video of me talking about my passion for portrait photography

A Video about How My Passion For Portraiture Started

This is a video about how my passion for portrait photography developed in the beginning of my career and how I found my style and vision.

Today’s blog is a video! To Watch click ABOVE OR HERE

Here’s the Transcript. 

I was going to make a blog post about this morning, and then I thought, why don’t I delve into my archives and show you what’s in the box and boxes of my pictures and how my story. So, for those of you that don’t know my story. I had another life years ago and at 35, sort of had a midlife crisis look down. And I am back. So, during that time, I decided I had to work out what to do with photography, so I decided.

I just like taking pictures

I didn’t have any background in photography I just allowed myself to be attracted to what I like and it changed my life

So the one thing that I’ve learned by luxury of looking back, is that I get to look back at all these pictures, and one of the things that I feel when I see these images is extraordinary amount of people who were so kind and allowed me to photograph them.

This is all when I was at photography school so any poor person hanging around doing absolutely anything was game. This is on the street in Sicily. Anyone hanging around who didn’t have anything to do Carla was there to torture them! Flatmates who had a half an afternoon off at school. I would ask them to pose and I would try and come up with some sort of interesting fashioning looking picture, and this is another gorgeous friend who was kind enough to model for me.

My Love for Italy and Daily Life

I was really really drawn to people, also because people in different situations. And I just love Italy, and the daily life really so much it was so inspiring and even though I was shy and sort of awkward people were so kind to me. So, I felt like I could just keep going and taking all these pictures.

I just kept going and then when I was in Paris, some how the girls in bathrooms turned into girls at the Mouln Rouge and the Lido!!

Taking a Photo versus Creating a Photo

One of the things that I really learned is take pictures there’s sort of two different types of of ways of taking people pictures and that’s finding people in their environment and just taking a picture and then of course, trying to create something, and then create an emotion and have fun between you two or, or create something serious whenever you really click take pictures.

So when you’re creating a photograph from nothing from scratch and the two of you just sort of staring at each other, it really kind of  feels like a rodeo ride in a sense that you know it’s exciting this tension, it’s kind of fun it’s nerve wracking. And you don’t really know where it’s going to go like that in the beginning, you feel like yeah I’ve got the good ingredients but I don’t have a cake yet, so you might have a nice location.

Thing is about having the ingredients you then try to make it into something.

And often, it really does feel like a rodeo ride and I think one of the most important things about portraiture is that when it is just so uncomfortable most people walk away.

But the art is to stay with it.

The camera connects

That the camera is an excuse to connect with people.  My passion for portrait photography meant that I could go up to that person say hello and take a photo. And I loved it and kept doing it and it became my life.

And the wonderful thing was in the beginning, I didn’t put any pressure on myself so I just wanted to give you a couple of tips today.

You know, in the beginning allow yourself the joy.

Because, you know, when I was at photography school I had the most fun.

I experiment, I make a ton of mistakes.

Do What You Love

When I just noticed it the same kept coming up and up and out, and then eventually I allow that to happen that became part of what I do, how I do things, you know, these very first photographs like this girl, you know this is still at photography school this is in Popi’s bathroom the lady I use to live with in Florence.

This is one of my flatmates. You know, it is all movement in here I probably at the time didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was attracted to move and I didn’t like things to be static, then this became a big part of my style over a period of time so often in the beginning when we’re fresh, you know, we don’t have these preconceived idea that’s when when you are so powerful, so don’t ask yourself why you’re doing it just allow you to do it.

And even if you feel like you’re just going on, you know, over the same subjects, over and over again, just stick to it. Allow yourself to do it. So I thought I’d give you some little tips today on the rain day ride of portraiture, and how you can hang through it stick with it and get the pictures that you want to take. First of all, number one, is to stay with it. Okay, most people don’t stay with it. So, when you’re about to be thrown off the bull. Most people walk out.

The art is to hang on for the ride. So that is my number one piece of advice is to take a break, or to get really really uncomfortable and everything.

Walk around.

Often it could be, you could change position.

You could change the light you could change the energy to change your angle.

So, instead of walking away and starting from scratch all over, ask yourself what you could to change something.

Then, you know, I’m really love photos with energy so you’ll see all my photographs are kind have energy. Every now and then I do have a quiet moment. But, you know, a lot of my photographs, really are about being alive.

Getting the emotions you want

So, how do I get that. So this is the number. I provoke the situation in the nicest possible way. So if I want joy.  I give them joy, so I make them laugh I do all sorts of funny things. My niece who worked with me for about a year and years ago, she said to me at the end of the year, that which I took as a compliment, was that “you don’t care what people think about you”

She came on many shoots with me, including the shoots for Harper’s Bazaar and saw that I would say to someone who was considered famous, something stupid, but I do it for purpose which is to get a laugh or get a reaction. S

So another tip for you would be to, to create that energy, whatever energy you want, create that energy.

One of the things that I would like to say to you, all these pictures I took in the beginning,

I didn’t know what I was going to do with these pictures, I just allowed myself, the time and the investment really of energy to take them. But when you do things that you truly love, they don’t always have to have a purpose, and, but often when they really good, they’ll find a purpose, one day, and I wanted to show you this because a lot of these pictures I’ve just shown you, which were taken.

Chasing A Dream

Even some of them from the beginning, these pictures became a book called Chasing a Dream. And a lot of pictures.

So all of these pictures that I just took with love and just with curiosity and trying to learn and get better over a period of years, they became the book really which is possibly one of my favorites, other than Italian joy because they became like a private collection of images.

And that’s what I would like to say just to finish this little message right now is to allow your intuition, and your instincts to be free.

You don’t know where they’re going to take you, but they are your strongest guidance anything in life that comes from the heart will always be the thing that will take you where you need to go.

Carla x

Related Post: My First Portrait Shoot At Photography School In Florence

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Peter Roberts
4 years ago

Congratulations! Well done, enjoyed your video. Regards Peter.

Veronique marot
4 years ago

Thank you Carla! Good advice as usual!

Anouchka Reis
4 years ago

Fantastic! You have such a casual way of communicating the deepest nuggets of wisdom. I love it. Oh and the part about stalking Italian men, hahahaaaaa. I would be totally flattered to be an Italian man photographed by you.

4 years ago

Thanks Carla for the video, just the motivation to get out and shoot more for me I needed!

Monica Lee
4 years ago

oh so timely! I am headed to Italy next week! I absolutely loved your tips. I am a painter who wants to use more creative tools than just my ability to draw and paint but want to explore how I “see.” Out of curiosity, what photography school did you attend? I adore the idea of taking a year to learn one creative art (photography) while practicing my other creative art.

Christine Harris
4 years ago

Thank you! I always love hearing your story and the information was helpful. Inspiring. My favorite pictures are of unexpected real life moments while traveling in Italy and Paris. Your workshop in Puglia is on my list, but I need to learn how to use a real camera first. xoxo

Corrina Tough
4 years ago

So joyous Carla. Love those gorgeous monochrome prints in your hand makes me swoon! Big love this was great inspiration xx Corrina

Laura Reid
Laura Reid
4 years ago

Love the video blog. Felt like a little personal pep talk before going out and shooting today. Lx

Mandy Robb
Mandy Robb
4 years ago

Love your message and love the video blog idea too! Great job xx

Shanon Quinn
Shanon Quinn
4 years ago

Hi Carla, loved your vid 💞… you really hit home for me by distilling what can be a bit of a noisy realm of competing priorities like business, marketing, finding clients, etc, – into just coming back to the heart of it – being instinctive & intuitive! And trusting it. Creative pursuits can be a bit of a juggle at times between giving others what they want with outstanding service, and not losing touch with what you love to do. Who knew there could be so many crossroads in defining our paths! Thanks for the little, authentic chat to remind me not to lose sight of that simple spark! 😊 off to nurture it with camera in hand! X

4 years ago

MY ONLY suggestion HERE Is in the next video wear some RED LIPSTICK!
I know thats NOT YOU but I want to SEE what IT DOES!
CAN AVEDON make an APPEARANCE TOO in the next production?!!

4 years ago

Dear Carla, Thank you so much for the video and previous instalments. I studied photography for one year at Melbourne School of Photography some 30 years ago and have similar memories to you. (that was in the days of darkrooms, and we used paper paper and natural light! ) and it was the best year of my life, going around Melbourne ‘stalking” people in the street and taking portraits and landscapes and city scapes. I was then busy raising a family but still have a passion for photography and how it captures living moments in time. I used to have an olympus om 2 but now I have an iPhone at the moment as the digital cameras seem so daunting at 60 years of age!