Steampunk Studio Shoot – first look

I was lucky enough to secure a place on a steampunk studio workshop shoot at the start of September, at my favourite local studio.

Costume is one of my favourite things (both for me and to shoot), and it comes up a lot with Unfurling clients, so any excuse to practice, learn & get some portfolio images is a good excuse!

Here’s a sneak peek:

Steampunk studio shoot |

I had a wonderful time shooting these ladies & gents, and also found an old acquaintance in Lindsey, the curly-haired lady – we used to burlesque together!

Organising old images

Luna kitten on a multicoloured blanket |

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about prints vs digital, and the dark side of social media again.

I love my digital cameras just as much as my film ones, and for client work and experimental personal work there’s nothing to beat them, really – especially as I’ve never actually used a darkroom, so with digital I can edit to my own style.

But… there’s something about the ease of clicking, whether it’s on my pro cameras, my little point and shoot, or just my phone, which means that I take literally thousands upon thousands of photos every year which never see the light of day.

There are, obviously, my various blogs, businesses & eight Instagram accounts… but those are curated too, to varying extents, but not every single image I take makes it onto one. Social media tends to be the highlights, the best images, not the blurry-but-still-lovely ones, or the tipsy selfies at weddings with my best friends. Somehow, the culture of sharing our best images (and probably some subconscious “shoulds” from being a professional photographer) mean I overlook some photos which are technically terrible but emotionally wonderful.

Carla & Holly with glowstick headbands Look how much happiness is in this photo! 

I’m not sure when that pattern started, but I would like to reverse it – emotion is the most important element of any photo, for me.

And… some of my favourite photos of Dad, which emerged when we were looking for photos to display at his wake, were ones I had genuinely forgotten I’d taken.

As is often the way these days, I have been pondering this, and then today found this post by Emmylou of Chiascuro which resonated.

I’d like to try & follow her example of spending a little bit of time each week sorting through my digital archive (which isn’t very archived, for an ex-librarian), sharing & printing the best photos, and making sure they’re all easily findable and backed up.

So I’m off to spend some quality time with my diary and a hard drive… the glam life of a photographer…!


My Gran is wonderful.

At 88, with 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, she is unquestionably the matriarch of the family, and she is at the centre of our lives.

But she is notoriously camera shy and hates posing!

So I was extra-chuffed to get this photograph of her while we were in Rhodes together this summer:

Gran in her sunglasses on a rainbow background | Carla Watkins Photography |

Isn’t she brilliant?

Rhodian animals I met today

While exploring the beautiful island of Rhodes today, I met these two beauties.

This little lady was having a whale of a time jumping, pouncing and climbing around all the tables at the bar. I don’t know her name, but she was very sweet.

Kitten at the Mojito beach bar, Rhodes | Carla Watkins Photography |

And this doglet was waiting patiently in the shade, looking rather lovely despite the heat.

Black dog lying down at the Mojito bar, Rhodes | Carla Watkins Photography |

I’ll post the images of the colourful, quirky bar that is the Mojito when I can get at my main editing screen – it was a great place to stop, with a pickup truck BBQ and some very exciting mocktails (I’d have gone for cocktails, but it was 10.30am!).

And my beloved Dad, who I lost suddenly in March, came here with Mum in September, and absolutely loved it. So it was good to feel close to him too. It feels like a long time since I have picked up my camera to capture my world, because my world fell apart when he died.

Kitten + doglet + a happy memory + camera + yummy juice = a good day on this gentle recovery retreat with Mum and family.

And there are lots more photos to follow.

Friendship in Autumn

Back in November, I had the privilege of shooting three friends who met at university… at their university!

It was just as the leaves had turned golden and fallen, and we had a lovely couple of hours mooching around the lake on campus, finding different places for them to pose – and dodging the Estates workers who were hoovering up the leaves behind us!


The day before my birthday, I spent the day with my lovely photographer friend Grace, in a workshop on flash with the excellent Jon Sturdy.

Because it was just the two of us, he tailored everything to what we needed – and it was brilliant!

We discovered a ruined church, and experimented on the beach in full sun, and I finally found a use for the gold side of my reflector…

Here are some portraits I took of Grace during the day:

Grace |

Grace |

Grace |

Grace |

Grace |

Grace |

I learned so much during the day – I’m still processing it a week later! But I’m very excited to get playing with my flashes (and yes, probably add to them too…)