Gran

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 | carlawatkinsphotography.com

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 | carlawatkinsphotography.com

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 | carlawatkinsphotography.com

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!

Grace

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 | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Grace | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Grace | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Grace | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Grace | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Grace | carlawatkinsphotography.com

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…)

Body positivity and doing what you love – at the WI!

Back in October, I was invited to speak at the January meeting of the fabulous Cake and Revolution W.I. in Ipswich.

I’d heard loads about the W.I. (not least their crafting!) and a couple of my friends are members in other towns, but I’d never actually had the chance to go to a meeting. So I packed some photographs and a mermaid tail (obviously) and set off to talk about my journey.

Photos, talk notes and mermaid costume at the WI talk in Ipswich | car

I’m vociferous and loud about body positivity, but possibly even more so about being a geek – doing whatever it is you truly, secretly, honestly want to, without worrying what the world thinks of you. I firmly believe that the more enthusiastic you are about the things you love, the better your life will be.

And my secret weapons for both body and life positivity are enthusiasm, imagination and curiosity. All of which let us play – and we don’t play enough as adults!

I’ll post the full talk one of these days (I might even record it if I ever stop sneezing!) but here are a few of the photos I shared, documenting my journey to where I am now:

extreme ironing | carlawatkinsphotography.com

This is me, extreme ironing on the way to the ferry iin a £250 car on a rally in 2011. Which is exactly as stupid and wonderful as it sounds.

hogswatch burlesque by Tim van Holder | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Burlesque at a Terry Pratchett celebration event, to Postman Pat. Also as stupid and wonderful as it sounds (can you see a pattern here?!). Photograph by Tim van Holder.

body positive mermaids by Photography by Grace Hill | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Body positive mermaids on Clacton beach, by the lovely & talented Grace Hill.

rusty mclusty, atlantic booze cruisers | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Rusty McLusty, our rally car for the 2011 Romania trip. Yes, the rear bumper is decoupaged with what you think…

The evening was structured so I’d give the talk three times, to three groups of ladies – they’d be circulating between me, a yoga class and a pilates class.

I think most of them were utterly mystified when they first came over and saw the tail and bra on the table, but everyone reacted well, laughed in all the right places, and I had some utterly wonderful compliments afterwards – it feels so good to have made an impact on people by sharing my journey and my story.

With thanks to Cake & Revolution for having me <3

New year, new website!

books | carlawatkinsphotography.com

Well, sort of – it’s the same website, but it’s had a bit of a revamp so you lovely lot can see what it is I do, actually see my galleries, and, y’know, book me if you want a shoot. Because blog posts are brilliant, but photos are probably more what you’re expecting from a photographer.

It’s definitely best to know at this stage that I don’t do anything normally…!

However, it’s quite big and exciting to have it all out in the world in one place at last – after more than ten years of hiding my light under a bushel, I am finally ready to take on the world with my camera… one shoot at a time!

There are big plans afoot for this little business in 2017 – I have been plotting with a fellow photographer, a bridal designer, two authors and an illustrator… and I am very excited for the secret projects we’re hatching together. Watch this space for details.

Wishing you health, happiness, good books and good friends in 2017,

Carla x