Exclusive live-brief opportunity with Mercedes-Benz

We often tell our students that advertising photography is a broad area of practice and that anything that is made to be sold has to be photographed. Something that was proved recently when we launched an exciting partnership and internship opportunity with Mercedes-Benz South West.

The college has worked with Mercedes-Benz South West before. In 2016 students from our printed textile and surface pattern degree had the opportunity to design a promotional body decal for a Mercedes Smart car. Knowing some of our students’ passion for automotive photography we were keen to continue our collaboration and following meetings with their marketing team, Mercedes came up with a fantastic project idea.

With the final prize of a 2-week internship at Mercedes-Benz South West’s head office in Exeter, our students were offered unique access to a brand-new Mercedes vehicle, with a brief to produce a series of high-quality photographic images. The brief was designed to fit in with the company’s existing marketing communications strategy, and with the new vehicle being launched in 2018, our students were handed a golden opportunity.

The 4MATIC is Mercedes-Benz’s answer to intelligent all-wheel-drive: each wheel independently adapts to the road for optimum control and driving dynamism. In any condition, on all terrain. The new vehicle was launched in November when Mercedes held a four-day showroom event that took place across Mercedes-Benz South West’s four dealerships (Exeter, Plymouth, Taunton and Truro). The campaign to promote the 4MATIC range is ongoing, and this is where our students came in.

As part of this exclusive live brief, Mercedes-Benz South West provided us with a GLC 4MATIC for the day, inviting a small group of our students to create a series of exterior and interior images to promote the 4MATIC on social media.

In collaboration with the Royal William Yard, who kindly provided us with the space to work, our students spent the day photographing the vehicle in a range of different locations, using their lighting skills and high-end digital cameras to produce a range of imagery to showcase the vehicle.

Following the successful photo-shoot, we met with the marketing team from Mercedes to review the work, who were delighted with the imagery. From the initial 8 students who participated in the shoot, three winners were selected, their work being featured on social media as part of the 4Matic marketing campaign. Take a look at some of the selected images below:

Lewis Barnard
Charlie Shattock 9
Charlie Shattock
Josh Huxham
Josh Huxham
Josh Huxham
Josh Huxham

Congratulations to:

Year 1 student Josh Huxham (@huxhamjphoto)

Year 2 student Lewis Barnard (@lewis_barnard_photography)

Year 2 student Charlie Shattock (@streetcultureuk_)

Particular congratulations went to Josh Huxham. Mercedes-Benz South West were so impressed with one of his shots that the image found its way into print, being used for the reception boards in all 4 of the company’s dealerships in Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth and Truro.

Reception Desk

We are now planning the 2nd phase of the brief where Josh, Charlie and Lewis will get to compete in another photo opportunity later in the spring, where the winning image will earn the photographer a 2-week internship at Mercedes-Benz South West. Watch this space.

Huge thanks to Mercedes-Benz South West for providing us with such a fantastic opportunity.



Our thanks also to the Royal William Yard who kindly provided us with free access to their Factory area to photograph the vehicle.




Students enjoy Masterclass lighting workshop with top advertising photographer, Ray Massey

During our recent curriculum visit to London, PC students had the opportunity to see a true master at work.

Ray Massey has been a photographer for over 25 year and is known for his skill when photographing liquid and controlling light. As part of the student experience Ray kindly offered to extend their knowledge by sharing his talents for the day. A selection of our students had the opportunity to observe Ray at work, witnessing the construction of a still life shoot from start to finish. Ray kindly demonstrated his workflow, from building up his lighting, the formalities of working with liquids and the precise nature of freezing moving water to achieve a perfect result. Most of Ray’s photography is shot in camera, using post-production to enhance and refine these elements.

Ray worked with two different set ups during our visit, the first he used a large purpose built basin, filled with just right amount of water, then added a water bottle at the exact moment, to achieve the combination of moving liquid, splash and the bottle frozen in time. In the second setup Ray used a water filled tank, with coloured gels to capture bubbles and water movements.

Shooting tethered on a Hasselblad with a P45 back, Ray was able to obtain maximum detail and actuary. Ray worked collaboratively with his digital assistant Jem, who added to the wealth and knowledge that the students gained throughout the day.

Our students had the opportunity to assist with the shoot, view a real life-working studio and watch a digital assistant realise the final result. What a fantastic, informative and enjoyable day. Ray was extremely kind to invite the PCA Commercial Photography students into his studio and share his wealth of knowledge and skill.

See Ray’s work at Raymassey.com