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“I have no formal qualifications as a photographer, just the school of life. I learned most by just taking pictures; a lot of pictures…. Being a photographer is like being an athlete. You must practice every day.” And like an athlete, you must be tough”.


I am having the most marvellous time at the moment, knee deep in magazines, books and images preparing for the Picture This Workshop. Avedon (that would be my kitten) is a great help, flipping the pages of magazines even when I haven’t asked him!

I love the above quote by Demarchelier, how photography is like being like an athlete and how you must practice everyday and the tough bit is so true. Even Mr Demarchelier got a knock back from Elle magazine on his first try. See you need to have thick skin and lots of passion.

I am sure photography from the outside looks easy but Mr Demarchelier’s words are so true!

Looking back through my old fashion photos is like time travelling, each shoot seems so vivid the  difficulties I had on the day, the way the model worked, wrestling with the light (and the rain), the excitement as the model exited from hair and make-up, the fun (oh the fun of it all) and seeing the final results printed in the magazine.

My road has been long and bumpy and ever so exciting. These are some of things I have learnt from shooting fashion:

1. How to work with a model

2. How to get the most out of natural light working outdoors, indoors and when it is raining cats and doggies.

3. What emotion, movement can bring to a photo.

4. Creating a connection with your subject.

5. Posing and how the human body looks more interesting at certain angles.

6. Creating variety in the images

7. Using scale change from wide shots to portraits

8. What works in fashion doesn’t necessarily work shooting portraiture (like blue lips for example)

9. Creating authentic images

10. Working side by side with stylists and hair and make-up artists and observing their craft

11. Knowing their is no room for mistakes

12. Getting the shots under any circumstances

All photos copyright Carla Coulson

13. What my style is!

14. What my colour preferences are and how I like to post-process my images

15. How images work together

16. Working on location and scouting them

17. And how much I love photography!!!!

I have ONE PLACE LEFT  in the Picture This Workshop where I hope to share as much as I can in three days about what I have learnt in fashion and how it can help you make unique, beautiful portraits.

We will spend 50 percent of the time shooting and the rest discussing fashion, working with your subjects, portraiture, post-processing and workflow, how to balance it all and creating a business plan.

If you would like to join me and a great list of other photographers for the 7,8,9 January please get in touch asap or check out the full story here.

“You don’t make a photo with a camera, you bring to the act of photography every picture you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved”.

Ansel Adams




Check out my Portrait Lightroom Presets here.

  • Anita Rivera

    What a joy it is to know you and your art, Carla. And like you have shared here, the wise words of other artists, being an artist in general is like being an athlete; you must exercise your muscles EVERY DAY.

    I am enjoying the process of the transition I have jumped into from being a full-time teacher to an artist. But I am now enjoying the pleasure of taking a writing class and I know that if I write intentionally every day, I will only get better. I play the harp too, and with every day that I strike the chords, the music becomes a heart beat. I KNOW YOU WILL SUCCEED; you already have.


    November 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm
  • Ildiko

    Awsome pics Carla!!!! I admire every eacb piece!!! Amazing art!!
    With love,Ildiko

    November 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm
  • I love that quote Carla by Demarchelier- and I love these images – you rock my friend, I have LOADS to learn still:)

    November 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm
  • What a helpful post + adore the quotes & your photos. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    November 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm
  • Dear Carla!
    Sydney yay… but when are you going to go to Dublin or London? 😀 😀 I wish to go to Sydney really, but it’s still not on my road 😉

    November 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm
  • divine.





    November 8, 2012 at 12:46 am
  • Josephine Nyga

    Grazie again for the continued inspiration!!! x

    November 8, 2012 at 2:50 am