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The world of professional photoshoots brought to life

The fascinating and creative world of professional fashion photoshoots was brought to life for students at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre by a woman whose work makes some of the leading names in high fashion look picture perfect.

Sophie Abbott is the head creative re-toucher at Burnley-based fashion outlet Boohoo and adds the magic touch to fashion shots of top models and socialites, such as Paris Hilton, which then grace websites and billboards worldwide.

If you have ever seen the huge billboards advertising Boohoo fashion, you will appreciate Sophie’s work which she explained in detail to Advanced Level Art and Fashion students from the Creative Industries and Computing Division at the £100 million Burnley Campus.

A talented photographer, she has moved into the creative and technical art of re-touching which is the process of adding glitz and depth and removing imperfections from photographs, ready for inclusion on the company’s websites and billboards. She explained how once the photograph has been taken there are a range of different procedures to improve it, such as looking at the texture and separation and removing hair, dust, and scratches.

Sophie’s virtual visit to Burnley College – the Number 1 College in the country in the latest official Government statistics for students achievement aged 16-18 – shows how the College is committed to bringing students engaging talks and activities even during Covid restrictions.

Sophie has a First-Class Honours Degree in photography from the University of Huddersfield and is one of many virtual guests who have brought their experiences vividly to life for  students. She graduated in 2015 and her passion for all things visual has seen her go on to achieve great things early on in her career as a fashion, editorial and commercial photographer and re-toucher.

During her degree course she did a placement in a London designer boutique where she gained recognition for the photography, graphic design and press images she created, and this interest in fashion and photography led to her future career.

Before joining Boohoo she had worked as a photographer for Evans and Dorothy Perkins, but her current work is much more creatively challenging and is showcased on billboards such as the iconic ones in Times Square in New York, in magazines and online in the company’s advertisements and selling sites.

Students were fully engaged in her fascinating role hearing how Sophie has the final check and edits before the photographs are published and go live.

In a busy question-and-answer session she said one of her favourite experiences was retouching shots of Paris Hilton for a campaign, and Paris then becoming her follower on Twitter.

She had worked around problems caused by the lockdown and was inspired to hear from the students how they were continuing to work hard and around the challenges they currently face.

Photography Tutor Azra Haračić said:
“It was such an inspiring and motivational talk.

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Students related so much to her and have already been in touch with her asking for advice and feedback.

Azra Haracic

Photography Tutor

“We had a fabulous afternoon with Sophie and hearing about her work in photography and fashion opened up a fascinating world to our students. It is amazing how much skill goes into making the final shots that display the products of companies like Boohoo.

“Sophie is going to set the students a live brief to work on to help them understand the importance of working to set briefs and deadlines and having good organisational and communication skills. We look forward to working with her in the future.”

Assistant Principal Angela Donovan added: “Throughout the Covid pandemic Burnley College Sixth Form Centre has continued with online lectures and brought subjects to life with engaging talks and virtual activities with speakers from a whole range of areas.”

Burnley College Sixth Form Centre Tutors and staff are committed to ensuring students go out into the world with the very best experiences and guidance from professionals in their chosen fields of study and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Get in touch today and find out how we bring learning to life:  email s.services@burnley.ac.uk or call 01282 733373.

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With fascinating guests like Sophie whose passion and expertise in their subject stand out, we are bringing industry experience to the fore for our students and creating creative, innovative and motivated professionals of tomorrow.

Angela Donovan

Assistant Principal

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