Tampa modeling photography shootout
issues and scams
Bay Photography Society Association
The Tampa Photography War 2003-2004
The “model coach” and
his May 2011 shootout
invited and intentions. How lying = scam
pretending to be professional
the “agent”, composition, and posing
with a loaded gun
amateurs and the backlash against them
- TAMPA BAY MODELING - NEXT
A. Passinault, Director of Tampa Bay Modeling
GWC "MODEL COACH" AND HIS MAY 2011 SHOOTOUT EVENT
History, as we will find in
our lives, tends to repeat itself. It’s ironic, in both my personal
and professional life, that others tend to take the pathetic and cowardly
way out and try to use slander and discrimination against me; sometimes
a combination of both. Slander is the new discrimination. I’ve also
found, though, that such underhanded tactics backfire. Well, not me, personally,
but those who do this find out.
It’s ironic, too, regarding amateur, unethical photographers, that
the same tactics and B.S. that I defeated eight years ago in the great
Tampa photographer war of 2003-2004 are alive and well today, and are
used by others, although in this case, the person doing it is nowhere
near as good as the con artist photographer of yesterday.
That’s why I call this new shady photographer “Short
Hey, I get along with other professional photographers quite well. Some
of my best friends, such as top photographers Craig Huey and Andy Meng,
are professional photographers, even though we are technically competitors.
Thus, anyone who says that I have made a career out of smearing professional
photographers whom I am in competition with is wrong. They'd like people
to believe that! Sure, I like to win at this business, but I don’t
want to win that way. I only want to win by being a better photographer,
and there are lots of photographers out there, photographers who actually
know me, who will agree with me. Frankly, I am honest and ethical, and
I’m far more concerned about the integrity of the photography industry
in Tampa Bay than in being number one in the market. If a photographer
is professional and ethical, they have my support, even if they are better
than I am at the business.
It’s the insecure, unethical amateurs that I have issues with. Other
professional photographers should have issues with these people, too,
if they care about their industry, as many of these amateurs are a cancer;
they only want to cash out any way that they can, and they have no intentions
of learning the business, playing fair, paying their dues, or becoming
professional. I hate liars. Many of these people are liars, and they intend
to either fake it until they make it, or make a career out of faking it,
misrepresenting their experience, misleading people, and running scams.
Many of these amateurs hurt people, exploiting people such as amateur
models by convincing them to do risky work, and by doing things at the
expense of others.
This is one such tale, and I encourage everyone to take heed of it. It
happened in May, 2011, and I am still highly pissed off about it eight
weeks later. Before I begin, and before you read the following, please
read my earlier article about this, “Standards
have dropped in the Tampa modeling industry”,
as this is part two, and a follow up, of that article.
Done? Good. Let’s begin.
In early May, 2011, I was looking around on Fakebook
and noticed a post on the wall of a public figure profile that a Tampa
Bay model had set up for herself. I had been aware of this model for the
past three years because she contacted Tampa Bay Modeling about being
featured on the site. She was a very talented model, too, and I was impressed
with her. At the time, in the fall of 2008, a lot was going on, so although
I intended to get back to her, I never did (at the time, I wasn’t
getting back to a lot of potential clients contacting me for shoots, either,
as I was taking a break). I could only imagine how history would have
played out three years later if I had been able to get into contact with
her, because she probably wouldn’t have done what she did to set
of a chain of events in May 2011. How? Well, I would have worked with
her, she would have found out that I know the business better than even
the agency owners that she is buddy-buddy with do, and she would have
found out that she could trust me. I would have earned her trust, I’m
sure. She’s smart, she would have learned some things about the
industry, and she would have been more discerning about what she was doing.
That’s water under the bridge, though, because at this point, I’m
probably not going to be working with her, and I could really care less.
I am friends with the top models in Florida, I do not have any shortage
of models (she’s good, but I would be doing her more of a favor
than she would for me if I were to work with her. I can be picky with
the models whom I choose to work with, and to be associated with), and
it really doesn’t matter, especially after seeing, in my opinion,
that she helped enable an amateur by giving him credibility. In my opinion,
her actions are a glowing example of poor judgment and helping to promote
what I consider to be a scam.
A scam? How can it be a scam?
A scam is anything that someone convinces another to do through deception.
Anyone who lies, cheats, steals, and misrepresents themselves is a con
artist, and therefor, a scam. In this case, in my opinion, we are primarily
dealing with lying and misrepresentation.
Why in the hell do talented professionals enable unethical
amateurs by helping them and giving them credibility? WHY?!?!
(Everyone, please note: If any professional model out there associates
with, helps market, and enables any scam or amateur project, I will lose
respect for them and am far less inclined to work with them. I will boycott
individual models over this, as I do not respect anyone who compromises
for money. Double that if they do it for free!) Do they compromise
because they need the work in a slow economy? When they obviously have
no benefits by working with the amateurs other than a little cash in their
pocket, why else do they do it? In this case, the amateur is an amateur
photographer, a Guy With a Camera (GWC), his cheap camera boosted by the
magical powers of a tripod that he lugs around as he shoots aspiring models
(when I saw him running around with a tripod permanently attached to his
camera, it reminded me of Linus, from the Peanuts
cartoon, and his security blanket). When I first saw him waddling around
with his phallic-like tripod protruding from his camera, I could almost
see the magical sparkles from his tool. He was truly special, going around
telling models that he could teach them, and that he wanted to shoot them
for free. I’m sure that it was good for them, too! Hell, no wonder
he likes to smoke! Models, don't you want to have an intimate after-shoot
smoke with him? Was it as good for you as he thinks that it was (actually,
I think not, as I haven't seen any models that he has worked with, even
though most are amateurs, use his pictures in their online portfolio.
Actions outshine words!)?
That sure is a big tripod, too, and it lends itself well to the proverbial
third leg that insecure men fantasize about having. I’m sure that
he is trying to compensate for something by using a big tripod. Hey models,
look at my tripod. Isn’t it BIG? Don't you want me to shoot in...
I-I-I mean, shoot you?
I need to get me one of those tripods. Maybe then I could become a professional
photographer, and it would make my photography great. Seriously, though,
in the eleven years that I have been a professional photographer leading
the market and running a business in something as elite, and as tough,
as modeling portfolio and talent headshot photography, I’ve never
used a tripod (in all fairness, though, I have very steady hands and good
hand / eye coordination. I credit my passion for video games, which I
believe gives me an advantage as a photographer. I know a lot of good
photographers who don’t play video games, though, and they don’t
use tripods when they shoot models or portraits). I’ve never seen
any other modeling photographer use a tripod, either, and I’ve been
on a ton of commercial and magazine shoots. Sure, if you are shooting
landscapes, or are shooting long exposures, use a tripod, but models?
Give me a break! What, are the models statues? Models move, dammit, and
so should you! My models don’t move as much when I photograph them,
because I shoot using natural light on location (the best and most cost-effective
way to shoot modeling portfolios, especially the commercial modeling portfolios
that are the most relevant for the Tampa modeling industry. Look it up;
I’m sure he will when he reads this, because he won’t know
what I’m talking about), but if you are using a flash, such as an
on-camera flash like this guy is using, you certainly do not need long
exposures or a tripod!
Really, though, I think that the guy wants to be a photographer because
he’s having a late-life crisis, and it’s probably the only
way that he’ll ever get to be around attractive women. I’m
sure that his wife is very happy with his hobby. Another photographer,
the one that I call the jerk from the photography war, went through the
same thing, I believe. In my opinion, he was fresh from a divorce, and
in a late-life crisis, he decided to be a photographer. Although his work
screamed “NEW GUY WITH CAMERA” when I first noticed him in
2004, he, too, made himself out to be far more qualified than I believe
that he actually was. According to him, he was a photographer with 30
years of experience. His work looked more like 30 days of experience,
though, and I remember once criticizing one of his modeling photographs
that he shot in Hyde Park, and a few weeks later, it was magically fixed
and re uploaded. Sure, I’m wrong, officially, but when someone reacts
to your criticism by going out of their way and fixing what was wrong
because they are worried that others will read what you wrote and notice,
they are admitting that I was right. He knew that I was right, and I publicly
Although Short Bus, the current guy with the camera, has work that looks
every bit of the two years of experience that he claims that he has, he
is no modeling expert or agent, and he needs
to quit misrepresenting his experience.
At any rate, this isn’t about his skill or lack of skill with a
camera, which is subjective at best and subject to opinion. I might not
like his work, but others might, and there is nothing wrong with that.
There are no absolutes in photography, and no absolute way
of evaluating it; there is only better or worse as far as the relevance
of its intended use. If you see value in his photography,
by all means, go for it. Personally, other than a lack of composition,
I don’t really see much of a problem with some of this work. He’s
new, he’s learning, and I’ll leave it at that. He’ll
get better. The issue that I have with him is, in my opinion, his lack
of ethics and professionalism, and this is a character issue which probably
will never improve. I also have an issue with his overall ignorance of
the industry, his insecurity, his arrogance, and how he misrepresents
his experience and what he has to offer, in my opinion.
Before I get ahead of myself, though, let me finish my exposition on here
of how I came to know this person, what I was led to believe, what my
experience was, and about what he is doing. I’ll expand on some
of the points in later sections of this article.
When the model promoted the GWC photographer’s shootout event on
her facebook wall, I looked at it and wondered what was going on. The
photographer did not have a web site, and he wanted photographers to pay
to shoot models. Besides pictures, was there anything else worth
paying for, such as professional instruction? I asked questions
about his qualifications, his web site, etc, and the model deleted my
Wonderful. I love being censored.
It did not stop another good model from sending me a friend request on
facebook, though. She saw my post before it was deleted, and told me that
she liked that I was outspoken. You see, she had worked with him, too,
and thought that he was a joke. At least, her complete disrespect for
him was implied when she started forwarding me IM's from him begging her
to shoot with him and she was laughing about it to me. Since then, MANY
other models have complained about this idiot, too.
So, with no questions answered by the model, who was obviously
embarrassed about her association with the photographer and his shootout
events, I decided to call the guy and ask him some questions myself.
I’d find out what was going on.
When I talked to the photographer on the phone, my first impression was
that he was kind of slow. I thought “short bus”
as I asked him questions, and he demonstrated that he didn’t really
know what he was doing from his answers. I told him that I was a photographer,
and in a long-winded drawl, he proceeded to give me way too much information
about his shootouts. He was trying to sell me on the shootout event, and
he was overselling himself by giving me information that his target market
shouldn’t need to know. He told me that he had been doing photography
for two years, which was accurately reflected in his mediocre work. His
work fell far short of being professional.
I told him that I have been a professional, working photographer for the
past eleven years. He told me that I was where he wanted to
be (he told another professional photographer the exact
same line, too!). He told me that he had been doing hundreds of shoots
in the past two years with models that he had met through a portfolio
networking site (an obnoxious modeling site which, in my opinion, has
a perfect, and ironic, name. Thank you, T, for enabling the amateurs of
the world to pretend that they are players in the industry!). I
asked him if he had ever made money doing photography. He told
me no, that he had not, but that he was confident in his work, and that
he was working toward making it a business.
Well, I did not have any problem with that.
I also told him that I own the top modeling resource sites in the world,
such as Tampa Bay Modeling. He was familiar with Tampa Bay Modeling.
Over the next few days, I talked to him some more. He seemed to be honest
and a good guy. He portrayed himself as a guy in a dead-end career, who
just wanted to become a professional photographer. It was his dream.
Again, I had no problem with that. As a matter of fact, if
he had turned out to be as he portrayed himself to be, I’d the be
the first one sticking up for him and defending his right to learn a profession
and make a business out of it. I have no problem with competition,
and have no problem helping my competition out, even if this guy was hardly
It’s just that things are not as they seem to be, and, sometimes,
it takes time to really tell what is what. Time tells all.
Being invited and intentions.
How lying = scam.
- TAMPA BAY MODELING - NEXT
- 08/04/11 - 07/28/13/1313
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