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 Over the years I have looked at hundreds of thousands of images, films and historical references and its in these moments they serve me.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

They Had A Dream.. And Look Where It Took Them!

Lisa Luscombe, Carla Coulson, Martina Franca, Caravan Travel Photography Workshop, travel photography

Martina Franca Copyright Lisa Luscombe

You know how sometimes that feeling of giving is better than receiving? When you have wrapped up a present you know someone is going to love and they open it and tears of joy roll down their faces.

Well, this is the feeling I had for 6 full days sharing all I have learnt in the past 13 years with these 12 fabulous photographers and look what they did with that info!

These aren’t my photos, they are the photos of the people who participated in last year’s Caravan Travel Photography workshop and they make my heart skip two beats.

Susan Papazian, carla coulson, travel photography, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia

Portrait  Copyright Susan Papazian

It is with great ‘mamma pride’ that I present their work. Not only were they twelve of the most fabulous people one could wish to spend 6 days with in Puglia but each one has their own way of looking at the world, their own heart and soul that they put into the pics and what a talented bunch they are..

jilly bennett, carla coulson, travel photography, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, grottaglie

Grottaglie Copyright Jilly Bennett

This is going to be a long post so I suggest you make your favourite beverage, switch off your social media and lose yourself in the incredible of work of these talented photographers.

Mandy Robb, Martina Franca, Carla Coulson, Caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography,

Martina Franca Copyright Mandy Robb

Bari Susan Papazian, Caravan travel Photography workshop, puglia, travel photography

Bari Copyright Susan Papazian

John Callisto, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, Italy, travel photography

Ceglie Messapica Copyright John Callisto

Lisa Luscombe, Carla Coulson, Caravan travel photography workshop, martina franca, travel photography

Martina Franca Copyright Lisa Luscombe

Susan Papazian, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, martina franca, puglia

Martina Franca Copyright Susan Papazian

Mandy Robb, Ceglie Messapica, caravan travel photography, carla coulson, puglia, italyMartina Franca Copyright Mandy Robb

Susan Papazian, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy,

Martina Franca Copyright Susan Papazian

Renae Smith, caravan travel photography workshop, carla coulson, travel photography, puglia,

Photo Copyright Renae Smith

Lisa Luscombe, Masseria Cimino, puglia, caravan travel photography workshop, Carla Coulson, puglia

Masseria Cimino Copyright Lisa Luscombe

masseria cimino, susan papazian, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, puglia

Masseria Cimino Copyright Susan Papazian

John Callisto, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, masseria cimino, puglia

Masseria Cimino Copyright John Callisto

Renae smith, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, martina franca, travel photography, puglia

Detail Copyright Renae Smith

Lisa Luscombe, Carla Coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, food photography, puglia,

Food Copyright Lisa Luscombe

john callisto, carla coulson, food photography, caravan travel photography workshop, carla coulson, puglia,

Food  Copyright John Callisto

Mandy Robb, Carla Coulson, Caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, puglia,

Martina Franca Copyright Mandy Robb

Jilly Bennett, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy, dog

Bari Copyright Jilly Bennett

Lisa Luscombe, Ceglie messapica, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy, travel photography

Portrait Copyright Lisa Luscombe

Lisa luscombe, carla coulson, portrait, puglia, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography

Portrait Copyright Lisa Luscombe

vespa-high-pass-soft urban

Red Vespa Copyright Cassandra Gaisford

Jilly Bennett, carla coulson, puglia, martina franca, caravan travel photography workshop,

Portrait Copyright Jilly Bennett

procession ceglie messapica, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy

Ceglie Messapia Copyright Mandy Robb

susan papazian, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, puglia, ceglie messapica

Ceglie Messapica Copyright Susan Papazian

julie rowe, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, travel photography, puglia, italy, panning

Vespa copyright Julie Rowe

best of lightroom-22

Food Copyright Cassandra Gaisford

John callisto, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy, martina franca, carla coulson

Martina Franca Copyright John Callisto

julie rowe, polignano a mare, carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia

Polignano A Mare Copyright Julie Rowe

Lisa Luscombe, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy, travel photography

Food Copyright Lisa Luscombe

This is the tip of the iceberg. I hope to share more of their images in the coming months.

If you too would like to take your travel photography skills to new dizzy heights you might like to join my for the 2nd Edition of the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop next June 2015..Registration closes Monday 20th October 2014. All details here

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

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Are You Tired Of Putting Everybody First?

carla coulson, caravan travel photography workshop, puglia, italy, travel photography

Do you feel like you are the last on the list behind your partner, children, work commitments, cats, dogs, shopping, running a household and there is never enough time for you to do the things you love?

Back in the year 2000 before I left my life this is exactly how I felt. I felt like I put everything else before me and doing the things I loved.  I was always way down at the bottom of the list. I never stopped and made time for myself and what I loved. It always felt like there was something more pressing or important to do.

Well, one day I did something drastic about it when I could no longer stand the feeling of coming last.  I left my life, my job, my apartment, my country and my friends and went off on an adventure to find out what I loved in life. But I am not recommending you do that right now!

I have another solution.

If you would like to walk away from your life for just a week, try something you thought you might be good at or take your photography skills to new levels we’d love you to join us on the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop in beautiful Puglia.

We (me, another talented photographer and my fabulous staff) promise you one thing. You will be at the top of the list for a full 7 days. There will be no washing up, no organising accommodation or restaurants, no booking hotels and transfers, no-one to look after except yourself, your camera and the photos you want to take!

 

Caravan Travel Photography Workshop 2014 from Carla Coulson on Vimeo.

Here’s a little taste of what it could be like. If you are viewing this on an email click here

For for the full story on this bespoke workshop click here.

I would love to help you explore something you have always dreamed of.

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.???

Ella Fitzgerald

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How To Shoot An Event As Part Of A Travel Story – Procession in Ceglie Messapica

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The ‘main event’ the statue of San Antonio di Padova in the streets of Ceglie Messapica copyright Carla Coulson

I love the feeling of arriving in a new place, my ‘photographer’s antenna’ on overdrive at all the wonderful nuances and differences of that town or country. I am endlessly fascinated by the food, the architecture, the scents, feelings and excitement it all inspires.

I have always loved to travel and it was by no accident I passed the first 12 years of my photography career as a travel photographer. I knew in my heart the day I started photography school that was what I wanted to do.

One of my favourite aspects of travel photography is shooting a cultural, sporting, musical, religious or fashion event that is particular to that place.

There are many great reasons why you should shoot an event as part of a travel story. When we are photographing a place we are trying to tell a story of that place, it’s people, it’s culture, they way they live, eat and enjoy life.

An event inspires powerful feelings. As photographers to tell a great travel story means more than a sun setting over the sea, it means showing emotion, belief, joy, happiness, devotion and connection of the people to that place. Lots of these emotions naturally occur at events.

It’s also a great way of using the place as a backdrop whilst something rich is going on.

An event often has deep historical significance, it’s part of a tradition that can go back for centuries and the whole town turns out in their best outfit for it!

Oh and there are fabulous costumes, brass bands, fairy lights and a whole lot more depending on the particular event.

Before I shoot an event, I research it.

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Shooting around the event nun arriving at the church copyright Carla Coulson

These are some of the things I take into consideration when I shoot an event:

1.  What’s its history, what is the story or legend behind the event?

2. I want to know how the event ‘works’. What time it starts and finishes. This is really important in regards to shooting it as often events are held at sundown or night and this needs to be calculated when planning your equipment and degree of difficulty.

3. Where it is and is there a particular route it follows? I walk the route if this is possible looking at all sorts of vantage points where I could shoot from.

4. I do light tests if an interior venue is to be used..

5. What’s the main event? In these pictures the main event is the men carrying the statue.

6. What’s going on around the event? This often is more interesting than the main event. It could be people arriving, worshipping, selling things, children together playing. All sorts of things happen around the main event and there are many beautiful storytelling  moments to be captured.

7. I am constantly looking, scouting around to see what I can find that isn’t the ‘main event’. I have learnt throughout the years that often the best shots around to be found in the streets around the main event, backstage or afterwards when everyone is relaxed.

8. When someone points something out or suggests something I will go and check it out.

9. I have fun.. cause an event feels like a big fabulous party..

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Shooting around the event copyright Carla Coulson

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A new perspective copyright Carla Coulson

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Shooting around the event copyright Carla Coulson

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 The main event and a side story copyright Carla Coulson

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Shooting around the event, lady waiting for the procession copyright Carla Coulson

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Shooting around the event.. cat waiting for procession copyright Carla Coulson

Carla Coulson procession ceglie messapica puglia san antonio di padova 0014

The boys in the band copyright Carla Coulson

Carla Coulson procession ceglie messapica puglia san antonio di padova 0016

A new angle on the main event copyright Carla Coulson
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The Boys in the band during a break copyright Carla CoulsonCarla Coulson procession ceglie messapica puglia san antonio di padova 0018

 The statue of San Antonio di Padova just before it leaves the town copyright Carla Coulson

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 The statue leaving the old town copyright Carla Coulson

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Shooting around the event.. fairy lights that decorate the town copyright Carla Coulson

Carla Coulson procession ceglie messapica puglia san antonio di padova 0024

Families who join the ‘after party’ copyright Carla Coulson

Carla Coulson procession ceglie messapica puglia san antonio di padova 0025

A selfie with the lights behind.. copyright Carla Coulson

All these photos were shot during last years Caravan Travel Photography Workshop in Puglia Italy. If you would like to eat, breath and  live travel photography for 7 days next June in beautiful Puglia please click here for more information.

I hope you enjoyed this insight into travel photography.

“As a young boy growing up in rural India, most of what I knew of the world was what I could see around me. But each night, I would look at the Moon – it was impossibly far away, yet it held a special attraction because it allowed me to dream beyond my village and country, and think about the rest of the world and space.” Naveen Jain

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Grottaglie A Ceramics Town – My Addresses

Grottaglie, Ceramics town, Puglia, Carla Coulson, travel photography workshop

Grottaglie from the terrace of Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

All photos Copyright Carla Coulson 

Imagine a town that has survived for hundreds of years on making beautiful hand-made ceramics. Add a twist of Southern Italian charm, workshops dug into soft stone to form grottos (grottaglie – that’s where the name comes from) and hundreds of artisans turning clay into pots, jugs, plates, cups, saucers, statues and other works of art – then you would have Grottaglie.

Grottaglie, Ceramics town, Puglia, Carla Coulson, travel photography workshop 0007

Ceramics  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

I discovered Grottaglie a couple of summers ago when Francesco and I were at the beach and it became too crowded so we decided to head inland for lunch (no Italian in their right mind would do this in August) but this is one of our tricks to finding something magical and real.

Grottaglie, Ceramics town, Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0003

Ceramics  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

And that is exactly what happened. We found the magical Grottaglie.. I could hardly wait to finish lunch to start snooping around the hundreds of ceramic workshops.

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Hand turned vases at Fratelli Ciro e Grazio Monteforte

And we didn’t walk away empty handed…

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Hand turned pots  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

So when I started planning the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop I started to think of all the things I loved about Puglia and Grottaglie sprang to mind.

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Carmelo takes a break at Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

I decided to include the things I would do if I was to shoot a story on a region, include the things that I love, that visually excite me and I knew would make for interesting pics.

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Collection of antique water jugs Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

So back I went to Grottaglie and with the help of Francesca Frisa we toured many beautiful workshops and met many great artisans.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0035

hand painted plates in the workshop of Giuseppe Patronelli

Grottaglie has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age and is just up the rode from one of the first Greek settlements in Italy, Taranto.

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Wash basin Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

The local stone is called tufo In Italian and is soft enough to be able to dig into.  Since Medieval times there have been caves dug around what is now the castle and slowly they were taken over and used as ceramic workshops.

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Seconds on the terrace Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

Many finds around Grottaglie date back to the Classical age and the Museo Delle Ceramiche in Grottaglie has the whole story!

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Mimmo Vestita painting at Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

But on any given day you can turn up in Grottaglie and walk the area known as the Quartier dell Ceramiche and go from one workshop to the next and see artisans turning clay, painting, dipping statues in white and creating every imaginable statue possible.

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 Paints and brushes at Giuseppe Patronelli

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Ceramiche Domenico Caretta di Pietro Caretta

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 Workshop of Giuseppe Patronelli

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Antonio La of La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

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Exterior  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

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 Fountain Casa Vestita

Whilst walking from workshop to workshop with Francesca she told me about Mimmo Vestita who had an incredible Mediterranean garden right in the middle of town and who recently whilst renovating the garden had discovered the floor of a Roman Villa and a byzantine crypt.

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Antique Mediterranean garden Casa Vestita

I had co-incidently seen his garden and crypt in the beautiful magazine Cote Sud and begged to have a look.

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Ancient wine pots in the  Mediterranean garden of  Casa Vestita

It was a garden like I had never seen before. So beautiful in it’s simplicity and it’s devotion to the Mediterranean climate, plants and his collection of over 4000 pieces of ceramic.

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 Mimmo Vestita in his splendid Mediterranean garden Casa Vestita

Mimmo generously opened his garden to the ‘Caravaners’ and kindly showed us the floor of the Roman Villa his renovator found whilst restoring the garden.

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Byzantine fresco in the crypt at Casa Vestita

He also lead us down in to the exquisite Byzantine crypt that had been closed for over 400 years.

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Part of the byzantine crypt at Casa Vestita

Whilst restoring another part of the garden and pulling away broken debris and trees the gardener found a carved column. They called in the archaeological society and together they went on a magical mystery tour and found a true treasure the underground crypt.

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 Grottaglie’s Mediterranean garden in front of the castle entrance.

If you are in Puglia don’t miss a visit to beautiful Grottaglie. She’s real, she’s artistic, she hasn’t been trussed up for the tourists and there are many wonderful photos to be had.

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A giant vase inside the Ceramics Museo della Ceramiche Grottaglie

The fabulous Ceramics Museum has a collection of ceramics from the beginning of time, it’s a journey through history and habits, of simplicity, decoration and form and…. it’s free.

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 A view of the castle from Mimmo Vestita’s terrace

All photos Copyright Carla Coulson 

A giant round of applause to the all the artisans who gave their time and talent to us, who allowed us into their bottega’s to see how they work, create and maintain an ancient tradition. True southern hospitality at it’s most generous. I look forward to showing the participants work soon.

By the way, try leaving empty handed!

My addresses:

Casa Vestita

Via Crispi, 63

Grottaglie

This is a private Mediterranean garden and the best one I have seen to date. Mimmo Vestita, the owner has a ceramics workshop up the road and not long ago unearthed a Byzantine Crypt underneath his garden and the floor of a Roman Villa. He opens the garden to the public for a small fee in August from 6pm to 10pm and regularly has exhibitions of some of his 4000 pieces of antique ceramics. DON’T MISS IT!! Follow on Facebook here.

Mimmo Vestita

via Santa Sofia

Grottaglie

Mimmo’s bottega is up a little set of stairs and removed from the street but worth sourcing out. He sells beautiful objects for the home, vases and water jugs.

Antonio La Grotta Ceramiche

via Papa Leone XIII, 9

74023 Grottaglie

Antonio La Grotta comes from a long line of ceramists and still hand paints beautiful traditional design in all forms.

Guiseppe Patronelli

via Crispi, 23

Grottaglie

Specialises in hand painted plates and pure white dinner services (I bought one)

Fratelli Ciro e Grazio Monteforte

via Salita Camini, 1

Grottaglie

Beautiful Maolica pieces with colourful traditional designs

Cocci D’Autore

via Santa Sofia, 11

Grottaglie

Heavenly white statues dipped in white

Pro Loco Grottaglie

This is the local tourist office and one of the most helpful in Italy. This should be your first stop when you arrive in Grottaglie to gather information on what you are looking for and where to eat!

You can follow the fabulous Casa Vestita here

THANKS GROTTAGLIE, WE LOVE YOU!

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“Each has his own happiness in his hands, as the artist handles the rude clay he seeks to reshape it into a figure; yet is is the same with this art as with all others: only the capacity for it is innate; art itself must be learned and painstaking”. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

If you want to know how you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity and purpose, download my Free Workbook above.