• Training

Photo Shoot on the Park

The Backstage Centre SoundBite Cafe work with BA(Hons) Photography students on a live brief commission.

London trained, Andrew Dee is a photographer working both on location and in the studio. With over 30 years of commercial experience, he started his career shooting cars and motorcycles for various magazines culminating in commissions for major car manufacturers such as Volvo, Ford and Toyota. His work has also appeared in numerous automotive book titles.

He now also specialises in photographing interiors mainly for editorial clients as well as various property developers, but also takes commissions for brochure work and advertising campaigns.

Andrew spends his spare time concentrating on his personal work, creating images over various themes.

In recent years, Andrew joined the teaching team at the University Centre South Essex to programme lead the University of the Arts London BA(Hons) Photography undergraduate programme.

Andrew works with colleague Sioni Richards, who is a lecturer with experience across a daunting range of courses, but primarily works with the BA (Hons) Photography team. Currently completing a masters in literary studies, he brings an academic curiosity to the programme. However, making things remains essential to his practice, and he can often be founding sneaking into the sculpture workshop to create a new piece of furniture.

The programme provides graduates with a broad knowledge and experience of photography and post-production techniques across a range of genres, approaches and contexts. The photography degree is designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and experience required to become a confident and successful image maker within photography, creative media and fine art.

Photography is an exciting creative profession that is continually undergoing changes in response to significant technological developments and the resulting demands from both established and new emerging media that enable creative content to be widely distributed and consumed by a potentially vast audience.

Talented and skilled photography graduates are continually sought to provide the industry and fine art sectors with fresh ideas, new perspectives and innovative approaches to creative problem solving in visual communication.

The programme aim is to develop and refine distinctive aesthetics that will engage audiences who have increasingly sophisticated levels of visual literacy. Whilst on the programme students will engage with experienced lecturers who come from a wide range of creative and professional disciplines enabling them to increase their technical ability, expand their commercial, cultural and critical understanding of the photographic world and most importantly, enable them to develop their own personal ideas.

Which is where the team at The Backstage Centre decided to create a photographic challenge to be used in a new marketing campaign.

The live brief allowed students to consider the theoretical aspects of working as a professional photographer or as an imaging-professional, supporting image-makers or working with images in some other capacity. Students were challenged to consider methods photographers use to approach clients and pitch for work, use negotiation skills, how to interpret briefs, estimate, plan and organise photography jobs, practice developing ideas for projects that consider the client’s requirements from a brief, understand their target audience and the context of final usage; as well as relating this to the photographer’s vision and technical abilities. The students had to understand what is required of them in order to ensure professional standards are met. The results of this commission will see their work used on the Backstage Centre website and supporting resources for the SoundBIte café.

The shoot provided four seasons in one day, and the range of challenges were further impacted by maximising breaks in the cloud cover, snow, rain and hail. The student team worked together to plan the shoot and maximise the opportunity this presented.

Guest chef, Steve Deal, provided a continual service of our quality dishes for the students to then set-up and shoot.

Let’s meet the team.

Owen Foran is a photographic artist with a wide range of interests spanning from cinema to cultural studies. When he’s not out shooting street photography, he is researching the historical events that shape the cultures that he is exploring in an effort to garner a greater understanding of the world that he captures. His photography ranges from candid street shots to particular precise methods of geometric composition. Currently studying BA (Hons) Photography with UAL at University Centre South Essex, he is a big fan of Charlie Kauffman’s self-reflective approach to artistic work and is particularly inspired by the work of Takeshi Kitano, especially his more stoic and slow-moving cinema.

Louis is an aspiring photographer whose interests lie within the documentation of everyday life, modernist architecture, brutalist architecture and cinema. He shoots across a range of mediums, but his primary choice is analogue. His favourite camera is the Mamiya C330 Professional F and enjoys a slower, more methodical approach to his work.

Jevgenija is a photographer, currently studying BA Photography at University of the Arts London with University Centre South Essex.  She is interested in experimenting with a variety of photographic approaches and thematic. Her strongest interest lays within portraiture, incorporating colour in her work with creative composition, always acquiring new skills in development of her career. Jevgenija is extremely passionate about the subject and has already had a range of professional commissions within industry.

 “Hello, I am Harry – A UAL BA (Hons) Photography student currently studying at University Centre South Essex. In relation to photography, I am hugely influenced by photojournalistic/documentative and candid photography – of whom such interest spouted from my introduction to Diane Arbus some years ago. Outside of photography I am thoroughly interested in history, early mid 20th century clothing, as well as anatomical drawing (i.e., drawing naked people in fantastically awkward poses). After my studies I hope to enter the photojournalism industry with an eventual long-term goal of opening my own studio should it be fruitful.” Harry George Down.


The Backstage Centre were delighted to have worked with such a talented team, and we extend out thanks to everyone involved.

If you would like to have a ‘private view’ of some of the student images captured on the day, then please click this link. There is a section for any feedback comments you would be happy to provide, which we will collate and share with the students. Your comments are anonymous!

Author: Brian Warrens, and contributions from the UAL BA(Hons) Photography at University Centre South Essex. All images are subject to copyright.

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The Backstage Centre, High House Production Park, Vellacott Close Off London Road, Purfleet-on-Thames, Essex RM19 1RJ

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