Parosaroids aims are to capture the beauty of being Black, as growing up we were never the forefront of Fashion, Beauty or Creativity. Society made us an after thought and never the main priority, but with Parosaroid we are the Main Stars. Instead of fighting for representation in spaces which don't care for us, we need to rise up and represent ourselves.
My Story | About Nicole Parkes
Since young, exercising my creativity has been instilled in me, thanks to my parents, whom both have backgrounds within Media Entrepreneurship and Photography. I have been encouraged to explore all things within the creative field, from Dance, Drama and Art, to Filmmaking, Modelling and Fashion Designing...and since I can remember I have been dipping my toe in each puddle, to figure out where my purpose lays and what my heart desires.
From 2014-2016, I studied at a Creative media specialist school, called The Elstree UTC. It was vital in my journey on learning the fundamental skills in production and creativity. I gained experience working on real productions for companies such as The Mobos, and editing for Charity events such as Crouch End 4 Margot. It was a key moment in my life, as this is where I learned that the Media and Creative industry was what I wanted to be a part of. I finished my GCSES with a B in Photography and an A* in Media Studies. Having not achieved the grade I had anticipated in Photography, but over-exceeding my expectations in Media Studies, it pushed me to study the subject Media further as a BTEC. I made the decision to leave Elstree UTC due to lack of representation for Black Creativity and discriminatory issues, and started in Uxbridge College from 2016-2018.
I finished the course having achieved one of the top grades on the course that year, with a Distinction and my consistent high achieving within Media proved my capabilities within the field.
I applied and was offered a place at De Montfort University, to study Media Production further; I felt that a degree would help me to secure job opportunities within the fast growing industry, plus being at Elstree proved as a Black person it is important that you have to work 10x harder than your white counterparts in order to get the same opportunities as them, which was a bittersweet truth that I had to learn.
A month after starting my course at university, I resumed my Photography journey, rebranding with the name Parosaroid. At the time, it was a coping mechanism created to mask the grieving of my Father who had become severely ill unexpectedly, however this all became more. During his unknowingly last few months, I wanted to experience my only opportunity to share with him my plans for Parosaroid, and what was the beginning of my career. From the moment of his passing on December 25th 2018, may his soul rest in peace, it's been nothing but tunnel vision for me.
I graduated in 2021 with a First Class Honours in Media Production. My course at university allowed me to gain an insight on roles within Photography, Radio Production, HTML and Coding, Film and Television Production, Motion Graphics, Social Media Strategy and Creative Media Entrepreneurship. I have been able to try everything, and figured out where my interests are. I have been able to pick up specific skills from everything I have learned, and formatted into a way which allows me to successfully run my business. For example, from learning motion graphics, I can now offer Youtube Branding services for people in need of a Youtube Channel Intro, editing or banner. From doing HTML, I learnt how to build this very website you are viewing, and more about the importance of social media within Marketing, I have been building Parosaroid for over 2 years from the ground up, in life changing circumstances, and grown it to what it is today; I am so thankful.
I had no idea that making the decision to change schools to better my future and career, at such a young age, would change my life forever. Learning your strengths and weaknesses from early, can set you ahead of your peers when finishing education. It aligned me to the path which would point me to the direction of my dreams.
I want to be a positive example to Black Female Photographers and Creatives that even when you feel like you can't, you can. Even though we are under represented, overlooked and ignored, our talent and resilience will carry us through and help us breakthrough the barriers to the mainstream media. Only 3% of the photographers in the UK are Black Females, and I want to be a contributing factor to sparking that creativity within the youth, for that figure to rise.
Where I lack, I make up for with my Creativity. Where I am uncertain, my curiosity of the unknown and optimism that you'll only know your outcome once you try, saves me. Where I may give up if I feel something is not for me, I will be dedicated, focused and concentrated when I know it is made for me conquer. If I pause something, if it is for me, I WILL return, and even more fired up than the first attempt. My independence, positivity and self-confidence has carried me through some extremely difficult times.
Once I have a goal, I have to, and will achieve it no matter the circumstances. Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey so far, it is only just beginning. If you have just learnt about me, and who Parosaroid is, join the family; sit back, interact and watch me grow.