Famous Taylor Swift photographer snaps Scots guitarists' stories ahead of 20th anniversary

Alessandra Ross is one of the 20 guitarists.
-Credit: (Image: Aaron Parsons/PA Wire)

A globally renowned music photographer has captured the stories of several Scottish guitarists ahead of the 20th anniversary of a guitar retailer.

Aaron Parsons, who has photographed the Arctic Monkeys, Taylor Swift and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, took pictures of 20 Guitarguitar customers.

The company was founded in Edinburgh two decades ago and also has stores in Glasgow, Birmingham, Camden, in north London, Epsom, in Surrey, and Newcastle.

Seven of the 20 people featured in his new series are Scottish, and told the photographer of how the instrument has helped shape their lives.

Among those photographed is Miles Reed, 34.

He has been a music fan his whole life and says his guitar became more significant for him when he lost his father at a young age, with his instrument providing a source of comfort and therapy through the grief.

Mr Reed said: "After my dad's death, the guitar took on a whole new meaning.

Scots guitarists Kirsteen Harvey, 25, with her father, Scott.
Scots guitarists Kirsteen Harvey, 25, with her father, Scott. -Credit:Aaron Parsons/PA Wire

"It became a way for me to express what I was feeling when words failed me.

"The act of strumming chords and creating melodies allowed me to release pent-up emotions and find moments of peace amidst the chaos".

Parsons' career has seen him photograph some of the most influential artists in recent years for the likes of Rolling Stone and Attitude magazines. His portfolio includes Self Esteem, Miles Kane and Thundercat.

A regular photographer at Glastonbury, his work aims to encapsulate the emotion and energy of those in front of the camera.

He said: "Whether I'm photographing John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Taylor Swift, or any of the 20 incredible people behind the stories in this series, the relationship I see these musicians have with their guitars is incredibly special and unique.

"When they pick up their guitar, the room, or stage, lights up. My job is to try and capture that unique energy in just a single image."

The series also includes stories from Scots such as Alistair Pringle, 62, who bought his Fender Stratocaster in 1970, before selling it in 1982 to buy a wedding ring for his wife, who later bought him another one on Valentine's Day in 1986.

Roger Penny, 70, began playing the acoustic guitar aged 10. Completely self-taught, Mr Penny is now recording his fourth studio album.

Kirsteen Harvey, 25, has amassed one million views on TikTok where she covers pop songs with a traditional Scottish twist.

Adam Speck, marketing director at Guitarguitar, said: "Buying a guitar is a special moment for any person, but the journey our customers go on with that instrument is why we are so passionate about what we do here."

"The 100,000's of guitarists we've inspired over the last two decades all have their own incredible relationship with the guitar.

"And whether they are playing with it in front of thousands, benefiting from it as a form of therapy during difficult moments in their lives, or even proposing with one - that's the magic of this great instrument.

"We want our anniversary to be a chance to inspire future generations to pick up a guitar and create their own special story with one".

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