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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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Monday, December 25, 2006Tampa Bay model photographed at a Tampa Bay location during a model portfolio photography session by Tampa Bay photography company Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Bay Photography and Design. Photograph by modeling portfolio photographer Chris Passinault.

Beware Of Free Gifts With Strings Attached.

Are free model consultants and TFP photography really worth it? What is presented as free may not turn out to be.

Today, it is Christmas, and as a professional fashion model I have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for the few honest agencies who refer me to jobs, and I am even more thankful that I am a smart model who thinks for herself, takes the initiative, and books work without agency representation, too. I am also thankful that no Hurricanes threatened my Clearwater Beach condo in 2006, as I really like it here, the view of the Gulf of Mexico is stunning, and I never want to move. The Tampa Bay Modeling web site likes it here at home, as well. An absence of Hurricanes is the best present that I could have had this year, and the weather has been quite excellent in 2006.
Since New Years and 2007 is only a week away, I'm also taking time to reflect on the Tampa Bay modeling industry in 2006 and some rather interesting, as well as disturbing, developments. Model job scams, which have been the most common model scam the past five years, have finally been surpassed by a new kind of model scam. This scam is the model consultation scam, and it is the new threat to aspiring new models in 2007.
As I open the gifts from under our tree, I have to think. I think about analogies and the ironies behind them. Which gifts are really free for me? I know my fiancé and I trust him; trust, after all, is the foundation of any personal, or professional, relationship. Trust cannot be given and must be earned, and the first step toward trust is to get to know exactly who you are dealing with and what their true intentions are (As our friends over at Independent Modeling say, "Clarify and Verify" - Clarify what their intentions are and Verify their professional references so you know who they are who they say that are). I know all the other people in my life who give me gifts, too. I know that my presents don't have strings attached, and they won't lead to some sale or bill either immediately or somewhere down the line. What is presented as free is actually free, and is not at all misleading in any way, especially since I know and trust the sources. Well, at least they don't have strings now. I take the time to carefully study how the present is wrapped and methodically take the ribbons, or strings, off first before opening it. Did you know that you can get paper cuts from the ribbons and wrapping if you tear into them too fast? While hand models should take heed, it is an analogy which all models should learn from. Any time that you rush into anything without checking it out first, you're being reckless, and there is a high risk of getting hurt from your impatience and ignorance.
You get the analogy. I am sure of it. Anyhow, it is now time for me to get to the main subjects as we explore not one, but two of the greatest threats to aspiring new models in 2007. These threats could also be a concern for professional models, too, if they don't know what to watch out for. Rest assured the Tampa Bay Modeling and our allies will be fighting these scams with all of our resources in the coming months and years.

Model Consultation Scams
While modeling resource sites like Tampa Bay Modeling and Independent Modeling have done great things such as teach models how to book model jobs without agencies and how to recognize and avoid models scams, the free information on the sites has actually helped some scams. We've seen many different model scams evolve as they tried to compensate for the models who knew what they were doing, and we've even seen a new kind of model scam, the model consultation scam, feed off of free modeling resource sites and become a threat. Many of the so-called model consultants emerged from the ashes of photo mill agencies who were shut down by the authorities, sued by models, or quit using an agency license to bait models while they were ahead. Bogus model management operations and model consulting firms used to be far less common than they are now, and model job scams used to be the main threat. Because of all of the excellent free information, model career tools, and posts on model job boards, however, these operations now have an endless source of material that they can steal and then try to sell back to models, boosting their credibility and giving them ammunition in their scams. While sites like Independent Modeling and Tampa Bay Modeling realize that much of our material is being stolen and resold to models, we have studied the problem and have come up with solutions. Instead of restricting our information, model job tools, and model job information, we are going to increase what we offer and make sure that models know about it. Some of you might be wondering if this will only serve to help the model consultants and their scams. It won't. Why is that? Simply because we are the source, and it is too much of a good thing. We can drop the bottom of market that there is for selling stolen content because we will flood the market with better content and much more of it. This will make it less valuable as something to sell. Additionally, with the market flooded, there is a higher risk that the models going to these model consultants will already know the true source of the material that they are pitching. It will become far too risky to sell stolen material to models because it could backfire, undermining their credibility as the models realize that if the model consultant is ripping off free modeling resource sites, then they lack professional integrity and will rip them off, too. Besides, why pay for something that is plentiful, better, and available for free on web sites? This is a great solution.
Model consultants and managers cannot make money by booking models into jobs because they have to have an agency license, at least in Florida, to do that. What they will do is tell models that they can help their careers and that they will refer them to model jobs for free. Don't believe it. No professional business is going to call up businesses who are looking for models when they cannot make money from the referral. Instead, these "free referrals" that they to offer, if they exist at all, have nothing to do with them, and were instead quickly gleaned from free modeling web site job boards and other free online sources, or simply made up. No one is in business to work for free. Don't ever forget that.
What model consultation scams do is hold modeling information and model job leads as an incentive to get the model to work with them (exactly like a photo mill agency, except with reduced risk to the scam because they are not an agency). The models are baited by the possibility of obtaining job leads and are then sold expensive model portfolio photography services, composite cards, and other things that they don't need if they are already an established professional model looking to book jobs.
Some model consultants will make the claim that if you are already a professional model and have a portfolio and composite cards, then they will refer you to the jobs anyway and you won't need to invest in portfolio photographs and composite cards. Don't believe that, either. If that was true, then how would they make money and stay in business? Even if you are an experienced professional model with a proven portfolio and composite cards, it won't be good enough for them. They will nitpick the portfolio and claim that they cannot refer models to "their job contacts" unless they know that the model is a good model and that they can do the job. They will dismiss your portfolio and composites, regardless of how good they are, and try to sell you services that don't need anyway. They don't really want to help models, as they are really only after your money.
Don't believe me? Why don't you go ahead and buy what they are selling. Compare the jobs that they offer you with jobs that are up on sites such as Independent Modeling and Florida Models. Better yet, see if there really are any jobs. I'll bet that you will find that the job leads that they had are now mysteriously booked and that there are no more that are "right" for you. Compare your new portfolio with your old one. Notice how they treat you after you have paid for useless services? They have already moved on to their next victims and now, since they already have your money, they will no longer give you any of the promised support because that is not how they make their money. You've been taken in, and they are already done with you.
There is no more incentive to spend time with you and to refer you to jobs if there is no other way to make money off of you.
Experienced professional models with established portfolios and composite cards who are looking for the jobs that these consultants offer don't need what they are selling. An aspiring model with no portfolio needs to invest in quality professional tools and have no business trying to book model jobs. See the issues here? The model consultants use model jobs as bait to sell services to models, when realistically the only models who qualify for the jobs don't need what they are selling.
With these kind of risks associated with so-called model consultants and model managers, why even bother? There is better information and career tools available at no charge on modeling resource sites like Tampa Bay Modeling and Independent Modeling, and there is no risk involved to use these sites. Be safe. Don't take risks when there is not need to.
Speaking of risks, we also have another group going around offering models free things.

TFP Photography Scams
TFP, which stands for "Time For Prints", is a practice in which professional photographers offer free photography services to models. TFCD, which means "Time For CD", is the exact same thing, except that the model receives their pictures on a CD-ROM instead of prints.
Hell, sign me up. Can I go to a store and get free clothes because the business needs practice selling clothes and the clothing manufactures need practice perfecting their clothes? Nothing that is good comes free or easily.
Let me tell you this much. Professional photographers are in a business, and they are in business to make money. If they are not, then they either don't know anything about business and won't be any help to you (or to themselves, for that matter), have some other form of payment or benefit in mind that may not be in your best interest, or they could be amateurs posing as professionals as well as the other reasons. You truly get what you pay for, and if any offer is too good to be true, it usually is.
As a professional model, I understand that careers require an investment in professional tools. I'd much rather check out the professional portfolio and the references of genuine professional photographers, know who I am dealing with, and then PAY for what I need instead of messing with these questionable TFP things. This way, I minimize my risks, save a lot of time by not running around and scheduling "shoots" unnecessarily, and am ensured that I will get the professional pictures and composite cards that I need.
While most people think that getting things for free is great, there have been a lot of bad things happening to models lately with TFP and the professional models will avoid TFP offers, especially since anyone can now go to the store, buy a cheap digital camera, declare themselves a professional photographer, and go around offering TFP in order to meet pretty girls. Models do not need amateur photographers who are not honest about their experience and qualifications and we do not need guys with cameras who are only doing this as a hobby and/ or as a means to meet "hot girls" and to try to get laid. We need professional photographers, dammit, and if you actually need a portfolio, you're going to need to invest in one. You're going to need to pay a professional photographer.
While established professionals sometimes do collaborate with other professionals, I don't know of any professionals who will undermine their market and offer free shoots to models who are not yet established and who need to invest in portfolios, as this is just stupid and it is bad business. Most of us get into business to make money, and if we are making money and see other professionals who also make money and who we want to collaborate with (i.e. photographers and models who already have portfolios and careers and are not in the market for what we usually offer as a service), then we consider it. Do realize, however, that this is not a common practice and is the exception rather than the rule. If anyone offers me anything for free, I am going to be rightfully suspicious of the offer, their professionalism, and their motives. If you offer me anything for free, you better be who you say you are and you better have all of your ducks in a row. Anyone who offers free services should be scrutinized much more than normal because of the potential for unethical motives and model scams. In one case, there were more than one so- called professional photographers doing TFP shoots with models and then selling the pictures and making money off of them without paying the models. It gets worse. Many of these deals involve shooting the models in "sexy" poses wearing casual clothes, swimwear, bikinis, and lingerie and then selling the pictures to 900 dating lines and advertisements for adult businesses. You have to wonder what the catch is. If you DO take a risk and do TFP, make sure that you don't sign any release which gives the photographer all of the rights to the images. Models aren't in business to work for free, either, and if the pictures are intended for sale to legitimate and non- adult business, then we need to get paid, too. The porn/ 900 line/ adult stuff, however, is unacceptable regardless of the pay, as it will cripple or destroy a modeling career.
What is their motivation and how to they intend to benefit from the TFP photography? This is a question that you must ask and get an answer on.
TFP used to mean "a collaboration between qualified professionals". This is no longer the case. To most, it now means "build a professional portfolio for free", which is not the way to get the professional results that you need and it doesn't easily work. The term TFP has been hijacked, and there is a lot of confusion over that. We intend to educate people in the original meaning of the term and how professionals need to invest in professional portfolios.

This is our gift to professional models this holiday season; the gift of good advice with no strings attached. Merry Christmas, and we'll make you happy when we see more of you all next year!

~ Danielle Cooper, Editor

Tampa Bay Modeling

Clearwater Beach, Florida



   

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