PARIS — There's nothing more captivating than a beautiful photograph. It's why we love to flip through glossy fashion spreads in magazines, featuring stoic models striking artistic poses and stunning celebs flashing 100-watt smiles. Whenever I spy a beautiful image, it always sparks curiosity, wondering "what was the inspiration?" or "where was it taken?" If a photo is so compelling that it makes you want to know more about its subject and creator, I believe it served its purpose. That's how I felt about the work of Paris-based Australian photographer Carla Coulson. Whether it's a street-style or editorial photo, her images are picture perfect.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. I love old films, photos, falling down architecture and big dresses. ~ Carla Coulson
I recently caught up with Carla for an e-interview about her work, inspiration, and tips for posing.
How did you get started in photography?
It was almost by accident. I knew that I no longer wanted to run the business I was running in Sydney and felt if I didn’t change my job, life would pass me by. Photography was the only thing I loved, so I decided to study it and it was love at first sight.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be doing?
I would love to design and sell caftans on a beach in Greece or Italy.
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What is your favorite subject to shoot?
I love people in general, but in particular women. I love when they see the final portraits of themselves and they can hardly believe their eyes. It is a wonderful feeling to see people so happy and see themselves in a new light.
What inspires you?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. I love old films, photos, falling down architecture and big dresses.
Who is your favorite photographer?
I have two, Paolo Roversi and Ellen Von Unwerth.
Describe the most exciting shoot you've ever done.
I loved flying to Capri to shoot two days of fashion. It seemed so fabulous leaving Paris in the grey and wet and arriving in Capri to sunshine. I remember taking the boat across from Naples and thinking ‘what a job, thank-god I left my old life’.
Have you ever photographed someone famous?
Charlotte Rampling. One of my early jobs was for Harper’s Bazaar in Florence at the Pucci palace and Charlotte Rampling was a special guest. She was charming and real.
If you could photograph anyone past or present, who would it be?
Frida Kahlo. I love everything about her.
What type of camera do you use?
I am currently using a Canon 5 D Mark II but when using film I love my Leica M6.
What is a must-have fashion or accessory item for you?
I love the beautiful bags of Jaemin Puech.
What's playing on your MP3 player?
Lisa Mitchell’s new album "Bless This Mess."
Where would you like to make a great escape?
Island or a beach is where I love to be. I love the Amalfi Coast and quiet islands in Greece such as Anaphi or Sikinos.
What's your favorite beauty product?
What is your favorite magazine?
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Pucci, always a favourite.
If you were a Chic Spy Agent, what would be your code name?
Agent Luscious Leica.
Coulson's tips for posing:
My poses are all about trying to re-create things we do in life and create shapes with the body that are flattering.
- Try not to shoot the body totally straight on, turn it slightly.
- If working with couples, beware of the man pushing the woman’s arms up or squeezing her body in unflattering ways.
- Use a wall, everyone feels comfortable leaning.
- Have a small file of poses you love and take them to the shoot with you to try and replicate.
- Get them moving!
To view more of Carla Coulson's photography, visit carlacoulson.com.
The Chic Spy
(Photo credits: carlacoulson.com)