Blog - Carla Coulson
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Photography tips, laughter, love, carla coulson, carla coulson photography, inspiration, mentoring, photography coach, storytelling

How I capture these three things in my photos

Dear Photography Lovers,

When I fell in love with photography back in the year 2000 I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, had no previous knowledge of the history of photography and even of the photographers that one day would become my hero’s and heroine’s!

In the beginning I looked to other’s work for inspiration, to learn and to understand. I felt like I had sooooo much to learn and catch up on after all, I was late to the game.

It’s so easy in the beginning to be influenced by others and that can be a fun part of the game. It gives you a chance to experiment, try new techniques and learn of the possibilities there are with photography.

But one day I stopped looking. I put away the photographic books and magazines and stopped going to the exhibitions for a while. I  asked myself what I liked, what was I attracted to and what I wanted to say.

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Three things stuck from that day forward and are still present in my photography today.

Life

I love my photos to feel alive, full of life. When I look at the serenity of other photographer’s work I often think my photos feel chaotic but it’s the feeling of being alive I am so attracted to.

Tip – How I achieve it 

I go after life with a little chaos on purpose. This means getting involved in life. When working with groups (which is really tough), I take the shot I think they want and tell them it’s all over and then keep shooting what happens afterwards. Often, it’s authentic warm and has its own chaotic energy, for me these moments are far more authentic than the posed shot it started out as.

Photography tips, laughter, love, carla coulson, carla coulson photography, inspiration, mentoring, photography coach, storytelling 

Love

I wanted to capture the emotions of life that I saw daily and feel so deeply attached to. I wanted to express love, laughter and the intimate life stories between people.

Tip – How I achieve it

To get the three things, you have to give. I allow people to feel comfortable by showing my vulnerability, provoking them or doing something silly. When I look back at some of the photos, I remember the ‘energy’ or the sensation of falling in love even just for a few seconds  to make that photo!

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Laughter

Even today when my photographs are too static I start to sweat! I am happiest when I am moving, when my subjects are moving and doing something fun that’s when the laughter comes out. I love to show women that they are beautiful when they are happy, alive and laughing. I can capture this laughter often in between the moves!

Tip – How I achieve it

On some shoots I walk kilometers and kilometers in an attempt to encourage my subject to move, to walk, run, jump and let life shout out loudly. I try to trick them to do some simple or complicated movement and wait for their reaction. Often it’s the moment after the movement I am hoping for or the in-between moment when their guard is down and the laughter comes rolling out.

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What three things keeps coming up in your photos? What is it that you love to capture in your images?

Sending love and light

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Creative Career Backstage: An Artist’s Life

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Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs 

Dear Creative Folk,

I thought you might enjoy a little Sunday read about a dear friend of mine and super inspiring artist.

He’s living the life I secretly want on a Greek Island and this talented soul not only is a prolific multi media artist but he rescues cats and dogs on a daily basis, feeds them, cares for them and re-homes them.

I am in love with his latest series of art prints and can’t wait for mine to hang on my wall.

Over to Matthew..

 

You are living the dream life on a Greek Island with your own studio in the main village square. Tell us about the inspiration for your new flower series.

Flowers are everywhere here, especially at springtime and this island is particularly abundant. This life, is predominantly rural and the villagers traditionally grow their own produce and that includes flowers. In the forecourts of petrol stations here, one can find prize displays of roses. They even eat flowers, the glowing, robust orange and yellow flowers of the zucchini plant are stuffed with feta cheese or rice… it’s said to be the signature dish of the island.

What do you think makes your work really unique?

Well I hope it is original… I never try to kid myself with my work and I gave up a very long time ago trying/ hoping to find external validation. If one is honest and genuinely enjoys, (perhaps in some cases needs), to work/paint/ create, then I don’t think you can go wrong and everything will move in the right direction.

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White Hydrangea by Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs 

 

Was this series painted outdoors or in a studio? Are there important parameters for you when you work?  
With ‘still lives’ such as the flower paintings I’ll be working in the studio. Its in the title, it is a subject that is generally set up or at least created inside… unlike hiking up to the foot of a mountain or in to the middle of a forest with an arm full of canvas and brushes and a rucksack full of paint. The light here in the North Aegean is sublime… strong or subtle and very rich, packed with ultraviolet… everything positively glows.
It’s also very peaceful here, very little distraction, and if distracted it of the gentle kind. A dog barking or a man selling fish or produce, an animated conversation between two octogenarians.

 

What insights into life does your creative career and life as an artist give you?
I think anyone who is genuinely, let’s say creative, watches the world, uses the world as a muse. An artist is in some respects an outsider, perhaps sometimes a little eccentric, but artists, (creatives), watch and listen and learn and seem to be generally accepted in most circles. This village has seemingly accepted me and my comings and goings, but if asked I think a lot of them wouldn’t be able to describe just what it is I do behind the Greek blue doors of my studio… but I think they know it’s positive.
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What is one of the most joyful things about the process of painting? 
Painting is my vocation, I have to do it. Frankly for me it boarders on compulsion, but it is the language I feel at home with, the language that has proved to be the most eloquent in trying to describe… well, anything in life really. One of the most joyful things about the process of painting is, I guess, having a language that is visual and therefore pretty much universal. To be able to express a subject, an idea that most can understand and, perhaps, appreciate.

 

You have been painting for, well, over 20 years and have had a distinguished life as a artist working at the National Theatre in London and creating incredible sets for bands such as U2. Is there something you wished you knew as an artist when you started out? 
In retrospect I would say, and I say this to anyone asking about venturing into any vein of artistic self expression, is that there are no rules… absolutely none. And that, once fully appreciated, gives rise to a wonderful and whole hearted sense of freedom.
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 Creative Career Backstage: An Artist's Life, white hydrangea roses,white matthew usmar walkswithdogs, flower painting, artist, artist's life, carla coulson, wall art, interior styling, my greek island home, less, roses,

 

 Huge thanks to Matthew for sharing his story and insight.

 

You can check out Matthews Flowers prints HERE.

 

Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

 

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Why Your Photos and Story Count

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Dear Folks,

There was a time in my life when I thought my story didn’t count. My life felt insignificant and I could never have imagined it any other way.

When I became a photographer and had my first images published in Marie Claire something moved inside of me. I realised I had a power. What I focused on or photographed I could shine a light on, like my first story on Naples a place at the time that was neglected by a wider audience but deeply loved by me.

When I had my first book published I decided to tell my story exactly as it was. I made it a ‘private’ mission at the time to tell the truth even though I felt incredibly vulnerable, I wanted to put a message out into the world that you have the power to change things and live life the way you want it to be.

I have secretly (cat’s out of the bag) woven my beliefs, values and experiences into everything I have done for the past 17 years hoping something in what I put out into the world would awaken something in others that too needed to get back on the path to what they truly believed in.

I know it seems like a big stretch when you have no voice but just for a second imagine if you did. What would you tell the world if you had a chance? What stories are important to you?

Everybody has a story and everybody’s story is valid, special and unique. For me sharing my story and photos has been a healing, nurturing and empowering experience I could recommend with all my heart.

Your story is worth telling, the world is waiting!

Sending love and hugs

 

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PS: If you want to learn all there is know about publishing your photos and story in books and magazines we have 2 PLACES ONLY LEFT for Get Published 2017. All details HERE

Blue Sunday Starts Today – 20% Discount On All Beaches

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Dear Summer Lovers,

Black Friday this year is starting early here and it’s been renamed to Blue Sunday. For 3 delirious crazy, hot, sweaty summer days you will receive 20% discount on all beach prints starting now and end Tuesday 21st at Midnight Paris time.

If you have had your eye on a favourite from Italy we will ship it to you anywhere in the world with love. All images are limited editions, signed and numbered and wrapped with love.

And even more deliriously beautiful in real life..

Discount code on check out is FLATOUT

Sending love and summer vibes and you can start vicariously swimming HERE

Carla x

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Are There Too Many Photographers In The World?

Dear Folks,

Have you ever thought, ‘there are just too many photographers, I might as well quit now.’

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It’s true, if you look around us everyone has a good camera these days and they are all madly snapping photos of almost anything.  Phone cameras have become so sophisticated that even they produce the most incredible images and even top end brands are paying ‘stars’ to create million dollar campaigns on their iPhone.

There are images everywhere you look, on buses, social media, television, billboards and giant screens around the cities and sometimes you might ask ‘is there room for one more photographer?’.

But a voice inside of me says ‘so what if there are too many photographers?’. I believe there is enough room for all of us.

I am sure people in other artistic fields feel the same way. A graphic artist, illustrator or even interior designer if they just kept looking at the numbers of people in their field would curl into a ball in the fetal position and throw the pen or fabric down.

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But my lovelies, I would ask you not to look to what everybody else is doing and look inside and listen to the voice of your inner photographer who has something to say. Maybe the voice is quiet right now, self-doubting, shy, scared but if you start to trust it and allow yourself to do what it wants, you will find an incredible vision of your own.

It’s your vision that is your Excalibur sword. It’s your vision that will slash its way through all the images out there and have someone saying ‘I have to have my photos taken by THAT photographer or whose photos are these?’

If you trust your vision, if you you listen to your inner voice instead of comparing yourself to everyone else, you will let the magic out!

So on the days you are doubting your greatness, listen to your inner photographer or creative, even if it is a soft whisper and then go create what it is whispering to you.

Sending love and whispers

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If this subject interests you and you would like to know more about creative vision and having your images published the LAST PLACES are going for Get Published 2017, you can read more HERE.