Aaron Collins’s world came crashing down on Christmas day, 2015, when his mother and best friend, passed away from a five-year battle with cancer. But the tragic loss lead Aaron, a 20-year-old from Geelong, Victoria, to a new project.
He grew up playing sports including football and cricket in local clubs and attended Christian College for his primary and secondary schooling. It wasn’t until his first encounter with photography, when his mum brought home a camera, that Aaron realised he had an incredible hidden talent.
From the moment Aaron’s mother passed away, the idea was born that for a whole year, he would wake up before the sun and take a photograph of the most beautiful time of day that most people miss. Sunrise.
“Even though her presence has not left me, I wanted to do something for her. Something unique, unheard of, downright crazy. Something I knew she would totally support,” he said.
The project #RisewithAC was Aaron’s way of sharing his passion with people the way he wished to share it with his mother. The journey began on April 19 last year and since then Aaron has captured some of the most beautiful mornings that Geelong and the Surf Coast offers.
Aaron uses a Canon 5D, a lot of patience and Geelong and the Surf Coast’s natural beauty to create his masterpieces. Most days, Aaron shares his sunrise photographs with his Instagram and Facebook friends and followers.
“Admittedly, I have missed a few mornings, here and there, but my aim of sharing my passion with my mum and now so many more people has been an amazing adventure,” he said.
As a freelance photographer, Aaron also takes on a variety of different casual positions, such as, Outdoor Education programs at schools and assisting with school sports days. “I have a range of casual positions that I regularly do, to keep a somewhat constant income and to keep me from going insane,” he said.
Aaron also takes bookings for photographing weddings, birthdays and other special events.
“To me, a photo can have a million meanings, all dependant on who you are, what you have been brought up to believe, your religious beliefs and just what you believe to be ethical,” he said.
This year, Aaron has had two photographs published in the City of Greater Geelong Calendar. One of these photographs was his breath-taking shot of the Geelong Waterfront lit up by fire works and the Ferris wheel.
“The first photographer who opened me up to all of the possibilities available in taking a photo was (Australian landscape photographer) William Patino,” he said.
Aaron’s best tips to taking a great nature photograph are:
– Making sure the horizon is straight;
– Don’t let anyone else bring you down, everyone is valid to their own opinions, your work is yours for a reason;
– Be quite critical of your own work;
– Enjoy the process; and
– Don’t be too strict on any ‘Rules of Photography’.
“I threw around a few options and after seeing some incredible stuff on Instagram, I am set to fly over Uluru and hopefully capture something utterly spectacular,” he said.
Aaron sets off on the 11th of April, driving to Uluru. He plans to camp along the way and hopefully get some friends to join him on his last #RisewithAC adventure.
With the end of his year-long project approaching, Aaron is compiling a book of his daily photographs which will be for sale. He mostly sells his work online from his website, his Facebook page and Instagram account. You can follow Aaron’s journey on his social media accounts:
Instagram – @aaroncollins.photo
Facebook – @aaroncollinsphotog
Website – aaroncollins.photo