Sony UK Inspires Future Creatives: Masterclass in Photography Ignites Passion among Visual Arts Students at Guildford College

Guildford College’s Createch faculty were recently absolutely delighted to welcome the team from Sony UK to campus.

Visual Arts students were treated to an exciting day as Sony gave a masterclass in the exciting art of photography, followed by a fascinating talk by portrait photographer Tom Oldham.

Sony generously donated six Alpha 6100 cameras, accompanied by two lenses, and a collection of photography books to the faculty. This invaluable contribution is set to benefit both current and future Createch students across various disciplines, enhancing their assignments and creative exploration.

Sony has also extended an invitation to the learners who took part in the workshops to participate in a photographic competition, titled ‘Preserving the Ecosystems.’ The winning entry, to be announced in April 2024, not only stands to gain recognition for their talent, but will also secure a £250 donation from Sony to the Farnham Educational Scholarships Trust (FEST), which supports local parklands with biodiversity. The winner will additionally receive a framed A3 print of their winning image, with an extra framed print for display at the college.

Media and Art students joined in with a fun, interactive workshop run by Sony’s Technical Marketing Manager, Sam Pilling, who really caught the learner’s imaginations and opened their eyes to the world of photography.

Sam’s session focused on the use of the cameras and how students can create some amazing shots using the camera’s capabilities. Much fun was had with nerf guns and bubble machines and light wands – bringing to life all the effects that can be created with photography. The students were able to handle and play with the cameras in order to get a feel for them and what they can do.


The students were then treated to a fascinating presentation with multi award-winning and world-renowned portrait photographer, Tom Oldham. Tom has photographed many high-profile figures in his career as well as being an official Sony Imaging Ambassador and he spent an hour showing the students examples of his work whilst giving them some valuable tips and advice as well as sharing many funny stories. The students were free to ask lots of questions and were thoroughly engaged!

Tom said: “As an official Sony Imaging Ambassador, I am always only too delighted to support in the education of the next generation of media professionals and was happy to see how engaged and enthusiastic the media and art students at Guildford College were.

“They certainly kept me thinking on my feet firing many intelligent questions at me throughout my presentation! I have no doubt that this group of young people will go on to successful careers in which ever field they choose. I am very much looking forward to being part of the judging panel for the photography competition.”



Ceri Cannon, Internal Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Sony UK, said: “It was a genuine pleasure to see the students at Guildford College engage so fully in each workshop. They asked some fantastic questions and really embraced the day and all that it offered. I can see that the cameras and equipment that Sony has provided will be extremely well used, not only by current learners, but also future generations in years to come.”

The donated cameras were formally presented to Scott Reilly, Activate Learning’s Delivery Director of Createch faculty, who said: “With one of the key strategic drivers being technology at Activate Learning, the Createch Faculty aims to enable students to have access to the latest technologies in order to enhance the creative process and learning experience as we prepare them for their next steps in life.

“What better delivery partner could we wish for than Sony. We were delighted to receive the kind donation of cameras, lenses and other learning resources as well as their time and shared expertise.

“These employer partnerships help us to nurture the next generation of photographers, creatives and media professionals. Today was a special experience that our students won’t forget for a very long time.”

The students themselves echoed their appreciation, emphasizing the impact of the Sony workshop on their understanding and enthusiasm for photography.

Freddie, a Level 3 Media Year 1 student, described it as a “great opportunity,” while Laila from Level 3 Media Year 2 called it a “wonderful experience.”

Marley, a Level 3 Media Year 1 student, expressed newfound confidence in considering photography as a career path.

Guildford College’s Createch faculty looks forward to fostering more collaborations with industry leaders like Sony UK, providing students with unparalleled opportunities for creative exploration and skill development.