Monica Bellucci Inspired Private Portrait

carla coulson private portrait

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

You may remember back in April I had a little give-away of a portrait shoot with moi in Paris? Well, it ended up being a tied draw as Avedon picked two names out of the hat (they were stuck together with his ‘croquettes’ kitty biscuits) and one of them was the fab Gabriella Pirisi.

Carla Coulson private portrait

Gorgeous Gabriella packed up her life and headed to Paris a couple of years ago and dived head first in the sweet end. She has been studying to create those ridiculously gorgeous pastries that this city is reknowned for. You can find her on Facebook at Miss Pirisi – Patissiere

carla coulson private portrait

When I asked Gabriella did she have any fashion icons or inspiration for her shoot her response was ‘Monica Bellucci’.. Ahh… One of my favourites..the prop gods must have heard our whispers and sent us crates full of sour cherries, preserved lemon and gherkins that we found lying around our location.

Carla Coulson private portrait

So, gorgeous Gabriella channelled Monica Bellucci and I shot.

carla coulson private portrait

Her warm, sweet and loveable nature oozes from every pore.

Carla Coulson private portrait

Back to Monica…

carla coulson private portrait

and the camellia’s were in bloom

Carla Coulson private portrait

Giving Monica a run for her money..

Carla Coulson private portrait

A quiet moment in the gorgeous ‘Contessa’s‘ vintage kimono she so generously gave me..

Carla Coulson private portrait

I love this pic..

Carla Coulson private portrait

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

 And what would a photo shoot be without one barefoot dance pic!

A hugh round of applause to the stunning Gabriella for giving so much on the day and allowing me to share these photos with you..

Grazie ancora..

“Wherever I go, I am Italian. The way I talk, the way I eat, the way femininity is important to me. The way I love Italian food.” Monica Bellucci


Check out my Portrait Lightroom Presets here.

Creating A Young Opera Singer’s Portfolio


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

I loved every minute of this job, planning it, discussing it, dreaming about it, choosing the props for it and shooting it on the day!

Talk about a dream job!  To create images for the beautiful Chloe Manford and her fab sister Amy, both  young opera singers at WAAPA that evoke their favourite opera’s and they could use for their professional portfolios.


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

You may remember some pics of Amy with the super cute peacock? Can’t wait to show more from Amy’s shoot too.

Luckily the girl’s mum was along on the shoot and was fabulous with a hot glue gun and loads of fern, leaves and berry to create the decoration of our ladder in the spirit of a Midsummer’s Night Dream in the above pics.


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

A different mood and spirit for this pic.


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

I love creating variety when shooting and when she walked in this beautiful dress she looked so young, fresh and stunning I couldn’t resist shooting her in this simple way to show off her divine personality and beauty.


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

More gorgeous Chloe..


  Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

A little Brooke


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

Back to serious opera moments. When the wind swept through the windows she looked like she had stepped out of Flemish painting. I loved it..


Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

More fabulous Flemish painting action..


 Chloe Manford Copyright Carla Coulson

And we all had fun doing this pic.. we needed professional feather throwers from above and what an amazing job they did!!

Shooting Tips:

The above shots look simple but we planned the concepts almost 3 months in advance.

I searched for a beautiful location

Clothes were of great importance.

We storyboarded the ideas

Gathered the props, ladders, leaves and flowers, feathers, crowns,

A pro hairdresser worked on the hair and a fab make-up artist did the make-up

All photos were shot using natural light and oh I brought along my fan!

And the gorgeous girls brought their beauty and talent.. A HUGE THANK-YOU TO CHLOE AND AMY.

And their super mum worked tirelessly in the background… Thanks to you too Sallie..

I hope you enjoyed this shoot…It was tonnes of fun.

“An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.” Marie Callas




Check out my Portrait Lightroom Presets here.