Five Ways To Get More Creative With Your Photography


black and white photography, portrait workshop, carla coulson, paris portrait, creative portraiture, creative photography, paris photographer,  maiden, games of thrones, medieval princess, wood nymphDear Photographers,

I hope you are having a beautiful week. Spring is in the air in Paris and with Spring comes a whole new beautiful energy of renewal, hope and joy. I love Spring!!

I had the greatest joy on the weekend to photograph this beautiful gal in the last moments of Paris’s winter and really tap into a dream like world. It was a true collaboration between the beautiful Erica, my team and I, so looking forward to showing you more photos from this shoot.

As I was preparing for the shoot, I asked myself ‘how far do you want to go creatively’?. It got me thinking about how you can become more creative with your photography and these are some of the techniques I have used over the years to keep pushing my butt out of my comfort zone.

Here’s a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Grant yourself permission

Now this one is going to seem like an obvious one but it’s the thing we struggle with the most. Giving ourselves the ‘green flag’ to push our creativity further than what ‘we think others want’ is the thing that holds most of us back. Yes, folks when we constantly create from a place of pleasing others, we aren’t digging into our biggest creative selves. When you are looking to what others do and that becomes your benchmark, you have it all wrong. Make YOU,  your benchmark.  Let your inner dreams, visions and wonderment out! Unleash your emotions into your photos. Go one, give yourself permission!!

  1. Values & Life Experiences

So many of us have deep rooted values we live by or have had big life experiences that have impacted us personally in a profound way. Ask yourself how could you bring what matters to you, into your work or your vision as a photographer? What stories are important to you? What values are important to you? What life experiences have profoundly changed your life? And take a courageous step forward, it could be creating a series of photos around strong women that inspire you, bring an element of your personal style into your work or ask yourself how YOU would express ‘honesty’ if it is one of your values?

  1. Enjoyment

This old chestnut. Imagine if you could actually take photos of things that brought you joy!!! This is exactly what I did when I granted myself permission to go to the beach. I knew I wasn’t changing the course of history with my beach photos but quite frankly I didn’t give a hoot. Instead  I allowed champagne bubbles of joy to jump up and down in my blood about going to my favourite beaches and taking photos of them. End of story. Had fun, got excited, got really happy and other people loved them. Win, win.

  1. Let your voice out

For so long so many of us have kept our voices quiet. Imagine if your inner dialogue ended up on paper in the form of a photo!! Wooooo what would you like to say? Would it be a story of joy, love, romance, heartbreak, fear, courage or something else? I found this a lovely way to tell a story when I created the Young Girl in Bloom series. I brought a story of my teenage years to a photographic project and let it all entwine in its own natural organic way.

  1. Fail forward

Make mistakes!! That’s where the learning and the beauty is. By allowing yourself to play, experiment and make mistakes, you might just find the secret to your soul or a technique you never knew was possible and you really, really love. I decided on the weekend to put a scarf over my lens to see what would happen. Stop playing it safe!!

Yes folks, safe keeps you where you are today and as creatives, we need to keep moving, to evolve, move on and doing the same things over and over again means we mostly stay in the same place. Let go of perfectionism and embrace playing.

So, my lovely photographers, I hope this gives you a little inspiration for your week to bring more of YOU and YOUR INNER WORLD into photography.

Wishing you a spectacular week.

Love and light,

Carla x

P.S. A huge thanks to the beautiful Erica for allowing me to share these images.


Related Post: My Photography ‘Gap’ Year That Became My Calling

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Veronique Marot
Veronique Marot
3 years ago

Fantastic advice! Thank you carla!

Thea McMillan
Thea McMillan
3 years ago

As ever you’ve given me inspiration and courage to dig deeper! Thank you Carla xx

Saskia Wesseling
Saskia Wesseling
3 years ago

You are such an inspirational photographer, mentor and personality! You spread joy around this world. Thank you!