Parisian Urban Bride

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All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

The idea for this shoot actually came from my wedding!!

I loved getting married in Paris, it was the most fuss free event of my life. I was dressed at home, did my own make-up (hadn’t met my fab make-up artist at this point) walked with a couple of friends to our local cafe, dropped into the boulangerie to say hello and was shot on the street with my darling, dogs and Paris in the background. Our wedding was in the middle of market day in the 4th and I loved coming out with a simple bouquet of flowers to be welcomed by friends amongst the fishmonger, the butcher and my favourite florist. It felt so Parisian!

When the gorgeous Helene from Cest Ma Robe told me she wanted to shoot a range of designer wedding gowns I thought it would be fun for our gorgeous ‘bride’ to be an Urban bride.

Now gals not only can you get married in Paris but you can be married in Matthew Williamson, Azzaro, Rachel Zoe and vintage Dior.

Sounds like a dream?  Helene had the genius idea to gather together a  collection of designer bridal gowns for the chic, the boho, the hippy, the romantic and the funky bride and here’s the great news..drum roll..  you can rent them. Yes you no longer need to get a mortgage to get married. Ain’t that the best news.

So if you are soon to be married in Paris (shout out to gorgeous friend Louisa) check out Cest Ma Robe.

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Huge thanks to beautiful Monika from WM Models, to the talented stylist Joy Dreyfus and Veronique Marot for the hair and make-up.

If you would like to know more about a Personal Branding shoot click here.

“I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.” Lord Byron

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Paris in Blossom

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Is there any season as marvellous as Spring?

The re-awakening of the senses after the slumber of winter, the colours, the light and the trees. Bulbs burst in bright colours from the ground and plants miraculously come alive and along with it that feeling of hope and positivity that you can’t wait to start all over again.

In the depths of winter I often doubt whether I ‘have it in me’ or whether I ‘do it all over again’. Then those magical rays of sunshine breathe life into wooden sticks and branches and deep down in my soul I too come to life and know ‘yes I can do it again and I can hardly wait’.

Ideas start buzzing, colours fill your head and inner songs beg to become photos and you wonder why you ever doubted life and creativity in the first place. Instead you are awake and inhaling deep breaths saying ‘bring it on’!!

This is how Paris looked last week when she awoke from the slumber..

Wishing you wonderful creative energy and all the beauty that Spring brings with it. Oh and of course a little romance never goes astray..

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Sending you oodles of positive energy, sunshine and creativity..

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” Robert  H Schuller

And much light and love

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Personal Branding Shoot – Joy Dreyfus

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Joy Dreyfus with bouquet by Roses by Claire

Who’s the girl behind the flowers I can here you asking?

It’s the clever Joy Dreyfus  and I was so proud and honoured to do this personal branding shoot for her new business.

Joy is born and bred in Paris (yes they do exist), is the ex-fashion editor for Officiel magazine and has a black book that all of us would kill to get our hands on. The great news she has put it to good use.

Joy has created Events Joy and has combined her unique talents honed in the fashion world with her fabulous contacts and mixed them with the world of love, weddings and events to become a wedding/events planner with an edge! Bringing together a list of fashion photographers, fashion make-up artists, stylists and decorators Joy’s aim is to create a wedding far away from the cliche.

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Joy Dreyfus with bouquet by Roses by Claire and flowers in the beautiful Claire’s boutique

Joy and I wanted to create images that would fit with her quirky but beautiful style and that she could use for editorial magazine and blog stories on her new business, across all her social media and on her brand spanking new website. So we headed to some of her favourite ateliers and boutiques in Paris and first stop was the beautiful Roses by Claire. Claire, the sweetest girl on the block,  is based in the 9th arrondissement and has a shop full of roses that would make any gals heart sing.

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 Joy putting her personal touch on things out the front of Roses By Claire

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Joy at Roses by Claire 

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 Joy looking at the latest collection of wedding dresses at Delphine Manivet

A visit to Delphine Manivet is one of those moments on any girls Parisian bucket list. Imagine the most beautiful wedding dresses of gossamer dreams in a setting of moulded walls and wall to ceiling windows. Well, this too was in Joy’s little black book and has since become my favourite!!

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The beautiful atelier and wedding dresses at Delphine Manivet

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 Joy in the atelier of  Delphine Manivet
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Beautiful details and wedding dresses at Delphine Manivet

Joy Dreyfus Photo copyright Carla Coulson0013

Joy in Delphine Manivet couture on the streets of the Rive Gauche

We crossed Paris to a favourite location on the Rive Gauche. Delphine Manivet not only makes exquisite wedding dresses but she has an evening wear and couture line and of course Joy always knows the perfect one to pick. Ouch love this dress.. so good it hurts!!

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Joy in Delphine Manivet couture on the streets of the Rive Gauche

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 Joy in Delphine Manivet couture in front of Serge Gainsbourg’s house on the streets of the Rive Gauche

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 Joy stops for tea at the beautiful Carette in Place des Vosges

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 Green tea and croissant at  Carette in Place des Vosges

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 Tough decisions at the beautiful Carette in Place des Vosges

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Joy in the fabulous Place Des Vosges

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 Joy in the fabulous Place Des Vosges

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In Place du Marche in Neuilly

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Joy organises weddings on private yachts like the chic Le Cachemire by Yachts de Paris

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Joy in one of the chic wedding dresses of  Delphine Manivet

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Joy in one of the chic wedding dresses of  Delphine Manivet

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Joy on the balcony of the Le Meurice Hotel Paris

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Joy on the balcony of the Le Meurice Hotel Paris with Le Tuileries garden in the background.

When you have a name like Joy it is kind of given that you would end up creating events full of joy for others. So if you are planning on getting married in Paris and want a wedding with a twist you might like to get in touch with Joy here.

Here are some of Joy’s go to addresses in Paris:

Lunch at Colette or Bread and Roses

Japanese tea and pastries at Toraya

Lunch for drinks at Cafe de Flore

Shopping at Isabel Marant and Carven

Stationary at Bookbinders Design

Decor at Flamant

Cute kids stuff at Bonton 

Body and hair products at Aesop

Perfumes and Candles at Annick Goutal

Yoga at Le Tigre

If you would like more information about creating editorial style images for your brand you might like to check out my Personal Branding package.

Sending Good Vibes and love

“Getting married, for me, was the best thing I ever did. I was suddenly beset with an immense sense of release, that we have something more important than our separate selves, and that is the marriage. There’s immense happiness that can come from working towards that.” Nick Cave

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Change + Affairs Of The Heart

Carla Coulson, Eiffel tower, seine river, pont alexandre III, paris, dusk paris, carla coulson

Photo Copyright Carla Coulson

Of all the questions people ask me it’s often about changing their lives.

Change is a big subject in my life and it is something that has accompanied me almost since I was born. You see my parents were ‘changers’. We moved town 4 times by the time I was sixteen (for my dad’s job)  and I lived in 18 different addresses in Sydney (and ruined my mum’s phone book) before I eventually moved to Italy.

Every weekend of my childhood my parents took our family ‘somewhere new’. I was put on a plane when I was 4 with my big sister who was 5 and off we flew to our grandparents almost 1000kms away. Our parents each year took us on a holiday to a new corner of our world, whether we loaded up the Valiant or we slept on a bus for the best part of 48 hours to reach the top of Australia.

Without realising it my parents  were preparing me for a life of change.  I have now lived in 3 countries and becoming a photographer meant everyday would be filled with change and constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone. 

Excitement, newness and adventure  I discovered looking back on my journey is part of my DNA imprinting.

Change isn’t a competition, it isn’t about what others have, it’s about you, your feelings, your passion and making the life you want. Change teaches you to be humble and generous, to give more than you receive and to be thankful for the kindness offered to you when you are the odd ‘woman’ out, standing in a corner on your own in a new situation wanting to fall through the floor and someone reaches out with a word, a gesture or a show of humanity.

I have always had the feeling that someone is watching over me, that when I want something bad enough  the universe hears me and when I truly believe it, it happens. Believing is the key and the power of positive thinking is the most powerful gift we have.

My parents gave me this gift and if you are a parent reading this I encourage you to do the same, their gift to us was to allow us to believe in ourselves, that things were possible and to always be positive. My parents were never filled with fear for us, for our futures and our security. When we crashed our bikes and ended up in hospital they let us get right back on (and boy did we know how to crash). I don’t believe it was a conscious thing, it was just the simple way they lived and thought and this was passed onto us.

Change is easier for some and harder for others but this doesn’t mean that all of us can’t change things.

So here is a little advice:

1. Take one step today towards something you have always but only ever thought about, contemplated or dreamed of doing. Even if that is grabbing an excel file and working out your finances, going to meet someone you have always wanted to, write an email that you have been putting off forever and start putting change into practice.

2. The next time you see someone in a difficult situation cross the room and offer a word to make them feel included. The world will return this to you a thousand times over.

3. Give when you can, a coin to someone on the street, your time, your heart or your thoughts.. All of this will be returned when you need it the most.

4. Make a mood board of where and how you want to live including photos that inspire you and put it some where you will see it everyday.

5. Close your eyes once a day for a couple of minutes and imagine the life you want as though you are living it. Think about the details of where you are, what you are wearing, how you feel, the smells and sensations.

6. Don’t compare you, your life and where you want to go to others. Everyone is unique, we all have our own way of doing things and so do you. Believe in yourself.

7. Always be kind.

Change is a million little steps with an open heart and an action plan!

Sending you love dust from Paris.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” Martin Luther King

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Save The Date – Italian Joy Limited Edition Prints

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SAVE THE DATE – The cover image of Italian Joy will be available in my print shop Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 8am Paris time, 6pm Sydney Time and 2am New York time.. Naples Vespa 2003 Limited Edition image print of 30 signed and numbered, silver gelatin hand print 30 x 40cm on fibre based paper by master printer Toros.

Italian Joy (the book) holds a huge chunk of my heart. Those years living in Italy were the most special years of my life, so full of learning, adventure, happiness, fear, finding photography, love and living my truth.

There was so much to learn and take in. I was fresh, eager and in love with everything Italian and filled with joy for the simple life I was living. When I look back it was the purest emotion I could ask to live and feel. I was doing what I loved, in a place I loved with no compromises.

The photos I took in those years are some of my dearest, they are part of me and my journey, they are filled with the emotions and joy that I felt taking them and the love I have for photography.

Over the years many people have asked to purchase an image from Italian Joy but I never had the time or courage to delve into my archives and organise it. There was a little hesitation on my part too, it all felt so personal.

But this winter I promised it was time to share my babies with loved ones. I know many of you have had a great connection with Italian Joy, hundreds of you have written to me kindly sharing your stories about being inspired to make changes to your life, go on your own Italian adventures and others wrote that it made them feel simply less alone.

fine art travel photography, fine art photography italy, italian joy, vespa naples, joy, emotions, silver gelatin print, black and white photography, toros I wanted something special for the cover image of Italian Joy, an image shot in Naples in 2003. I wanted a silver gelatin print onto fibre based archival paper printed by Master Printer Toros who has printed for Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Josef Koudelka and recently David Lynch. So I headed to his darkroom like the old days and watched him at work, testing the contrast of the image numerous times, before printing the first full image.

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The print process takes time, he prints multiples of the same image with different contrasts, dodging and burning special parts of the images till we agree on our favourite. hand retouch silver gelatin photo, carla coulson, italian joy limited edition prints, italy, vespa naples, joy, emotions, change your life, toros, When the images have been printed, dried and flattened he hand retouches away any dust spots.

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My spirited friend Toros with an image he recently printed for David Lynch for his exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie.

So dear friends SAVE THE DATE, the cover image of Italian Joy will be available as a 30 x 40cm silver gelatin print in my print shop Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 8am Paris time, 6pm Sydney Time and 2am New York time (sorry guys but you will probably be still out partying). Set your alarms because it is a limited edition of 30 prints worldwide, signed and numbered till sold out..

If you would like a dedication on the back of the print to a friend or for yourself there is a ‘add an note’ section prior to putting in your payment details.

‘You may have the universe if I may have Italy.’ Giuseppe Verdi

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