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Mayor turns model for college students

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham is the latest famous face to sign up to The Manchester College’s photography project ‘Greater Mancunians’.

College students Sophie Collett and MJ Smith took a series of striking images of the Labour politician in the courtyard of his central Manchester office.

His photographs now join those of musicians Clint Boon and The Happy Mondays, boxer Ricky Hatton and poet Lemn Sissay in the ongoing photography series by Level 3 Photography students, past and present, based at the College’s Northenden campus.

Over 30 movers and shakers who have influenced Manchester life and made a cultural difference to the city have been photographed so far, with students gaining unparalleled access to stars of music, sport, art and business, and directing each individual photo shoot to capture a series of striking yet intimate shots.

Sophie, who described the shoot as a ‘brilliant experience’, said: “Andy was extremely friendly and very open to our ideas for the shoot. He was extremely interested in our project and in particular our current exhibition in the Northern Quarter.

We managed to create some great character study portraits which reflect the more relaxed side to Andy Burnham’s personality. This shoot helped me with my confidence to work under pressure and tight deadlines.

Andy Burnham said: “’Greater Mancunians’ is a very exciting project showcasing many of our city-region’s most famous faces and giving an opportunity to some of our best young photographers to flex their creative muscles and demonstrate what they can do.

“It’s quite something to be featured alongside some of Greater Manchester’s greatest living actors, musicians, writers and performers and I can’t wait to see the final exhibition.”

Photography tutor and project coordinator Harry Potts said: "Having the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham on board is a real feather in our cap. He was amazing with the students and promised to suppport the project in any way possible in the future."

Find out more about the range of Design and Visual Arts courses at The Manchester College.