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Click to return to the index of this web site. Tampa Bay Photography and Design Blog by photographer and designer C. A. Passinault. Image credits, clockwise, from top: C. A. Passinault and model Nicole take a break during a shoot in 2002. Picture of C. A. Passinault in Winter Park by photographer Craig Huey in 2007. C. A. Passinault, wearing a 35MM film SLR with a 200 MM lens, on location with a model during a modeling photography session in Safety Harbor in September 2001. Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 1Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 2Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 3Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 4Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 5Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 6Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 7Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 8Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 9Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 10Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 11Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 12Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 13Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 14Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 15Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 16Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 17Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 18Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 19Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 20Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 21Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 22Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 23Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 24Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 25Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 26Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 27Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 28Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 29Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 30Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 31Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 32Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 33Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 34Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 35Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 36Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 37Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 38Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 39Featured Portfolio Thumbnail 40
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Saturday, October 26, 2013 - Tampa Bay Photography and Design Blog Post by Chris Passinault

Project Iceberg: Protecting the Intellectual Property and the Trade Secrets of Aurora PhotoArts.

This blog post will not be as long as my last one, but it expands upon the last point of the last post, so you might as well go back and read that one before you read this one, although this one can be read as a stand-alone post, standing on its own legs, and does not require that you do so. If you do read the last post, however, be warned that it is a long one (it took me two weeks to finish), and that if you read it, you might want to pack a lunch and have some ice tea on hand to drink while you read. Make sure that you are sitting down in a comfortable chair, too.
If you are a photographer who is trying to compete with Aurora PhotoArts, too, you don’t need to be on here. Go away. Read our Intellectual Property Disclaimer, and realize that the viewing by photographers of ANY of my Aurora PhotoArts sites is not authorized, and that you would, basically, be exposing yourself to criminal and civil liability for the unauthorized access of a web site. The only reason that a photographer would be on this web site would not be in the best interests of Aurora PhotoArts, so photographers do not belong on here. Sorry, but you are going to have to earn my trust before I allow any of you on my web sites. Be warned, too, that I will not permit anyone to learn from me without my permission (it is ironic that those who try to learn from me in order to compete have to do so because they don’t know what they are doing to begin with, and therefor are not even competition), or steal from me. If any photographer is caught stealing from my sites, which includes the protected service mark “Invest in your career” (which I am going to assert and use a lot more on all of my sites, another aspect which will allow people to realize that you are a thief and had to try to copy me in order to compete, and that will destroy your credibility and will backfire.) when it pertains to modeling portfolio photography and talent headshots, you really have to worry and consider what will happen to your so-called “business” when I sue you. I am sick and tired of you ignorant, unethical, unprofessional bastards trying to rip me off (as well as mislead the market by overstating your skill and experience), and I’m going to start suing. Those lawsuits will not be discreet, either, and I will make sure that I publish the lawsuit information, as well as the judgements that I win, on more than one of my top web sites, and that this information shows up on search results for your name. If you can’t compete and have to learn from me, just go away, and find some other business to do, because there is no way in hell that I’m going to allow you to work. After all, in the Tampa Bay market, especially in the modeling portfolio and talent headshot market which I have been specializing in for the past 12 years, and have been a market leader in those areas, the only photography and support company that models and talent need is Aurora PhotoArts. Hell, if I were still a working independent actor in need of headshots, for example, I would not book any other photographer but me, because it is my opinion, and my experience, that my headshots are the best in quality, value, professional relevancy, and effectiveness. I made Aurora PhotoArts the modeling and talent photography company that I would want to book if I were in the market for those services, if I were objective and had no ties to the company, and that is why other photographers are unable to compete, and have been unable to compete for over a decade, now. This is especially true when it comes to those so-called “photographers” who shoot in a portrait studio shooting high-key portraits and trying to pass them off and market them as “headshots”, and to new, idiot photographers like Jonathan who can’t seem to figure out what a headshot is or what is appropriate to charge (He isn’t able to shoot a modeling portfolio, either, IMO). I’m not impressed, and, most importantly, neither are the professionals whom you are trying to market and sell services to.
More irony: I’m writing to an audience who should not be reading this to begin with, because they are not allowed on this site. Well, the ones that are left reading this get the point of what I am writing about. If you know a “photographer”, just tell them what I’ve written here, up to this point. If you are a photographer, you need to leave this site now.
That said, it’s time to write.

Built-in Countermeasures in intellectual property and all aspects of business

For many years as the leading modeling portfolio and talent headshot photographer (and photography company) in the Tampa Bay area, I noticed a lot of so-called photographers trying to learn from me and stealing things from my web sites in order to attempt to compete with me. Although they all failed, especially in understanding the details of what makes my concepts work in the first place, since they did not pay their dues, learn the business, and come up with those concepts, these thefts have been unacceptable, disrespectful, and I did not tolerate it.
Yes, Rick, Mario, Jason, Dale, and all of you other unethical douchebags, I’m looking at you.
At any rate, this happened between 2002 and 2009. Lately, Jonathan joined the ranks of the unethical douchebags, and he ripped off one of my marketing slogans (Invest in your career), tried to watermark his images like I do (and failed), and generally tried to copy me because, well, he never bothered to learn the industry and does not know what he is doing, IMO.
When these so-called “photographers” steal from me, they not only admit that I am better than they are, but that they are unethical and unprofessional.
I’m over it.
Starting in 2008, when business slowed because of the economy, I continued to book work, but had more time to work on other things. I realized that one day, the economy would improve, and I wanted to be ready for that future. So, I began to develop the photography and design company of the future, and apply those enhancements to Aurora PhotoArts.
Although I had been more successful than other photographers in the Tampa Bay market with modeling portfolios and headshots for many years, I decided to reboot my company. This took two years of work, initially, but I continued on, working on additional details and technology. Starting in 2008, I decided to hold back on building and deploying new marketing web sites with the latest technology, since most people were not looking and buying, and I’d be showing my hand too soon; by the time that the economy improved, others would have learned from me and would have adapted, and I’d be back at square one. So, I held back my best, and allowed myself to develop a lead time in technology.
I’d have time, and I’d have to make time. You see, for what I was planning, I would have to have substantial support infrastructure and resources to make it work well, to make it as effective as possible, and to make it sustainable and cost-effective. I would need to prepare the most sophisticated support infrastructure ever devised, at a scale which would have been difficult to do if my company was booking and working at full speed. I had down-time, it became a resource in itself, and I took advantage of it.
In 2008 and 2009, I did a lot of research, and began developing what I would need. Unlike most photographers, especially the new photographers starting their “businesses” between 2008 and 2010 (I refer them disparagingly as 08'ers and 10'ers.... If a photographer started their “business” between 2008 and 2010, you will find that most of them don’t know what they are doing, IMO. Some, like Jonathan, who started in 2010, something that he will not admit on his own, have no clue about what they are trying to do. Others, such as Kevin, Larry, Darryl, Koopa (Or whatever his name is), Dewayne, and Alex are making huge mistakes, too, in ADDITION to not knowing what they are doing, although I do have some respect for Kevin, who has talent and some skill, and Alex, although he is crass and unprofessional, IMO, has talent), I had experience to fall back on, and years of real-world experience in the business. I was also smarter than they were. Much smarter (It’s probably why they choose to try to learn from me and to steal from me, because they know that, too. Hell, it’s obvious).
In 2010, my new marketing and sales tools were ready for action, and ready to be deployed as fully operational tools. I held off on using them, however, since the market was not yet ready, and I wanted to generate some lead time, in years, of service, business, and marketing technology. I was also working hard on addressing the issues of people stealing from me; I was certainly not going to put years of work into revolutionary concepts and technology just to have others come in and loot them, and then use my own concepts in an attempt to compete with me (The security measures were retro-applied to agreements which were already in use, too. Although I was continuing to book work, as an example, I used new formats for my old service agreements, and created updated and upgraded agreements, which were immediately used, which I would not mind if they were floating out there, possibly being compromised. I had better ones which, while more restrictive in some ways, were preferable, and were engineered so that they would be as secure as possible. The new/ old agreements, which have already been compromised because "clients" had taken off with them in the past, were updated and reformatted to agreements which could be used now in high-risk situations where I wouldn't care what happened to them or where they went; the opposition could study dated, 10 year old agreements, if they wished, thinking that it was my latest technology, and try to compete with me by ripping off my old stuff).
In 2011, I worked out the conflicts between collaborations and paid work, and started the Tampa Shootouts program in response to a major conflict that I had with some amateur photographers (A conflict which I easily won, and which destroyed one "business" and crippled several others). Tampa Shootouts continues to become more important and critical to my future business, every day (although the shootouts have been on hold since the Fall of 2011, they will finally start operations in 2014, and there will be a lot of them. The shootouts are also now a part of a critical modeling jobs program starting this Fall, making them even more important, and guaranteeing their success). I also redesigned the Aurora PhotoArts logo, and overhauled the marketing and client support infrastructure. I developed and deployed new protocols and formats, as well as a new way to watermark my images. 2011 was also the time that I began developing new marketing and support tools, such as the Mosaic Class web site, which would replace the Venus Class that Aurora PhotoArts had been using for several years. Had the Mosaic Class site been rushed into service in 2011, a flaw in tactics, especially after some changes on the Internet in 2012, would have turned the fleet into an online mass of wreckage filled with crippled and destroyed web sites; I’m glad that I took my time.
In 2012, development dragged on. A lot of breakthroughs occurred in 2012, and those advancements will have repercussions throughout the next decade, or longer. Many of these stunning breakthroughs were made in Internet marketing, especially after Google deployed Penguin in May 2012 and changes there were forced (there is only so much crap that Google can do to legitimate web sites before they become useless as a search engine, and shoot themselves in the foot. At this point, IDGAF anymore; they are no longer relevant to what I'm doing. I'm just annoyed because they made a lot of work for me, and they have lost future advertising business from me. The day that they fall is the day that I celebrate). There were many breakthroughs in business services and concepts, as well. The shootouts were on hold, due to an issue from late 2011, and I decided to take my time and develop them more. The first Mosaic Class web site went online for Aurora PhotoArts, although it was far from complete, and was not operational. As development of the Mosaic Class web site continued, which was drawn out because of a requirement that the design be as perfect as possible to support mass production, the first Mosaic Class site, which is this one, operated in a secret beta capacity as it underwent Internet trials and testing.
By 2013, the market was finally ready. Concepts and technology were another generation ahead, and the technology which began development in 2008 was proven, polished, and ready to use. It began to be used in late 2013, building up momentum for full business operations in 2014, five plus years after the work began.
Right now, at the time of this blog post on this first Mosaic Class site, this site will finally receive its new graphic and image sets within a month, and should be fully operational in November, 2013. Also by November, 2013, two additional fully operational Mosaic Class sites will be built and deployed, and will join it. The two existing sites, which are Venus Class sites under another operating domain name and under Passinault.Com, will also be replaced with new, fully operational Mosaic Class web sites. By the end of 2013, I am expecting the first six fully operational Mosaic Class web sites of a much larger fleet of 16 to be built and deployed by 2014, and it is possible that there could be as many as 24 operational Mosaic Class sites online by the end of 2014.
Developments between 2008 and 2013 also extended to support infrastructure, which include my talent resource sites. By 2014, Tampa Bay Modeling, Tampa Bay Acting, Tampa Bay Talent, Tampa Bay Dancer, Tampa Bay Film, Florida Models, Florida Actors, Independent Modeling, Advanced Model, Independent Acting, and others will all be at the next level, and their support will give Aurora PhotoArts market leverage, power, and capabilities which no other photographer, or photography company in Florida, as well as the world, has.
Enough of history, though.
On to the subject at hand.
When development of the future of this business began in 2008, I knew that the issue of others stealing from me and learning from me would have to be addressed.
I built in anti theft countermeasures into all of the new business concepts and technology, and designed everything to be highly resistant to reverse-engineering and theft. Again, with the years of work that I was putting into these concepts and technology, I had to make sure that they would not be compromised, because if they were, the effort would not have been worth it.
Despite the countermeasures, however, my market analysis team has forecast that once other photographers notice how successful the new marketing and business tactics and tools are, that the built-in countermeasures would be put to the test, too, as others try to steal from and copy Aurora PhotoArts. In more than one projection, in fact, there was a noted risk that past failed competitors would be inspired to resurrect their “business” and jump back into the game; a risk that we will gladly take, because we beat them before, and will do so again, if necessary.
In short, the technology which Aurora PhotoArts is working with is not only proven, but it will revolutionize the market, and will lead to an arms race in business and marketing tactics as others try to emulate us and adapt. THIS is why an emphasis on protecting our properties was so important. We knew that the future would be because we would be the ones creating it, and past experiences proved that others would try to steal our innovations from us.
They will fail.
In 2014, there will be a lot of “photographers” wondering how we are getting so much business (just look at all of the awesome web sites!), and they will covet market share and try to compete in any way that they can, because we will demonstrate that a lot of money can be made in the market, and others will notice.
As of today, October 12, 2013, our countermeasures and security protocols are officially dubbed “Project Iceberg”. This project is built into all of our business and marketing technology, and just like an Iceberg, the opposition will see very little of the details of the full scope of what we are working with, and how it works.
Consider the Iceberg. The part that you can see is only a small part, and conceals the bulk of the mountain which is underwater. It is indeed the tip of something much larger, and that larger something cannot easily be seen or studied. Regardless, it is the most significant, because what you don’t see will be what sinks you. It will be what sinks our competition.
Much of our new operating technology is designed to operate transparent to the outside world so that it cannot be observed and reverse-engineered; a highly effective, evolved form of business stealth. Information which must be disclosed in order to operate will be done on a need-to-know basis, only, especially as we will be dealing a lot with subcontractors, and not only will no single person know all of the details of what makes our business work, but everyone involved, as a whole, will not come close to having all of the pieces needed to make it work. Details on what makes our business work will not be disclosed, and the most that most will be able to see and comprehend is that it works, and that it works better than anything else out there. The model and talent clients of Aurora PhotoArts will also benefit from this, and we will assist them in giving them the same level of superiority over their competition as we have over ours; the model and talent clients of our competitors will not be able to compete with our model and talent clients. We will accomplish this without risking, or compromising, our security, either, so don’t think that this is a weakness in our Iceberg strategy. Remember that what we have going on can be done transparently and without divulging details of what makes it work; while we will assist our clients by educating them through our network of talent resource sites, the truly deep-level tools and tactics will not be shared. Although this makes our clients somewhat dependent upon us, they will benefit from what we can do for them.
Also, consider that running into an Iceberg is a very bad thing. The photography services market in the Tampa Bay market has grown over a hundred times larger in the past five years, since 2008, and it is now cluttered and noisy, especially with social media involved. Sadly, most of these photographers and photography companies are amateur or inferior to real professionals, and many of these new players are untalented, unskilled, unprofessional, unethical amateurs who feel that they have to lie, cheat, and steal in order to compete. Enabled by cheap technology and marketing through social media, many of these characters are beyond redemption, and those are the ones who will be sunk when they try to compete with us. More so, those who approach the figurative Iceberg with the intention of learning from us and stealing from us will also be sunk.
The bottom line is that trying to learn from us and to steal from us will be far more trouble than it is worth, and it is how it was engineered. I, for one, am very much looking forward to the acid test of seeing how all of this works in use, and how well it works as I get real numbers back to study. That feedback will be used to further enhance and fine-tune our defenses. The Iceberg will grow and improve as it evolves in real-world testing. We are very adaptive, without falling into the trap of being reactive; indeed, it is others who react to what we do, and this gives us leverage and a lead while keeping them off-balance and ineffective. It is our goal to make sure that others have no parity with us in the market, and we will maintain, and extend, our lead to a point where others won't even try to compete with us, as we will transcend and reign over anything that they can do, or will do. We will have no equal, and will work to ensure that competing with us in any way will not be cost-effective.
Aurora PhotoArts will continue to set standards in the photography and design services market. We will maintain professional standards for what we do in Tampa Bay. Without going out of our way to do so, we will clean up the market as a benefit of simply operating the most advanced photography and design business in the world. We will be putting hundreds of inferior aspiring competitors out of business, and it is something that needs to be done, especially as they will deserve it.
Staying the most advanced photography and design services in the world will be sustainable because not only will the ongoing Project Iceberg protect our existing business technology and tactics, but also our future technology. We are the only photography and design company in the world with an aggressive, large research and development program, and we will be investing a lot into expanding our capabilities and quality, as well as improving our services and the end value to our clients, with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness (Example: What Erich does with his photographs is incredible, but it's not cost-effective in business service workflow, IMO, as spending 30 minutes editing a single image is not efficient, and will substantially drive up the overhead of services to the point that doing business will not be sustainable and cost-effective unless the client is charged commercial rates, which is, ultimately, a diminished value to them. This is why photographs must be captured correctly in-camera as a much as possible, with post production work diminished as much as possible. Besides, if you have to "fix it in post", you're shooting weak to begin with, and can't see detail, especially if you are shooting long and are using the additional megapixels with modern digital SLR cameras to crop in on an image, which is a flawed technique used by many photographers which actually handicaps them. One of the goals of Curtain Works and the Phantom Shootouts is to be able to deliver stunning images by default during a shoot, in-camera, using the strategic and the artistic application of lighting and composition, so that ALL of the images are of consistent quality and do not require much adjustment in post, without adding additional time and work to the workflow process; photography itself is the key, and NOT post work in Photoshop or Lightroom. Going back to sustainability in workflow when a photographer is forced to do a lot of work on the images on a computer, another problem would be marketing with images that you can't deliver in a regular shoot consistently, leaving your clients feeling like they were misled and ripped off. We have figured out ways around this conflict in the advent that we HAD to work a lot in post, which is unlikely, although we plan for all possibilities, but we will not reveal the solution, as it is classified). Our Curtain Works research and development program, coupled with our Phantom Shootouts, where new skills are learned and new technology and equipment tested and perfected, will also be protected by Project Iceberg, and Aurora PhotoArts will increase our lead over competitors, and the opposition, over time.
These are exciting times for us, and a terrifying time for the opposition. The fear and respect that we command is well-earned. What we will do to the market in Tampa Bay will change everything, and time will prove this claim.
That’s all that I can write about this for now. As of this morning, October 26, 2013, the day that I finished this blog post, a lot is going on. I have diverted 90% of the work that I do across all my businesses and projects to Aurora PhotoArts, and have placed everything else on hold for now, which includes Frontier Pop and my other sites. As far as the Passinault.Com businesses, Aurora PhotoArts will be the one which I will focus on, and which will be my priority, until 2015, at least. All other businesses and projects can wait.
This will be the last blog post on here for a while, because the writing time that I have will now focus on critical content for the Mosaic Class sites, as well as support work like contracts.
This Mosaic Class web site should see some substantial progress as early as next week. The first 3 Mosaic Class web sites will be fully operational by November, and I may build up to 6 more in the next few months and deploy them all at once by January 2014, bringing the fleet up to 9 at that time (well over 50% of the planned fleet). I have a fleet of 16 Mosaic Class web sites scheduled to be deployed by 2014, and may have as many as 24 by January 2015.
Look at all the intimidating, effective web sites! They will be everywhere, and unavoidable. To be a photographer in Tampa Bay is going to be rough because of us, and it’s as it should be, because this is my market, and Aurora PhotoArts will run that market.

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