Interesting people you meet: Shane Sandiford


Shane Sandiford

So, BAME Models graciously allowed me to pick some models to test with. Of all of the people whose looks stood out was Shane Sandiford. He had such a striking look he was my first pick!

So, models are just like everyone else. They can have degrees, they can have no qualifications, they have aspirations and heart and they are just trying to make it like the rest of us. Doing something they love, or as a stop gap to what they really want to do. So, I meet a lot of models. They can be pretty interesting and can have led so far interesting lives or not. The person you see on social media is an exaggerated version of them. It has to be that way to keep your interest

When Shane knocked at my door he was friendly and effusive. We got chatting, and over the course of the shoot, I learnt he works with young people, tries to help and guide them, and is on the whole an absolute stand up guy. I was blown away by his commitment to helping teenagers and his understanding of the challenges they encounter daily and how they see the world. At the end of the shoot we flicked through the shots, and I was very pleased with them. Shane was very easy to work with, and really does have a great look. You can see the looks we achieved below. And he is a good looking swine in a suit!

I mulled a thought over in my head for a few days, and then reached out to Shane to see if he wouldn’t mind answering a few questions about himself.

Andrew: Shane, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do?

Shane: So I am a youth mentor and the aim of what I do is to help young people achieve their potential and discover their strengths. I have been doing youth work for almost 20 years and find great joy in working with young people and getting to know them and how they view the world around them. Once I have a better understanding of their world, I try to help them navigate their way through the reeds and climb the mountains of the chaotic landscape that is the adolescent years. 

I also DJ, which I started doing about the age of 15. I have now been working as an events Dj for about ten years. This is something I would love to do more of, so here’s hoping. I started of playing UK Garage, but as I started doing events had to go a bit deeper and be a bit more technical about things. Learning the different ways of mixing and putting together mean playlists and playing for an eclectic audience.

Andrew: Was this, and  hesitate to use this word as it sounds pretentious but I am going to, A calling?

Or was it a reaction to help?

Shane: Far from pretentious. I think that from a young age I always wanted to help… I struggled through my teenage years and never really had an outlet.

I just at some point had this urge to be a support network for young people. I wanted to be able offer them support and signpost them to services that would help them through situations that they may find themselves in.

Andrew: How did you get into modelling? Do you feel you are better than Derek Zoolander? 

Shane: Derek Zoolander is my idol… blue steel is my go to pose. 

I got into modelling off the advice of a doctor. I had ruptured a ligament in my wrist and went for a check up visit and he suggested that I investigate modelling. My good friend Daniel Adams who is, like yourself, a very talented photographer, asked if he could take some pictures for me. Spoke to a few friend who are in the business and they suggested sending pictures to a few agencies. BAME got in contact and the rest is history. Since signing with this great agency I have done some really great jobs and met some really amazing people and am looking forward to doing this for as long as possible.

Andrew: We spoke about your love for playing Basketball.  Do you incorporate that into your work?

Yes. Basketball saved my life as a young person.

Shane: It’s very easy for young people to get bored with the reduced number of services available to them. Thankfully for me I had a youth group to go to, which was hosted at a local school with a sports hall, where myself and a group of friends would go and play basketball. Eventually that group turned into a team and we learnt to compete together and learnt that we had options other than just existing. The game gave me a sense of purpose. Played at a high standard as a junior.

With my work I try to incorporate the life lessons that basketball has taught me. Also I find that taking a young person to shoot around on an outdoor court and just spending that time with them allows them to open up.

Andrew: What other initiatives are you involved in?

Shane: So, there are a few initiatives that I am in partnership with and involved with.

KickOff@3 - A football collaborative initiative set up by passionate men who wish to engage young people, using sport, music and other imaginative ideas to spread awareness. KickOff@3 was created by Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien.In 2017 Michael and Ashley devised a plan to establish firm, long lasting relationships between young people and their local police force as a youth diversion strategy and named it KickOff@3.

TipOff@3 - Is collaborative initiative set up to engage young people through Sport (Basketball) & Music whilst spreading awareness within positive environments. The sister initiative of KickOff@3, using basketball as the medium to engage young people. Founded by Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien who bought Tayo Odulaja of Summer Madness and myself in to drive forward this 3 on 3 tournament. Still in its infancy, but we have had three successful tournaments, two in St Albans and one in Enfield. We are hoping to build on this and take this format nationwide.

Andrew: Do you have a philosophy for life, or is it an adapting ideology?

My philosophy is ”create the life you want and stop at nothing to make it a reality” 

Shane: I believe that we all have the power to make our life what we want it to be, but sometimes we get caught up in the negative thoughts that are in front of us. I for one know that we can’t be positive all the time, but feel that if we try to limit the negative thoughts or speech that we have we are in a better position to affect the change that we want in our lives. Do what you have to do to bring about positivity to your community.

Andrew: Any handy links for anyone that might want to join what you are doing or participate at events, or even better, help out?

Shane: You can find me on:

Instagram: @sd_sandiford

Twitter: @sd_sandiford

Facebook Page: Shane Sandiford

Go and check out my online portfolio at and 

Also check out for information about Kickoff@3 and TipOff@3. Both are also on Twitter and Instagram.

Also please show support to Summer Madness and Tayo Odulaja. Summer Madness have an event in Brighton in the 27th July on the sea front. Will be an awesome day. You can find Summer Madness UK on Instagram. 

Thank you for the opportunity to feature on your blog! Looking forward to working with you again in the future!