Chasing a Dream
My last interview with Australian photographer Carla Coulson was in 2009, the catalyst then, her book ‘Paris Tango’. This time we are talking about her third solo book, ‘Chasing A Dream’, a beautifully padded and bound edition spanning the past decade.
‘Chasing A Dream’ continues the tale of this Australian woman who, fed up with her life in Sydney, quit her successful career in fashion, packed up her possessions and moved to Florence where she embarked on her second life; as a photographer. Of course the actual journey was somewhat more complicated, but Carla has made an extraordinary success of her choice to live a life true to herself, and to do “something I love”.
An eclectic mix of photographs and journal-style entries that share Carla’s fashion magazine work, as well as her street and travel photography combine in ‘Chasing A Dream’. This is an intimate account of her life that she openly shares with the reader, her honesty and sentimentality are part of her appeal. Each time she releases a book she receives a flood of emails from women all over the world asking how she changed her life.
‘Chasing A Dream’ features new portraits shot in Greece, and India as well as earlier works from France and Italy, where Naples is one of her favorite locales. Of her experiences with street photography, she says “Italians all want to be movie stars, so if you have a camera they come running. Italy’s a wonderful place to take photos. I’ve always felt good about street photography there. And in India people are divine”.
She says shooting portraits in Greece was uplifting and reaffirming. “I couldn’t speak Greek and was walking up to people with a piece of paper explaining what I wanted. They were extraordinary people from the islands, and these moments make you feel great about being a photographer. I always try to send anyone who has ever posed for me a photo. And I have all these gorgeous letters of thanks in Greek”.
Carla wanted ‘Chasing A Dream’ to convey her love of photography. “When you start photographing for others you can unlearn how you take photographs for you,” she says reflecting on her commercial work. “You stop taking photos the way you used to, full of joy or laughter or movement then you don’t care if it’s perfectly in focus because you want to capture the energy you feel. I went to India, just for me, to take photos for this book because I wanted to go back to the beginning of how I took photographs and be me, on my own, free to go out everyday and take photographs. It was a very liberating thing to do, to remember what I love about photography”.
Carla Coulson: Chasing a Dream
Hardback, 192 pages