The Artist’s Muse(s) – A Private Portrait Shoot in Paris

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0012

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Do you have a friend that you have known since childhood?

With whom you literally grew up with, shared your inner most hopes, fears and dreams with and together laughed your hearts out over the silliest things?

I have the great fortune to know this feeling, to have had a ‘bestie’ since childhood with whom I still talk to a couple of times a week and we still laugh about the things we did when we were twelve and trade secrets knowing they will remain in our childhood vault . Love ya Ath.

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0013

When the beautiful Emily (in the black dress below) arrived with her lifelong friend Oliva dragging enormous suitcases and laughing their heads off it reminded me what a gift it is in life to have a friend.

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0001

Sweet Emily, as a surprise for Olivia’s wedding, offered a fun shoot together and for me it was a photographer’s dream. Two gorgeous gals with  heavenly wardrobes, a shoe collection that would have any Christian Louboutin fan gasping for air and a dream Parisian artist’s atelier just the way you always imagined it would be.

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0003

The atelier loved the girls and the girls loved the atelier! It was a match made in heaven..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0004

Olivia in one of her to-die-for outfits, she picked up the lace collar in a flea market in St. Remy..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0005

Too cute.

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0017

For those who love vintage pieces, you will understand that there are some purchases that are totally impractical, you know you will probably never wear them but you just can’t walk out of the shop without them.  This antique wedding dress and the beautiful stool finally met again after all those years!

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0018


Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0015

There are days as a photographer when you feel things come too easily, this was one of them. It was as though the artist’s atelier and the flowering camellia tree just needed the gorgeous Em in a black dress with a perfect red lip and a high ponytail to complete the pic.

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0014

Liv Tyler move on over..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0006

Or should I say Demi Moore..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0007

Whilst it poured outside floor to ceiling glass windows saved the (photographers) day..

Carla Coulson portrait atelier

From the outside looking in…

Carla Coulson portrait

Heavenly Em..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0008

Ohhh and every girl needs at least one Helmut Newton inspired pic with their bestie for the archives..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0009

or two..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0010

love this..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0011

and this..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0020


Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0019

and that skirt!

Carla Coulson Portrait shoot

So lucky to have shared this day and the joy of these two great girls..

Carla Coulson Portrait Paris0021

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Ohh and every gal when they are old and grey needs a photo like this (with bunny ears piggy backing their best friend) to remind them how it felt to be young and share the priceless gift of friendship.

Love you gals!!

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust




Share the joy. xx

Check out my Portrait Lightroom Presets here.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Melissa Gaggiano
Melissa Gaggiano
8 years ago

Oh Carla, on a grey day your photos give new spark to my imagination. Thank you for sharing.

8 years ago

Love, love, love this photo shoot of these two gorgeous chickie-babes! What bloody great photography! and stunning models.

8 years ago

Wooooonderful photos and ladies!!!

Corrina Tough
8 years ago

Carla, these are so beautiful! I am so jealous of the locations you get to shoot in and it all came together so well in every way- serendipity! Love the red lip with red camellias and the whole thing I would feel so amazing if they were pics of me and my bestie. What a blessing you are as always love your work, you are talented beyond the technical you have an amazing heart that gets to the very heart and the essence of the story. xx Corrina Tough

8 years ago

These are absolutely stunning. My bestie and I go back 65 years (!!!) and she is currently nursing her terminally ill beautiful husband – so sad. One day, though (not in the near future), we may engage you for a photo shoot of two old birds. You’ll love her. C xzx

8 years ago

Wow, Carla. I love these pics. Simply stunning! Brava!

Bob Schulenberg
8 years ago

Gorgeous! The models, the LIGHT and l’atelier! “Ciel de Paris” and all that.
I’m saving this as a reminder of times past, living in Paris .
Amities a tous!

8 years ago

What a gift! (Both the photography and the friendship you captured). I’m adding a photo shoot with Carla in Paris to my bucket list…

Renee Trubai
8 years ago

Absolutely stunning – the photographs, the fashion and, most importantly, a friendship that is plain to see. What a special time for them both, and you’ve done it such justice x

8 years ago

This is a really beautiful photo shoot Carla, I have three best girlfriends, the four of us have been friends for over 32 years, it would be so amazing to have photos of us all together like this to look back on. Stunning! x

8 years ago

I’ll echo Caroline above! Me and my besties (4 flatmates from university days) are 50 or 50+, so we’d need some imaginative photography to make us into these stunners! But, what an eye, and talent you have for putting people at ease. These gals look like pro models, but I am sure you’d make us look like that too! Since Paris seems a good middle point meeting spot for us all – me in southern Med, one in London, another in Zurich and another in N France – I can see me trying to get us all together for a Carla special. The Atelier is an amazing location too. Love the b/w misty photos as well as the camelia-red one in particular.

8 years ago

Carla, so gorgeous, beautiful girls captured to perfection. Karina x

La Contessa
8 years ago

WOW!I adore everything about this…….the girls,the location,the outfits.
Are they FRENCH?What a beautiful gift this is!
GIRLS< you are STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!

8 years ago

Hi Carla,
These are absolutely gorgeous portraits, your connection to your subjects comes across so strong and your aesthetic is just perfect for these locations. As someone who cherishes not only your work, but your insights to the business, I marvel at the variety and quality of locations you find. Without giving away your trade secrets, I would be very interested to learn your process in the general sense for scouting and securing locations.

Jilly Bennett
8 years ago

Oh I love this shoot. One of my favourites of yours. I’m always torn between your stunning fashion photography and your moments of life you capture so fabulously (street photography etc) – and here are both together!

These photos so wonderfully capture the friendship and love between these two beautiful women, the joy they find in each other and the fun of life.

As always, felicatations talented Carla Coulson.


8 years ago

I love this shoot so pretty and girly! One of my faves….

8 years ago

Carla, this just warms my heart! You can just see the joy and fun flowing through the photos, you have captured such a precious friendship… I’m sure so many can relate 🙂 I love that first image… That skirt and those flowers — such beauty!!! Thank you for sharing your gift with us!! Can’t wait for the next one 🙂

Nat xoxo

Liz Thomas
8 years ago

What incredible photos!

Your post is so appropriate as my “BESTIE” of over 40 years is coming to visit hubby and I for a “SLEEP OVER” as we used to do in our youth. She will be spending the weekend with us on Cape Cod and I couldn’t be more excited. When we are together it is as though no time as passed at all! What a wonderful relationship!

8 years ago

Beautiful…all of it. These pictures tell such a happy, pretty story. Thanks for brightening my morning.

8 years ago

Wonderful photography Carla. I love everything about this shoot. From the lovely friendship to the long skirt. Fantastic!

lisa | renovatingitaly

Gorgeous Gorgeous and my bestie turns 50 three days before me….just a wonderful way to capture a special friendship x

8 years ago

What beautiful girls … they light up !
I want that skirt and I would be fine in that atelier too !

8 years ago

Breathtakingly beautiful…….needs nothing more than flipping through for hours.

Anya Jensen
8 years ago

Omgosh I adore these images Carla – they are so fab – the gals alone or together – genius 🙂

Jess - alittlepartoftheworld

Absolutely divine. So beautiful. Jx

8 years ago

An awesome photo shoot. I especially like the black and white photos. Black and white photos are my favorite style.