Make-up Artistry students get a unique work experience opportunity

    On a very soggy Thursday morning late in May, Level 3 Make-up Artistry students Rachel Wilmshurst and Kesia Jones met part-time tutor and documentary photographer Graham Wilson at the Victoria Arms in Oxford for a busy morning’s photo-shoot, forming part of their work experience.

    Preparing for his MPhil in Photography, Graham was completing an environmental portrait assignment for his tutor. What had been planned as an outdoor shoot was quickly moved inside, and three ‘scenes’ were created – a simple portrait, action shots at the bar, and work shots in the restaurant, kitchen and cellar.

    As the members of staff left their work and arrived for the shoot, Kesia and Rachel alternated roles as make-up and photographer’s assistant.

    Graham commented positively on their contribution: “They were incredibly impressive. I couldn’t have asked for two more engaged, responsive, and professional team members. To see them handle everything so calmly, setting up, putting the seven ‘models’ at ease, treating them so well as individuals – dealing with challenging complexions, shiny brows and noses, and looking after them if they were waiting, was a joy to watch. That they managed to do this in four different languages… wow!”

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    Despite all the disruption, the landlord was fully supportive, and as the pub got busier it was obvious that the trio of models were attracting lots of interest from the diners.

    “Without question, Rachel and Kesia created a tremendous impression of Abingdon & Witney College,” Graham continued. “The photo-assistant mode was a different type of work experience, taking charge of obtaining model releases and then controlling a large light reflector. Nevertheless, they managed to keep the light in the right place, spotted problems with particular ideas and offered suggestions for better shots and angles, followed sometimes rather confusing directions, and got themselves into challenging spaces with the reflector.”

    “At one point it almost looked as though they were going to clamber over the deep fat fryer – the look on the chef’s face was a gem!”

    (May 2018)

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    Make-up Artistry Work Experience - © Graham Wilson |


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