Wedding Photography Black Friday November Offer!

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Commencing on Black Friday and for the rest of the month, I am offering my full wedding photography package at a 15% discount for those who book in November 2016. I am looking forward to the launch of a brand new and exciting website to showcase my work and wedding portfolio very soon but until then you can view examples of my wedding photography here. I am now taking bookings for 2017, 2018 and 2019 across the UK.

I have been photographing weddings for 6 years, since graduating with my Photography degree in 2010, and I feel the combination of being a people person, having a keen eye for detail and spotting those precious moments really benefits my work. I always aim to capture the day naturally without intruding on those intimate moments.

I am a fine art photographer and I specialize in recording events and interactions in an un-posed, unobtrusive and organic manner. With that said, I always discuss with the couple what types of photographs they want, I want you to be happy with your images and feel relaxed throughout the day.

Please get in touch if you would like a wedding package quote or have any questions at all. You can contact me via email at info@aaronparsons.co.uk or by phone on 07725325435.

Storm Chasing in Cornwall – Photographer Tips

Cornish Photographer Captures Storms

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To quote Bodhi from Point Break “twice a century the ocean let’s us know just how small we really are”.  This, probably due to Climate Change, is more like 3 times a year but the albeit cheesy line really does resonate with me. There is nothing quite like capturing a storm unfolding in front of your eyes. You feel tiny and insignificant when you see Mother Nature at her most emphatic. Sixty-foot waves hurtling towards you often look like some kind of scene from a disaster movie but if you stay safe there’s no disaster, just the ultimate 5D experience.

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Why do I shoot the storms in Cornwall?

It has become addictive if I am honest. I’m not saying that what I’m doing is some kind of extreme sport but it definitely gives you a massive adrenalin rush and getting the perfect shot is really satisfying. If the swell chart looks big it is almost impossible to resist getting out there in the thick of it with my camera. Searching for the spots that will look most dramatic is awesome fun and truly exhilarating.

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How do I know where to get the best photos in Cornwall?

You need to know the area you are shooting well. I have lived in Cornwall just about all my life and there are still so many spots I’ve not seen. However, over the years I have learned which big wave spots look good on camera. This knowledge, combined with understanding swell and weather charts means I know where to be at what time.  This doesn’t necessarily mean it all goes to plan though! There are so many factors that contribute or hinder when trying to get a good shot. Most recently, with storm Imogen I was lucky enough to have some amazing light to work with. Normally when a storm sweeps in it brings with it dark weather and more importantly heavy rain. There’s no doubt my equipment takes a battering which is hard to witness. Even with the sun during storm Imogen I had downpours of seawater drenching me on each big wave that smashed against the cliffs. At the time I just thought about getting the shot and not my poor camera!

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Staying Safe on the Cornish coast

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Staying safe is a massive part of “storm chasing”, a term coined for someone who proactively endeavors to watch the storms up close. It’s a term that is now becoming increasingly familiar throughout the country after three winters worth of dramatic weather. It is a horrible side to these storms, but you know that if one is in town there is most likely going to be severe damage to homes and businesses as well as the possibility of injury and loss of life. Storms aren’t good for everyone and I don’t forget that but just concentrate on the artistic side of things when snapping away.

Storm chasing does not need to be dangerous and it is pretty easy to stay safe if you follow what are mainly common sense guidelines. I don’t go anywhere close to waves that can wash you away in an instant; I get caught by sea spray but never a wave itself. There are often times during a high tide spell where a huge rogue wave can roll in and catch people off guard in a split second. You can be gone and pulled into the sea where your chances of getting out alive are slim. To put it simply I make sure I am a safe distance away from the real gnarly stuff! The problem with these storms becoming increasingly photographed and promoted via news and social media is that everyone (myself included) wants to out do each other. There is no point risking your life for a photo in my opinion so stay back and watch from high up, away from the ocean!

Equipment and Kit

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My specific equipment requirements are imperative to a successful storm photography session. As I have already touched upon, my equipment does suffer from the elements. The expensive cameras these days can handle a fair bit of water from rain but sea salt and seawater find their way into everything and can cause problems. My lifesaver would you believe are tiny tissues that are lens friendly. With winds pushing 100mph your glass stays clear for maybe 5 seconds (if you’re lucky), so the need for something to clear that glass without scratching it is vital. Aside from that, plenty of waterproof clothing and more importantly a waterproof rain cover for the camera bag. I always have a change of clothes in the car as I am inevitably going to get soaked through. A warm hat doesn’t go a miss either!

In terms of what I shoot with, I am a Nikon boy and it hasn’t failed me yet (touch wood). The body I use is my D750, a lovely camera well equipped for darker times when the light is dropping. My favourite lens for storm shots has to be my 70-200mm beast. It produces some beautiful quality at weddings and does a fine job capturing wave lineups, surfers and storms too! Using a telephoto lens often helps really accentuate perspective. People have commented on my photos in the past saying they are ‘Photoshopped’ and I don’t blame them, as it sometimes does appear unreal. I never manipulate an image to trick the viewer and my photos always show what is really there but a telephoto lens can just help bring out that all-important perspective when shooting waves approaching buildings or landmarks.

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What Next?

I am always on the look out for the next storm approaching as I am never 100% satisfied with the shots I get. The best thing about it is seeing the natural world so fierce and dramatic in quite beautiful settings. Sadly though we are facing worrying times in relation to Climate Change and these storms are likely to continue and get worse. Of course I love photographing them for personal purposes and my portfolio but I also vow to continue using my photography as a tool for change, raising awareness for our environment and the need to protect it.

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The Cat Empire – Rising With Sun Review

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The trumpets soar again! I have literally grown up with The Cat Empire, first hearing their music in 2004, which meant I was a mere sixteen year old with only vanilla notes gracing my musical palate. Then this Australian band came along who claimed to be a bit of everything (if you can track down their Extreme Merch videos on YouTube you will see what I mean) and suddenly there was salsa, spice and zest! I was introduced to The Cat Empire with the song Beanni; a strange, crazy song that is more likely to have a marmite rather than salsa effect, but I was hooked nonetheless.

More than a decade on and The Cat Empire have released their sixth studio album Rising With The Sun. It’s easy to be full of cliché when writing something about this band and that’s probably due to their obvious positivity, eclectic sounds and light hearted personas which can easily be interpreted as cheesy. Thank God some people still look at life with a smile on their face and energy in the gut, that’s all I can say.

Growing up with this band in many respects has made it easy to see how, even if subtle, their music has changed and somewhat grown up too. That’s not to say they aren’t full of fun, laughter and monkey shuffles today, but simply put, are more refined and structured. Their latest creation bears resemblances to past sounds with songs like Que Sera Ahora which sounds as though it was made right off the back of their 2005 Two Shoes album and, whilst talking of Two Shoes, the single You Are My Song echoes Harry Angus‘ old harmony classic. There are more serious tones in this album than before with powerful and emotive songs like Bataclan that dedicates itself to the victims of the Paris attacks last year. There is still plenty of familiarity throughout with the undertone of summer fun a predominant feature.

Que Sera Ahora itself deserves special mention alone for it’s well constructed, effortlessly flowing melody, which would make it into my Cat Empire top ten. It has such quintessential Empire sounds and I think this song alone captures an essence of the band like no other on this album. It’s the combination of the whole band firing on equal greatness that makes it stand out for me.

The same question always springs to mind though. How can there be such diversity in the band and yet it works so well? Like spaghetti and meatball, cheese and pineapple and rum and ginger ale, front men Felix Riebl and Harry Angus combine to create such a well-rounded invention. In my head it seems as though Felix and Harry go off on their own little paths when writing songs and some how bring it all back and make it make sense. They appear to be in their own worlds and are so different yet one without the other and it probably wouldn’t work. They are the perfect blend and where Harry brings edge and a bit of the weird and wonderful, Felix brings you back down to Earth not with a bump but some mellow soothing tunes. Both ooze passion, but you must see them perform live to really get that.

It’s very easy as with any band to focus on the front men but Rising With The Sun forces you not too. The horns section are ridiculously tight throughout and deserve to be played louder than any system I can lay my hands on! One of my personal highlights is during the vivacious Daggers Drawn and the mini freestyle that let’s rip, the kind of freestyle that is now accustomed to most Cat Empire performances and albums is just awesome. Led by the horns, DJ Jumps goes wild on the decks, whilst Ryan Munro churns out some devilry baseline that is egged on by Ollie McGill’s iconic keys and Will Hull Brown’s pulsating jazzy drum rhythm. Who knows what this little side dish is called, but it tastes frickin’ sweet!

It’s hard not to compare new albums with old and whilst this might not be everything that makes the band what it is, it definitely is The Cat Empire. I wouldn’t introduce someone to Rising With The Sun if I wanted to introduce them to The Cat Empire but that is probably stating the obvious as if I was it would be with a concert ticket in my hand not a CD. Anyway, music is about catalogues and what you can do with creativity over a long period of time and it is pretty amazing these guys are still bringing new sounds and old sounds together in unique ways. I mean what would the world be like without The Cat Empire! The new album has everything you would hope for and a bit more. Check out their tour and you won’t regret it.

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Aaron Parsons

Top Four Reasons for being a Wedding Photographer in Cornwall

Cornwall Wedding Photography – Always Beautiful!

I am incredibly lucky to live and work in this pretty little shire. During the last five years photographing weddings in Cornwall I have become all too accustomed to experiencing a wide variety of weather conditions. I have been met with blazing sunshine, torrential rain, crisp frost and sea mist, all of which offer unique opportunities in getting a great shot. Cornwall full of its natural beauty often benefits from seeing it in a different light, quite literally.  Beaming sun is not the only way you get good photographs here and sometimes it can be quite the opposite.

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Cornish Photographer – Born and Bred

It helps to know this county like the back of your hand. There’s nothing worse than driving from ceremony to reception using SatNav! Growing up in Cornwall and exploring it’s ‘nooks and crannies’ as a child has not only inspired me to capture it on a regular basis with a camera but also has helped when it comes to wedding day shoots as well. It is a relatively small county to cover and the fact I can easily jump in my car and check out a venue in no time really helps me get prepared. I do love a change of scenery from time to time when a wedding takes me out of the South West but you can’t beat having work on your beautiful and picturesque doorstep.

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Wedding Photographer – Location Location Location!

It is all too easy to take for granted the glorious landscapes that make for such fantastic backdrops in wedding photos. Even though Cornwall is small,  there is such a diverse range when it comes to venues and landscapes.  I can be photographing one weekend on the beach and the next at a manor house on the moor!  I am spoilt for choice at every Cornish wedding I photograph. I’m never stood twiddling my thumbs trying to create a great scene but instead have to choose which one is best out of the 5 spots I love.

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Cornwall Weddings – Relaxed Atmosphere

Is it me or are Cornish Weddings a relatively laid back affair? Don’t get me wrong every wedding has its stressful moments and Cornwall’s unpredictable nature can sometimes add to this but overall I find that they seem more chilled out. I think this helps my style of photography blossom, as I tend to capture a more natural essence of the day avoiding the staged or forced approach and finding those special moments and little details that normally make for a better photo. I mean you can’t get more relaxed than bride and groom, shoes off strolling down the beach sipping champagne as the sunset dips beneath the horizon!

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Photographing The Cat Empire – Royal Albert Hall

 

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After many a night waltzing and monkey shuffling my way through Cat Empire gigs, it was high time I did it again but this time with a camera in hand.

It’s always going to be a special night at the Royal Albert Hall, even after watching them the night before with a few shandies on my home turf in Cornwall.  And even if slightly jaded I couldn’t resist taking my camera to London to capture the best live band I have ever seen grace a stage. It’s no exaggeration either; I love live music and have seen some sensational stuff, but the Cat Empire just know how to knock your socks off six ways to Sunday.

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I love photographing live music; the expression, the passion, the shapes and the light. There is so much to work with and a Cat Empire show epitomizes this. These aren’t your usual gig photographs but I hope they portray an essence of what a Cat Empire show is all about.

There’s something different about seeing the Cat Empire live than anyone else. Their music is expressive, raw and drenched in positivity. Words that have all been said I am sure but nonetheless should be said again. The ancient stage seemed to provoke an extra oomph and one I thought they couldn’t possibly achieve!

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As a punter I had little compositional choice when it came to my positioning but being amongst the crowd probably turned out to be the best place to encapsulate everything that is a Cat Empire show.

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The crowd is always part of it. They fuel the gusto and maintain the momentum as the set builds into some mounting, melodic mayhem. The songs that burst into flame when played live are all unique in some way; they take you to a place your musical taste buds have not been. You aren’t quite aquatinted but it tastes good nevertheless. The boys from down under hit the spot every time as if it’s their first and their last, never failing to bring you to a ground shaking, awe-inspiring crescendo, where come the end you sway as one in some engulfing mass approval and appreciation.

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Yes that’s right, it is just that bloody good.

I cant wait to hear the horns blow again sometime soon and to witness a band that in every aspect of the phrase are “brighter than gold”!

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