Category Archives: Portraiture Tips

Monica Bellucci Inspired Private Portrait

carla coulson private portrait

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

You may remember back in April I had a little give-away of a portrait shoot with moi in Paris? Well, it ended up being a tied draw as Avedon picked two names out of the hat (they were stuck together with his ‘croquettes’ kitty biscuits) and one of them was the fab Gabriella Pirisi.

Carla Coulson private portrait

Gorgeous Gabriella packed up her life and headed to Paris a couple of years ago and dived head first in the sweet end. She has been studying to create those ridiculously gorgeous pastries that this city is reknowned for. You can find her on Facebook at Miss Pirisi – Patissiere

carla coulson private portrait

When I asked Gabriella did she have any fashion icons or inspiration for her shoot her response was ‘Monica Bellucci’.. Ahh… One of my favourites..the prop gods must have heard our whispers and sent us crates full of sour cherries, preserved lemon and gherkins that we found lying around our location.

Carla Coulson private portrait

So, gorgeous Gabriella channelled Monica Bellucci and I shot.

carla coulson private portrait

Her warm, sweet and loveable nature oozes from every pore.

Carla Coulson private portrait

Back to Monica…

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and the camellia’s were in bloom

Carla Coulson private portrait

Giving Monica a run for her money..

Carla Coulson private portrait

A quiet moment in the gorgeous ‘Contessa’s‘ vintage kimono she so generously gave me..

Carla Coulson private portrait

I love this pic..

Carla Coulson private portrait

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

 And what would a photo shoot be without one barefoot dance pic!

A hugh round of applause to the stunning Gabriella for giving so much on the day and allowing me to share these photos with you..

Grazie ancora..

“Wherever I go, I am Italian. The way I talk, the way I eat, the way femininity is important to me. The way I love Italian food.” Monica Bellucci

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PS: If you are interested in learning how to fuse portraiture with fashion and to create emotion packed portraits with an edge, you might enjoy the Picture This  Workshop this January 2015 in Sydney.. Last places available..

The Artist’s Muse(s) – A Private Portrait Shoot in Paris

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All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Do you have a friend that you have known since childhood?

With whom you literally grew up with, shared your inner most hopes, fears and dreams with and together laughed your hearts out over the silliest things?

I have the great fortune to know this feeling, to have had a ‘bestie’ since childhood with whom I still talk to a couple of times a week and we still laugh about the things we did when we were twelve and trade secrets knowing they will remain in our childhood vault . Love ya Ath.

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When the beautiful Emily (in the black dress below) arrived with her lifelong friend Oliva dragging enormous suitcases and laughing their heads off it reminded me what a gift it is in life to have a friend.

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Sweet Emily, as a surprise for Olivia’s wedding, offered a fun shoot together and for me it was a photographer’s dream. Two gorgeous gals with  heavenly wardrobes, a shoe collection that would have any Christian Louboutin fan gasping for air and a dream Parisian artist’s atelier just the way you always imagined it would be.

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The atelier loved the girls and the girls loved the atelier! It was a match made in heaven..

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Olivia in one of her to-die-for outfits, she picked up the lace collar in a flea market in St. Remy..

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Too cute.

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For those who love vintage pieces, you will understand that there are some purchases that are totally impractical, you know you will probably never wear them but you just can’t walk out of the shop without them.  This antique wedding dress and the beautiful stool finally met again after all those years!

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Divine..

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There are days as a photographer when you feel things come too easily, this was one of them. It was as though the artist’s atelier and the flowering camellia tree just needed the gorgeous Em in a black dress with a perfect red lip and a high ponytail to complete the pic.

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Liv Tyler move on over..

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Or should I say Demi Moore..

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Whilst it poured outside floor to ceiling glass windows saved the (photographers) day..

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From the outside looking in…

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Heavenly Em..

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Ohhh and every girl needs at least one Helmut Newton inspired pic with their bestie for the archives..

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or two..

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love this..

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and this..

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Olivia..

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and that skirt!

Carla Coulson Portrait shoot

So lucky to have shared this day and the joy of these two great girls..

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All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Ohh and every gal when they are old and grey needs a photo like this (with bunny ears piggy backing their best friend) to remind them how it felt to be young and share the priceless gift of friendship.

Love you gals!!

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

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Share the joy. xx

Make-Up Tips From Make-Up Artist Wayne Chick

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Wayne Chick Copyright Carla Coulson

This is my gorgeous friend Wayne, super make-up artist and generous soul. Waynie is a Renaissance women in every sense, she can turn her hand to anything with great style and you may recall she whipped up this newspaper ball gown when last in Paris.

When she’s not making newspaper dresses she is doing make-up for Drew Barrymore, Elle Macpherson, Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson and a slew of gorgeous models. She is the queen of ‘glam natural’, you know, ‘the make-up you’re having when you are not having make-up’.

I am always bugging her for natural make-up tips so she has kindly offered to share some of her secrets with us today!! Whoop, whoop Waynie..

Wayne Chick

Wayne Chick Copyright Carla Coulson

So over to Waynie..

Hello Ladies! I want to to offer you some insider tips on natural makeup. Especially as there seems to be a lot of trickery going on with celebs claiming to be wearing none!

I would like to explain to you what ‘NONE’ actually means to celebrities, it means that they have not sat in a hair and makeup chair for 2 hours which is what they are used to…..

Makeup can be a great antidote to feeling that you look tired, or to help you feel like the best version of yourself.

My philosophy has always been that it’s best not to look too make-uppy in real life (ie unless you are on stage, runway or in a publication) its best to keep it nice and subtle!

Skin should look like beautiful fresh skin, not a makeup product, even if you do have problems to cover, which is the norm.

Carla Coulson Wayne Chick

 Wayne Chick Copyright Carla Coulson (yep we are taking things really seriously here)

Let me give you a few insider tips:

1)An under-eye wand such as YSL Touche Eclat..has a light reflective quality to bring forward any hollow, and most importantly it doesn’t crease! You need to get the color right..If you are olive skinned I would use number 3, as the peachy tone is what is required to counteract greyness and brighten the eye. If you are paler I would mix number 2 into it..Look for brands that make a peachy tone like the YSL #3..You don’t want it too light or you’ll look white under there! No good! Obvious! It should be completely undetectable! I also use the YSL number 3 if i encounter pigmentation spots, the peachyness also neutralises the brown.

2) Sneaky blush..a powder version will have lasting power for the day ..a pinky peach looks natural. Cream blush is lovely only if you don’t need foundation cover, as creams can eat through or accentuate what you are trying to conceal. They also tend to require re application.

3) Subtle mascara application is easily achievable by combing through immediately after application with an old mascara brush you have washed and dried..or you can use a disposable mascara wand. This will reduce any clumping and distribute evenly. And go waterproof if doing sneaky beach makeup! Otherwise I like regular formula as it’s easy to remove. Using dark brown is an option to  black if you want subtlety. Use of a curler before applying your mascara will definately make them look more luscious.

4) Tinted moisturiser can do wonders to even out skin..you’ll be surprised. Go for a yellow toned one even if u are pinkish ..it’ll help neutralise any redness. There are many SPF you can use as you would use a moisturiser. I’m personally very fond of Laurer Mercier tinted moisturiser or the Dermalogica one, nice and dewy. Clinique make some lovely ones as do many other brands..choose one that has no shimmer quality in it. If you really want to add a sheen or luminiser  product, read below.

5) Conceal any further red or problem areas with a thicker liquid foundation in your exact skin tone, or a concealer like MAC select cover. I have never put foundation all over my face! It looks make-uppy in real life. No No No! And I have areas that need cover! Pop it where you need it and avoid any wrinkles! A small brush may help if you like. Look for beigey yellow tones rather than pinkish or orangey tones. If unsure, a good idea is to put a dab of the tester on your jaw and some at your cheek, let it dry and check it in a mirror preferably out in the daylight before you make the investment, as it will dry darker than when its still wet.

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 Wayne Chick Copyright Carla Coulson

6) This is not necessary but if you wanted to use  a luminiser, choose a fine textured one..you don’t want one with fine chunks of sparkle! You can apply to cheekbones, eyelids  and jawline..even a little to the nose if you like, but otherwise avoid the middle of face as this would give a sweaty or greasy look … especially in a snapshot!

7)For the lips, I love vitamin E oil in a liitle squeeze bottle (eg. In Australia Invite E) Keeps lips youthful I do believe! And what you ingest is nutritious! I get it straight onto every models lips first thing,especially if they are cracked. Its brilliant! A little lip pencil smudged over the top with your finger if u want a natural lip color that doesn’t look obviously lipsticky.

8)Eyebrow tricks..the easiest way to thicken subtley,or darken if required is with a very fine, firmish brush and good old eyeshadow.I have never bothered with special eyebrow kits.. unless you like the color it offers.A favourite is MAC eyeshadow in Brun. I use it on most people. If u are very dark, go for a coffee color. U want to avoid regular browns as they tend to look  gingery at the brow. Greyish taupe for blondes.

9) If the eye wants subtle enhancement, the tiniest touch of dark brown shadow smudged into the lashline with a little brush, and then perhaps a finger. I personally might dot a teeny smudge of dark brown pencil then smudge into the lashes with a (clean)finger.

10) Blot the shine from the middle of face if necessary..between the brow, at sides of nose and the chin. I like the MAC Blot powder compact in medium (dark if you are very dark skinned.) It’s not powdery looking, it just blots! This is essential if you want to look good in a photo! De-shine down the middle, but leave at the periphery.

Wayne Chick Carla Coulson

 Wayne Chick Copyright Carla Coulson

Wanna look fab when you are out and about??

Smile a lot where u can!..It defies the perils of gravity. And don’t stand under downlights when someone points a camera at you..If you see any, run!  (Downlights that is..they are not a good friend to the mature woman! (Note the lovely natural light Carla has shot me in!)

Final Note! This sounds a lot for a no-makeup look, but I’m covering off here for various general requirements across the board. The idea is that this should personally be no more than a 2 or 3 minute exercise once you have it down pat!

Wayne xx

“The only way I’d be caught without makeup is if my radio fell in the bathtub while I was taking a bath and electrocuted me and I was in between makeup at home. I hope my husband would slap a little lipstick on me before he took me to the morgue.” Dolly Parton

LOL (quote from Carla)

Private Portrait Shoot – A Mediterranean Beauty and Her Cool Kids

Carla Coulson portrait shoot paris sydney

I had the pleasure of photographing the heavenly Julie in Sydney this summer and there is nothing more I love than hanging out with great women, hearing their stories and creating beautiful photos together.

carla coulson portrait shoot paris

Julie is beautiful inside and out and what a treat to find another amazing woman and have the honour of photographing her.

We started off in these first images with a light eye and the accent on her beautiful mouth…

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And as the afternoon wore on out came the smoky eye and the va va voom within!

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At times when I looked through the lens I could see in Julie classic Mediterranean beauties like Monica Bellucci and Penelope Cruz. The camera and I adored her!

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The beautiful Julie is also the talented owner/creator of Juniorbrands and for those that love fashion like Paul Smith and Jean Paul Gaultier, Juniorbrands is all of that and more for the little ones.
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I also had the honour of photographing the fabulous Solei

Carla Coulson private portrait shoot sydney paris

And the ever so cool Flynn

If you love Jean Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith and Hugo Boss you are going to lurve Juniorbrands where you will find these labels for your kids, nephews and nieces and grandchildren.

Check out her fabulous site here or on Facebook here.

Eternal hugs and big thank you to Julie for allowing me to share these photos with you.

“There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone’s spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that’s beautiful to me.” Liv Tyler

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Portrait Inspiration – Retro LA Style and Lighting Tips

All images of Model Angela Lindvall for Elle by photographer Nicholas Moore

I have always loved a little LA Style it kind of reminds me of Sydney. This shoot recalls as whole lot of things including the  fab Julianne Moore in Tom Ford’s film A Single Man.  Throw in some beautiful light, a wonderful caftan and I am gonsky. Just missing an up-do!

Lurving the styling and that beautiful hat, oh and put a pool in any photo and Carla’s in love. The model has her back to the sun and is creating her own shade. Wonderful trick to do in full sun.

Most magazine shoots are made up of a variety of shots. Environmental shots where the model is a part of the location but the environment is almost the hero, tighter full length shots of the model, plan Americain as they say in Paris which is a classic crop just below the navel of the model and then tighter portrait shots like this one..

Loving this environment pic. Just missing the gorgeous Colin Firth on the set of Single Man..

Now if you are around my age you will probably remember the ‘Banana Lounge” that beautiful model Angela Lindvall is reclining on. I see a ‘Banana Chair’ and I am a sixteen year old kid in a floral cotton bikini with sun streaks chatting with my best buddy.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS SHOOT:

1. My guess is and I maybe wrong but this shoot was inspired by Tom Ford’s heavenly styled movie A Single Man.

2. I loved these sun flooded images. You really feel like you are on holidays looking at these pics and I love how the photographer hasn’t avoided the sun he has played with it.

3. I use this ‘get out of jail’ technique on bright sunny days. I turn my subjects back to the sun which creates their own shade. You then simply expose for the skin. You will notice the highlights are blown out on the left but the lighter shade part of the pool  is also correctly exposed which is a similar exposure to the shade created on the skin.

4. Photo 4 has been taken in direct sunlight but in my opinion not at the hottest part of the day. Probably in the morning or in the afternoon judging from the shadows and the relative softness of the direct light. Always a great time to shoot people in direct light.

5. Love this last pic of the beautiful Angela smiling. This pic has been taken in open shade with a little mixed light probably because is this was taken in direct light as per the previous shot the white would have been bouncing off light and would have had too much flare.

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”   Maori Proverb

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I hope you enjoy these little tips. If you think they could help someone please feel free to share.

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