US AND HISTORY
the business of modeling
10/28/12 - Independent
Modeling is a modeling and a modeling industry resource web site founded
on September 4, 2001. It is a free modeling resource site supported by
our affiliated advertisers, and can be used with no obligation to buy
Independent Modeling is NOT a modeling and talent agency, and we are not
licensed to be an agency. We do not claim to be a modeling or talent agency
(nor would we want to be one). We do not offer agency services or imply
that we do, and we are not a substitute for a licensed talent agency.
We are a modeling agency resource site for professional models, photographers,
and the businesses which book them, with the goal of helping professionals
in the industry avoid being dependent upon modeling and talent agencies.
Our modeling job leads on this site are offered free of charge, and there
is no obligation to buy any product or service from us, our advertisers,
or our affiliated partners to use our site.
Independent Modeling is targeted to professional independent freelance
models, but it is also for professional modeling portfolio photographers,
commercial photographers who work with models, and the businesses which
book them. The entire point of this site is to provide resources and tools
to enable professionals in the modeling industry to work without having
to go through, and be dependent upon, the modeling and talent agency middleman.
Believe it- regardless of how they portray themselves, an agency is only
a middleman! Although modeling agencies continue to be a legitimate part
of the modeling industry, they should only be used as one of many sources
of modeling job leads; they have no business managing models, telling
them what to do, referring them to photographers and services, or selling
them anything for their “career”, as this is now many models
get scammed through misleading offers of modeling work, and the are instead
sold something. Modeling and talent agencies are not supposed to be in
business to do any of this, and they are not as qualified to offer or
evaluate anything that a legitimate professional who specializes in a
business is. Also, since an agency is supposed to work FOR the models
whom they represent, it is our opinion that it is a working conflict of
interest for any agency to manage models and talent. Why? Because the
agency also works for, and represents, the competition of the model, who
are other models whom they represent. Can you trust someone telling you
what to do when they also work for your competition? Also, since the agency
works for the model, are they crossing the line and acting like an employee
telling their boss what to do when they try to manage and control models?
We think so, and if you are smart and think about it, so will you!
Only use agencies as one of many sources of modeling jobs, and that is
all. Also, obtain representation from several agencies, and make them
compete with each other to give you job leads, like they are supposed
to. Modeling and talent agencies are only supposed to make money from
successfully referring models to modeling jobs that they book and complete.
That’s it. Do not trust modeling and talent agencies until they
earn your trust, and regardless, never pay them a dime for anything, and
avoid buying anything from anyone who they refer you to, as you can never
be sure if they are making money from referrals, which is unethical (and,
in Florida, illegal).
If you are a new or aspiring model, you have no business trying to book
any modeling work, as you do not yet have the experience needed or the
marketing tools required to compete with professional models. You can
start gaining experience by investing in a modeling portfolio and composite
cards, as you will also need these to market your career either independently
or through an agency, and you need to obtain these marketing tools before
you go to any agency. A professional modeling portfolio photographer is
in business to give you the portfolio and comps that you need for your
career, and they are more qualified than any agency to evaluate what is
appropriate and what is needed because an agency is not in business to
do this (nor are they supposed to be). Don’t get scammed.
If you are a new and aspiring model, you will have to invest in a quality,
effective modeling portfolio and composite cards, as well as a professional
web site with a domain name, such as a .Com. The reason that there is
no way around this is that you have to be able to compete with outer professional
models, and have to have better portfolios and comps than they do. If
you cut corners and skimp on your portfolio and comps, you only cheat
yourself by making it harder for you to compete for modeling work. Also,
the businesses which book models will not be impressed with poor quality
comps and portfolios, and they will not take you seriously. You will not
be able to succeed in the modeling business without a good portfolio and
comps, and you will not be able to get it for free or from TFP. Just like
TFP photographers cannot compete with real, established, professional
modeling portfolio photographers to give you what you really need, you
will not be able to compete with professional models who have invested
in quality, effective portfolios and comps. You need to avoid budget and
freebie services for your career, as you will only be able to get out
of your career what you put into it. Avoid using freebie social media
and portfolio networking profiles as your “web site”, especially
as such profiles also easily lead to your competition (these augment a
real web site, rather than replace one, anyway, at the most. Don’t
worry if any of this sounds complicated, because we will explain it, and
outline it, in more detail on this web site, and on our sister modeling
resource sites), TFP portfolio work, and cell phone picture portfolios.
Avoid wedding photographers and portrait photographers, as modeling portfolio
photography has higher professional standards, and photographers who work
a consumer market will not be able to give you relevant, appropriate portfolios.
How can they? They work a consumer market, and don’t know what is
appropriate, or relevant, for the marketing of a modeling career! That’s
why they are stuck photographing weddings and portraits. Regardless of
what they tell or sell you, a picture is not just a picture. The pictures
have to be positioned properly in the market. Also avoid high-risk work
which will undermine your marketability as a model, such as age-inappropriate
modeling, modeling in provocative poses, sexy modeling, modeling in revealing
swimsuits, glamour, and boudoir work. High-risk modeling work such as
this is only for established professionals who know what they are doing
and specialize in this type of work (i.e. they make enough doing it that
they can accept the limitations that it imposes on their marketability.
It is extremely difficult for high-risk models to compete with other models
in mainstream modeling, and most cannot do it). Too many amateur photographers
and models think that sex sells, and that this is what modeling is all
about, and they are not only wrong, it is dangerous! If you do not listen
to us and do this anyway, you will find out the hard way that it will
cripple your marketability as a model. Pictures are forever, and cannot
be undone. Anyone who does high-risk work has to be professional and trustworthy,
and they have to know what they are doing to minimize risks and potential
conflicts. Why make it harder to compete with other models? Why handicap
yourself? Modeling is a visual form of marketing, and that is it. If you
have a look that a business can use to market a product or service, and
you are what they are looking for and do not have any work out there which
conflicts with their public image or would embarrass them, you will book
the job! A model working a modeling career has no business trying to make
a political statement or exercise their first amendment rights in their
career, as too many models who do questionable, and high-risk, work, use
freedom of expression to excuse their mistakes, and hide behind this argument.
It doesn’t work if you are trying to book work as a model! An “anything
goes” attitude about modeling will not work. If you do work, and
have work that can be discovered, out there which conflicts with what
a business is all about, you will not only look like an insecure idiot
who does not know what they are doing, but the business offering a modeling
job will not book you, and will instead book a model who’s work
and public image is more appropriate, and compatible, with what they are
looking for. Do whatever you want to do, but heed this. You will lose
work if you do not have a plan, and have inappropriate pictures out there.
Any photographer or photography company which tries to sell you a modeling
portfolio and tries to get you to do high-risk and questionable work needs
to be avoided, as they either do not know what they are doing (the point
is to make the model as marketable as possible, after all!), or they are
trying to scam you. Sometimes, it is both, and either way, they cannot
do anything for your career except cripple, or even end it, before it
has a chance to begin! Don’t be stupid! Most of these guys with
cameras claiming to be photographers want to do what they do, even if
it is at the expense of the models that they work with. The best way of
fixing a mistake is to avoid it altogether, especially with photographs
being impossible to undo once they are done and out there.
Avoid teen modeling web sites, too. These sites market the models, well,
as the product, and this is questionable, at best, in any age category.
Don’t be exploited and objectified. There IS money to be made with
teen modeling web sites, and we do not dispute that, but the price is
too high to make money that way, in our opinion, both personally and professionally.
You will sell out yourself and your career cashing out this way, and allowing
yourself to be exploited. This is not just our opinion. It is an opinion
shared by teen models who have made that mistake; these experienced teen
models not only regret what they have done, but have found that such work
destroyed not only any chance that they had of having a professional modeling
career, but it also had a personal price. Teen modeling work pays because
it caters to the lowest common denominator; the models are photographed
in ways that are NOT age-appropriate, and used for the sexual gratification
and the leering pleasure of adults who pay for a legal form of something
which is highly illegal. We all know what it is being used for, and so
do you. Avoid it. You can make money legitimately, and without compromise.
As a rule of thumb, if you do not feel comfortable showing your portfolio
to children, your parents, or you local minister, it is not appropriate,
or relevant, for the marketing of a mainstream modeling career. Also,
models need to avoid making themselves a product as far as being objectified,
and modeling themselves to make money. Too many models do this, and it
cripples their careers. Safer, and more appropriate, is modeling a product
or service that is different than you, and licensing your image and likeness
to represent a product or a service (this is, after all, what real, genuine,
legitimate modeling is!). The only time that a model should market themselves
is as a model, is when they are trying to book a modeling job which is
selling something other than themselves directly. That means that glamour
modeling, sexy modeling, and spreads in adult magazines should be avoided
if you want to make yourself as marketable as possible as a model, and
to be able to compete with more professional models who are not naive
enough to make that mistake (I am going to be expanding a lot on this
subject, and angle, in the future. This is good stuff! Even the agencies
are not smart enough to realize these angles, IMO. I sincerely care about
models, I care about their careers, and my models will be very tough to
compete against, as they will have higher professional standards; my opinion
is that even the agency models will lose out to them! - C. A. Passinault,
If you are an aspiring model, and want to get into modeling because you
don’t know who you are as a person, and need it to validate your
self-worth, do NOT attempt modeling! This industry will chew you up and
spit you out. It can hurt, or even destroy you, if you do not know who
you are and what you are doing. Take it very seriously, and be objective,
avoiding emotion and emotial choices. There is a LOT of competition, and
a LOT of rejection, and it takes a lot of hard work, even with the best
attitude and marketing tools. There are a lot of scams, and a lot of unethical
conduct which you may fall prey to. Models have to know who they are,
and have to have good self-esteem, to make it in this business. The reason
that a lot of aspiring models fall prey to high-risk modeling work and
scams is because of self-esteem issues, and these models do not make it.
Additionally, such weak-minded models find that attempting to model does
more harm than good to them. If you have issues, especially personal ones
or mental health ones, please seek professional help and get them resolved
before attempting to model. Period!
If you are a new model, and are in need of a modeling portfolio and composite
cards, seek out a qualified professional modeling portfolio photographer,
or better yet, a photography company which is able to demonstrate experience
in providing relevant, professional modeling portfolios and composite
cards to models. Make sure that they are honest about what they are in
business to do, and that they are also not affiliated or connected to
any modeling and talent agency. Anyone you has to mislead you or trick
you into buying something cannot be trusted, and are not in the position
to help your career in any way, as they forfiet their credibility through
their actions and conduct. Only deal with honest, professional people;
in the modeling industry, sadly, those people are in the minority. You
can find them, however, if you look and do your research!
The agency way is not the only way to have a professional modeling career.
Independent Modeling was found
in 2001 by Tampa Bay modeling and talent photographer C. A. Passinault,
who was inspired by Florida Models and its owners Kitania Kavey and Ken
Horkavey; Florida Models being one of the very first modeling resource
web sites on the Internet, going back to 1996. Independent Modeling launched
as Tampa Bay Independent Model on September 4, 2001, using the IndependentModeling.Com
domain name, and with the help of several professional independent models
in the Tampa Bay area, the site made progress.
In late 2002, a sister site to Independent Modeling, Independent Acting,
was launched as Tampa Bay Independent Actor.
In 2002, Independent Modeling began a series of weekly, and then monthly,
reader mail bags. The regular mail column was helmed by 18 year old professional
independent model Monica Stevens (a pseudonym for an industry expert writing
under an alias, as some of the answers were controversial), who answered
the emails which readers sent. It was a popular feature of the site.
By 2003, the Tampa Bay Independent Model name had been dropped, and Independent
Modeling used a brand which matched its domain name. Independent Acting
also used an updated brand that matched its domain name. By this time,
Independent Modeling matched Florida Models as one of the top modeling
resource sites in Florida. A lot of work remained to be done, however,
and Passinault invested in researched and development for tools and resources
which would support the independent talent movement.
2003 also saw the first modeling industry war with a questionable modeling
school and casting operation in Clearwater, Florida. As a result, a French
photographer dubbed “French Fry” began writing regularly to
Independent Modeling. The war ended with the failure, and the csure, of
a casting scam in Clearwater.
Of course, another conflict began in late 2003 with a modeling portfolio
photography scam in south Tampa. A con artist photographer started a photography
association which worked out of a studio in south Tampa, and by 2004,
Independent Modeling was fighting with them. The association began working
out of a studio in Ybor city in early 2004, and the con artist photographer
manipulated the other photographers into fighting Independent Modeling.
In late 2004, a group of models, inspired by Independent Modeling, launched
Tampa Bay Modeling. The staff of Independent Modeling were involved, and
after a time, much of the work for Independent Modeling was diverted to
Tampa Bay Modeling, as it was more relevant for our home market.
In 2004, the logos for Independent Modeling and Independent Acting were
completed, and began use, as did the slogan “Changing the business
of modeling” for Independent Modeling.
Independent Modeling rolled out the Professional Model Bureau (PMB), which
was successful, but required too much upkeep to be cost-effective. Work
continued on new technologies.
In late 2004, the second industry war with the photographers ended, and
a truce was called with the photographers in the association. The con
artist photographer was forced to work alone, and this was one of the
objectives of the conflict.
In 2005, updates to Independent Modeling slowed as Tampa Bay Modeling
grew, supported by the staff of Independent Modeling. We held off on Independent
Modeling work while we figured out its place in our agenda. This took
many years, as our concepts evolved. Independent Modeling, however, was
upgraded to a new web site design, with some updates.
In 2006, Tampa Bay Modeling became an Independent Modeling site. On January
18, 2006, Tampa Bay Modeling was upgraded to one of the first class designs,
the Raptor Class web site. Most of the work for Independent Modeling was
published on Tampa Bay Modeling, and the staff of Independent Modeling
moved to Tampa Bay Modeling. Independent Modeling idled while more research
and development work was done through Tampa Bay Modeling. Monica Stevens
moved her mail bag to Tampa Bay Modeling, and it enjoyed a short, but
productive, run. In late 2007, the second mail bag featured by model Monica
Stevens ended on Tampa Bay Modeling.
In 2007, Independent Modeling, with some content published, was upgraded
to the first version of the Athena Class web site. Tampa Bay Modeling
was upgraded to a Raptor 2 variant of the Raptor Class site on September
7, 2007, and then again to the current Raptor 3 variant of the Raptor
Class on December 16, 2007.
2007 also saw the Athena Class site become a compound site. Independent
Modeling hosted sister site Independent Acting under its domain name,
as well as Independent Performer and the TALON online database, which
saw limited success.
On March 23, 2008, Tampa Bay Modeling was moved from its old Tampa Hub
domain to TampaBayModeling.Com . This was significant because web sites
no longer had to be grouped together, and it was a critical development
for the future of Independent Modeling and its sister sites, as well as
Tampa Bay Modeling and its sister sites (although Tampa Bay Film was moved
under its domain name just like Tampa Bay Modeling was, it did not recover
like Tampa Bay Modeling did due to some mistake made).
In 2008, Tampa Bay Modeling achieved something that was originally planned
for Independent Modeling when it launched in 2001. We began television
and media interviews. C. A. Passinault and a group of models began talking
to the media, especially about the danger of modeling and talent scams.
Tampa Bay Modeling models began regular appearances on television programs
in the Tampa Bay area, promoting Tampa Bay Modeling.
In the summer of 2008, a lot of work was done to update the tools and
resources of Independent Modeling through Tampa Bay Modeling. A Florida
regional modeling resource web site, Florida Modeling Career, was built
and deployed as a Raptor Class (Raptor 3) web site using the updated technology,
but due to work elsewhere, especially on Tampa Bay Modeling, little was
done on Florida Modeling Career, which was adrift online.
In 2009, the Athena Class site was upgraded, and Independent Modeling
saw some updates. The site became fragmented, however, as old directories
were abandoned in favor of new ones. Work continued, and most of the updates
continued to be on Tampa Bay Modeling.
In late 2010, Independent Modeling received a brand new Athena Class site.
Some of the technoloy required more work, however, so the new Athena Class
Independent Modeling web site stayed in development, while the older one
was updated. Tampa Bay Modeling increased its updates, however, and Independent
Modeling was put on hold.
In 2011, the technologies needed for the new Independent Modeling site
was finalized and fine-tuned. A new comprehensive strategy was created.
Tampa Bay Modeling saw a record-breaking number of updates and large articles
published. Tampa Bay Modeling exercised the last of the old tactics as
it waged war on photography events scams, and crippled them.
By 2012, all was ready. An issue with Tampa Bay Modeling and other Passinault
web sites in May 2012 caused a delay, however, as Passinault’s online
strategy was re evaluated and overhauled. Work on Tampa Bay Modeling slowed,
and work on the new Independent Modeling site expanded. The new Athena
Class site designed in late 2010 was still state of the art, however,
and it was further refined.