It is my great pleasure to introduce what will become a regular feature here on Mortal Muses – the Guest Muse post. And with that I’m so pleased to introduce our first Guest Muse, Carina Okula. Carina is a native of Australia who now lives in France with her husband and children. She is not only a talented photographer but also has a couple of book projects in the pipeline, currently represented by Sallyanne Sweeney of Watson Little London. Carina has been on what she calls the ride of her life for the past eighteen months, working in collaboration with the Paris Metro and the London Tube on a photographic project that combines her photographic passion with her longtime obsession with trains. She credits much of her inspiration to “two very important little people, and the man who dragged me kicking and screaming to France and into what has been the best adventure I could have ever hoped to experience”. Carina and I have been Instagram contacts for sometime now and I absolutely love how she captures Paris. I’m thrilled that Carina is musing with us today on our October theme of Comfort.


When Debra asked me if I’d like to contribute to the Mortal Muses ‘comfort’ theme, I wasn’t sure what to say. I mean of course I’d love to, but the idea of focusing on comfort was a challenge, taking me away from topics that are easy for me to capture and express via my cameras; Paris, France, my children, my current work projects. I had to sit and think about it – What is comfort? What does it mean to me? Do I stick within the boundaries of when comfort makes life easy, or am I brave enough to push outside and challenge myself?

Nestled deep in a sofa, surrounded by fluffy cushions, candles burn and a steaming café crème awaits as I sort through images to reflect Meghan’s original comfort challenge, to share images and perhaps shoot content outside of comfort zones, pushing a little into a new domain.

If you were to ask me to jump in the car and head to a rustic village in a hidden corner of France and seek out the charm, I’d feel most at ease …. clearly reflected in the overflowing files on my hard drive of such adventures. Whereas, ask me to capture food, and my stress levels rise, uncomfortable with the task at hand. Ask me to do portraits and I’ll politely decline.

Happy on an early morning walk when the winter light shines through the trees, my heart fills with happiness and reminds me how lucky I am and how wonderful life is.

The warmth of winter sunshine on a table, waiting for people to come together to enjoy a meal, fresh flowers and Christmas lights supporting the mood…..

….strolling through a Parisian market and discovering seasonal delicacies that will soon waft from a kitchen as a meal comes together ….

…..lights in windows that highlight colour against grey skies and chilly temperatures…

…. friends, enjoying laughter, life and pavlova of course!

….autumn leaves that remind me another year has raced on ahead with time stealing away. Soon they’ll fall to the ground and bring delight as my children dance amongst the colour….

….and sunsets that end the day with such a beauty that my lungs take a deep breath, savoring it, longing for tomorrow, eager to enjoy it all over again.

Yet, for all the visual beauty, my greatest comfort comes from the company of family and friends, those that live near, and far. From cuddles and bedtime kisses, from phone calls filled with joy where laughter flows non-stop, to Australian holidays and long overdue moments arm in arm with friends.

Thank you Carina for sharing your words and photographs with us today.

You can see more of Carina’s gorgeous work at