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.

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.




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: