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First modeling portfolio picture of a Tampa model on Tampa Bay Modeling. All portfolio photographs, unless otherwise noted, by C. A. Passinault, lead photographer for Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Photography and Design, as well as Director of Tampa Bay Modeling. C. A. Passinault is a top photographer, as well as a modeling expert.Second model photograph on Tampa Bay Modeling. Click on the image for an anecdote of the modeling shoot which produced this picture.In this third picture, you can see why the Tampa Bay area is one of the best in the world for modeling portfolio development work. Photograph by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault.Image four of our online portfolio of another Tampa model. This photograph, if we are not mistaken, was taken on location in the Tampa Bay area. The best modeling portfolio photographs are location shots.This is another great picture. This is the fifth model photograph on Tampa Bay Modeling. Pictures featured in our thumbnail array may not be the same as those of models which are in our featured model section, but often, they are one and the same.Unmatched in any Florida modeling market. The quality of this image is excellent! Photograph by C. A. Passinault, our resident photographer and modeling expert.Another top Tampa model gets their look on. The best models can obtain a wide range of looks, as you can see when you look at other pictures of this model!Is it any wonder why more and more companies and art directors are booking independent models without going through an agency? Proof that you can be a professional model, with a lucrative career, without being dependent upon an agency to find and book modeling jobs!Another awesome photograph of a Tampa model by modeling photographer C. A. Passinault, lead photographer Aurora PhotoArts, and director of Tampa Bay Modeling.For modeling portfolio work in the Tampa Bay area, nothing beats location work. Studio photography is not nearly as cost effective, or appropriate, for modeling portfolio work.Keep in mind that this picture, for a modeling portfolio, was taken by a qualified modeling portfolio photographer, C. A. Passinault, for a specialized, professional market, which is modeling. A wedding photographer or a portrait studio will not be able to give models what they need for an effective modeling portfolio, as you have to know what you are doing!This is the 12th picture in our Tampa Bay Modeling online portfolio. Yet another Tampa model shows a marketable look in their portfolio. The best models are capable of the most looks, and are not locked into a single look!Agency model or independent model? It doesnt matter, anymore, especially in Tampa Bay. Professional models like this one can be booked without going through an agency, saving both the model and the job agency fees.Modeling portfolios need at least six looks, and by looks, we mean different looks. A composite cards needs at least five, on average, with a headshot on the front, and four different looks on the back of the comp card. This Tampa model is demonstrating a marketable look right now, in this photography. Picture by C. A. Passinault.
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TAMPA MODELING AGENCIES

FINDING AND WORKING TAMPA MODELING AGENCIES

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

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

How to find a legitimate modeling and talent agency in Tampa Bay

1. Look up agencies. Make sure that they have a current talent agency license, which is a TA#.
This does NOT make them legitimate, but it is a legal requirement, and a legitimate agency will have a TA#. Modeling and talent agencies in Florida are regulated (and even if they are deregulated one day, the rules should still be applied, because they are common sense, and were written for a reason, as well as for scams which have happened to models).
It is a felony for anyone to run a talent agency in Florida without an agency license, as well as to operate as one (which is why modeling management companies and model promotional team schemes cannot work, as they cannot make money by finding and referring models to third-party work without an agency license. If they can't make money by doing what they advertise, which is find models work, how do they make their money? Do they bait you with the promise of a modeling job and they scam you by requiring you to buy something to be "considered"?). It is against the law for them to claim to be an agent without being employed by a legally licensed agency or being licensed as an agency themselves.
Do not blindly trust any modeling agency. Make them earn your trust. Many agencies in Florida are scams, and cannot be trusted.
If any agency is doing something illegal, REPORT THEM. If anyone is running an agency without a license, REPORT THEM. Keep them from scamming other models!

2. Only use modeling and talent agencies as one of many sources of modeling jobs.
THAT IS IT! Draw the line there.
Don’t buy anything from them. Do not buy anything from anyone whom they refer you to. Do not allow them to manage you. Do not allow them to tell you what to do.
Do not be dependent upon agencies, or anyone, to get work or to work your modeling career!
Agencies are supposed to work FOR the models whom they represent. Referring (booking) models into modeling jobs is the ONLY legitimate way that they can make money.
Keep them in their place and make them do their jobs!
Also, avoid signing exclusive representation contracts with any agency. They are supposed to work FOR you, remember? If they make money the way that they are supposed to, which is to find and refer models to modeling jobs, it is in their best interest for them to find you work.
Obtain leverage on them, however. Get, and retain, the upper hand. Obtain representation from as many agencies as possible, and make them compete against each other. Make them work harder. How? Can they really afford to lose out on their commission if you find and book a job on your own, or another agency finds work for you before they do?

3. Avoid modeling agency scams.
Don’t buy anything from them. Don’t buy anything from anyone whom they refer you to.
If they endorse a photographer, a modeling school, a modeling boot camp, or anything that you would have to pay for, RUN!

4. Modeling management companies are NOT agencies, and if they are a licensed agency, they are a conflict of interest, in our opinion!
Avoid any company advertising modeling jobs, such as in the newspaper or on the radio.
This is especially true if they claim that no experience as a model in necessary! Only experienced, professional models book work, especially when they are competing with professional models for any jobs!
Every single one of these which we have checked out in the Tampa Bay area are job advertisements which mislead people, baiting them so that they can be set up to be sold a service. They are scams, and it is FRAUD!
Again, we have never seen a single advertisement for modeling jobs turn out to be legitimate.
Modeling management companies, if they are not a licensed agency, cannot legally make money by referring models into any job. If they cannot make money referring models into jobs, how can they follow through on what they are advertising? They have to make money somehow!

Power corrupts absolutely, and any business monopoly enables unfair business practices and unethical conduct. Only open markets with fair competitive practices promote professional accountability and properly balance the power among the players. The myth that the agency way is the only way to have a modeling career is, in our opinion, the root of modeling scams, and most modeling scams thrive on it. Modeling and talent agencies work FOR the models whom they represent, and have no business managing the careers of any model or telling them what to do. In our opinion, any agency which manages the career of the models who they are supposed to be working for is a blatant conflict of interest, because the agency also works for the competition of the models, models who are also represented by the modeling agency and who are trying to book the same modeling jobs.
Don’t enable modeling scams! Obtain your modeling portfolio, comp cards, and any other career tools that you need before going to any agency for representation. That is one of the best ways to avoid being scammed, because you cannot know, for sure, if the agency is receiving illegal and unethical kickbacks for modeling portfolio referrals to their "recommended" photographers. Do not buy anything from any agency! Do not sign any exclusive representation agreement with any agency, and do not sign any non-compete agreements with any agency which would limit your ability to find and obtain modeling work on your own. Also, obtain representation with as many agencies as possible in your market. Tampa Bay modeling agencies are in business to work for the models and to find them work, not to sell them things or refer them to others who will sell them things. Make them work for you, and make them compete against each other. Only use modeling and talent agencies as one of many sources of modeling jobs, and draw the line there in your career.
Independent models have an advantage over ignorant agency-only models, limited models who allow themselves to be limited and managed by an agency and whom are dependent upon the modeling agency to get work. An independent model who finds and who books work on their own demonstrates that they have value as a model, and that they book work. This will force the agency to work harder to find and book the independent model into the job before the model can do so themselves, because the agency does not want to lose their commission. Make the agencies work for you, because that it really what an agency is supposed to do. Enough is enough; the corruption of the old modeling industry is a thing of the past if you do not accept and comply with it!

Regardless of whether you want to be an agency model, or an independent model, modeling and talent agencies will be in the equation. They should be in the equation, too, as they are useful as one of many sources of modeling jobs, as long as the agency is kept in their proper place: working FOR the models whom they represent. Modeling and talent agencies, in our opinion, have NO BUSINESS managing models or telling them what to do, as it would be like an employee telling their employer what to do, and the agency would not only be guilty of gross insubordination, but would be out of line. In our educated, experienced opinion, any agency which tries to manage the models who they are supposed to be working for, and which tells models what to do in their modeling career, is a working under a conflict of interest because they also work for the competition of the model, who are the other models who the agency also works for. In our opinion, such an inappropriate, unbalanced working relationship, which has been long-accepted as standard business in the backwards, corrupt modeling industry, opens the door to manipulative tactics, scams, unethical coercement, compromise, activity which is not in the best interest of models, and all sorts of unprofessional misconduct. It is our opinion that agencies which try to control models are unethical, and unprofessional. Do you want to be manipulated by those who may not have your best interests in mind, or do you want you to be empowered in your career? Modeling is hardly rocket science, and most models can work their career better than any agency can, especially when the model acquires the contacts and cultivates a professional working relationship with the modeling jobs contacts which the agency normally works with. Those models who are independent, and who keep modeling and talent agencies in their proper place, can also be certain that they will also have their own best interests in mind.
In the Tampa Bay modeling market, there are at least three modeling and talent agencies which we consider to be reputable (and we are beginning to wonder about two of them, as of 11/16/13). Please note that we are not responsible for the conduct of any of these agencies, and all models and talent assume all risks by contacting them and allowing them to represent their careers. We do, however, recommend that models obtain representation from more than one agency, and that models only use the agencies as one of many sources of modeling jobs, and nothing more. Make sure that the agency is licensed, with a TA# (any modeling manager, modeling management company, or anyone else who is advertising modeling jobs without a Talent Agency license is useless, in our opinion, because they cannot make a dime by referring models into jobs. What are they going to do, find you work and work for free? Are they going to introduce you to agencies and place you in them, when you can easily do this on your own for free? We suggest passing up any of these schemes.) Also, the best modeling and talent agencies are SAG affiliated. That said, never allow any agency to manage you, and never buy anything from an agency, or anything from anyone whom they refer you to. Modeling agencies should be used as one of many sources of jobs ONLY. Make them work for you!
As of December 21, 2011, we no longer reference or recommend any Tampa modeling agency to any models. We will only list licensed talent agencies in our database (just because they are licensed, however, does NOT make them legitimate. What they do is what makes them legitimate. There are licensed agencies out there which are running scams, such as an agency which does fashion shows in malls and sells portfolios to aspiring models; this is against the law, and it is also unethical and misleading.):

TAMPA MODELING AGENCIES

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY MODELING AGENCIES - PINELLAS COUNTY MODELING AGENCIES - MANATEE COUNTY MODELING AGENCIES - SARASOTA COUNTY MODELING AGENCIES - POLK COUNTY MODELING AGENCIES - PASCO COUNTY MODELING AGENCIES

FLORIDA MODELING AGENCY LAWS

Please note that Tampa Bay Modeling is not affiliated with any modeling agency, and we are proud of it. We do not link to them or their web sites, as our models are not dependent upon them to book modeling jobs. Look them up, if you can (at the time of this writing, Tampa modeling and talent agencies are listed below us on search results, and it is as it should be). Thank you.

UPDATE 03/05/12 - Our Tampa Modeling Agency web site, after three years online, is now where we want it to be on major search engines for "tampa modeling agency" (Number one on google; we can imagine that agency owners are screaming at their web masters about this, and this makes us smile. The truth will be known- The industry middlemen will be put in middle place, where they belong). We are now expanding it, with the objective to make agencies accountable for what they say and do (Some Tampa modeling agencies are unethical and unprofessional, in our professional opinion. Anyone who promotes agencies as the only legitimate way of modeling not only helps to enable modeling scams, in our opinion, but also either do not know what they are talking about and blindly follow what they perceive everyone else to be doing, or are knowingly hurting models and the future of the modeling industry.) Tampa modeling agencies answer to us, and to professional models. There is no arguing against this, and the writing is on the wall. We put them in their place. Also, any model who is foolish and cowardly enough to blindly allow themselves to be controlled and dependent upon agencies for jobs are going to pay for it by losing work from smart independent models who do not allow themselves to be limited like the agency models are, and the agency models will deserve it. Resistance is futile.

01/23/11 - 03/05/12 - 09/11/13/1208 - 11/16/13/1050

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