free live only photography workshop


free live only photography workshop

Dear friends around the world,

Let’s have some fun this weekend and take our minds of ‘you know what’!!!

It seems almost all of us are on lockdown. So to pass some gorgeous creative time LIVE together,  I’ m giving a FREE PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP (about 1.5 hours) this weekend where I will share some portrait tips and some funny stories of how I get some of my pics.

Everyone is welcome, share this post with your friends so they can sign up and join us. You can sign up HERE

All are welcome, you will receive a reminder email a day before and another one an hour prior to the start  so you won’t miss it. You can send this email to your buddies all around the world and we can pass a little of our weekend together.

If you can’t make it LIVE,  you will receive a copy of the replay via email.

No catches, no upselling, Zip-a-dee-doo-dah of any BS, just pure joy of being together on the weekend and talking photography.

Love ya.

See you Saturday.

Carla xx

PS: thanks to the beautiful Erica for starring in this shot, you can follow here on Instagram HERE 

6 Good Things That Have Come From The Coronavirus

Hello beautiful folks,

Despite what is going on in the world, I am sending you a note of love and joy as it seems the fear department is working overtime.

I always try to find the good in a situation and often it’s hard to see what good there could possibly be when you are in the middle of it. Maybe this is the last shakedown before we truly embrace loving ourselves, doing life differently, respecting our earth and appreciating the small things in life we have always taken for granted.

Already there have been some amazing things come out of this situation. Here are six positive things:

  1. Connection is an essential part of us as human beings and we take it for granted. I love this video of the Italians showing how creative they are at maintaining their connection even when locked in their own apartments.
  2. Becoming more self-sufficient! So many of my friends who have a small plot of land have started planting vegetable seeds and growing their own food which we use to do and makes perfect sense. Sometimes I can’t remember why we aren’t doing it??
  3. The pollution in China, Venice and European cities has almost disappeared. A friend of mine in Venice told me the waters were now crystal clear like a Greek beach as there were no more ferries pumping out diesel fuel, no more oversized cruise ships stirring up the lagoon. Mother earth has a chance to heal and so do we.
  4. Disruption causes us to get creative. Often it’s with restraints that we produce our best work. I have taken up the photography challenge to see what I can come up with in my apartment. I’m calling this ‘My Corona Project’. Less can be more!
  5. Grounding – I’m guilty of my default being moving from one thing to the next whether it be a project or an airport. This gives us an opportunity to deep clean, settle into a project such as a writing a book, creating a business or website. In a world we are used to producing and being constantly on the go, it’s a chance for rest and renewal.
  6. Random acts of kindness – this what happens when things become unsettled, for every selfish act, there are double the acts of kindness. My neighbours have been knocking on our door seeing if we need anything we have been going out of their way to make sure our elderly neighbour has everything she needs.


I would love to hear what’s happening in your world and what positive things have happened for you or what changes you would like to make.

Sending you love, light and creativity,

Carla x


PS: If you would like to have a little solidarity in this time I will be talking about what we can do to stay well, feel safe, have a positive mindset and make good use of this time. You can join me in this private group HERE

backstreets of venice gothic windows and private courtyard by carla coulson

Life Lessons Venice Taught Me At 21

Venetian house and private garden with gothic windows by Carla Coulson I will never forget the life lessons I learned in Venice. The memory of the first day I alighted  will go with me to the grave, it has been burned into my cellular memory as one of the stand out memories of my life.

Travel is the greatest teacher. Every twenty year old Australian wanted to backpack around Europe and I joined the crowd. I was just 21 and was backpacking around. It was my first time overseas, I was way out of my comfort zone and all the creature comforts I was used to were faraway.

Thirty years ago it was a normal thing to catch the train from London to Venice with a little ferry ride from Dover to Calais!  I didn’t stop in Paris; I headed straight for Italy.

When the train rolled into Santa Lucia station and I walked out with just my backpack, my heart felt like it was outside of my body. I laughed out aloud like someone was playing a big joke on me!

white baroque church venice italy by carla coulson

water taxi on the grand canal venice

scenes of venice by carla coulson white altar and venetian houseMy brain couldn’t catch up with what was happening, the abundance of ornate beauty coming out of the water in the form of churches and shops, palaces and houses. The faded colours of ochre, dirty yellow and pink were the backdrop to boats delivering wine and fridges, chairs and art.

I walked to the edge of the canal and stood trying to figure it out.

The beauty hit me like a stun gun. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It took an hour before I could move on, start in the direction of finding my pensione with a map that meant absolutely nothing to me.

I didn’t care, it took forever that day to find the pensione run by a small Venetian called Maria. It was a spartan establishment with terrazzo floors, perfectly made single beds with bright white sheets and photos of the Madonna on the wall. Kind of like a Dolce & Gabbana ad.

In those days, it wasn’t weird to share the room with numerous people and I had another Australian girl in the bed next to me and on the opposite side of the room a Spanish man doing a tour of churches.

I remember thinking that was the oddest thing, who would tour the world to look at churches? I laugh now, cause that’s exactly what I do with Francesco, stick our head into every church we pass.

venice door and the dorsoduro by carla coulsonvenice gondola workshop by carla coulson dorsoduro

I had a copy of Italian Hours by Henry James as a companion and I walked the streets and over the bridges of the canals of Venice delighting in every detail. Henry James was my guide, I too fell in love with the Tintorettos in the Doge’s Palace, the faded colours, the way the doors opened into the sea, the way Venetians called to each other in what felt like a secret language. I loved it all, the wine bars where the locals would stand at the bar smoking and have a glass of prosecco or caffé coretto, coffee with a hit of grappa.

In the evenings, the other Australian girl and I would grab some wine, cheese and fruit and find a place on the canal and marvel at all the funny things that happened.

Venice was romantic like me She was unashamedly nostalgic and it felt like I had found the perfect match. Every outdated way of doing absolutely anything was still in in Venice and I reveled in.

boat transporting art Venice by Carla coulsonWashing in campo santa margherita bridge over canal venice by carla coulson

At the end of the work day, the train would bring an influx of Venetians back to Venice and I still remember the elegance of the women and men. They seemed like the most sophisticated people on the planet. The way they dressed, they moved, the care in the details of the way they put themselves together right down to their exquisite shoes.

When I left Venice, I would never be the same girl. I would carry her with me in the coming years, our love affair has spanned 34 years. There is hardly a year that goes by without me knocking on her watery door and starting where we last left off. Photographing her has been one of my greatest joys, for myself and magazines (you can grab some tips here).

detail white curtains piazza san marco venice by carla coulson

All images copyright Carla Coulson

Venice taught me so many life lessons. That the world is a big magical place, bigger and more beautiful than we could ever dream up. That there are places when you are far away from home that feel like home. That in a fast paced modern world, it is OK to be old fashioned and romantic and to be yourself. She taught me that the magic lies out of our comfort zone.

Maybe she planted a seed in my twenty-one-year-old mind that wasn’t ready to germinate at the time, that would slowly grow in my thirties, that life could be lived in so many different ways and that maybe one day that Italy would be part of my story.

She showed me that the impossible is possible. Never stop dreaming.

We love Venice we will be back real soon.

What is your favourite travel memory? Leave me a note below

Carla x

If you love Venice and want to have daily updates on this glorious place, you can follow on Instagram @venicebybridge

Kerrie Hess Online Masterclass in Painting Fashion is Open for Enrolments

The gorgeous illustrator Kerrie Hess is having an Online Masterclass in Painting Fashion and she’s inviting you to join! In this special 12-week course for beginners, you’ll learn how to paint with confidence and take the lessons at your own pace, and if you’re already an artist, you’ll be able to enhance your skills in painting using watercolour and acrylic. Kerrie will also be sharing her insights on how to create an inspiring painting space, tips for travel painting and how to hang your own art pieces.

Kerrie Hess

Enrolments worldwide are now open and only limited places are available, so don’t miss out on this chance. One of the most beautiful ways to be mindful is to be creative, and you will be able to discover your joy in art and painting with this course. Registration for places closes on March 1st at 10:00 AM AEST, and you can learn more about the online masterclass HERE.



Photo Carla Coulson with Greek fisherman lesvos enjoying Kefi

Greek ‘Kefi’ Is Food For The Soul

Photo Carla Coulson with Greek fisherman lesvos enjoying KefiWhether you are a photographer, creative or lover of life, today’s post is about Greek ‘Kefi’, which I believe is soul food.

One of my favourite things to do in life is to get on a plane to Greece because no matter how busy my year has been I know in my heart that I will put back what has been taken out of my creative well this year when I touch down on Greek soil.

For me the magic starts at the Athens airport and Greek folk if you are reading this I am sure you will know what I mean.

The nervous system seems to know its home!

It rolls over, it purrs, it knows it’s going to lie on a beach whether it be on beautiful Sifnos and or adventuring on Lesvos, and soon will become so hypnotized with good food, soft breezes, gentle joy that the Kefi immediately kicks in.

greek dancing and the joy of Kefi

Photo by Carla Coulson

Kefi, like so many words in different languages never translates as the Greeks know it. It’s about joy, passion, living in the moment, togetherness, music and dance and more.

The above photos were taking of my husband on the last day of one of many of our Greek holidays.

I wanted a photo and had tried to make it happen the day before which ended in a rare fight. I found this amazing motorbike and the guy wouldn’t rent it to us. We drove out to this beautiful simple place on a ugly alternative and then hubs dug his heels in and refused. My sweet Italian wasn’t feeling it. We were leaving the island in a couple of days and I knew this window was closing but my philosophy has NEVER TO DO ANYTHING FOR A for a photo so I let it go.

Then later the next day he said ‘come on let’s go take some photos’. We rented the not so attractive bike, headed out to the beautiful spot and I started taking pics of him riding. Then he jumped off the bike and started humming the music to the sirtaki and just like that, on a dirt road, as the sun was setting with him and I dancing and humming we found our Kefi.

Sometimes I think Kefi is the secret to happiness!

There is a wonderful interview here unfortunately only in French or Greek that describes Kefi

Or you can catch a little bit of it here in this scene with Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek. I adore those words you would love any man to utter to another ‘will you teach me to dance’?

Here’s how I take Kefi home into my daily life:

Live in the moment – I try and stop living for tomorrow and live in the moment if whatever I am doing is enjoyable and not rush off to the next thing. Just sit, kick back and enjoy. Tomorrow will come but right here and now is amazing.

Relax – I find I get more done and am more creative when I take time out, have weekends and days away from the computer and meditate or relax during the day. Yes, when the sun is shining I take a long lunch break and even lie down during my work day and don’t feel slightly guilty about it because I know when I get up everything will be clearer.

Music – I make music a part of my life, it changes my mood takes me from lethargic to excited, feeling down to happy and helps me bring what I desire into my life. Yes folks I manifest to music!!

Dance – Even if it’s only for my husband I try and dance every day! Dance is the thing that connects us to joy and the forgotten wild women inside.

Share – There are so many ways to share our lives with others. Make a habit of sharing a meal with someone, share a ride home, an after walk or something that works for you. Actively share.

Let Go – If there is one thing that is tough to master it is letting go. Letting go of all the millions of things we think we should do and surrendering to them or delegating them to someone else. Once a day I let go of something. I allow things to be imperfect even if it’s a small thing and I am the only person that knows it, I just kiss goodbye to perfection and mentally let go.

So dearest folks, I hope you have enjoyed this little reflection on joy and life and hope you try and bring a little Kefi to your daily routine.

Sending love

Carla x

PS: Top photo of me on Lesvos by Claire Lloyd 

Your Dreams are Valid!

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