Blog - Carla Coulson
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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

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography, Carla Coulson Coaching, Business coach, blog, this is better for you than green juice

This Is Better For You Than Green Juice 

 

Dear Folks, 

The past four years have been beyond interesting in all things growth for me. Thanks to three different auto-immunes Alopecia areata, Graves disease, and Lichen Sclerosus, I got to take a VERY good look at how I was living my life.

I pulled up a train crash speeding at about 100km an hour before it hit a wall and in the process have learnt some of the most marvelous life lessons of all time. 

Jumping off a cliff into a new life 18 years ago, leaving Australia for Italy and a business for photography brought me so many insights into who I am and why I am here. There was so much to learn once I woke up from the trance I had been living that I couldn’t wait to get started. 

There was photography and Florence, museums and art, a new way of living and being. And there was so much love and joy. 

Love for life, for the small things, the world around me and the adventure I was on. The joy was daily in riding a bike through the streets of Florence, in learning a new language and the belly laughs for the mistakes I made and finding a community.

 

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography, Carla Coulson Coaching, Business coach, blog, this is better for you than green juice

 

But somewhere in between Florence and the auto-immunes, my life got way more serious, I moved to Paris, got busy trying to make it work and being back in a big city. 

I credit the auto-immunes with giving me my joy back. They gave me the kick up the bum I needed to take responsibility of my life again and start living it the way I wanted to live it. 

I got back on the JOY TRAIN. 

And yes I did and do eat a million fruit and vegetables, Yes I did stop all those chemicals and loads of other things (YOU CAN READ ABOUT IT HERE) but the healthiest thing you can do for your nervous system is to laugh, to share, to find joy and to allow yourself pleasure with a capital P.

Isn’t this the best news you have had all year! Yes folks, the green juices are fabulous but your nervous system needs a break from doing, from the stress of work and life and all things serious. It needs to dance and ride bikes, it needs to laugh till tears come out your eyes and your stomach hurts, it needs to play football with your kids and lie in a park and do nothing. It needs to paint and to garden, to smell the roses and to go fishing.

 

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography, Carla Coulson Coaching, Business coach, blog, this is better for you than green juice

 

The more little breaks you give that poor shot to pieces nervous system of yours, the more it will fire up the hormones we need and get them doing what they are meant to be doing instead of freaking out and flooding our body with cortisol. 

So lovelies, light a candle, buy yourself some flowers, book a massage because it’s good for you.  

Five Tips for Getting the Joy Back

  1. Remember what makes you happy and build it into your daily or weekly life, it can be as simple as riding a bike or gardening
  2. When you feel like life is too much ask for help or when someone offers it accept it. Doing it all on our own is no longer a badge of honour
  3. Build something that makes you feel good into your life. You decide how often. A swim, a massage, a walk in the mountains or a dance lesson.
  4. Make frequent breaks in your day.. Yes you are allowed to rest. Sit down for 10 mins if your job is on your feet or vice-versa get up from the computer and do some stretches. Take time to meditate or do nothing, lie on the grass and look at the sky.
  5. Disconnect – being connected all the time keeps our nervous systems on call. So make some rules around the use of your phone and social media so you can be present with the ones you love 

 

The super big bonus of letting your nervous system calm down is that you let a little light into your heart and soul. And when the light gets in you get a little piece to your puzzle.

Sending love and light

Carla x

Related Post: Why We All Need More Greek Kefi

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography,Carla Coulson Coaching

When Do Your Photos Become Valuable?

Dear Folks,

The easy answer for this is the moment you take them. They are our memories, the proof of our lives, where we have been and what we found along the way.

The longer answer goes something like this.

So many of the photos I have taken during the last eighteen years were for pure pleasure on my travels or holidays and today I have 100,000’s of thousands of photos on numerous discs and negatives.

When I first started taking photos the concept of them being valuable didn’t enter my mind. I was so excited to take them and then rush out and take some more, like a wonderful addiction to life.

I was terrible with them, in such a hurry to print them and see them appear in the darkroom that I would hastily discard one negative for the next and often put them back in the wrong packet.

 

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography,Carla Coulson Coaching

 

Hence if someone today asks me for a copy of a photo in my first years, I will go into hot sweats and do anything to avoid promising that photo because I could lose a day looking for it. I would rather NOT find it or sell it than go looking for it.

When I started my blog back in 2008 I put up the photos I loved with little SEO tags of when and where I took them and now I have a steady stream of magazines, publications and interior designers asking me for my photos from my travels.

Coupled with the photos I continue to take, I have come to realize that our archives have an enormous value and they should be treasured, catalogued and easy to find.

So dear photographers, I beg you to look after your images and no matter where you are on your journey start improving your system today.

 

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography,Carla Coulson Coaching

 

Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Right now today make sure you always have two discs of any series of images. One being an exact backup disc and mirror of the original disc and make sure they AREN’T stored together
  2. Number, date and name your discs and make sure they are marked clearly on the outside
  3. Categorise each shoot by date first, month and then name your project, person and place for each search reference. When you open your disc you should see a series of folders with specific jobs, subjects or travels.
  4. If you are super-organized start a file with the disc names and then sub folders on that disc. You could also do a hard copy reference book just for this for easy searching so if you are looking for ‘2013 Sifnos’ you know it is on disc 13 etc..
  5. Always keep your ‘hero’s’ in a 3rd place such as the cloud so if all things go belly up you have the best photos of your career in high resolution version.

 

I know so many of you are creating magic on a daily basis, look after your beautiful images as one day they will have an incredible emotional, historical and economical value.

 

Happy snapping!

Carla

 

Related Post: What Heirloom Will You Leave Your Family?

exhibition, frida kahlo, frida, photography, homage

‘From Pain Comes Strength: Homage to Frida’ Exhibition

Homage to Frida Exhibition Invite

The lovely Kris Ashpole is excited to invite you to her exhibition From Pain Comes Strength – Homage to Frida: a photographic exhibition celebrating Frida Kahlo from Thursday 5th July to Wednesday 11th July.  All the details are in the attached invitation above.

She is hosting a few events throughout the exhibition (stay tuned for more details as they are finalised):

  • Thursday 5th July, 6-8pm: Opening night
  • Friday 6th July, 12-7pm: Drop by for cake and champagne to celebrate Frida’s birthday
  • Saturday 7th July, 2pm: Award-winning make-up artist Sabrina Melei re-creates Frida showing how she developed ‘Frida’s’ look.
  • Sunday 8th July, 2pm: Photographer Kris Ashpole talks about her inspiration for the series, followed by a tour of the exhibition by performance artist, Carly-Anne Evans (who modeled as Frida). Carly-Anne will talk about how Frida influenced her and her unique perspective of the images.
  • Tuesday 10th July, 6pm: Artist talk and discussion – see above.

There will also be giveaways announced in the coming weeks – so watch this space.

This exhibition was created by photographer Kris Ashpole; performance artist Carly-Anne Evans; make-up and hair artist Sabrina Melei, and; stylist Meg Ashpole.

Kris hopes to see you at the Exhibition during the week! If you are joining in for the opening night, please RSVP by 27th June. For more information, visit krisashpolephotography.com.

“I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better.” – Frida Kahlo

Related post: Carla Coulson talks Paris, memoir, and creativity