This year, Mercedes-Benz South West has been working with Plymouth College of Art to offer students on their BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course, with a prize of a two week photography internship at the Mercedes-Benz South West Head Office in Exeter.
Six students were initially selected in the first phase of the live brief, which offered them the chance to undertake a photoshoot with a new GLC within Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard, in collaboration with Urban Splash. This was followed by an on-location shoot for the second heat, at the idyllic Canonteign Falls.
At the college Degree Shows 2019, representatives from Mercedes-Benz South West selected the photographer who they felt captured the best images at Canonteign Falls and awarded that student a two-week placement based at their Exeter dealership, with the opportunity to visit and work with each of their South West retailers (Exeter, Plymouth, Taunton and Truro).
Kate Baylis, owner of Canonteign Falls, commented: “We were thrilled to invite the students and Mercedes-Benz South West to shoot at Canonteign Falls. We have a close relationship with Plymouth College of Art and thoroughly enjoy this collaborative approach to supporting and developing the students’ experiences, especially with such a recognised brand as Mercedes-Benz South West.”
The winner, first-year student Josh Huxham, was given an opportunity to work directly with the Mercedes-Benz South West marketing team, gaining invaluable industry experience.
Josh said: “I’ve always had a keen interest in cars but never considered focusing on them with my photography, because it’s such a competitive field. However, when Mercedes-Benz South West offered the opportunity to shoot for them in Royal William Yard, I really went for it and loved the experience. So much so that immediately afterwards I began photographing my friends’ cars for practice.
“Going into the second round at Canonteign Falls, I scouted the location and worked out the best places to capture shots that incorporated the house and those fantastic views. I was overjoyed when my images were selected as the winners by Mercedes-Benz South West. I’ve spent the summer since contacting car enthusiasts for photoshoots to refine my style and technique further. I’m in the first year of my degree and have already found something that I love and intend to pursue as part of my future career.”
As part of his two-week placement, Josh was able to gain experience in the various needs of a commercial dealership. From gathering site shots for Customer Service pages of the website, to taking the latest models to shoot in recognisable South West locations and capturing images of the Mercedes-Benz aftersales services.
Alice Poole, Digital Marketing Specialist at Mercedes-Benz South West, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the college on this project and we’ve all been so impressed with the standard of work that has been produced. Some of the photos have already been used for our new car campaigns – a testament to the quality of the work submitted.
“It’s been a fantastic opportunity for all involved to get out and shoot in some beautiful places, all local to us in the South West. Having Josh working with us not only provided us with some fantastic additional resources, but also brought a fresh creative eye to our work”
This partnership with Plymouth College of Art has supported Mercedes-Benz South West’s engagement with the community. We have enjoyed supporting the creativity and training of some outstanding local talent and look forward to supporting students in the future.