Blog - Carla Coulson
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Listen To Your Heart

Why Is It So Hard To Listen To Our Heart?

Listen To Your Heart

Dear Folks,

I wanted to share this story with you for many reasons. I practice daily listening to my heart in life and business and I still manage to get it wrong.

Listening to our heart or intuition is one thing but following through on it is another.

This was one of the first photos I took whilst shooting these heavenly white peonies and this beautiful gal in St Germain des Prés. It made me take a little gasp.

You see photography for me has always been about a feeling not just seeing. As one friend/coach kindly pointed out to me ‘I see through feeling’.

Whooh, know that is probably sounding really weird but once I took some time to understand the words it makes perfect sense.

I have always and will be connected to photography because of the emotions. In this case, they are subtle, it’s in the body language, the wind in the peonies and the girl on her tippy toes, it’s in the skirt, the slightest movement that is ever so feminine and soft. But it’s the feeling of quietness that touched me, the subtle questioning of her body and the beautiful disarray of the flowers as though the world has stopped and she is listening to something we can’t hear, possibly her heart.

I loved her at first sight and then…. I overlooked her as the voices around me gathered and polled. It was my fault, I asked anyone that walked into my office ‘what do you think’. They all voted for something else, got bogged down in other details, in the perfect and I left my heart behind.

As a photographer and human, we can love so deeply and widely and it so easy to love many things, people, beings and images and this was one of those cases for me that tore at my heart and I didn’t have the courage (till today to listen to it).

So I have named her Listen To Your Heart as a reminder that our heart knows the way and if we have the courage to listen to it we will always have the answer that is right for us.

She walked into the shop today and will proudly stand beside her sisters of Young Girl In Bloom as reminders to us girls (and boys) that we always have the answers. I am extra proud and excited to have her with us as now my body feels right as well as my heart. Check them out HERE.

Sending love,

Carla

Related Post: Peonies That Will Make You Stand Your Ground

monica bellucci, black and white photography

Monica Bellucci, Sophia Loren and all my other Southern Italian fantasies

Sophia Loren, Tazio Secchiarol, black and white photography, Hudson Wright

Left: Sophia Loren, photographed by Tazio Secchiaroli. Right: Fashion editorial by photographer Hudson Wright.

Dear Photographers,

I have been wanting to create some of these photos forever. I have had them on my Pinterest boards for years, knowing that one day we would meet in a not so distant future and these would be the fuel for some magical days.

And as I am putting the finishing touches on the planning of the Puglia workshop the excitement has started to mount as the mood board came out.

Finally, I can roll all my Sante Fe, Puglia, Sicilian, Monica Bellucci, Sophia Loren et al. fantasies into this workshop and as a gal that is fully invested in this style in every way, let me tell you the decisions are difficult.

Will it be a Dolce Gabbana ad that will inspire us with a Monica Belluci look-a-like dancing? Or an old image of Sophia Loren taking a break between sets? Or maybe the cool Kelley Ash of AWildAtHeart with her modern take on Santa Fe/California and beautiful hats and long flowing gowns.

awildatheart, Anthony Nocella, Kelly Ash

Photos of Kelley Ash (@awildatheart) by Anthony Nocella.

Maria Grazia Cucinotta, black and white photography, Italy

Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta.

Kelley Ash, awildatheart, Graham Dunn

Photo of Kelley Ash (@awildatheart) by Graham Dunn.

This is the bit I love, the creativity, the stuff that gets your blood flowing and hooks you up to the motherlode of energy. The stuff that has you poring over images for hours at the wonder and beauty. And the sheer excitement that shooting in a place you love can bring. The connection to something so powerful as pure joy for doing what you love.

I love passing it on almost as much as I love doing it myself.

If you would like to be inspired in a totally unique environment, take some amazing images you always dreamed of taking and see me frothing at the mouth in October with a passion for all of it, we’ve had a cancellation and we have one place left on the Heartland – People and Spaces Workshop.

I warn you… there will be music!

Carla

Related Post: Start With A Vision

Peonies that will make you stand your ground

standing her ground, Paris, peonies, Carla Coulson photography, limited edition fine art print

Oh Dearest folks and loved ones,

It’s with great joy that I welcome this image, fondly known as “Standing Her Ground” into our lives.

Each time I glance her way, my heart fills with love and she will probably have the same effect on you!

“Standing her Ground” was photographed on the streets of St Germain des Prés with the biggest bunch of ancient white peonies.

She symbolizes that moment in life when, as women, we start to trust ourselves and find our voice, when we are no longer willing to be pushed around and stand our ground for what we believe in but in the most feminine of ways. No longer do we feel pushy, bossy, or aggressive — just filled with an inner knowing of what is right and in our feminine power.

0F4A0977_Standing Her Ground NEW-1

She is a beautiful fine art limited edition print and you can make this beauty yours HERE

If you are in Australia, she is available at the folks Forman Art and Framing on my beaches and flowers.

Happy Summer and lots of love,

Carla x

Related Post: Giant Peony Bouquet in Paris

Mithra on the Streets of Paris

black and white photography, paris film noir, portrait photography paris, carla coulson, the bubble joy, mithra ballestros, portrait st germain des res, ile st louis, creative portraitsDear Folks,

I am so excited to share with you some of the photos I shot recently with the beautiful Mithra of The Bubble Joy.

This superstar collects and sells vintage deliciousness in her online shop known as Finder Not Keeper and she was a joy in every sense.

Cool, funky and fun and the ultimate pleasure for a photographer, she hands over the trust and was willing to play and play we did!

What a treat, a day in Paris that felt like I was hanging out with someone I had known for years and we had the honour of having a long her super husband Gary.

I am so grateful and fortunate that beautiful souls like Mithra find their way to my door and adore that we have so much in common, love for photography, beautiful things and life.

We roamed around Paris, drinking coffees and rosé (well just a glass) and Mithra shining her light for the camera and all the lucky passersby and folk we found along the way.

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black and white photography, paris film noir, portrait photography paris, carla coulson, the bubble joy, mithra ballestros, portrait st germain des res, ile st louis, creative portraits

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A special shout-out to Miloufar and the beautiful boutique Yveline Antiques in St Germain des Pres which is our favourite antiques shop in Paris…

Please check out Mithra and her work HERE and follow her on Instagram HERE.

Yveline Antiques HERE.

 

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

 

Huge thanks to Mithra for allowing me to share her photos with you…

Carla x

P.S. I have just had a shoot postponed so if you are feeling game and will be in Paris in July or early August I would love you to be my muse. Shoot details HERE.

Related Post: Wanna Be This Girl On The Streets Of Paris?

Carla Coulson, harpers bazaar, portrait photographer, lifestyle photography, justin hemmed, kate fowler, the hermitage, slim aarons, pool, wooden boat, white bedroom, swimming pool

Start With A Vision

 

Dear Folks,

Many people ask me how do I translate an idea into photography reality. So often we have glamorous, cool or moody ideas of what we would like yet our outcome is something else. Anybody seen the Life of Pi client expectations and budget floating around on the net!

Carla Coulson, harpers bazaar, portrait photographer, lifestyle photography, justin hemmed, kate fowler, the hermitage, slim aarons, pool, wooden boat, white bedroom, swimming pool

Sometimes photos that look so simple are in reality a ‘battle’ to get the outcome you would like and others are gifts to you. This shoot was one of those gifts!

When I am working on a shoot my starting point is a vision.

I liken photography to any goal in life, if you can’t see it, how can you get there? 

When I was shooting this story for Harper’s Bazaar of the beautiful Kate Fowler and Justin Hemmes my vision for these photos started long before I picked up the camera.

Carla Coulson, harpers bazaar, portrait photographer, lifestyle photography, justin hemmed, kate fowler, the hermitage, slim aarons, pool, wooden boat, white bedroom, swimming pool

What Was My Vision?

  1. When I scouted the place I noticed lots of opportunities to shoot from different perspectives 
  2. When I stood on the property flashbacks to famous photos, photographers and cool folk started my inspiration process 
  3. I allowed my body to help me. Spaces that excited me such as the pool area and the staircase allowed my imagination to run wild and so much of photography is about imagination
  4. Over the years I have looked at hundreds of thousands of images, films and historical references and its in these moments they serve me. They come to me as inspiration
  5. Give yourself permission to photograph the things you love and the way you want

 

As this was a big shoot my vision started kicking in days before and often an idea would come to me driving, swimming or in the middle of the night. Yes, my shoots keep me awake at night.

So by the day of the shoot I had plenty of ideas of where I could shoot and what I was trying to achieve. 

Carla Coulson, harpers bazaar, portrait photographer, lifestyle photography, justin hemmed, kate fowler, the hermitage, slim aarons, pool, wooden boat, white bedroom, swimming pool

But how do I get a final result that is as good as the image in my head? This is something I will be teaching this October in Puglia on the Heartland – People and Spaces Workshop. How to take a vision and make it happen and not walk away from it when it isn’t working out. 

We have ONE PLACE available if you would love to take great people and spaces pics in a place close to heaven. You can read full details HERE.

Light and love

Carla x