Category Archives: workshops

Backstage Get Published 2013


All Images by Dee Gerlach

I have been wanting share these images of the behind the scenes from the Get Published Workshop in Sydney last December taken by the fabulous Dee Gerlach since I arrived back in Paris.

Dee is a gorgeous gal, fab photographer with a brilliant eye.


Get Published was held in the ever so groovy ‘The School’ run by super stylist Megan Morton and her husband Giles.

A large photography studio seemed the perfect place for a bunch of wonderful photographers to find out how they could have their images published in books and magazines.


That’s me talking about photographic style and vision and the wonderful group of guys and gals. The morning was devoted to magazines and how they work from every possible angle including my ‘coal face’ experiences working with magazines for 12 years.


Morning tea ready and waiting.


Sharon Misko Creative Director of Inside out joined us again this year and walked the photographers through many topics from the magazines point of view including how to present a portfolio, do’s and don’ts, creating a user friendly website for Art Directors, creating a great story, essential images in a photographic story and how to present to an Art Director.


Sharon Misko Creative Director of Inside Out talks about what makes a story standout.


 Sharon Misko Creative Director of Inside Out critiques some of the participants work for the benefit of everyone.


Listening intently to what Sharon Misko has to say.


 Lunch was catered by Mike’s Kitchen.. Heavenly

Carla-Coulson--Get-Published-Workshop- Yummmm by Mike’s Kitchen


A big afternoon on book publishing and how to have your images or a book idea published.


Waiting for our special guest Katie Quinn Davies of What Katie Ate.


Katie Generously shared her story from self taught food photographer, to winner of the James Beard Award and an International best selling book with What Katie Ate.


Katie chatting with the girls at the end of the workshop


Some of my published work on the pinboards.


A huge thanks to the gorgeous group who participated. It was such a fabulous experience to meet so many wonderful people and to have the opportunity to see their work and hear their dreams.


All images by Dee Gerlach

A little ‘Get Published Booklet’ signing!!

I can’t wait to hear what happens for these photographers this year and I am sure there will be many beautiful stories and books published just like last year.

Athalee Brown and her team did an extraordinary job running the event, heartfelt thanks for all the hard work and delish food.

Many people have asked me whether Get Published will be taught online and it’s in the pipeline for next year so if you would like to get on the workshop list and be the first to be notified you can sign up here.

“I appreciate simplicity, true beauty that lasts over time, and a little wit and eclecticism that make life more fun.” Elliott Erwitt




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How To Shoot The Blue Hour

Carla Coulson Blue hour

Florence by Carla Coulson taken in winter

Have you ever wondered how to shoot the blue hour – that magic twilight when the sun has set but the night is yet to fully descend?

I shot the blue hour over and over again and used it as a ‘get out of jail’ card when I was shooting travel stories for magazines and needed a good shot of a city with atmosphere or wanted to have a little fun like with Christmas decorations in Place Vendome (see below).

I even used this technique on miserable, rainy winter days in Europe because even the blue hour works under these conditions – love the blue hour.

What is the blue hour?

The blue hour isn’t actually an hour, it should be called the blue fifteen minutes instead!! After the sun has set and the pink in the sky fades, the colour temperature cools as the sun has gone. This cooling of the colour temperature produces a beautiful blue and it lasts between 10 and 15 minutes before the balance is overridden with the black of the night.

Carla Coulson Blue hour 2

Florence by Carla Coulson taken in Winter

When does it work best?

I find there needs to be a good balance of city and street lights to achieve this result. If you want to shoot a building or city to create this effect they need to be sufficiently lit otherwise you will have a lot of dark areas and bright points. When the city or building is well lit you have more of a balance in the image.

I tried this once on a private home in Provence and too make sure it was lit well enough we turned on all the inside lights, all the outside lights and added lanterns for more points of light.

Most cities turn their street and monuments lights on right around the blue hour. I have stood waiting in the cold throughout the years begging those lights to come on before the blue was gone and nearly every city turned them on in time  (thanks guys).

ChristmasPlaceVendome Carla Coulson

Christmas Place Vendome My French Life Copyright by Carla Coulson

How to do it:

1. Check the time the sunsets where you want to shoot with a program like this

2. Go at least 30 mins before the sunsets and set up your tripod and find your frame because once the light fades you gotta be quick.

3. Work out your focus point before the light fades as it can be tricky once the sun has set.. Technically dark for autofocus and for your eyes if you haven’t got great eyesight.

4. Work on a low ISO of around 400 will still give you room to move with F-Stops..I find working on ISO of 100 gives you little choice with the F-Stops and depth of field.

5. Start checking the light meter once the sun has gone because you are about to lose stops of light quickly.

6. Do a test and check focus whilst there is still light

7. Set your camera on self timer or use a remote shutter release so you aren’t touching the shutter when the photo is being taken. You will be working on long shutter speeds so any movement can blur the photo.

8. I normally take photos throughout the 15 mins to see which effect I like. You will need to keep changing the exposure based on the light dropping. Often in the early shots the sky is more cyan blue and then towards the end a little more deeper royal blue.

9. Note on clear blue sky days the blue is more prominent that on grey cloudy days.

10. Once the ‘fifteen minutes’ are up the sky becomes black and the streets lights give a very strong golden cast. The ‘blur hour’  has passed.

I hope this helps you have a little fun taking shots of a place or special thing you love.

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” Victor Hugo




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Photographing Your First Book

Books Carla Coulson  Some of my books rubbing up against my heroes..

Nothing like a new start, a new week and a New Year that brings so many new projects and hope.

I love hope!

I have been preparing images and a presentation for the upcoming Caravan Travel Photography Workshop in Puglia and going through 12 years of images. This is such a wonderful process in itself, like looking through a visual diary of your life, moments in time, familiar faces and ones you have forgotten.

Grandfather Naples Carla Couls

I like to think I remember every photo but even I found some lovely surprises.

Trawling back through the images from now to the beginning of photography school, through projects such as Naples A Way Of Love, Paris Tango and and all the way to Italian Joy I had a thought that may just help you shoot your first book.

Carla Coulson Italian Joy

When you are at the beginning of anything you have ‘things’ that money can’t buy – endless oodles of enthusiasm, no expectations,  the joy at looking at the world as though you have just seen and ‘felt’ it for the first time and shooting what you love.

Sunbaker Carla Coulson Italian Joy

The cameras I invested in in the early years were like new toys for me and I couldn’t get enough of them. My underwater camera meant even at the beach I could explore photography from a new angle.

Carla Coulson Italian Joy

The photos that ended up in Italian Joy were a product of innate curiosity of life, the burning desire to take photos that said or made you feel something, sheer unadulterated happiness and untiring enthusiasm that would have me out in the rain, the wind, the snow… asking fishermen (that I didn’t know) to board their boats and shoot them.. holding my breath and shooting ladies underwater.. treading water whilst kids jumped off the rocks one after the other waiting for that perfect moment ….and stalking lovers in train stations.

Italian Joy Carla Coulson

The photos I took in those early years are still some of my favourites because they were taken for sheer pleasure and love of photography with no end use in mind. They were photos born of freedom.

And this my dear friends is your advantage when shooting for a ‘probable’ first book.

Carla Coulson Italian Joy

Some things I notice in my photos looking back:

1. I shot ‘my’ world, the people around me, people who would give me access, my friends, family, Florentines and Popi

2. I was obsessed with movement, I shot vespas over and over again

3. I was also obsessed with religious iconography in Italy and drawn to every tabernacle on a street corner, statues of Madonna’s in churches and religious art (I have thousands of images).

4. I loved the innate elegance of Italians and would stop well-dressed people in the street and ask if I could take a photo (yep I was obsessed).

5. I loved shooting love in all it’s expressions…

6. I shot things that made me laugh (still do)..

7. I shot almost exclusively in the early years in black and white…(and I never felt the pressure to shoot in colour)

Made in Italy Carla Coulson Italian joy

 All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson Italian Joy

So here are are some tips if you are at the beginning of your photography career and hope one day to shoot/write a book.

1. Shoot what you love and don’t question it.

2. Shoot what is accessible and don’t ask yourself where it will fit?

3. The world needs original books so if you think it isn’t mainstream enough.. Keep shooting you are probably onto something.

4. If you are shooting a well known subject put your spin on it.

5. Take the photos you love and trust your inner ‘photographer’s voice’.

I hope this little insight helps you on your path.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” Elliott Erwitt



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Backstage at The Picture This Workshop 2014

Picture This Workshop

I am so happy to share with you some behind the scenes pics from the 2nd Edition of Picture This Portrait/Fashion Workshop in Sydney this January.

Twelve great photographers participated, 9 fabulous ‘real’ people models, 2 make-up artists, a stylist, Athalee the super workshop organiser and her assistants, the fab Loc Boyle (super Parisian photographer) and moi. We shared four great days of photography, fun, delicious food and laughter in 3 different locations, snapping, chatting and practising.

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

There were big hair and dresses..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson Gorgeous gals..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And big smiles..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

There was inspiration..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And hair and make-up..

_MG_7513Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And Ironing..

Picture This Carla Coulson Workshop

And a little ‘Saint Tropez’  inspiration..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

Did I mention the laughter?

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And sailor salutes..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And Hippy chicks..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

Even freezing still manages to look good..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

More beautiful Hippy chicks..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson


Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And sirens..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

Day 1.. Theory

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

Waiting for the photographers and the workshop to start..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

Some surprises..

Picture This Workshop Carla Coulson

And loads of photos..

I walked away from this workshop with a smile a mile wide, a heart filled with happiness and re-energised from the positive energy of great people doing what they love.

So my heart felt thanks to everyone who participated, each and everyone of you made these four days unforgettable and to everyone who worked on the workshop.. 21 gun salute to all of you!!

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” David Frost
Love and thanks




PS: If you would like to go on the list for next years workshop please get in touch with us at A place will be reserved for you when the workshop registration opens later in the year..

The Benefits of Being A Published Photographer

Get Published Carla Coulson The Benefits

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your profile or career if you had your images published in prestigious magazines locally and Internationally?

I have the great fortune throughout the past twelve years to have had my images published over and over again in magazines and books but the thrill of seeing those pages and the ‘atomic reaction’ that comes soon after never ceases to astonish me.

What ‘reaction’ I can hear you saying?

Get Published Carla Coulson

Now I worked closely with the gorgeous folks at Qantas magazine for almost 9 years and I knew what readership power this magazine has so when I heard they were publishing an excerpt of my new book I was doing double star jumps.

Yep, 1,000,000 people read this magazine which is on every flight in the world for a month. Now if you have ever flown from Paris to Sydney, Sydney to China and run out of reading material you will be scouring those Qantas pages in minute detail, each story a little lifesaver that will get you painlessly to touchdown.

Carla Coulson Get Published The Benefits

There were hundreds of times when I had shot a story for Qantas, a hotel in Florence, a boutique in Milan, a market in Sicily and faithfully gone back with the magazine sometime later.  Nine times out ten I had been beaten to the cause by an enthusiastic traveller who had jumped off the plane, ripped out the pages of the magazine and so excited to go to one of the destinations that had been photographed, had presented themselves long before at the said place before I could even get there with my copy!

Carla Coulson Get Published Qantas Magazine The Benefits

So I was skipping and hugging myself with happiness when the wonderful folks at Qantas said they were going to publish an excerpt of my latest book Naples A Way Of Love cause I knew what was going to happen. An avalanche of people calling, snapping the magazine and sending me a pic, friends husbands reporting in that they had seen me (the story and my name) on the flight home and lots of Google Juice to my website (keep it coming I am loving it!).

Carla Coulson Get Published Qantas The Benefits

So if you dream of being published photographer here are some of the benefits of having your photographs published in magazines:

Instant credibility as a ‘working’ photographer.

Marketing ‘a go go’! Having your name published in a magazine is like having a private publicity campaign done on your behalf for your work as a photographer and depending on the distribution of the magazine your name and photos reach a wide audience that we can only dream of.

You get an instant profile. I call it the ‘now I exist syndrome’. There are two Carla’s the one before she had anything published and the one after.

Having your photos and name published in a magazine is marketing not only to the public but to every art director in the industry and gives you more credibility in their eyes and makes it easier to approach other magazines with whom you want to work.

The published pages of the magazine with your work are known as ‘tear sheets’. These pages are gold and can translate into big advertising contracts or commercial work if that is the direction you want to go in.

Having a book published was made easier when I presented my portfolio of magazine work, the publisher immediately knew I had a profile and was a reliable professional photographer (why?.. because magazines were booking me and they wouldn’t be working with me if I didn’t deliver).

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into a couple of benefits of what can happen if you have your photos published.

There are only a couple of places left at the Get Published Workshop in Sydney Saturday 14th December 2013 and Registration closes next week on the 10th November 2013 or if sold out prior.

Special Guests are Katie Quinn Davies of What Katie Ate and Sharon Misko Creative Director of Inside Out Magazine.

“Even after I’d published three books and had been writing full-time for twenty years, my father continued to urge me to go to law school.” Susan Orlean




Please share if you know a photographer who would love to have their work published.

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