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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.
  Tampa Bay modeling portfolios, modeling photography services, and Tampa model testing photography services by Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Bay photography and design and Tampa Bay Modeling.
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.




Uprising In The Tampa Bay Modeling Industry


Ola! I'm model Monica Stevens, the resident top model in the Tampa Bay market, and I'm back. As this rather hot summer nears it's end, I am getting settled in with this spectacular new Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag format, and I am still playing catch-up with answering some of the best letters that we received in the last nine months during my break. It is back to work. Tampa Bay Modeling is very important to the professional integrity of the modeling industry here in Tampa Bay, and my Mail Bag column, which has no equal, is a regular read for most of the professionals in the Tampa Bay modeling industry.
Going back to catching up, I would have answered some of these letters last month in the July 2007 Mail Bag, but doing a relaunch of the series was tough, and I simply ran out of time. We wrapped and uploaded it nine days late on July 9, and as soon as it went up I didn't stop and started immediately on this August 2007 Mail Bag. Hopefully by September I will be able to settle into a more leisurely pace. I may have to, as Tampa Bay Film's resident indie film Director Alex Cain is launching the Tampa Bay Film Mail Bag in September 2007, and we don't want to swamp our editors and webmaster (No word from Tampa Bay Acting's Brian Steel on a Tampa Bay Acting Mail Bag, but I can presume that it is in the works. His Mail Bag for Independent Acting back in the day was very good, and he is a great writer as well as a great actor).
Word has it that the Mail Bags for the other Tampa Bay Talent sites will follow the trail that I've blazed over the years. Good stuff.
This Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag column, of course, continues to be a work-in-progress. You can expect it to be adjusted as we go forward. We are taking older Mail Bags and are fitting them with this new format; this has been completed, and we may even obtain my older modeling Mail Bags from Independent Modeling and port them over here for our archives. We are beefing up the Mail Bag archives and are sorting them out by both month and subject. We are also giving our readers a reason to go back and visit old Mail Bags, as we will adjust content and even add to them from time to time. We have not decided on exactly how we will do this yet, but let's say that you saw a letter and my response in the July 2007 Mail Bag and either disagreed with me or wanted to add your own response ( Much like the Tampa Bay Modeling Opinion section does). You would compose your letter and send it to us, referencing the particular Mail Bag and the letter. What we would do is add your letter after my response to the referenced letter in the July 2007 Mail Bag as soon as we received it (Immediately, much like a Blog or a message board / forum), and then reference the addition to the relevant Mail Bag in the next Mail Bag instead of adding your letter referencing the letter in the old Mail Bag to our new Mail Bag. This should cut down on a lot of my repeat answers, too, as well as turn older Mail Bags into debate columns and give people reasons to revisit them (They will be referenced in our subject-organized Mail Bag archives, also, so our readers can put the letter and the response in the appropriate context). If we decide to do it this way, it would be cool. I think we shall do that, maybe as soon as today.
God, I really hate repeating myself, too. Some of the past Mail Bags make me sound like a broken record as I answer the same questions over and over again.
We are also toying with the idea of "building" our Mail Bags by finishing and uploading them at least a week before they are due. This would allow the search engines to sip on them before they officially came online and ensure that we wouldn't ever be late again. We would post the first of the month every time. So, what about those last-minute E-Mails? If I have the time, I would simply answer them and add them to the pending Mail Bag Blog Style before it was official! Interesting.....
Anyway, I finally made some time to go to the beach with my boyfriend and some of my model friends last weekend. It was an awesome time for all of us, and Clearwater Beach is excellent for the swimming, reading, and cooking out. Danielle Cooper, the supreme editor of Tampa Bay Modeling, is very lucky living in her condo right on Clearwater Beach. I am tempted to give up my place in south Tampa's Hyde Park and move over here. We could be neighbors.
Well, as I sit here admiring my lack of tan lines, maybe I should start on this month's hot Mail Bag for August 2007. Don't forget the ice, baby.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

August 2007 Modeling Mail Bag Table Of Contents

01. LETTER OF THE MONTH - Stick Figures
Tampa Bay model Stacy sounds off about weights issues in the modeling industry.

02. Three Little Checks
A Tampa Bay model wonders if she should cash three suspicious checks for a job that she did.

03. Interview My Model Daughter
A mother thinks that we are a model agency and wants us to consider her model daughter for representation.

04. Model School Information
A mother asks if a model school is legitimate.

05. The Great Modeling War Of 2006 - No, 2007
Another person questions our fight for accountability and professional credibility for the Tampa Bay modeling industry.

06. Missing Modeling Links
A Tampa Bay model reports that our links are down.

07. Independent Modeling Failure
Someone is happy when they think that Independent Modeling died. If only they knew the truth.

08. Altering Portfolio Pictures
A Tampa model asks about the difference between range-of-looks in a portfolio and altering portfolio pictures.

09. The Great Composite Card Flood Of 2007
How much is too much? The misconceptions about ordering too many composite cards and the unqualified opinions confusing models.

10. I Am Going To Sue And Assault You
A Tampa Bay psycho threatens Tampa Bay Modeling with a lawsuit and model Monica Stevens with assault. Are those police officers at your door?

11. Tampa Bay Modeling Is RIGHT!
Tampa Bay Modeling gets help from an unexpected source - A model agency booker flips and offers to help us in the Tampa Bay model industry war.


Hi Monica and Tampa Bay Girls:

Did you hear about Spain’s recent refusal to employ unhealthy (anorexic-looking) models in their runway shows? This situation caught my attention, as I felt it was long overdue. For years the industry has been focused on setting a standard of beauty that is basically unattainable (not to mention extremely unhealthy) and spoon-feeding it to the general public as the normal standard. The industry has insisted that the waif-like, anorexic, heroin-addicted look is what the public should aspire to. The result has been an alarming number of teenage girls developing weight and appearance issues at a disproportionately young age. These young people are bombarded on a daily basis by the media with a steady diet of superficial images of artificial beauty that they cannot attain (without the use of high-dose barbiturates) and they feel inadequate and worst of all abnormal. Their inferiority complex is based on the fact that they cannot live up to a standard set by someone else. This brings up the question "Who set this ridiculous standard?" Has the industry ever asked itself this question? Spain finally did and decided to take matters into its own hands and set the standard themselves by hitting the industry where it hurts them most...right in the pocketbook!! All of a sudden everyone had to sit up and take notice! Agencies cried foul while onlookers applauded a common sense move in a most uncommon industry!

It is important of course for models to maintain their weight. Models should be slender and fit as clothes generally look better on trim figures.
But there is a difference between slim and scrawny and fit or fanatical. Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration by the industry is who is buying these designer clothes? Do wager wives of millionaire financiers are not always beguiled by an outfit that they are going to have trouble fitting into. One of the major complaints of many females is that designers not longer design realistic clothing. Many designers design to make a statement rather than to sell (and this is also why what they do sell is priced astronomically...you have to price things high to make a profit if you are only going to sell 5 outfits.) Also as one radio talk show host once pointed out female figures are not of a main concern to many gay designers whose muses are usually male. Worst of all amidst all of this chaos we have young people looking on and becoming increasingly more perplexed about their self images and where they fit into the scheme of things.

I think the tide is about to change again in this industry. As Tampa Bay Modeling has always said there is room for change. Spain is paving the way for a new and healthy perspective on a worn-out issue. What do you girls at Tampa Bay think about this?

All the Best,


Hello Stacy,
I found your letter simply brilliant, and totally agree with all of the points that you have made. You should really think about writing articles for models (hint, hint).
I think that the modeling industry is full of double-standards, and that too many opinions from self-proclaimed modeling industry professionals are passed off as fact. It is so screwed up that this is seen as "beautiful":

Ooh... The skeletal look is sooooo in! Vogue! Tampa Bay model agencies would sign this healthy model in a second because she is 5' 8'' - That's the most important thing about being a model, after all. Someone call this girl a ambulance!

Ooh... The skeletal look is sooooo in! Vogue! Tampa Bay modeling agencies would sign this healthy model in a second because she is 5' 8'' - That's the most important thing about being a model, after all. Someone call this girl an ambulance!

As we have seen, model agencies have been wrong about many things. They will continue to be wrong. There is a story that I once read where a plus-size model in New York tried to find an agency to represent her. They all passed her over and told her that her look was not marketable and that she wouldn’t get much work in the modeling industry. The model was determined, though, and began to find work on her own WITHOUT AN AGENCY. After she began booking a lot of work in this major modeling market, the agencies realized that they were wrong and had to choice but to pay attention to her. That’s right - big, major model and talent agencies in a fashion capital were WRONG ( Puts these small model and talent agencies in Tampa Bay in perspective, doesn’t it? ). Keep in mind that plus-size does NOT indicate overweight nor obese, and it represents a healthy size-to weight-ratio shared by the majority of the population; most clothes sold in stores are plus-size.
Models need balance. They need to play up to their strengths and be their natural size instead of taking drastic measures to be a smaller size which is not natural to them. I saw a model at a go-see once who looked way too thin and was actually losing her hair! It came as no surprise that she was an agency model, represented by a Tampa Bay model agency, who had been referred there by her "professional" bookers. I felt like calling 911 for her right there. The model in the picture above looks like she is about to die... seriously. She needs to leave the runway and check into the nearest hospital. Such blatant disregard for the models is yet another reason that model and talent agencies have no business trying to manage the career of a model or to try to give them guidance. A local Tampa Bay news program forum once tried to address this issue, and they had a guest panel of a reputable local model agency owner, some woman who owned some model magazine (I didn't know who she was and her magazine was more about lifestyles rather than modeling), and some idiot from a model school! You know what these model schools are like (wastes of money and time), the magazine owner wasn't qualified to comment on the subject, and with the agency owner they only had an actual panel of one. They did not get anywhere, and I wonder what Einstein booked these people to represent the legitimate Tampa Bay modeling industry. I sooooooo wanted to call in and ask the "professional panel" questions about conflicts of interest and giving bad advice to stupid girls, but this would have completely ruined the show! As I recall, I DID try to call in, but couldn't get through. The only calls that they took were from stage mothers who wanted to live their lives through their model daughters at the expense of their daughters. The stage mothers, of course, hungrily ate up the crap that the panel fed them. Mmmmmmmm... good! Yummy stuff.
Many of the standards that society holds as standards today are unrealistic and are a result of what model agencies and the fashion industry have been pushing for decades. Models need to evaluate their range of looks and push their career with the strengths of what they can do. Change is coming, but what the main players in the modeling industry don’t realize or won’t acknowledge is that the change that they see is not enough. Only when their controlling voice is balanced with the voices of professionals who wake up to business and market realities will the needed change come. Booking work as an independent model is only a part of what is to come.

Oh, and for those who I am sure will write in and ask, I am not plus sized or sickly thin. I am a naturally slender, tall model who eats right and exercises. If I were too thin, I would eat more and go to my doctor. If I were plus sized, I would seek out plus sized modeling jobs and not try to be something that I was not. Although I look excellent in a bikini with my natural body, I am sure that I will gain weight naturally later in life, and when that happens I will adjust the marketing of my modeling career to be appropriate for my changing lookset. Now, if you excuse me, I am craving some oreo cookies and a nice tall glass of cold milk. Yums!
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Three Little Checks

I was told I was booked on a modeling job and then they sent me 3 amex checks for $500 each --they said I should keep one of them and send the other to the makeup artist after cashing of course --I am scared to death that I will go to jail if I try and cash these and would love to know if anyone knows anything about (omitted) and (omitted) Models.
Debra, a model from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Debra,
A common type of scam is when someone gives you a check or money order for an amount which is too much and has you send them money back for the difference. The victim is out the money when the financial instrument comes back as worthless, and it can take time to confirm this when the check is routed out of state or out of the country.
Why in the hell do these people expect YOU to pay the makeup artist? Did you hire them?
DO NOT go to your bank and cash or deposit these checks. Your bank will charge-back the cash paid out to you against your account if they come back as bad, and this can overdraw your account and leave your outstanding checks wide open to bounce for insufficient funds. The fees alone can cost you a lot of money. If you knowingly deposit a worthless check into your account, you can get into serious trouble, too. ALWAYS go their bank or financial institution to cash the check; in your case it should be Amex. To save time and gas, call up the financial institution and request a MERCHANT FUNDS VERIFICATION. Give them the account information and the name, and then request if the dollar amount will clear at that time. They will either tell you yes or no (they cannot give you balances or other customer information). Also ask if there are any stop payments against your check or if there are any holds or freezes on the account which would prevent the check from clearing. You will know if the check is good, and if they tell you yes, go on down there and get it cashed.
Is the financial institution (bank) out of state? If it is a scam, then this would be very likely. You could call the financial institution to verify funds and take a chance and deposit it or cash it at your bank, but keep in mind that it will take several business days to clear and during that time the money could be withdrawn from the account, causing it to come back as bad, or they could place a stop payment on the account, rendering the check unpayable. Think that they won’t put a stop payment on the check because it will cost them? Think again. I’ve heard of con artists doing a “poor man’s stop payment” by calling their bank and reporting their checkbook lost or stolen in order to freeze the account. Although this is fraud if they are lying to the bank, it is very difficult to prove and it doesn’t cost them a dime. The check, or checks, won’t pay.
As a rule of thumb, NEVER, EVER allow anyone to overpay you with a check and then request money back for the excess amount.
Think checks are complicated? They really aren’t. Be careful and use common sense. If someone insists on paying you with a check or money order, make sure that the check is drawn from a local financial institution so you can go there and cash it at the source. If it is an unfamiliar financial institution or it is out of state, insist on cash or give it at least TEN WORKING DAYS to clear before using the money.
Oh, and regarding those people, I don’t know anything about them, but if what they do matches the activity patterns described in our MODEL SCAM DEFINITION DATABASE, they are what they do.
Good luck!

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Interview My Model Daughter

I am interested in an interview for my daughter Kimberly. She is currently featured in a photo in the North Pinellas Times on NPN/ 10/17/06. She has also appeared in 2 PSA for Saftyville USA and on a local Sacramento News show. I have copies of the PSA for your review. She also received many compliments when we auditioned for Nanny 911 – however, we were not chosen as my children were just not bad enough.
Jennette, the mother of a model from Tampa Bay, Florida

Howdy Jennette,
Um.... Sorry to disappoint you, but we are not a modeling agency, We cannot book your daughter into modeling jobs. We are a modeling resource site, and although we cannot represent your daughter, the information on our site and on Independent Modeling can teach you how to find model jobs and how to book them yourself. You’re welcome. Oh, and don't get me started on REALITY TELEVISION. They are exploitive pieces of garbage set up to make their participants look like idiots. Tampa Bay Acting's Editor Brain Steel once told me all about the reality television problem, and I agree with him. Actors who put reality television "roles" on their resume are often passed up by casting directors, and they deserve it. These are not professional acting roles any more than being cast as an extra (background fodder with no screen presence or lines booked at low wages) is an acting role. Would you like to know what a reality television show does to someone with genuine talent? They will exploit that talent and use it against the participant, editing the show to make the participant look like idiots and crippling their professional credibility. I bet Tampa model agencies would recommend models and actors try to book into reality television. Oh, and your children were not bad enough? That's another can of worms. Who would want to book a misbehaving, unprofessional model? Oh, wait, Tampa Bay model agencies would represent such models, as they don't really know what they are doing. That's enough of my rant- for now.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Model School Information

My son just paid a down payment for The (Omitted) Agency. Is
this a reputable company...offering what they claim?

- Cheri, the mother of a model from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Cheri,
Nope. It is a model school, not a modeling agency, and I have NEVER, EVER seen a modeling school work out for any model.
Supermodel Janice Dickenson tried to go through a model search and a model school when she first tried to get into modeling when she lived in South Florida. She didn’t get a single modeling job or any modeling agency representation from that, and the model school and model search ended up becoming a complete waste of time and money. Only when she moved to New York on her own and obtained legitimate agency representation did she start her modeling career, and her model school portfolio and “training” were useless in that process.
Janice Dickenson was a talented and photogenic model at that time, when she was young. If a model school can’t help someone who can actually model, then God help the schmucks who don’t have a chance at modeling. In my opinion, model schools and model searches are total wastes of time and money. Don’t bother. The information (training) on Tampa Bay Modeling and on Independent Modeling are superior in every way, will actually help your modeling career, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Find a legitimate photographer on your own, study up on the modeling industry, and build your modeling portfolio. Once you have a modeling portfolio and modeling composite cards / zed cards, THEN you can approach model agencies for representation and/or book work on your own. NEVER allow a model agency to refer you to photographers or assist you in building your portfolio. There is too much risk for a conflict of interest and you could be scammed. A model agency should only be used as one of many sources of potential model job booking referrals, and nothing more. These agencies always overstep their bounds, and it is unprofessional as well as completely inappropriate.
Oh, and Janice got into modeling back in the 1970's, before the Internet. Today’s model has many more professional tools and does not have to depend upon model agencies to have a modeling career or to book work.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


The Great Modeling War Of 2006 - No, 2007

Tampa Bay Modeling,
You so-called models are confused or something. There are lots of contradictions on this hate site. One contradiction which cracks me up is this modeling war that you are supposedly waging on the model scams and the model agencies. You claim to have started it in the fall of 2006, and now your site has a statement indicating that you started this spring (2007). What gives? Do you models know what in the hell you are doing, or can't you keep your lies straight?
- Gray, someone who is a part of the Tampa Bay modeling inudstry in Florida

Hello Gray,
The war in the modeling industry is against modeling misconceptions and model scams in the Tampa Bay modeling industry. It started last fall, and has been ongoing ever since. We obtained additional allies in the spring of 2007, and our resolve is stronger than ever.
What you call contradiction is actually complexity. If you can't comprehend what we are doing, simply admit to it. We don't live in a black and white world, and there is a lot of gray, ironically the name that you chose ( Or, perhaps, "Gray" is the name that we chose to give you just to make your letter more ironic. We'll only know). Simple cut and dry rules do not apply to all situations. You really need to obtain all the facts before you judge us.
I am tired of people who try to find things wrong with Tampa Bay Modeling when they should take the time to look at themselves.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


Missing Modeling Links

Your links do not work!

- Jamie, a model from Tampa Bay, Florida

Which links? Telling us specifics would go a long way to fixing any broken links which you may have experienced.
While we admit that we had some link issues just before you sent your Email, those issues had been resolved at least a day before you sent it.
On the Tampa Bay Modeling web site itself, we never had any broken links, despite some major directory work and the change-out of two buttons on our main navigation menu between July 1 and July 10. Once the new Mail Bag format was launched, the SEO people on our web team decided to move the Mail Bag archives to a new directory. Additionally, we wanted more continuity, so we decided to retrofit all of our mail bag archives to the new format. The August 2006, September 2006, and October 2006 Mail Bags took some major work, as each letter and answer had their own page and this spread-out content had to be combined into the new one-page format. This work, of course, should have been seamless, and no one should have experienced any bad links. The old directories and original Mail Bags, which are accessible through their search engines, are still up, too. Our people are very good at what they do.
We did have some issues with our Myspace assets. We still do, but have managed a temporary fix. It seems that the links that are on our Myspace Profile and on our Myspace Group worked perfectly until we did some routine maintenance to them. Myspace changed their database code and turned all saved HTML links into encoded links routed through a third party. They screwed up the code, though, because all HTML links rerouted like this are automatically turned into lowercase text. Since our main Tampa Bay Modeling directory on the Tampa Hub server account has uppercase characters, Myspace's software glitch turned all of our links bad. We quickly figured this out and did a quick fix to buy us some time. What did we do? We copied all of our site files into a lowercase directory and uploaded this lowercase mirror to the server. It did fix the problem, but our web people are not happy about it because it doubles the size of our site on the server and creates two versions of our site to maintain. They intend to take down the mirror site soon, before the search engines index it and create a logistical issue born from Myspace's bad coding. This decision especially came quickly when our SEO people assessed that those Myspace links are not followed by the search engines, rendering lead-in indexing a total loss (I guess that the spam and other crap on Myspace is ruining it for everyone). With no advantages to maintaining a mirror, we will simply create target pages for the links and deal with it.
Future Tampa Bay sites, such as Tampa Bay Photographers, will all be done in lower case characters in the directories and in the file names to avoid situations like this. We are hoping that the wonderful people at Myspace get off their asses and fix this serious issue soon, as many members are experiencing broken links because of their senseless rerouting (again, which may have been born from the spam problem that Myspace is experiencing).
Remind me to buy our web team beers the next time that I hang out with them. They have tough jobs.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Independent Modeling Failure

I am so happy that Independent Modeling has been taken off of the internet. It is about time that the lies are removed so the truth can be known. I hope that Tampa Bay Modeling is the next site to fail!
I am one of those model consultants that your pathetic site is so down on. We are not scams, and have every right to make a living!
Joan, a model consultant from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hello Joan,
You must be referring to the day that the site went down due to some administrative error regarding the renewal of the domain name.
This has been addressed.
Although Independent Modeling has been idling online for the better part of the past two years, the site is generating a tremendous profit. Why on earth would they take down a site which is making money merely for existing with its current content? The site is only going to become more profitable as it goes into gear and expands.
Don't even say that the site would be taken down for having misleading or incorrect information about modeling. The information on Independent Modeling is excellent. You know that we are right, and only hate us because we undermine what you do.
What you have observed online and what has been going on behind the scenes are indeed different things. A lot of work has been done, and this is about to become obvious.
Although I have already addressed the issues and the flaws with model consultation schemes, I would think that you would be frustrated with one of the sources of your information on modeling disappearing.
You are so smart for running a business which adds a middleman to another middleman. Kind of like the proverbial third wheel, isn't it? Model consultants are not very bright, which explains the questionable means that are exploited to obtain their information and their leads.
It is so nice to see you hanging in there and working for free when you cannot legally make any money referring models to jobs. Are these successful Tampa model agencies paying you a finders fee for new models? Didn't think so. That doesn't stop you from telling models that they do, though, or your unsubstantiated claims that you can help their modeling careers.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Altering Portfolio Pictures

Hi Monica and the Tampa Bay Models,
I was wondering about the extent of how a modeling portfolio pictures can be adjusted. Is it right to change the way that we look through Photoshop and other software tools? You keep saying that the best models have the widest range of looks, and I was wondering if you ever see technology as being used to artificially increase that range of looks to make the model's career more marketable.
I asked an agency this, and they couldn't give me a straight answer. Since model agencies don't really know what they are doing and don't have any solid knowledge of the modeling industry other than what agency owners tell them, I am wondering if you have my answer.
Can you give me a good answer to my question, or are you only as good as these model agencies who keep giving me different answers? Thank you.
- Chelsea, a model from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hello Chelsea,
There is a difference between establishing a range of looks in a portfolio and faking your looks outright to misrepresent your modeling looks. Misrepresentation? That's right. Some models will openly fake their looks by having their pictures doctored.
When those models do meet someone face to face in a go-see and the art director or casting professional realizes that they aren't anywhere near as model-worthy as their portfolio leads them to believe, do you think that they will book the job? What would probably happen is that the art director would be pissed of because the model lied to them, and word would spread to other art directors.
A good modeling portfolio establishes a solid range of looks that the model can obtain, and this range is rightfully and ethically obtained through clothing, makeup, hair styles, composition of the photograph, and art direction from the photographer or art director. Blemishes, such as pimples and minor scars, are permissible to be removed in the photographs, but here is where it gets interesting.
If the model has physical characteristics that are always present and may not be desirable to either themselves or others in the modeling industry, those characteristic define the base look of the model and must not be altered. If the model has an odd-shaped nose or a lazy eye, as examples, altering or fixing these in the photographs goes far beyond establishing professional range of looks and enters the territory of misrepresentation.
As Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault of Aurora PhotoArts once told a group of models, if the model has a look that someone could use to sell a product or service, the model will book that job. You don't have to be perfect-looking in the eyes of the majority in order to make it as a model. This is a subjective business, and it is very hard to quantify a superficial characteristic such as appearance.
What I think is hot may not be for someone else. It doesn't make either of us wrong or right. It merely is a difference of opinion, and these differences are rampant in the modeling industry. If the person who has another standard of what is an appropriate look for their project has a modeling job to offer and I don't, it really doesn't matter what I think in that particular situation, does it?
If a model has something that may be considered to be a flaw in the eyes of the majority, they should never attempt to cover it up. The model needs to find the areas that they are strong in and market themselves that way. The model who feels that they have to fake their pictures has no business being a model, and they seldom book any work because they are using deceptive means to market themselves instead of playing to their strengths and being true to who they are.
The exception and a possible gray area? Tear sheets and fashion modeling. Some conceptual work is highly modified by the photographer or the art director, and it should be presented as it is instead of being indicative of what a model actually looks like. If you must use modified photographs in your portfolio, make sure that they are the minority of your portfolio and in their own section. Make sure that there are plenty of model portfolio pictures that show the TRUE range of the model. A tear sheet or a highly modified portfolio photograph should NEVER be used on the front of a composite card. The model should select a head shot photograph which accurately depicts what they look like, or what their BASE LOOK as a model is. Brian Steel, the editor over at Tampa Bay Acting, always tells me that a head shot for actors and talent should accurately represent what they look like. Models should follow that example as a rule of thumb.
If you ever misrepresent yourself in your modeling career, it is considered to be false advertising and it is unethical as well as unprofessional. Such models seldom have much, if any, career as a professional model.
So, what if you have some serious look-funk going on and can't seem to book any modeling work? If you have a look that may be considered to be too unique to be commercially viable and still have a desire to work in the modeling industry, you can work in non-modeling jobs. Have you ever looked at some of these Tampa model agency bookers? Other than Matt, who I find to be capable of modeling, most of these bookers inspire models to restrain feelings of repulsiveness and to be politically correct and polite around them. I think that some of these people secretly want to model, but because they can't, they feel vindicated by controlling those who they are jealous of. Although I hardly think of myself as being superficial, I must say that looking at these agency bookers any more than I have to make me want to vomit. Many of them are truly ugly and fake on the inside as well as being unappealing on the outside. Enough said.
As a model, you need to be aware of your strengths as well as your limitations. There is no such thing as a model who is appropriate for every booking. Even Supermodels don't book every job.
Know who you are and what you do well. Market yourself that way. Never, ever fake it. If you have some look-funk going on, play up to it and show them what you're proud of.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

The Great Composite Card Flood Of 2007

Hello there Tampa Bay Modeling,
I have an issue with these ignorant modeling agencies which needs to be addressed.
Local model agencies tell models that a model should never order more than 200 composite cards. They indicate that the model needs to update their cards every six months and that ordering to many is a waste. I agree that a model should update their cards every six months, although unless their look has changed drastically (hair color, etc), this is SELDOM NEEDED, and I have seen many models continue to use their composite cards for up to two years.
What I do not agree with is the perception of ordering too many comp cards that model agencies put in model's heads. Models need to stop looking at the number of cards that they order and start to look at quality and overall value. If you are getting low to mediocre quality laser-printed composite cards that 80% of agency-controlled models use, then you sure can get orders as low as 200 on the cheap. I sell a lot of high quality composite cards to models with minimum orders of 950. The stock is 14 PT and UV coated, and it makes laser cards look pathetic, flimsy, and washed out in comparison.
I am sick and tired of these agencies misleading models when the high quality cards only cost a little bit more and are well worth the investment. Every now and then, I find myself educating a model who has been confused by an agency who doesn't care about putting quality into a modeling career, and it is annoying.
I refuse to put my name and the name of my photography company on comp cards that are printed cheaply. If this is what a model wants, I will give them their comp card files without my brand on it. The agencies have no problem putting their stickers on cheap laser cards, and that alone speaks volumes on how much they know and care.
- Chris, a model portfolio photographer from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Chris,
I completely agree with you. My composite cards are on 14 PT, too, and when I order them I have to order 1,000 at a time, not because I am "buying too many comp cards", but because I am investing in the quality that comes from setting up a printing press. Professional quality is an investment, and the good number of cards is the only way to keep it cost-effective, as most of what you pay goes into setting up the print press plate and the high quality paper stock. Such cards are well-worth it even if I was to only get 200 at a time at the same price, and I obtain extra cards as a benefit of the quality printing service.
So, what do I do with my 800 extra cards? Well, I use them.
Models in the Tampa Bay modeling market are stupid if they are content to be solely represented by one model agency. If you have your career controlled by the opinionated bookers at a single agency, then you are an idiot, and, yes, 1,000 cards would never be used. I doubt that the bookers would even send out more than five composite cards in six months, simply because they play favorites and don't really know what they are doing.
A smart, professional model takes charge of their own career and does not allow others to call the shots. They use
opportunity multipliers in their modeling careers, and these opportunity multipliers consume composite cards.
The smart professional model obtains representation non-exclusively and with several model and talent agencies, using each agency as a source of model jobs and nothing more. Since agencies work for the model, the model agency has NO BUSINESS telling the model what to do and has no place attempting to manage the model. The model agency must be kept in their place, and any agency which tries to "educate" the model and tell them what to do oversteps their appropriate bounds, sets the model up for an abusive business relationship, and is a working conflict of interest.
If you worked for a business, would you try to educate the business and tell them what to do? Of course not! This is what these agencies try to pull every day, though, and they expect models to accept it as normal practice.
A model and talent agency is only supposed to make money by booking models into work. This saying, of course, is slightly inaccurate because a model agency does not actually book anyone into any job. They merely refer a model to a job lead, and once there it is still up to the model to actually land the job.
When a model and talent agency tries to tell a model to do anything or fill their heads up with information that is more to their benefit than it is to the benefit of the model, can you really trust what they say? Consider their motivation! Model and talent agencies also work for other models, which are your competition, so any advice that they give you should be suspect. Because model agencies work for several different competing businesses (models), they should be viewed as working conflicts of interest because that is exactly what they are! They never have the best interest of the model in mind because they have their own interests and the interests of their favorite models in mind when they try to manage and educate the model.
Do I trust Tampa model and talent agencies? No. I keep them in their appropriate place, working for me, and look out for my own modeling career while using them as sources of job leads. This is what all models need to do. Model and talent agencies are not the only legitimate way of having a professional modeling career, and they are not the "credible" modeling industry, and as soon as people wake up and realize that, the more legitimate these agencies will become because they will be forced to mind their own business and do what they are supposed to do.
Don't even get me started about these so-called model consultants, model managers, model searches, and any model job commercial claiming that they are looking for models and that "no experience" is necessary. No business or art director in their right mind will book any model without experience or a professional portfolio and composite cards which demonstrates their range of looks and their experience. Investing time and money into an amateur is simply bad business and is way too risky. These model consultants and managers are useless, too, as they are middlemen to middlemen (agencies), and the only thing that they do is take your money and run.
I have never seen any of that shit work out, and have never seen any model consultant or manager turn out to be legitimate.
A smart, professional model finds job leads on their own, too. This is why 1,000 cards is never too much, although the number of cards should not be what the model is concerned about. The model should be more concerned about the quality of the composite card and overall value, because that alone speaks volumes about how serious and professional that they are about their modeling career.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


I Am Going To Sue And Assault You

You are going to be sued. You have slandered me and I am going to sue you. Your Tampa modeling site failure is going to be put out of its misery.
Monica, after your dumbass modeling site is out of business, if you are as cute as you claim to be, I'll give you a job. I will have my way with you as much as I want and then slap you down when you try to share one of your stupid opinions with anyone. I will break you and turn you into the slut that you want to become.
- Dick, a glamour modeling photographer from Tampa Bay, Florida

The first part of your letter was amusing, but the second part aimed at me crosses the line. Your IP information and real identity have been forwarded to the authorities. Are you threatening me with assault? Do you have some sick rape fantasy about me? You should know better, and you need to realize that I refuse to allow you to victimize me or anyone else. Everyone has basic rights, and one right that we enjoy is freedom of speech. This speaks volumes about the motivation behind glamour modeling photographers and their motivation to trick stupid girls into posing nude for them. You pathetic excuses for professionals really have no respect for anyone, and that includes yourselves! I will say that, in my experience, I have never met a glamour modeling photographer who was a legitimate professional. I have never met a glamour modeling photographer who could do anything positive for a modeling career. In my opinion, glamour modeling photographers are pathetic dirt-bags who use photography as a means to take advantage of women. If I were you, I would prepare for the pissed off models out there who are planning lawsuits against you for taking their pictures and selling them to the adult entertainment industry. You have much larger problems than threatening baseless lawsuits against Tampa Bay Modeling or making criminal threats against me.
Although we know who you are, let's pretend for a moment that you only sent the first part of your letter threatening legal decimation and career devastation and that we didn't bother investigating your identity.
I would assume from your letter that you were either a sleazy guy with a camera claiming to be a photographer or are a booker at one of these pathetic, impotent Tampa model agencies. You could have also been an agency owner, going by your tone. It is obvious, though, that you feel threatened by the Tampa Bay Modeling web site and feel that we have published something that reflects poorly on you to the point of tarnishing that sterling reputation that you think you have.
Stop deluding yourself. Face up to the facts.
We publish opinions on this web site and are honestly trying to improve the integrity of the Tampa Bay modeling industry. We have the right to ask the questions that models should have been asking all along, and have the right to help make model agencies and others accountable for what they do.
We haven't slandered anyone, which, by the way, would be considered libel when in the form of anything written. We believe that you are what you do and that you are who you associate with. If you feel that strongly that we have attacked you in some way, you are either doing something unethical, illegal, misleading, or you feel that what is on the Tampa Bay Modeling site will undermine your business in some way (To those of limited mentalities that would have to resort to scams in order to make money because you're no good enough to have any legitimate career, this simply means that you think that the Tampa Bay Modeling site will make you lose money or close down your business).
Want to sue us? Go right ahead. Just remember that you have the burden of proof with a lawsuit that may prove to be frivolous, and that we will sue you right back as well as take any additional measures which apply. If you wish to waste your money and your time and risk making your situation much worse, go right ahead.
If you feel strong enough about Tampa Bay Modeling to consider taking legal action against us, I am guessing that you may have been talking about us to people and business affiliates that you know. I'll even throw human nature into the equation and will guess that you have been bad-mouthing this site to everyone that you know. Well, opinions are fine, but let it be known that calling this site a model scam or telling people anything which is not true IS slander. We are not doing anything wrong, and we are not a model scam. You already know this, though. You and the people that you know do know what has been said about us, and I am sure that you would not want this to be brought out anywhere, especially when you have no proof or facts to back up any slanderous allegations about us.
Wouldn't your clients and friends just love being dragged into court during our countersuit? Just remember to tell them that lying under oath is perjury, and it is a crime.
The best thing that you can do if you hate the Tampa Bay Modeling web site is to simply ignore us and hope that we are not as widely read as your fears tell you. You already know, though, that Tampa Bay Modeling has the dominate voice in the Tampa Bay modeling industry, and that just annoys the hell out of you.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor

Tampa Bay Modeling Is RIGHT!

Hello Monica,
I just wanted to write to let you know that you have been correct with every thing that you have stated. Your site has some of the best modeling information on it anywhere. I would also like to tell you that what you have to say about Tampa model agencies is more true than you could imagine.
How can I know this? Because I am a model agency booker here in Tampa. Please keep in mind that I one of the better ones who has had a lot of experience in this business. I don't hate you like many of the others do because I realize that you are only out to help models, and you have done a lot to make Tampa model agencies own up to the unethical and illegal things that they are guilty of!
Consider me a friend. I will continue to help you on the inside, and will send you letters as much as my schedule allows to let you know what is going on.
Now that you have a friend working on the inside, I can confirm that you have been 100% correct about agencies. Most agency bookers ARE minimum wage workers with minimal training and limited knowledge about the modeling industry. They spend a lot of their time cold calling businesses to see if they need models without understanding the how and why behind what they are doing. When someone does need models, the bookers will often send their favorite models, mostly models who compromise to do special favors for them, and not models that actually are the best choices for the business and what they need. Most model agency bookers wouldn't know the difference between a good picture or a bad one, and don’t know how to put together an effective modeling portfolio or professional zeds. Many of the photographers on our referral lists are glorified salespeople who are not professional photographers and are only on the list as an exchange of favors or because they are doing illegal kickbacks. Trust me on this. Even though the agency can lose its license by making money from pictures and zeds, they do. Why? Because of greed and the surprisingly low risk of getting caught. A lot of what goes on in these Tampa model agencies is bullshit, and we all know it. If you need additional people to collaborate what I am saying, you only have to ask any booker who is no longer working in the business. The stories that they could tell you could sink ships! If you ever really want to put these agencies out of business, you should round up some of these bookers and contact the state attorney. Bookers know all of the details of what goes on at their model agencies, and have ways of obtaining proof. The good bookers can be very helpful to your cause, and we may help you win your war sooner.
Let me tell you a story. This may not have actually happened to me, and it could be one that I heard, because I wish to stay undercover, working to assist you behind enemy lines.
A Tampa model agency owner, who shall remain nameless, opened his agency one morning and had all of the agency bookers look at the Tampa Bay Modeling web site. The model agency owner was whining about your site and how it was giving us all a bad name. The bookers were referred to the site so they could be horrified and be able to warn people about it, but when the bookers actually began to read it, it opened many eyes to what was really going on. Many of the bookers who really had no idea that what they were doing was wrong learned about it and either quit or tried their best to change their ways. It backfired on the agency owner, and many of the bookers began referring models to your site to help them. Unfortunately, a good number of bookers are shady, anyway, and those are the ones who are pissed about the Tampa Bay Modeling web site and Independent Modeling.
You have more friends in Tampa model agencies than you realize. Many of us are sick of our shady colleagues and the bad name that THEY are giving us. We are ashamed of the modeling industry here in the Tampa Bay area, and like you only want to make it more reputable. I like what I do, and if the business was more legitimate, I'd be a very happy booker.
Please continue doing what you do. You have the attention of the entire modeling industry, and many of us respect you and refer others to your site. The people who hate your site are the model scams and the unethical people who are afraid of you. You wouldn't believe how effective Tampa Bay Modeling has been in shaking up the modeling industry here in Tampa. Many model scams and the unprofessional parasites in this market have lost a lot of business, and they hate you for it. I couldn't tell you how many models know about Tampa Bay Modeling and how many regularly read what is on your site! Keep it up!
Another thing - Independent Modeling. All of the Tampa model agencies are aware of this site and what it can do. They are all afraid of it and that talon database. If you ever start to update it, it will take a lot of business away from the agencies, and this is a nightmare for agency owners. Yes, they will laugh about it and dismiss it, but deep down inside they all know that it works and can work even better once it is updated regularly.
Monica, what you and the models are doing by keeping your names a secret is smart. I know of many bookers and others in the modeling industry who would like to have your head on a platter and make an example of you. Many would refuse to book you into any jobs if they knew who you were. Stay safe, and be encouraged by knowing that we are not all bad and that you have many friends here behind enemy lines.
- Red

Hi Red,
Thanks for your Email. You have stated your case as well as I ever could.
Because I spend a lot of time in many of these Tampa Bay model and talent agencies talking to bookers and getting sent on go see's, I always knew that Tampa Bay Modeling was right. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't volunteer so much of my time to Tampa Bay Modeling and Independent Modeling if I was not sure that we were doing the right thing. I believe in what we are doing, and I know what is on our sites works and that we are helping the integrity of the modeling market. We are helping a lot of people have professional careers in the modeling industry while avoiding the pitfalls. We have always stated that if we only helped one model avoid a scam, then this would all be worth it. We are now receiving reports that hundreds of models have been helped. This, my friend, is more than worth it!
Going back to Tampa model and talent agencies, I'm a smart model and I don't go in to agencies throwing an attitude and bringing up Tampa Bay Modeling or any other modeling web site. I keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open. No, I am not ashamed of being an independent professional model, but in some instances being tactful is the best course of action. As long as they are not doing anything wrong that I can see or they are not trying to pull a scam on me, there is no need to bring up subjects which bookers or their agencies see as unpleasant. Plus, I don't want them knowing who I really am because of the reasons that you listed. I am well aware the many people hate me as Monica Stevens, the super model bitch of Tampa Bay.
Since I don't talk about my controversial pseudonym or the sites that I contribute to, I have limited knowledge about how bookers and the agencies are reacting to all of this, and it is refreshing, as well as interesting, to see the point of view of someone who is working in a model agency.
Thank you so much for your fascinating letter. Please write as much as you would like. This industry war is about to go into high gear, and any feedback that you can provide will prove to be helpful.

~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


Another excellent Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag comes to a close. This was a good batch of letters, and now that we are caught up with old mail, we can now settle for a more leisurely pace. We are going to be working on our Mail Bag archives, and will be linking older Mail Bags to relevant content within the Tampa Bay Modeling web site. In related news, I hear from top Tampa Bay model Danielle Cooper that Tampa Bay Modeling is getting some cool stuff like bumber stickers and shirts. I can't wait! Now, if only there was a way to curb my rambling and to make my responses shorter. I will work on that, starting in the September Mail Bag! See you all next month.
~ Model Monica Stevens,
Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


E-Mail us and let us know what YOU think! If you wish to add to one of Monica's answers or disagree with her and want to post an answer of your own, please let us know what letter and month you are replying to and if we see that it is relevant we may add it to that month's archive. We will let you know if new content such as letters have been added to mail bag archives!

E-MAIL: TampaBayModeling@Yahoo.Com

C/O Monica Stevens, Tampa Bay Modeling Mail Bag Editor


UPDATED 09/26/09

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