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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 photography shootout issues and scams 1. Tampa modeling photography shootout issues and scamsRecounting history about a war with a group of Tampa photographers which was fought long ago and won, a new war begins to fight amateur shootout events and ignorance in the Tampa Bay modeling industry. Tampa Bay Modeling prepares to set the standard with a series of professional modeling and photography shootout events and workshops; our Tampa Shootouts.
Online education campaign 1a. Online education campaign
Shootout events 1b. Shootout events
Tampa Photography Society professional photography association 1c. Tampa Bay Photography Society Association
History: The Tampa Photography War 2003-2004 1d. History: The Tampa Photography War 2003-2004

The “model coach” and his May 2011 shootout 2. The “model coach” and his May 2011 shootout
Being invited and intentions. How lying = scam 2a. Being invited and intentions. How lying = scam
Amateurs pretending to be professional 2b. Amateurs pretending to be professional
Coaching, the “agent”, composition, and posing 2c. Coaching, the “agent”, composition, and posing
Children with a loaded gun 2d. Children with a loaded gun
Mean amateurs and the backlash against them 2e. Mean amateurs and the backlash against them

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By C. A. Passinault, Director of Tampa Bay Modeling

BEING INVITED AND INTENTIONS. HOW LYING=SCAM

I’m almost done with this article, as I have written most of what I needed to write (and if you skipped to this, you really owe it to yourself to go back and read what I’ve written, because it will enhance, and support, what is coming). So, the following sections will be briefer.
Allow me to continue, as the other shoe is about to drop with Short Bus, the GWC photographer, and with my interactions with him.
I had been talking to Short Bus, the photographer who was organizing the shootout event, for several days. So far, so good. He seemed like a genuine guy with a dream, and a guy working his way into a profession, working for their dream, was something that I could respect.
Then again, you can really begin to like an idea, even if it has no foundation in reality.
During our conversations over the phone, the photographer asked me questions. I gave him some advice on how to work the business, as well as some tactics that have been proven to work quite well for me over the years. I hoped that my information would help his career. Now, it really seems like I was out to hurt the guy’s business, doesn’t it? Actually, I am genuine, and honest. I really wanted to help, and I gave him good answers to his questions. I also told him that if he ever wanted to be taken seriously as a professional photographer, and make money at it by running a business, that he would have to stop doing so many TFP/ TFCD shoots with amateur models; he would have to stop working for free, as he was working his way into a hole, and people knew that he worked for free. It would take time for him to change the perception that his work wasn't worth anything because he offered it for free; perceived value is critical in any service business.
Several times during our conversations, the photographer suggested that I attend his shootout event. I told him that I would try. At this point, the suggestions were not sales pitches to get me to pay to shoot models. They were invitations. I told him that I did not know if I could make it. He told me that, if I could not make it, that he’d like to get together and talk about the business over a beer. I told him that I did not drink, and he laughed, suggesting that we could sit down and have tea, instead. That was fine.
I thought about it. I had something going on that day, but if it fell through, then I would make the time to go. I decided that I did not want any misunderstandings to occur, and that if I proceeded with anything, that I would be very careful. After all, I was trying to tone the scam-fighting on Tampa Bay Modeling down, as well as the fighting that I had been doing in the industry over the years, as most of the time I was stating the obvious. Besides, this guy seemed alright, and I didn’t have anything to worry about. Well, so it seemed, at least as far as him seeming to be ok. Regardless, though, I certainly did not have anything to worry about, as this guy was certainly not even close to being competition. Still, I wanted to help, and I wanted to help him avoid mistakes.
I told him that I was concerned about the other photographers who were paying to attend and to work with the models, and that, if I were able to attend, that I would not be shooting, and would not be bringing a camera. I told him that I did not want him to get in any hot water with any of the photographers. I also told him that I had a strong portfolio and that I did not need to do a shoot. I would only attend to network and to check it out. He said that this was fine, and that he would like for me to attend, if I could. What a nice guy!
So, the night before the shootout, my plans that I had for the next day did fall through, and I was available to attend. I talked to him about it, and he told me that I could attend, and that I could meet some of the models and consider them for my modeling agency. I told him that I did not own a modeling agency, and that Tampa Bay Modeling was a modeling resource site, and that it was not an agency. I told him that people would know that if they actually read what was on the site. Although we had already discussed who I was, and what I did, he said that he would have to go back and read the site. He also asked me, again, what it was that I did.
I told him that I was a professional photographer who was in business specializing in modeling portfolio and talent headshot photography. I told him that my modeling and talent resource sites helped models and talent in their careers. He replied “That’s what I do!”. I thought that his response was a bit odd, as he had already told me that he had yet to make a business out of shooting models, and that most of the money that he had made was from amateur photographers paying him to participate with his shootout events (I wondered if he was back pedaling now, which is an indication that someone is dishonest). I also knew, from talking to him, and from the answers that he had given me, that, in my opinion, he was not qualified to coach models or to train them. So, weird response or not, I humored him and was polite. I didn’t say anything. If he wanted to think that what I do is was what he did, and that he was in the game, I would continue to allow him to think that. I’d leave him alone as long as he wasn’t out there misrepresenting himself.
After midnight, I was on Facebook, and was doing some Internet work, too. I was on the phone with Short Bus the photographer. I told him that I was going to add him as a friend on my Facebook profile.
To my surprise, he was already my friend. I usually accept every friend request that I get, and it was obvious that he had been on my friends list for quite some time. I asked him about that, but he was at a loss as to why he had already been my friend (I do not go around sending friend requests to photographers unless I know them well, so he had to have sent me a friend request). I looked at a few models that he was friends with, and asked him if it was ok to add them as friends. He thanked me for asking him, and said that it was ok.
As you can see, I was being as careful as possible so that there would be no misunderstandings. I was being honest, you see, because that’s how I am.
I told him that I was going to work on the Internet, and on my web sites, all night, and that I would try to attend his shootout event later that day. I told him that I would bring along some prints that I had taken a decade before, straight from the camera, which were in my portfolio (we had been talking about film cameras, and that, because I got them correct in-camera, that the prints were portfolio-ready, and did not need to be adjusted in Photoshop; the proof was in the prints, which were straight from the roll of negatives). I also told him that I would bring my portfolio to show him. He told me that he was looking forward to it. Everything seemed fine. What would you think if this was happening to you?
I spent the night on the Internet, working on web sites, writing, and talking to friends on Facebook. It rained that night, and I hoped that it would not rain out the event. The rain, which was heavy with a fierce storm and lots of lightning, ended before dawn. I wrapped up my web site work after 10AM that morning, and noted that his shootout event was supposed to start at noon. Thinking that it was odd that someone would start a shootout event that late, I was thankful that he was starting his event late, because I barely had time to make it there before it started. If it was at dawn, which is when it should have been, I wouldn’t have made it, and would not have even tried to make it.
So, I went.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Pay attention, people.
Upon arrival, I went to the outdoor tent area behind the hotel where he had it set up as a studio. There were about six or seven photographers set up in there, a couple of models, and a make up artist. I had no idea what the photographer looked like, but he spotted me. He came up to me and introduced himself, saying “You must be Chris!”. With about three other people around us to witness what was being said, I told him that it was difficult to get to the shootout location because of the roads around Tampa International Airport being changed around so much, and that it had been a while since I had been in the area. He said that he should have told me that the roads had been changed around.
So far, so good. Does it sound like I had not been invited?
It’s when some other people recognized me, and confirmed to the photographer that I was well-connected in the industry, when things began to get weird.
A new photographer who had been trying to shoot one of my model friends knew who I was, because wePhotographers, what were you doing in 2003? I was shooting models professionally! Tampa model Lisa Marie in downtown Tampa in 2003. I shot this at the TECO parking garage, which can be seen here in the right side of the frame. This is where Skypoint is standing today. had already met when my model friend and I were out at public events (I also have a video on Youtube where we are walking in downtown Tampa, and I am telling him about the industry, as well as my experience with the industry. I pointed out a tall building, Skypoint, and told him about a shoot that I did at that location before the building had even been built. If you look at the image to the right, regardless of the copyright date, it was shot in 2003, when what was to become Skypoint was an old TECO parking garage; the rusty fencing on the right side of the frame is the north side of that parking garage. I was shooting models, with my trademark professional quality, long before these guys knew what a camera was. Also, Lisa Marie, the model, is holding my photography portfolio, which is still in mint condition, and which I still use today. Most of these so-called photographers don't know what a portfolio book is, and don't bother to invest in them because they are not serious about their career, and don't want to take the necessary steps that they need to in order to become professional photographers). He even knew my name. The photographer who was in charge of the shootout listened to us talk. The new photographer told me that my model friend would not work with him, yet, and that she always asked him if he was good enough at photography, yet, to work with her (She told me that he isn't good enough to shoot her, and when you consider that she is very experienced, and is one of the top professional models in the Tampa Bay area, that says a lot. His "models", in my opinion, are idiots, especially two-month model with the attitude). He showed me his camera, a digital Rebel, and some of the shots that he had taken on the camera. One of his model friends, a new model who told me that she had only been in the business about two months, sat nearby, and listened, as well. I told the photographer that his work had some good shots in it, and gave him some pointers on composition. The new photographer asked me if I knew of any models who he could work with, as he knew that I was well-connected. I told him that I had tons of models whom I could refer to him, which was the truth.
I talked to some of the other photographers, too, and looked at their set-ups. I helped one of the photographers calibrate his set-up. Although I am not a studio shooter, I noticed some mistakes with some of the studio set-ups, but kept my mouth shut. I was polite, and merely talked to a few people.
There was one photographer who was there whom I met who was quite impressive. He was a professional commercial photographer, and after spending some time talking to him, it was obvious that he knew what he was doing. He had some top-notch gear, too. Since the photographer was shooting video of the event, I assumed that the organizer photographer was paying him to be a consultant and to help out. I later found out that this was not the case, as the photographer who was organizing the shootout was too stupid and arrogant to obtain the help of real professionals, in my opinion.
I went outside of the studio tent, again, where the organizer photographer was smoking. A model showed up with her mother. They both knew who I was because the model had been in pageants, and I had judged one of the pageants that she had competed in. They also knew that some of my best friends were the top models in the Tampa Bay market. The model’s mother exclaimed that she was a big fan of my Tampa Bay Modeling site, and that I had lots of useful information for models on it. The organizer photographer stood there and listened.
The shoot was about to begin, and I was once again in the studio tent. I was talking to some people. The organizer photographer came up to me, in front of the people whom I was talking to, and asked me if I could go to the front desk of the hotel and ask them to get the leaves out of the pool, as it was windy outside. I told him that I could do that, and that it would be no problem.
Halfway to the lobby and the front desk, however, I thought that the request was strange. It was already known that they would be doing the shoot in the tent area, and that they did not intend to go outside and shoot around the pool until later on that afternoon. Surely, with all of the wind, more leaves would find their way into the pool by then. Why did he ask me to have the hotel staff remove leaves from the pool hours before they planned on shooting around it?
Unknown to me at the time, and confirmed to me by several witnesses afterwards, the organizer photographer gathered the models and the photographers around while I was doing the errand for him and told them not to talk to me, and not to accept anything from me. A photographer asked him why, and the organizer photographer told them it was because I had “invited myself” to the shootout, and that I was not allowed to do anything at the event.
At this point, several people had already witnessed activity that indicated that I had been invited, though, and many of them didn’t buy what he said. They knew that he was lying. It was obvious that he had invited me, that he was expecting me, and that, for some reason, that he was now trying to play it off, and that he was being rude.
Some people told me, afterwards, that the photographer probably was not expecting me to show up, and that when I did, and several of the people knew who I was and confirmed my industry experience, that he got really nervous. In my opinion, he knew that I would be able to figure out that he was misrepresenting his experience. Several people confirmed that the organizer photographer was freaking out because I was there, and that he was afraid of me and my sites. It should be noted, too, that I did not know any of this as fact, and only suspected it, when I wrote my earlier article, “Standards have dropped in the Tampa modeling industry”, and that after some of the people who attended and who had witnessed this all read it and contacted me, they confirmed all of the missing pieces that I did not know about. That’s what prompted me to not only write this article about Tampa Shootouts, but to get with other professionals and to begin working on a professional alternative to whatever this was. Reports on the unprofessional things that the organizer did also inspired me to take a closer look at what he was doing. It got worse, too.
Upon returning from the front desk at the hotel lobby, I was once again in the studio tent area, unaware of the pow-wow that the organizer had had with the participants about me. The organizer photographer came up to me and asked that, as a “professional courtesy”, if I could stay outside of the studio tent once they started shooting. He said that I could hang out outside, and that they would be out eventually to shoot outside. Since they were keeping escorts out of the tent, too, I didn’t have a problem with that, but I did think that it was odd because it wasn’t a closed set. Although they were shooting high-risk work, such as glamour and lingerie, which I did not agree with for the new models who were there, I did not say anything. Usually, such work, though, would require a closed set, but seriously, all of the photographers and the models were working on the same set. It was also obvious that, although I was not shooting, that I was a professional photographer, and although the organizer was denying it behind my back, that I had been invited to attend. The request to keep me out of the shoot area did not make any sense.
Around this time I began to notice that the two-month model, who had previously talked to me and who had been polite to me, was now giving me an attitude. In retrospect, I wonder what else had been said about me. Hey, slander is the new discrimination. It's also not professional, or ethical.
So, with nothing else going on, and after driving all that way to attend, I decided to hang out outside and observe.
About this time, I was talking on my cell phone to some models and photographers whom I was friends with, giving them a play-by-play on what was going on. I told one of my models that it seemed like a cool event, and that I wouldn’t have any problem helping any of the photographers if they wanted it. That’s when my model told me that she wanted me to be careful, and not to trust them. She then filled me out on the background of one of the photographers who was there, and told me that she refused to work with him because he was shady, as well as amateur. She told me that he had been annoying her with requests to shoot with him (See, my model friends are smart. They warn me about things that they are aware of. They are all very aware, too, and Short Bus is going to find out the hard way that most of the professional models in the Tampa Bay market are now fully aware of what happened with me and his shootout, and that he is going to find it very difficult to get any professional models to help him, now. Word got out. He made a very big mistake! I did not go to evaluate him and his event, but when he was rude to me it turned into an evaluation, and he failed it).
Sitting out by the pool talking to the mother of the model who was there, and some of the photographers, I began to wonder about some things, too.
Professional courtesy? I wondered if the organizer knew the meaning of the phrase, because inviting me, and then banishing me outside, seemed hardly professional or courteous. I would not have done that to him! I would not have talked behind his back, either, and I certainly would not slander him.
I suspect that the organizer had invited me in an attempt to size me up and then discredit me, and that he was hoping that, by keeping me outside, that I would leave. I wasn’t going to leave.
I also wondered if the organizer photographer had invited me hoping that I would bring a camera and shoot models, so that he could come to me afterwards and try to get me to pay. I found out that he did that to at least one photographer who was there, who was invited there to help out and, with no obligation to pay anything, was later charged, and the photographer was pissed off about it. When I showed up without a camera, though, any chance that he had of turning around and try to get money from me was gone. Some people asked me why I was there without a camera, and I told them that I didn’t need to have a camera on me, and I did not need to shoot. I already had a portfolio.
Looking back, though, now with all of the information, it was obvious that the organizer photographer had been lying to me, and that I had been misled (especially if he had invited me with the intention of turning my participation into a paid gig, like he did with other photographers). This made him a scam, in my opinion.

NEXT: Amateurs pretending to be professional.

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