Let me introduce Carla Coulson, one of Australia’s most astonishingly talented photographers who made an extraordinary journey from working in the corporate world to a life shifting decision that would carry out her move to Italy to follow her dreams as a photographer, photographing people, places, fashion and life.
I initially discovered Carla’s work when I came across her first book Italian Joy (published in 2005) at a friend’s house. This beautiful hardback 264-page book features so many amazing inspiring colour and black & white photographs of Italy that it impelled me to take such images of my own when I travelled through Europe in 2010. I have since enjoyed going through Carla’s two additional books Paris Tango and Chasing A Dream, both books just as inspiring as the first. I highly recommend adding them to your collection of coffee table books.
After having the privilege of interviewing Carla and hearing of her success, it’s really made me want to focus more on my passions. Enjoy!
You can read more and learn more about Carla at her blog: http://carlalovesphotography.blogspot.com.au
How did you get to where you are today?
A. A whole lot of hard work!! Time has flown and the adventure has been fabulous but things have happened I believe because I have consistently worked hard, delivered things on time and always taken the best photos possible. No overnight sensations here!
Q. What motivated you to start ‘Carla Loves Photography Blog’?
A. I started Carla Loves Photography in 2009. I just had the desire to share images with others and loved the idea of the flexibility of a blog. Without knowing I found a wonderful online community of photographers all around the world.
Q. You have published three books ‘Italian Joy, Chasing a Dream and Paris Tango’. Are there any plans to publish a 4th installment?
A. Italian Joy and Chasing A dream were very personal books about the journey to becoming a photographer. I loved creating them. I am currently working on a book about Italy with an Australian journalist about the fabulous city of Naples. I am contributing the photos and she is doing the words.
Q. What made you decide to publish your first book?
A. I had been in Italy for almost three years and had accumulated boxes and boxes of negatives. The idea of publishing a book on the country I loved so much was always a dream. I never thought it would become a reality.
Q. Out of the three books which one is your personal favourite?
A. I love Italian Joy and Chasing a Dream but I guess I would have to choose Italian Joy. The images were taken when I was just out of photography school and they were straight from my heart. I hardly knew how to put the camera in focus but I was totally head over heels in love with Italy and photography I think this passion comes through in the images. Those years in Italy were some of the best years of my life so full of light and love. Many readers connected to my story of leaving my life in Sydney and unbeknown to me at the time of writing I found lots of women discontented with what they were doing with their lives who related to my story.
Q. How did your big break into the world of photography happen?
A. My big break came when I had my first story published in Marie Claire Australia. As a final project at my photography school in Florence I photographed a travel story on Naples that was edited by my photographer teacher. I pitched it to Marie Claire in Australia and they bought it. They also published in the same issue a style story I photographed on a make-up artist friend of mines apartment in Sydney. Thirteen pages in the first issue. I cried when I heard the news. Having those tear sheets were like gold they opened doors.
Q. What advice would you have for other photographers trying to break into the industry?
A. Create your own work and pitch a story to a magazine. I believe it is a great way to get published and it has worked for me numerous times throughout the years. A body of work is vital otherwise you have nothing to show and most magazines won’t give a photographer a job based on their portfolio straight out of photography school. They are looking for signs you have worked.
Q. Best advice you ever received?
A. Take the photos you love! And finish it! I remember when a friend in the industry told me that if you finish things people will notice. I thought it was such strange advice at the time but now realise it is an art to finish things. Many photographers take incredible images but find it hard to finish the project. This is a key part of working as a photographer.
Carla’s books are available at:
And other online book stores.
Here are some more amazing photographs from Carla’s books.