Blog - Carla Coulson
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Wanna Buy A House In Puglia Italy


Dear Friends,

This little piece of Puglia is very dear to me. It’s located near Ceglie Messapica in the Valle D’itria and has been in Francesco’s and my heart for the past 10 years.

We have dreamed of converting it into many things. A beautiful home to welcome our family and friends where we would have an ecological vegetable garden, long table lunches under the olive trees and swing in hammocks at the end of the day.



Inspired by the beautiful Masserias such as Masseria Potenti and Masseria Ciminio, we dreamed of making this beauty come alive, keeping her beautiful organic shapes, adding a Mediterranean garden that wouldn’t need watering and giving her a lot of love and care.

My architect hubby who loves Mediterranean architecture spent many a long night planning her comeback and how it would be the kindest to the landscape around her as we wanted to respect her story and the surrounding lands. I fantasised about fairy lights in the olive trees, music and laughter and picking my own tomatoes.

Planimetria17terrace faacde-2


But during the past 10 years, our lives have taken different directions. Hubby is now a naturopath as well as an architect and our travels take us all around the world. We have come to the realization that we need to pass on our dream to someone else who truly loves beautiful Puglia and wants to create something beautiful with this precious piece.

Our little baby is for sale and you can check her out HERE and if you are interested and want to know more you can contact Francesco Distante at

Sending love,

Carla x


Related Post: Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

Liberty Biggins’ Beautiful Home in The Design Files

design files

So excited to see ‘Joyful & Unstoppable’ featured in professional home stylist Liberty Biggins’ own beautiful home! The Design Files chats with Liberty about styling her own house and shares images of her space on their site. Check it out HERE.

You can order the Joyful & Unstoppable, as well as other prints in my Young Girl In Bloom series, from my online shop Carla Coulson Prints (ships worldwide) and from Forman Art and Framing in Australia.


Related Post: Marie Claire: We talk to photographer Carla Coulson about life behind the lens

Don’t Take Life Too Seriously


Dear Folks,

I missed you guys!

I hope this finds you full of enthusiasm for a change of season no matter where you are in the world.

It’s so easy to get bogged down in our lives, to feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders with so many responsibilities, work, children, deadlines, mortgages, bills, and a million other things.

If you are reading this and you feel a bit blah because you are in overwhelm for the long list of things you ‘should’ do, this is a little invitation from me to think about life differently.

What if you had a little more fun, built a little more lightness into your life, added a whole lot more love, dinners out and tango lessons!

Instead of focusing on the never-ending list of things to tick off, what would happen if you put on Jon Bon Jovi and did the accounts and in between got up and did some air guitar? You may feel ridiculous and laugh but that is the point!

What if instead of taking the kids to another lesson you guys went to the beach and lied in the sun and laughed and ate ice-cream?

Imagine instead of going to a job (photography included) with a feeling of anxiety, instead, you said to yourself ‘this is going to be fun’… and it was.

Here’s the good news, we can make every day any way we want it to be. We can get pissed off, focus on the negative, dial down into the details or have a different experience. It’s our choice.

If you feel life somehow life got too serious, remember the reason we are here is joy. It’s that simple. When you are joyful, you are fully in your true spirit and when you are truly you that is when the magic happens.

So build a little joy into your daily life and get the big guy upstairs to fast-track your dreams.

Remember, don’t take life too seriously…

Love and light,

Carla x

Joy – Exploring Creativity Through The Senses Greece 2019


All Photographs Copyright: Claire Lloyd

Dear Fellow Creatives and Photographers,

I am so excited to launch this beautiful retreat on the island of Lesvos.

Three great friends invite you to explore your creativity through your senses.

Creatives Claire Lloyd and Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs live the ultimate creative life in a small village on the island of Lesvos, painting, illustrating, photographing, designing, sculpting and creating nurturing spaces.

Lesvos has been their home since 2010 and it is in the atmosphere of their authentic Greek Village along with Carla Coulson,  we invite you to slow down, nurture your senses and discover a creativity you may not have yet explored.

This retreat is a gentle unfolding with Lesvos as the backdrop, a dip in the water to a creative life all experienced through painting, illustration, interiors, photography and creating from found objects. There will be swims in the sea, sunset dinners on the beach and the tinker of sheep bells as you head to a private courtyard for breakfast. Traditional Greek lunches under a 100-year-old tree in the local platia and open-air classrooms for painting, illustrating and photography.

It is a hands-on experience for closet creatives who have always dreamed of picking up a paintbrush, wanting to know more about creating spaces or learning to illustrate but have never dared. It’s also for creatives who have wanted to try other creative arts but have never found the time or occasion.



In a world where we are surrounded by technology and screens we have the sensation we are always busy. It has become even more important to use our hands and it is in the process of using our hands to create that allows our spirit to slow down and us to create consciously.

Opening the door to your creativity allows you a deeper connection to yourself. When we step out of fast paced lives, slow down and make time for creativity, we connect to our true desires and the more we are connected to our desires the easier it is for us to live a life authentic to us and filled with joy.

We will show you how we access our six senses to live lives that are in alignment to our core desires. We will show you how we continue to find inspiration in sound, touch, taste, vision, smell and intuition and the ultimate state of wellbeing – joy and how it plays out in our creativity and how you can apply it to your life.

All of this will be taught in a local village on the island of Lesvos. Staying in simple but beautiful village houses with only the sounds of local village life. It’s a chance to step away from technology and open your creative heart.



Claire Lloyd aims to create beauty in everything she does whether it is cooking a meal, creating an interior or taking photos. Claire is a passionate creative who has worked as an art director on magazines such as Australian Vogue and the World of Interiors and is passionate about creating nurturing spaces. She has photographed and written two books Sensual Living and My Greek Island Home and worked as a freelance creative director for brands such as Jo Malone, Liberty, M&C Saatchi, Dulux, Connolly Leather, Joseph, Wild at Heart, The Dorchester Hotel, Next, Conran, Garrard Jewellers and Harrods.

Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs There is no art form that Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs hasn’t mastered. For the first 20 years of his career he worked at the Royal National Theatre painting backdrops, then as a freelance artist creating sets for magazines such asWorld of Interiors and Elle Decoration. Matthew has painted West End sets and backdrops for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Macintosh and travelled the world creating sets for The Rolling Stones and ACDC. He has also worked as a fine artist and his work is the British Government Art Collection and the Israel Contemporary Art Museum and is a master print maker.

Carla Coulson is a photographer, author and creative coach who is deeply passionate about all things creative and how it can enhance our lives. She has published 8 photographic books with Penguin Australia of which she wrote and photographed 3 and her work has been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Gourmet Traveller and Vogue Living. Carla came to creativity late in life at the age of 35 and her mission is to show others that creativity is for everyone and everyone is creative if you dare to try.  She teaches workshops Internationally.



  • Authenticity with a capital A. We will be staying in simple but beautiful self-contained village houses scattered around an authentic Greek village far away from the bustling crowd so get ready to disconnect.
  • Each day will be a mix of creativity, eating delicious home-cooked Greek meals and adventures around Lesvos. There will be open air painting, illustrating by the sea, photography in ancient port town, being challenged with sound, touch, taste and other senses to create the unexpected.
  • Learning to see with new eyes and discover the beautiful way Claire Lloyd puts together her unique nurturing spaces and learn her secrets of what’s in the details.
  • It’s a chance to slow down to the pace of a Greek Island, to see another way of living but at the same time accessing a deeper creativity through exploring many art forms.
  • There will be daily inspiration sessions for deeper ways for you to connect to your intuition, ground yourself into your core desires and become more conscious of choices and your senses.
  • Excursions to beautiful parts of Lesvos including villages, beaches and monastery to be inspired by traditional art and architecture and nature.
  • Simple beautiful Greek cuisine served in local settings, tavernas, beach restaurants and home-cooked meals
  • To create and go home with a journal full of designs and memories, paintings, photography tips and art creations. A new found creative confidence, fresh eyes,  refreshed and recharged with new vitality and joy.
  • A chance to disconnect from the world and go within



  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 5 days of tuition
  • All painting and art materials
  • Welcome night dinner
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the 5 days
  • All transfers from arrival at the airport in Mytilene and return to the airport
  • All transfers during the workshop
  • And loads of creativity, dancing, friendship and fun!!


All Photographs Copyright: Claire Lloyd

For full details please check out the workshop HERE

I hope to meet you in Greece!

Carla x

Marie Claire: We talk to photographer Carla Coulson about life behind the lens

Photographer, Carla Coulson, Loc Boyle

Image credit: Loc Boyle

by Nicola Moyne | Originally published in Marie Claire UK


Her iconic ‘Italian Joy’ and ‘Jeune Fille En Fleur’ photographs have become collectible items for fine-art fans worldwide. But it’s Carla Coulson’s azure-blue beach shots that have sent our wanderlust levels stellar. Now living in Paris, Carla Coulson has her eye set on snapping the Med’s luxury shorelines next. Here, she speaks to Nicola Moyne about following her heart, Leicas and the art of shooting beach life.


You had been running a successful business in Sydney before you started studying photography. What made you take the leap?

I had a camera and took photos, but I didn’t know how to use it on manual. When I started at photography school in Florence, I didn’t know anything about how the photography business worked. At that point, I was really focused on learning and the first time I developed something in the darkroom, I was obsessed. I would take my camera with me day and night and I adored shooting daily Italian life.


Atrani, one of Coulson’s most iconic Italian beach shots

Atrani, one of Coulson’s most iconic Italian beach shots


Who has inspired your career and style of photography?

I had a teacher at photography school who was really passionate about reportage, so I looked to all the great humanist photographers of the 1950s, such as Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I spent hundreds of hours ‘learning’ by looking at images and discovering new photographers. Paolo Roversi set my heart and imagination on fire; I love the joy and fun in the photos of Ellen Von Unwerth; and Richard Avedon has an innate class that inspires me. Over the years, I have looked at so many different photographers but at the moment I am letting my inner voice speak. I had the great fortune to work with a fashion editor, Marta Innocenti Ciulli, who was the editor of Collezioni and she told me not to worry about the clothes but shoot images that were from the heart and full of emotions. She told me, ‘If the photos were beautiful, people would feel connected to them’. I think you can go on learning forever.


Monopoli: A colour choreography of beach umbrellas and beach toys on a background of turquoise.


Your fashion and travel photography is so immersive. How would you describe your style?

I am obsessed with life and all the nuances. I adore people and creating photos that have a connection. I get bored when there are no emotions so I work to create emotions in a picture even at first glance when there appears there are none. I would describe my style as emotive. I am inspired by Italy and the emotions of life. Where there is life, you will find me.


La Fontelina Beach in Capri

Poolside: Coulson’s bird’s eye view of Bronte Pool in Sydney, Australia

Poolside: Coulson’s bird’s eye view of Bronte Pool in Sydney, Australia


Do you have a favourite camera?

I love my old Leica’s, the M6 and M7. They are so small and unobtrusive and people almost don’t notice that you are taking pictures. I would like to go back to having a smaller digital camera that I can take everywhere with me like the new Fuji’s. I hear so many photographers – particularly women – who find the bigger cameras too heavy and cumbersome to take out on a daily basis and this is a problem with you like to shoot street photography and life.


Are you a fan of film or digital?

I love both and I think there is a place for both. The thing I love about film is that once you have stopped shooting your job is finished. With digital, we spend way too much time at a computer.


Parasol paradise at La Scogliera, Italy

Parasol paradise at La Scogliera, Italy


What, or who, do you love photographing the most?

The beach and flowers. For me, there is nothing other than joy in shooting these two series. I adore selecting the flowers, picking them up and then trying to create magic… The beaches are my natural home – I shooting love the Amalfi Coast, including Atrani – I would be going anyway. I also recently shot Heidi Middleton formerly of Sass and Bide in a mini-castle in France. A spectacular person in a spectacular place.


Is your house filled with gorgeous photos? Paint a picture for us…

Yes, I have a lot of photos and art around. Not only mine, but those by friends and artists I admire. I love to be surrounded by images and have a wall behind where I sit with racks filled with images and art. (To purchase Carla Coulson’s fine art prints, visit


Positano from the water – one of the Amalfi coast’s prettiest cliffside villages

Positano from the water – one of the Amalfi coast’s prettiest cliffside villages


What advice would you give any aspiring photographers out there?

Follow your heart and don’t try and make money out of it too soon. There is an enormous value in letting your eye and style develop without the pressure of a job. It’s wonderful to let your heart lead you and see where it takes you. If you give yourself enough time in the beginning and develop a style and an opinion, it will ultimately make your journey to wherever you want to go shorter.


P.S. There is one place available on Heartland, a People and Spaces Photography Workshop this October, set in the beautiful Puglia, Italy. You can join the workshop HERE.


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