Photography students lift Christmas spirit

15th December 2020

Stratford-upon-Avon College students have helped lift the spirits of Stratford residents this Christmas in collaboration with The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Bell Court.

The collaboration aims to encourage residents to support Stratford businesses by shopping locally, while at the same time bringing Christmas cheer to the town’s residents after a tough year.

Santa standing in front of a ferrari
Photography student, Meg Edwards, captured the spirit of Christmas in this magical photo

As part of the project, Photography and Media students at the College set up a photographic shoot against the backdrop of the new Bell Court development with the key attraction being a rare Ferrari F40 and Santa with his sleigh full of ‘Shop Local’ bags and presents. The Ferrari F40 was courtesy of John McGurk, a former student of the College and Director of McGurk Performance Cars.

Photographer and Media lecturer, Sophie Jolly who was the driving factor behind the College’s involvement in the project, commented: “The aim is to raise Photography students’ aspirations and enhance employability skills by providing them with an opportunity to develop course skills in a real and stimulating work environment.”

The outstanding photos and videos students produced were unveiled on 15th December and are now being displayed to the public in a shop window in Bell Court as part of the RSC’s Advent Window Trail. The Trail, which can be followed online using #StratfordAdventTrail, has been created in partnership with local shops, community groups and independent businesses based in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre.

Supporting the photography students and enabling them to produce a professional shoot was a team of industry professionals. Kevin Sear, the Art Director of Shakespeare and Hathaway, Si Medlicott, a Warwickshire based professional photographer and Craig Reeves, Creative Director of Pickled, all played a pivotal role in the students’ learning and subsequent success of producing their Santa Ferrari shoot.

Sophie explained the benefit of the project to all involved: “This is an opportunity to recognise what’s available to us whilst spreading a bit of Christmas spirit, reassurance, positivity and normality to the people of Stratford-upon-Avon. We are hopeful that the final outcome will bring pleasure to children knowing that Santa is still busy preparing for Christmas.”

Full details of the Advent Trail featuring a list of participating businesses and locations can be found at

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