and enables me to enjoy the advantages that I have over models who are only agency represented. Think what you want. I work with agencies when it suits me and book work on my own, too. I will always book more work than models like you because I put more into my career and think for myself as a model.
Bookers are like a career bottleneck. All of the jobs funnel through them and most will only refer their favorite models or models who may or may not fit what the art directors are looking for. Agency models seldom see all of the potential jobs, and, despite the term “booker”, the agency does not actually book the model into the job. They refer the model to a potential job and it is still up to the model to book the job at the go see. Is the booker going to the go see with you to hold your hand and sell you to the art director? OF COURSE NOT! Why not eliminate the middle man altogether when it suits you? Don’t let them insult your intelligence by telling you that you cannot run your own career. You can. Thousands of models do everyday, and it just pisses off those bookers when they end up competing with freelance models for the same jobs. Besides, why do you want to solely depend on the bookers who also represent your competition (other models) for jobs? Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest there? Oh, I forgot- according to top professional models like you, an agency can do no wrong. Wake up and quit being so naive.
Better yet, don’t listen to me. Believe what you want to. I’m going to love snaking the jobs from models like you and the bookers who may or may not let you know about them.
Going back to the original subject of those so-called modeling books and their famous, agency ass-kissing Supermodel authors, could it be that a better modeling book that addresses both old school agency-based modeling and freelance modeling is in the works? I hear that one of my modeling expert friends here in Tampa Bay is currently writing one. I’ll be the first to buy it, simply because I know that it works from experience.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


Curiosity Made Me Wonder

***This is a private message, and it cannot be reproduced or published without the author's written consent****
(NOTE: We wanted to answer this photographers original E-Mail, but he had this silly privacy notice in it. We took the liberty of changing his name and rewriting his E-Mail with the points that he was making and his questions in it so we could answer. Tampa Bay Modeling only answers E-Mails in our public mail bag. If the author does not like our version of the E-Mail that he took the time to write and send us, he is welcome to E-Mail us permission to publish his confidential letter, and we will be happy to replace our version with the original and update Monica's answer as well. As it is, our attorney would not let us publish the original.)

I have been looking at your site. I have been looking at it very, very closely. I have a number of questions to ask the industry professionals that are behind this modeling web site.
Are your models paid for their work on your site? Are the photographers paid? Do you have releases so you can use the pictures? If you pay, how are the rates determined? Do you let the photographers know how popular your site is so you can pay them accordingly? I am guessing that this is your photographers work, and that the models are not paid. I am just wondering, as many others probably are, too.
I would like you to sign the attached form after reading this E-Mail. I would like a list of your references as well as a signed statement regarding your professional experiences and the means that you will use to make money from models and other industry people who use your site.
The modeling industry has good and bad people in it. I have seen both sides in my career, and have been the victim of scams myself. I learn from my mistakes, however, and am a little wiser from my experience every time.
I have been disrespected by a model who, in my opinion, is unprofessional. She questioned me and threw your site in my face like I was guilty of something. She treated me like a criminal. She never checked my references and never met with me, and does not plan to. She has some warped ideas about how the industry works, and it's not hard to figure out where she learned those ideas.
I have been a professional photographer for many years, and I will no longer consider working with her. When models think that I am an idiot for no reason, I find it both demeaning and insulting. The model questioned my professionalism while ignoring her professional obligations. If you must help models, please teach them to be professional and to act like human beings. It does not reflect well on the model when they attempt to meet industry professionals and they are paranoid to the extent that they think that photographers and industry professionals are out to get them. I am not happy about having a model insult me and run.
I would like to talk to you about this modeling web site if you get the chance. The information on the site is out of whack. It lacks balance. Also, the photography that you have on the site is horrible. You would think that your photography would at least be as good as these scams that you slam.


Hi Cain,
It is obvious from the tone of your E-Mail that you are pissed off. You have a right to be, providing you are not doing anything wrong and the model did not bother to check your references. This is not what we teach models on this site. We do not teach them to crucify photographers in mindless witchhunts which are based on perceptions and not facts. We do teach models to CLARIFY and VERIFY, and there is nothing wrong with that providing the model does not abuse the rights of others and does not go overboard. Balance, as you so eloquently put it, is the key with any profession.
If a model took the information on this site and blew it out of proportion, we apologize. We don't think that this happened, however. We find in the industry arbitration cases that we often do that there is more than one side to a story, and most accounts of unprofessional conduct and alledged scams are a result of poor communication or someone dropping the ball, with no genuine ill will intended. What we beleive happened, from the limited information that you provided, is that a model either tried to get your references during an initial phone call or tried to get you to sign a photographer reference ASA form (the latter, of course, is not likely if the model has not met you in person). There is nothing wrong or unprofessional with a model who checks references and asks questions. We have found that some photographers get mad when models try to do this, and then resort to calling them unprofessional. Tell us, do threats against models who ask questions and think for themselves help the industry? What do you hate more: Models who question photographers, or photographers who compete with you and get business by lying to their model clients? As you can see, we level out the market by making it harder for model scam photographers to operate, minimalizing the competition that the real professional photographers have. If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. It's just like the scams that try to attack our credibility because we are hurting their business; When they accuse us of being a model scam, they fail to realize that the scam fighting tools that are hurting them so much would also hurt us if we were a scam of any kind. Because we are not doing anything wrong, we have nothing to worry about from people being educated about model scams and having tools that make it hard for scams to operate. It would be kind of hard for a scam to bust scams, and it would be, as the old saying goes, like throwing stones inside a glass house.
If someone gets mad at us and then tries to attack our credibility, we have to apply the above logic to the process, and then really start to wonder what the motivation of the attacker is. What do you suppose that models think in response to negative reactions? Do you think that this makes it easier to convince them to book any services that you have, or do you take the choice away from them with your actions and make up their mind for them? I bet those photographers have competitors that love them because they drive business to them. You also need to realize that you never really know who it is that you are dealing with. Say the wrong thing to a model with good connections, and you could lose a lot of business in the near future.
What the photographers who get mad have to realize when a model presents a reference ASA to them to sign is that a lot of their competitors, photographers who are up-front with models and have nothing to hide, sign the agreements because they are not doing anything wrong. When models usually use the photographer reference ASA, they are shopping around for a portfolio photographer. If they are going to take out the time to check references, the photographer needs to stop thinking negatively and not be insulted. They need to realize that the model has expressed an interest in booking their services, and it should be taken as a good sign. Checking references only paves the way to you closing a sale, and does not imply that you are a criminal, nor is the model accusing you of anything. You should respect their initiative. It's professional to take precautions. Would you want to work with a model who lied to you? How do you know that they lied to you unless you follow up with their claims?
Now, on to your questions. Yes, all models on the site have signed releases that allow this site to use their pictures. No, most of them are not paid, and it's more of a professional exchange. It's the same with the photographers; both models and photographers get free advertisement with the use of their images on this site. At the present time this is a free resource site. Everything is volunteer orientated. As you can see, most of the model pictures on the site have little to do with the content on that particular page other than to show off a picture.
Presently, our site gets more traffic than most modeling resource sites. I'd say that our voice is pretty loud, and a great deal of models, as you experienced, are out there using our tools. There are portfolio networking sites that get a lot more traffic than we do because the members use it to network and market themselves to other members. That is all relative, however, because many of those members truly have the wrong idea about the modeling industry, and the portfolio networking site facilitates that mentality and ignorance in general because they have no real content and the members have no guidance. They learn from the questionable, biased opinions of other members, and don't learn a thing from the site itself. Although their web traffic numbers are impressive, it is actually misleading because the site itself is not that effective. What is better: a hotel, or a library?
Tampa Bay Modeling is more effective than these sites, and it's due to our content. The traffic that we get is relevant traffic, and is mainly made up of professionals who use this site to learn about the industry.
Ok, almost done. I looked up your photography site and was hoping that I could find something wrong with it. Well, I was dissapointed, because it's actually very good. You are a good photographer, and models would be lucky to shoot with you from what I have learned about you. With this said, however, I disagree with your assessment with the photography on this site. Presently, three photographers contribute images to this web site, and they all are as good as you are. The only difference that I see is that the work on this site is more commercial, and you shoot a lot of fashion. Now, in regards to ever working with you, I have something to say.
I know that you were mad when you E-Mailed us. That's fine. You need to realize, though, that the people who work on this site are models, and the people who use this site are models. You are attacking your target market. Does that make sense? Could you imagine a car salesman going up to a customer who is shopping for a car get mad because another customer taught them about cars and how to shop for the car ? Could you imagine the salesman telling the customer that he does not want him to buy a car from them because they are not being a good customer? I'd imagine that the dealership would not be in business long, and the salesman would not have a job.
God help the people who tell models that Tampa Bay Modeling is a model scam when they may not realize that those models are using this site for their careers and it is working for them. The models, knowing the truth, will lose respect for them. This is only one danger, though. The other danger is that such comments are bad for business.
Good photography won't do you any good if your customers form a bad opinion about you. Alienate your customers, and your claims that scam fighting efforts are hurting your industry and making you lose business will be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
School is now out. Have a nice day.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

A Cry For Help

I have been contacted by someone that claims to be a model, and has sent many photos, and now asking for money. I would like to find out who this model is that I may determine if this is who I am in contact with.
She says her name is Janet, but I believe this pic was downloaded from the net. This person has sent me 2 money orders to cash and wire money the money to them in Nigeria. I contacted the FBI and also the US Secret Service, and they said they could not help, as it is not in this country. I found your site looking to contact (omitted), whose name appears in the photo.
Can you help me to solve this? I believe it to be a scam.
Thanks, Andy

Hi Andy,
Trust your instincts. What does she need money for? She is in Nigeria? Now, most of us who have been on the Internet the past ten years know about Nigerian scams. They work on the greed of the victim. A few people have been duped into this scam, where the person says that they have money and need the help of an American with a bank account (you) to get the money out of the country, and they promise you a lot of the money in return for your help; there are a lot of different forms of this, too. Once they get the routing number for your bank and your account number, the wire transfer is then made, of course, but not what you expect- It is OUT of your account to some African bank account which is almost impossible to track down.
A few people who have fallen for this were also tricked into flying to Nigeria to get their money, and ended up kidnapped and either killed or, if they are a girl, are sold into the sex trade. With the AIDS epidemic in Africa, prostitutes who don't have HIV are in demand.
For more about Nigerian scams, which is not in the normal scope of this web site, go HERE.
Now, I've never heard of a modeling scam being combined with a Nigerian scam, but in this crazy world it was only a matter of time. Nothing suprises me anymore. We even stress on Tampa Bay Modeling that new kinds of scams might emerge which are combinations of existing ones. This is why it is important to realize that scams use deceptive tactics and well as familiarize yourself with their ACTIVITY PATTERNS so you can recognize the behavior for what it is and associate it with being a scam.
It is obvious that you have already figured out this one for yourself. You know what to do. Forward the E-Mails that you have received to the FTC so they can study it, and walk away while you still can.
We do not know who the photographer that you have mentioned is, and if this "model" is e-mailing you from Nigeria, you won't be able to figure out who "she" is, either.
Good luck.

"Emotion blunts the blade of good judgement." - Monica Stevens, an independent model.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Wants To Model

Hello, my name is Melissa but a lot of people call me Missy. I would love to become a model. Im 13 years old, I have long dirty blonde hair with blonde streaks, about 5'3 or more, blue eyes, 105 or a little more lbs, I have braces right now but I get them off in like a month or 2, Im kind of athletic, I did cheerleading a little bit when i was a little younger and I might get back in to cheerleading, I also did basketball last year when I was in 7th grade, (Im in 8th grade now.) I live in pasco county florida, and moving next summer to brooksville. If you will please e mail me back and tell me if your interseted in me becomng a model.

Hi Missy,
It's not if we are interested in you modeling, the question is how interested are you? Get with your parents and let them know this is what you want. Start by reading the articles and information on modeling resource sites like ours with your parents. At 5' 3'' you won't be doing runway, but you're still growing and you could do print work and catalog modeling, which pays well.
Keep your parents involved and listen to them. There are a lot of scams out there that they need to be aware of. Have them read THIS, and let us know if you need any help or have any questions.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Disappointed Model

Hey Tampa Bay Girls:

I've been an avid visitor to your site for a while now and it looked like you were finally on your way until I saw the notice that updates had been suspended. What happened?? The site was finally beginning to shape up. I admire what you girls are trying to do and as a model myself I know that this is an industry that has more than its share of inadequacies with plenty of room for reform. But you girls must continue to move forward and these long interruptions of no service to the site often without any explanation is beginning to make the site look as unprofessional as the industry. I am also wondering what is going on at Independent Modeling. After a big build-up of preparing the site visitors for major updates and and selling us on the theme of being a reliable resource for models they have been dead in the water for months. With scarcely any updates and no explanation. I am just about to take them of my list of favorites as they seem to be just taking up space. It is a shame to see this happening to the sites as they have so much potential. If there is any thing we visitors can do to help. Let us know!

Best regards,

Hello Stacy,
It’s not over yet. Sadly, it just looked that way. The lack of updates is exactly what all of this is about. We’ve been in meetings the past three days regarding Tampa Bay Modeling and the allocation of resources needed to keep the site updated like it should be (the increase in updates the past few weeks were, in fact, a last-ditch effort to avoid suspension). The same has been going on over at Independent Modeling/ Acting/ Performer/ TALON with their staff.
The bottom line is this - All of our sites own exclusive intellectual properties and ideas that have been proven to work. Our bills are paid (and from the original agreement with the advertising agency, it’s really hard to drop the ball on them being paid through until 2008). With the overhead and hosting taken care of, the only catch is the time that it takes for updates. We have way too much content going on and only a small group of people actually updating the files, which creates a bottleneck of sorts.
This is why the sites were placed on standby by the ad agency (EOS MediaArts). We all had to sit down and figure out where we are going with this and exactly what resources we needed to follow through. Concerned people like you have been writing voicing their concerns for the past few days, and we’ve been getting other complaints about the sites possibly closing. Frankly, it surprised both us and the staff over at IM.
We models here at Tampa Bay Modeling have been highly unhappy with the site going on standby. Other than that, we were really on a roll up until the suspension. We all agree, though, that going forward we need to balance the negativity with some positive solutions. It’s just that the modeling industry is quite screwed up, and most of the groundwork that we’ve been posting on the site reflects that. It seems like most of the site is negative right now, and the solutions that will balance the overall content and circumvent the perception of overall industry-bashing are coming.
We expect to hammer out some sort of revised agreement with the advertising agency this week. Once done, it will guarantee continued support from our technical sponsors and we can continue what we have started. Maybe then I can complete my May Mail Bag, which was almost done when the hammer came down on Monday, May 8.
One thing is for certain. It’s not so easy to walk away from all this. Many, many professionals want us to continue on.
Thank you so much for your letter!
P.S. Regrading Independent Modeling, there are other interests at work that almost guarantee that the site and its sisters will see regular updates when this is resolved. They haven’t given up by a long shot, and once this is all sorted out you may find that you can keep them at the top of your favorites. It seems that the absence of other sites like ours cannot be ignored, either. There is simply nothing else out there like what we have been doing.

Well, that’s it for the May Mail Bag. The original hot topic for the June Mail Bag was supposed to be about model scams, but we received so many letters is support of us during the two days that our site was suspended, we will be publishing more in the next mail bag. I am so thankful that so many professionals use this site and find it to be good for their careers!
See the hot topic for the June mail bag below, and E-Mail us.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Have you found modeling resource sites like Tampa Bay Modeling, Independent Modeling, and Florida Models useful in your career? What works, and what doesn’t? What would you like to see added to these sites, and what do you need for your career?
While we are on the subject, what would you like to see featured on the upcoming Advanced Model site? The site is in development and will address both the old modeling industry and the freelance way of modeling.

E-Mail us and let us know what YOU think!

E-MAIL: TampaBayModeling@Yahoo.Com

C/O Monica Stevens, Mail Bag Editor






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