Blog - Carla Coulson
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How Vulnerability Helps Me To Take Portraits That Count


Dear Folks,

So many of the questions that arrive in my inbox are about how I take photos full of emotions.

How do I get people to laugh or jump, forget about me, or blow me a kiss?

Well, here’s my secret. It is my willingness to be vulnerable.

When we are in a vulnerable state we are wide open, we have our hearts on the line and we are willing to let people see it. We show them we are not perfect and don’t have answers all the time and that is OK.


For many of us, it feels dangerous but as the beautiful Brene Brown says ‘I believe that vulnerability – the willingness to be “all in” even when you know it can mean failing and hurting – is brave.”

When I am taking photos, I dare to show people that I am as vulnerable as they are even though they are the one in front of the camera.

In 2016, I was given the biggest compliment by a niece who I worked with for a whole year in Paris. She told me, ‘You don’t care what people think of you!’

For a minute, I was almost offended and then she explained, “No matter who you are with on a shoot, (including some famous folk) you goof around and make a fool of yourself and you don’t decide things based on what other people think of you.”

vulnerable, vulnerability, Carla Coulson photography

I loved her point of view. I will be discussing vulnerability along with other wonderful topics in the Heartland Workshop this October in Puglia and sharing all my photography secrets.

If you would like to take photos with more emotion and do it with confidence, I would love to teach you how. I have had one cancellation and would love to help you take your portraits and interiors to a new level.

You can read all about the workshop HERE.

If you have any questions, please send us a note to

P.S. You check out Brene Brown’s TED Talk HERE.

You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both.” – Brene Brown


Related Post: Start With A Vision



Waking Up In Paris

Waking Up in Paris, Sonia Choquette, books

“As if waking up from a nightmare, I thought, If I am going to be traumatized, I might as well be traumatized in Paris, right?”

Dear Folks,

These words set the scene for dear friend Sonia Choquette’s latest book, Waking up in Paris. I was so honoured to be invited to create with Sonia the cover image of this beautiful book that will touch many people’s hearts, particularly those who have recently had their heart broken.

This weekend I had the chance to curl up with this book and read it and go on Sonia’s journey from darkness to light in Paris.

sonia choquette, books

After a 32-year marriage ended and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, beautiful Sonia was given a choice by her spirited daughter Sabrina (who I love) and that was to have a breakdown in a hospital in Chicago or get on a flight to Paris to start a new life with her.

Sonia is known as one of the great spiritual teachers of our time, having published 25 books on intuition and spirituality and had numerous New York Times bestsellers but in her honest book, she shares her heartbreak and sadness just as painful as it is for any of us going through loss.

Waking Up in Paris, Sonia Choquette, books

There are many surprises awaiting Sonia in Paris and as I too have called this city home I adored reading of all her mishaps, adventures, awakenings and laughter in the corners of Paris I know so well.

If you would like to mend a broken heart and go on an adventure you will probably love this beautiful read. You can find it HERE.

Carla x

Related Post: Mithra on the streets of Paris


Summer Lovefest 20% Off Storewide


Dear Folks,

Summer is my favourite season and as I pack my bikini and goggles to start a summer junket taking me to the South of France, Italy and Greece, I want to say thanks to you for all your support and love throughout the years.

Having the chance to travel the Mediterranean each summer has always been my luxury.



With the code SUMMERLOVEFEST on checkout, you will receive 20% off all prints storewide till Sunday 29th July 2018 Midnight Paris time. You can start browsing HERE.

Sending you the biggest flower and beach hug ever.



Related Post: Why Is It So Hard To Listen To Our Heart?

Listen To Your Heart, carla coulson, flowers, paris, jeune fille en fleur, forman picture framing, lilac bouquet, on my way, great future ahead, lisianthus, joyful and unstoppable, dahlia bouquet, paris florist, fine art print, limited edition,

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,


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!


Related Post: Start With A Vision