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Andy Hornby - Model Portfolios

Whether you're considering a career in modelling or you're a professional model needing to update your model portfolio, Andy can provide a range of photo shoot options as well as helpful inside advice for beginners on how to break into the industry.

I'm excited to be able to share this inside knowledge with you and guide those with no previous experience through this process step by step.


With nearly two decades working as a portrait/fashion photographer, Andy looks forward to sharing with you what he's learnt along the way as well as hopefully providing you with a set of portfolio pictures that will open up some pretty exciting doors for you in the future. 

Model Portfolio
Model Portfolio


What a lot of people don't realise is that there's a lot more to being a successful model than simply having good looks. It's an art form in itself that requires a sense of body awareness, the ability to 'work the camera' and also cultivate a mental catalogue of what poses work best for your body type. Your model portfolio along with your online social media accounts serve as a professional showcase representing your skills and potential in front of the camera. In the modelling industry your portfolio is often the first point of contact you'll have with a client, photographer or magazine editor. Often, as with on-line portfolios it's your only chance to impress them before they decide on whether or not to call you in for a casting. 


Booking a photography shoot for your model portfolio is easy. Simply email me today for my available shoot dates. Most shoots are undertaken at a photography studio in Hampshire. I also travel asup and down the UK. Payment can be made by cash, on-line bank transfer or credit card.

Model Portfolio sessions typically include a series of beauty shots or headshots (created in studio) followed by 5 fashion looks / setups that are shot on location (usually around the Portsmouth, Hampshire). In total you receive up to 35 high resolution (printable) image files. The price for both the photo session(s) and all images is just £425 + expenses.

Model Portfolio
Model Portfolio


Additional outfit changes / set ups - £55


All files are adjusted for exposure, colour and contrast correction. Additional retouching is available from £24 per image.


You can obtain decent A4 size prints for around £9 each

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Andy often gets asked for advice from new models wondering what they can do to prepare for their model portfolio session. Start by narrowing down your wardrobe selection. Prioritise the items that suit your body type and select colours that compliment your complexion. Allow time to buy any accessories you may need. If you're stuck for ideas browse through some current fashion magazines or instagram pages for inspiration on styling as well as posing.

If you're getting a hair cut it's best to do it a week before. This way your hair will have time to settle.

On the days leading up to your shoot you'll want to check your clothes are in optimum condition and allow time for dry cleaning if necessary. You'll want your skin and lips to be well moisturised so if you don't have a regular routine start one as soon as possible. Remember to hydrate as much as possible as this will reduce dark rings under your eyes and make your skin more radiant. Your nails should also be clean and in good condition. Women should remember to remove any old nail polish. 

On the day before your shoot, double check the address of the studio or location on Google Maps. Make sure your shirts or dresses are ironed and placed on coat hangers.

Model Portfolio
Model Portfolio

Before arriving at the location of your photo shoot or casting remember to take off your sunglasses. This way you'll avoid marks on the bridge of your nose.

In reality professional models are rarely given much notice before their next photo shoot or casting. It therefore pays for new models to start developing good habits earlier on. The great thing about undertaking a model portfolio session (known in the industry as a paid test), is that it's a safe environment where you can experiment with ideas, gain experience and learn from your mistakes along the way.



Andy recommends bringing along a range of different outfits from which you can mix and match a variety of combinations from. If it's your first model portfolio shoot you may want at least 5 different looks. Depending on your physique this may include fashion, corporate, casual, swim wear lingerie and activewear. At least 2 of these looks will be full length shots so consider including footwear.

For women, a good set of heels can really help to elongate your figure. Accessories like hats and small handbags can be useful props. Props are also great because they give you something to do with your hands. 

Where possible avoid wearing clothing with large areas of white. White has a tendency to blow out and lose detail in pictures. Also, depending on your physique it can make you look larger. Another thing that's handy to avoid is loose clothing that hides your figure, horizontal strips, logos and loud patterns. You want the person who is viewing your model portfolio pictures to be drawn to you, not your clothing. 

Wear outfits that compliment your figure and clothing that reveals your best features. Just because an item of clothing is currently trendy does n't mean it will look good on every body type.  

Keep jewellery simple. Quite often a great shot can be spoilt by the wrong choice of earrings. If you're unsure or anything leave it out.

For Men, I highly recommend you start with a suit or at least a blazer and jeans. This will frame your torso and give you good shoulder definition. Keep your other outfit choices clean and simple. If you work out, make sure you include a 'wife-beater' (singlet). Definitely iron all collared shirts and arrive with them on a hanger. 

Model Portfolio
Model Portfolio

Occasionally, Andy gets asked by first time models about whether clothing is provided on model portfolio shoots. Although Andy works regularly with professional fashion stylists on editorial and advertising jobs, the budget for these shoots usually begins at ten thousand pounds. Due to the expense, models doing self funded portfolios usually don't work with a full crew and fashion stylist. As a working model you will need your own clothing that you can wear to castings and even certain jobs. While some photography studios may offer to supply clothing as part of their model portfolio package the outfits are usually not fashionable, not suitable for modelling and are only available in one size.

At the end of the day, a model portfolio shoot is about showing you off, not your clothes. While it needs to be done by a fashion photographer, it is not a fashion shoot (where the focus is on the clothing) or a glamour shoot (where the focus is on transformation). Keep your clothing choices clean and simple, and make sure everything fits you well.


If you're looking to approach a model agent for the first time you'll get a better response using pictures that look like you (on a good day). Your look just needs to be fresh and natural. Consider using things like freckles to your advantage. These can very much be a part of your personal appeal. 

For male models a hair & make up artist is not necessary for a model portfolio shoot. Instead I recommend bringing along some hair product and lip balm. Drink lots of water and moisturise your skin well ahead of time. 

For girls who are new to modelling, you simply need enough makeup to enhance your look. It need only be eyes and lips. If you're young and you have good skin you don't even need foundation.  The most common mistake Andy sees most first time models make is using too much makeup.

Make up for model portfolio shoots is far more subtle when compared to fashion photography, where the makeup is used to create a specific look for an editor or a designer. Clients and model agents will want to see you as a blank canvas. Later, when you’re a working model you can build diversity into your portfolio with shots from actual jobs and campaigns.

Andy recommends staying away from artificial tans, as on camera they can look unnatural (think Tandoori chicken). Should you feel confident though, it's best applied 3 days before your shoot. A more effective solution however is to allow a makeup artist to achieve this look through the use of bronzer, contouring and shading.

Let Andy know in advance if you would like a professional hair & make up artist. He uses industry to industry freelance artists. The rates will vary. You are also welcome to make your own arrangements before you come to the shoot.

Model Portfolio


Your digital proof files are usually ready for viewing within 3 business days after your shoot. A 24 hour rush service is also available for an additional fee. 


If you'd like to provide someone special with a gift voucher simply nominate the amount you would like to contribute. Andy will then email you an invoice from which you can make an on-line payment. An e-voucher is then sent to the recipient of your choice which will allow them to then book in for their session. 


The rates quoted for your model portfolio session allow for your images to be used for the purpose of promoting you as a model, artist or entertainer. You are free to print multiple copies from your high res digital files as well as send them to your agent who is welcome print them onto agency comp cards or upload them to the agency website. If however you wish to use the images for advertising, merchandising, product endorsements, point of sale and well as TV, theatre and film posters you will need to inform me beforehand so as we can work out an appropriate usage rate and file size.

Model Portfolio

If you're new to working with professional photographers it may come as a surprise to learn that even though you are paying for a photography session the intellectual rights to the images remain the property of the photographer. It's much the same as if you were to purchase a book or a DVD. You may own a physical copy of the material, however the author or the film production company still owns the rights to that material. This is standard practice in most countries around the world. A photographer may also on occasion use the images as samples of their work in a portfolio context. Your images however can not be sold on to third parties or be used for advertising unrelated products without your written consent. You also have the option of buying the images outright for an additional fee. This is called a 'buy out'. In this situation the photographer has transferred all ownership rights to you


The following advice is for those of you who are looking to get into modelling. Andy has compiled this information from his own personal research and experience - having worked with many leading model agencies and fashion magazines. Andy hopes you find the information useful and encourages anyone with a dream to get out there and take that initial step.


While a career in modelling can provide you with the opportunity to travel to glamorous locations, attend exciting events and get paid an attractive income at the same time, it's not all about standing around and looking gorgeous. There is a certain amount of effort and skill involved in maintaining one's appearance, developing a good portfolio, cultivating the right attitude and finding the right agent who will represent you in the best possible way. Let's look at each of these topics in more detail. 


It is important to maintain your fitness level and health in terms of a good diet and regular exercise. This will not only make you look better but also feel better as well. If you feel better you make others around you feel good. It has a way of coming back to you. 

Model Portfolio

Your hair, skin and nails are things you must maintain each week. If an advertising agency is going to pay you thousands of pounds to be the face of their new campaign it is only natural that they will expect the best from you. 


Generally model portfolios can be divided into two categories. Commercial, which goes out to advertising agencies, clients and advertising photographers. The images in this portfolio will have mainstream appeal and usually look clean and polished. The second category is editorial, which is usually more cutting edge and alternative in style. This portfolio has more appeal to magazine editors and fashion photographers. If you are unsure which direction you should be marketing yourself towards a reputable model agency or fashion photographer should be able to give you free informative advice.

Aside from yourself, your portfolio is your other most important tool of the trade. If you're starting out, model agents, editors and photographers will not be expecting to see tear sheets (magazine pages) straight away, however they will want to see how well you respond to the camera. 

Be very selective with the shots that you show them. Only select pictures that flatter you and show off your potential. It's better to show a portfolio with 7 great pictures, than 27 average pictures. Keep people wanting more. Take advantage of the fact that you are new to the industry and appear fresh. This can actually give you an advantage over models that have been around longer.

If you are doing a model portfolio shoot (known in the industry as a test) for the very first time, one of the most important things you'll want to show is a sense of confidence and the ability to look natural in your pictures. On the day of your shoot, be sure to explain to the photographer that it's your first time in front of the camera. Choose to work with one that will be patient with you.

Be aware of your best features and wear outfits that reveal these features. Alternatively, if there are parts of your body that you don't feel confident about you can also choose to wear clothing that will cover these areas. A good fashion photographer will not only be able to give you advice in this area. They will also direct you into poses with that intention in mind. 

Before arriving at your photography shoot, remember to remove your sunglasses well beforehand so as not to leave marks on the bridge of your nose. If you are shooting beauty or swimwear, avoid wearing tight underwear to your shoot as it will also leave marks on your skin.

Become aware of your best side and best angles. Finally, learn to project energy. This is something you must connect with within yourself. Once you harness it, learn to deliver it down the barrel of the lens. This doesn't mean your performance has to be big or you have to be an extrovert. In fact many of the world's top models and actors are introverts. Think of the way in which an actor like Nicole Kidman can deliver a subtle but powerful performance. 


Having a good attitude and being someone who is easy to work with goes a long way in this industry. The more professional you are the more respect you will gain. Be aware that modelling is a highly competitive world and there will be rejection and let downs along the way. Learn to separate your personal feelings from your work. Welcome constructive criticism as an opportunity for self-improvement. With the right attitude and perspective you can gain a great sense of satisfaction and self-confidence.

If you are serious about a modelling career it may be helpful to start to acquire a few background skills - particularly skills that will help you develop good posture and body awareness such as yoga, acting and dance. A model's life is very spontaneous and each job will present new challenges. The more skills you have up your sleeve the more prepared and confident you will be. 


If you are completely new to modelling, you'll want to contact an agency to gain representation. They will want you to initially email them some photos of yourself. The photos you send to the agency don't have to be professional grade at this stage however you will create a better first impression if you can provide them with images that show you in the best light (so to speak). It's also advantageous if you can show a sense of presence and body awareness in your pictures.  For this reason working with an experienced photographer who can provide you with some on-camera direction can be a huge benefit.  

When approaching an agent, it is recommend getting the name of the head booker in the men's or women's division and emailing them with a selection of your best pictures. Make sure you have at least one headshot, one full length body shot and another shot that shows energy and personality. A lot of model agencies will also have open calls. This is a particular time they have set aside each week to look at new talent. If you have what they are looking for they may sign you up on the spot. Andy would recommend seeing a number of agencies before making a commitment. Contracts in the UK vary, generally though once you're signed you are exclusive to that agency for the period of the contract. 


There are different types of models that suit different markets. While some models may cross over and do several categories, Ihere is a list of the basic ones below. It's important to also note that model agencies will tend to specialise in these categories. If you think you have potential then it comes down to finding the right type of agency for your look.


Fashion & feature stories for magazines.


Runway shows for fashion designers.


Advertising, TV commercials & fashion catalogues.


Fashion & lingerie catalogues, men's magazines.


Events and trade shows.

Be aware that the direction of fashion and advertising changes every six months, so too does demand for different types of looks. What's 'in' will vary from city to city and country to country.


If you consider that clothing designers make clothing for children and adults of all ages (all of which require models for campaigns and catalogues), the answer is as soon as you can.

In the UK, most fashion models start to think seriously about their career from the age of 16. They will line up meetings with model agents and go out to casting on school holidays. In places like Milan it is not unusual to have girls as young as 14 on the cover of magazines like Vogue.


Here are just a small selection of images from And, in his fashion photography career, spanning nearly two decades. Some are first timers. Others are seasonal models. In studio and on location.

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