On Location: Shooting Fashion for exclusive fashion label

As part of our Special Project week, where 1st and 2nd year students work collaboratively on a range of client led projects, our students recently had the opportunity to shoot for an exclusive local fashion business

Based in the prestigious Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Identity fashion is an up and coming fashion label working with a group of talented Bulgarian designers to create affordable, exclusive pieces that focus on fluid draping, asymmetrical shapes and relaxed silhouettes. Denitsa Avramova, Identity fashions co-owner and creative director, invited students our students to spend a day shooting a number of their collections.

Students shooting fashion collections in Identity Fashion
On location: Students explore using the historic backdrop of the Royal William Yard for advertising & editorial

Two groups of students were appointed, one to work shooting outfits and accessories inside the shop for e-commerce purposes, the other to work outside on location to capture some stylish shots for advertising and editorial. Tasked with sourcing models and make-up artists and working effectively in creative teams, the brief was a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain experience of shooting fashion for a live brief.

One of the lead photographers, 2nd year student Rosie Hartsorn commented:

‘Working with identity fashion was a great insight into the professional world of fashion photography. I am very grateful for the experience and have gained skills which I will take on with me when working with future clients.

Identity fashion loved the photographs and I was so proud to see my work on their social media. I have kept in contact with the fashion brand and hopefully will work with them in the near future! Overall, I enjoyed the day and gained a lot of positive and helpful feedback.’

Check out a selection of the images produced on the day by our talented students


Our grateful thanks to Denitsa and Identity Fashion for the opportunity to shoot such beautiful collections, and also to our stunning models Petra Blank, Morgan Elder, Selina Hall, Milly Jenkinson and Eden Smith, who all gave their time and energy on the day.

Degree Show 2019: 3rd year students put on a show to remember

The end of June is special time at Plymouth College of Art as our city centre campus is transformed from a vibrant workshop and studio complex into a dynamic, public showcase for new work in art, design and digital media.


This year’s exhibition of work from students studying Commercial Photography was a noted highlight of the show. From character portraits and stylised fashion editorials, to meticulously crafted studio photography, our students have been encouraged to develop their own individual style and approaches to working.

Combining technique, with creativity, visual flair and particular skills in post-production, our students produced an exhibition of outstanding commercial photographic work.

Various guests at our private view industry event on Thursday 13th June commented on both the level of the work on display and also the professionalism of our students. The is a testament to both the quality of the curriculum, and also the incredible talent, passion and determination of our students who represent the next generation of commercial image-makers.



Event images by Dom Moore Photography : https://www.dommoore.co.uk/

You can see a selection of some of 2019 degree show work below.


Sustainable fashion photography takes pride of place in city centre shop

To help promote sustainable fashion choices, our location fashion shoot at Mount Edgcumbe recently involved a collaborative project with St Luke’s Hospice charity shop in Plymouth.

Charity shops can be a fashion treasure trove and St Luke’s kindly gave a team of our students free access to their city centre store, inviting them to style and shoot a collection of elegant party wear sourced entirely from their store.  St Luke’s Head of marketing provided our students with a clear brief, asking them to deliver:

  • A short film showing the team selecting the garments
  • behind the scenes stills and footage from the actual shoot.
  • A series of web ready images for feature on their social media platforms.
  • A printed poster that could be displayed in their shop window.

This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work on a live brief, with a real client, with the potential of having the work published as part of St Luke’s marketing campaign.

Our talented students didn’t disappoint. After selecting a range of clothing from the store and working with the models on location, they produced a collection of stylish and eye-catching images that very successfully met the brief.

St Luke’s were so delighted with the results, that a selection of the images were turned into large banners which made up the window display of the store during the Christmas period.

Drake Night

Shop Manager Julie Bickford said “It’s great that while the images look like high-end fashion, the outfits sourced from our store were absolute bargains. Just shows you can be stylish in a sustainable way while supporting a fantastic local cause”

The success of the initiative caught the attention of the local media too, being featured in the Evening Herald. A great achievement for our students and great publicity for the charity and their cause.

Congratulations to all of the Commercial Photography students who participated in the project. We spoke with Catherine Hyde, who took the role of stylist, Mi Kelly who was one of the photographers, and Alice Conway who filled the role of producer, to find out more.

Tell us about the brief that you received and your first thoughts about it

Mi: With the theme being Christmas and New Year evening party outfits, St Luke’s wanted the photos to look sophisticated and elegant, matching the style of the house at Mount Edgcumbe where we were shooting. My initial thoughts were excitement due to the fact we had free range of the clothes, shoes and accessories and we were able to piece together a whole look from scratch!

Talk us through the process of sourcing the clothes and organising the photoshoot

Catherine: The process of sourcing the clothes was fun and surprising. The quality of the clothing within the store was really good and there were lots of other outfit options we could have used for the photoshoot had we wanted more. I took on the role of stylist within the group, and after looking at our location for the shoot I felt that a classy, elegant look to the outfits would suit best. I chose the black dress with the gold detailing as I thought it was elegant with a fun twist by having the open back detailing. Similarly to the blue silk dress, the cross detail on the back of the dress sold it to us immediately.

Sounds like you had lots of fun! What was the highlight of the project?

Alice: There wasn’t just one section of the week that really stood out for me as it was all interesting and something a little bit different. The location, Mount Edgcumbe House, was lovely and it was great to shoot in such a grand setting. After a week of hard work it is always fulfilling to see everything you have produced, so when everyone finally got to see the photos printed and the video edited that was probably my highlight.

Take a look at the video produced the students in collaboration with St Luke’s


You can also take a look at some of the work from our talented students, check out their imagery on Instagram

Alice Conway          @aliceconwayphotography

Mi Kelly                     @mikellyphotography

Catherine Hyde       @catherinehydephotography



On Location: Shooting Fashion in stately surroundings

Coinciding with our Introduction to Fashion Photography module our students recently enjoyed the experience of carrying out a fashion shoot in a beautiful Tudor mansion and country park. Part of our ‘Fashion and Trends Week’ the activity provides students with the opportunity to work in creative teams, developing their skills and knowledge of professional fashion photography.

We often make full use of our enviable location in the South West and Mount Edgcumbe, a short drive or boat ride from our Plymouth campus, is a particular gem. Built nearly 100 years before the Mayflower set sail in 1620, and surrounded by 865 acres of formal gardens and beautiful landscapes, the grand Tudor mansion provides a fantastic backdrop.

With the evocative atmosphere of Mount Edgcumbe in mind, our students were given the opportunity to work with a number of clients who provided a series of garments to be photographed.

The Dark Angel label has an international reputation for ethically producing high quality, unique clothing, designing costumes for a range of high profile clients which include Disney, Blenheim Palace, and TV and theatre companies worldwide. For our shoot at Mount Edgcumbe, The Dark Angel provided a collection of period & fantasy inspired garments.

Alongside the theatrical garments provided by The Dark Angel, and continuing our theme of promoting sustainable fashion choices, we also collaborated with St Luke’s Hospice charity shop in Plymouth. Charity shops can be a fashion treasure trove and St Luke’s gave our students free access to their city centre store, with a brief to style and shoot a collection of elegant party wear sourced entirely from their store.

In addition to these two fabulous briefs, we also collaborated with our own BA Hons Fashion programme, providing an opportunity for 2 groups to work with clothing collections produced by recent graduates, Amy Bray and Lan Chen. Reconciling or juxtaposing the highly contemporary style of these two collections with the traditional setting of Mount Edgcumbe was one the first challenges for these groups.

As the students soon discovered, shooting fashion on location is a busy enterprise. Working with professional models and enlisting the services of the students on the Hair and Make-Up course at City College, our students had to work in teams to source locations, set up their lighting, and plan and style their shoots. Each of the 6 groups, some assisted by more experienced 2nd year students, worked in a range of locations both inside and outside the house, allocating roles and working collectively to meet the demands of the client briefs.

Despite the various challenges, including needing to take particular care when photographing around priceless furniture and antiques and keeping models warm on a freezing cold day, our students produced an exceptional body of work that showcased their creative and technical skills. Take a look at some of the final imagery produced below.

Thanks to all of the contributors who helped to make the shoot such a huge success.

Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park           http://www.mountedgcumbe.gov.uk/

Dark Angel Designs                                                 https://www.thedarkangel.com/

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth                                 https://www.stlukes-hospice.org

City College Plymouth                                            https://www.cityplym.ac.uk/courses/hair-and-media-make-up/

Particular thanks to PCA Fashion Graduate Amy Bray, who kindly loaned her collection to us. Amy’s collection debuted at Graduate Fashion Week last year, to find out more about Amy and her work see: