man in a doorway with his arms crossed

Cardiff and Vale College (@CAVC) students studying the Foundation Degree in Photography haven’t let lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions get in their way and have continued to produce stunning work for a series of clients.

Year 2 Photography student Martyn Wilson was commissioned by Creative Cardiff to participate in the prestigious Our Creative Cardiff group project. This paid commission involved a range of different creative disciplines coming together to tell the story of their Cardiff.

Martyn was overwhelmed when he found out he had been chosen. I told myself because I handed the application in half an hour late that it was good experience in applying because I had never applied for anything before,” he said. “Then to get the commission was mind blowing. To be part of this project was an honour.”

A keen street photographer, Martyn embarked upon ‘My social distant family’, focusing on the distance everyone has had to keep from their loved ones during 2020’s lockdowns.

“It started the day I visited my mum, and I couldn't hug her, and it made me realise the struggles people were experiencing in lockdown so the night before the deadline the idea came for 'My social distant family',” Martyn explained. “Working on it showed me how people felt.

“It helped me to engage with people while they were experiencing a very dark period in their lives. It was a joy to work on and showed me that I am capable of more as a photographer.”

He believes the FD Photography course has been a great help.

“It was a pleasure to be part of a course with such talented people,” he said. “The course tutors were amusing and amazing to be around at any time.

“Their knowledge and experience helped me to grow throughout the course, and the kindness and compassion shown was beautiful, always willing to go out of their way to help.”

Martyn now aims to get his work shown in more galleries around Cardiff and explore what options will be open to him as a photographer. He feels that College has helped him to achieve some key goals.

“Without the course and experience I have gained over the two years I would not have found confidence in picking up a camera nor realised my potential as a photographer,” Martyn said. “It helped me to mould ideas that initially started out as something simple and now I can write detailed plans on how to achieve them. It also helped me to view many photographers’ work I never knew existed thanks to the tutors on the course.”

Martyn and his fellow students were also commissioned by Cardiff and Brighton-based app company DabApps for an interior design artwork project.

“The live brief and Work Placement module enabled students to engage with a successful and creative business on a real/live project,” Photography tutor Paul Woffenden explained. “The students applied their presentation and communication skills when working with the client and learned quickly about the demands of working in a professional context.

“The students adapted brilliantly to working online and applied their resolve to meeting the needs of a client that demanded quality.”

“The team at DabApps really enjoyed work collaboratively with the students from CAVC,” Managing Director Chris Palk said. “The process was managed very professionally, and we now have a suite of ten amazing original photos hanging in our office.”

An integral member of the team that worked on the DabApps brief was FD Photography student Robin Gough.

“One of the greatest feelings as a photographer is knowing that someone, somewhere, has your art on their wall,” he said. “That's basically the end goal of every photograph taken and having the opportunity to decorate an entire office with our work that would not only be seen by the people working there every day, but by everyone who visited the office as well was incredibly exciting.”

Having to fulfil a brief during a worldwide pandemic could be stressful, Robin said, but that also had its benefits.

“While the first few meetings we had were during the late autumn when Covid restrictions were more relaxed, when it came time to actually create the artwork that we had promised Wales was in the full-blown lockdown of January and so our options to create and access to facilities were seriously limited,” he explained. “That being said, sometimes limited options can be beneficial to creativity as it forced us to rethink and get experimental with our approach, pushing us down avenues that we may never have attempted otherwise.

“I think the group achieved something really special in our perseverance and imagination.”

Like Martyn, Robin believes the course has really helped him.

“The FD Photography course has been challenging but incredibly rewarding,” Robin said. “I began the course with a keen interest in photography but almost no knowledge of its history or significance in the art world.

“The modules have really opened my eyes to photography's potential as a medium with a fascinating mix of art history, philosophy, practical applications and technical skill development. My tutors have really pushed me and encouraged me to explore themes more deeply and experiment which has made me a better artist than I ever could have done on my own.”

Robin plans to spend a year at CAVC partner the University of South Wales to top up to a full degree, then taken an MA.

“My goal in life is to be a famous artist whose work is exhibited in some of the largest galleries and museums in the country,” he said.

“This course has laid down an excellent foundation for me to begin my journey. While I still have so much to learn and practice when compared to my heroes in the industry, I feel like I have been given the perfect road map which I can use to make my journey towards those goals.”

Martyn and Robin have also organised their own end of year exhibition at the Aubergine Café in Cardiff.

It's also been a good year for BTEC Photography student Kian Swainston, who entered the Skills Competition Wales Photography contest and won a gold medal.

“When they announced that I had won first place under the photography section I was literally over the moon,” he said. “It was a massive confidence booster, and I really enjoyed the experience of it too. 

“The competition provided workshops with professionals that work in the industry where they shared tips, tricks and advice to new photographers like myself!"

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “Congratulations to the Photography students for their amazing achievements under extremely challenging conditions. Across the College, students have time and again shown how flexible and adaptable they can be in a year of constant change, and it has been really inspirational to see them succeed so brilliantly.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 2 hours 44 minutes ago

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020-21 | Sparsholt...

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020-21 | Sparsholt College re-launch garden at Gilbert White's House Sparsholt College staff and students visit Gilbert...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page