A mother of four, photographer, nature lover. Someone trying to make sense of it all, through photos and stories. 

I try to be free in all senses of the word, so I made the leap and now work with what I love doing; taking pictures, storing this life in moments, both for myself and for clients. My heart is in photographing birth and motherhood, but I take on just about any photography job. 
(See my birth photos at www.birth.no and the rest of my work portfolio at www.mariavatne.no.)

I live on a farm in Norway with my man Nik and my children Ronja, Freja, Falk and Ulv, plus a bunch of animals. We grow our own food as far as the seasons allow it, we don't go to kindergarten, the three youngest ones will be homeschooled.

We govern our own lives, we strive for independence, we want to be in this life wild and free and full of love.

Pure gold.

This chunky monkey is ten months old today. This time last year I was two days away from throwing in the towel at work, calling in sick for the last two months before he arrived. There were some complications and I feared he might be born early, so I decided to listen to my body signals, slow down, and shift my focus. It was a good decision, but it didn't make the last two months of the pregnancy much easier. When I think back on last summer now, all I see is this super heavy, hot woman (and I mean hot in the sense of actual temperature here!), having contractions with my every move, feeling inadequate as a mother, just staying put and counting the days until my term. It was hard. And yet I knew all along how privileged I was, what a miracle it was, I didn't take any of it for granted. And it's been like that since he came along, this wolf cub. It's been harder than with the others, but the hardships have made the colours of motherhood more vivid this time, they have connected me with corners of my soul I didn't know I had. It's been hard, but it's been a privilege, and now, when things are easy and "normal" (if there is such a thing), this lightness of being gives me such joy. Seeing him thrive, eat, play, laugh, explore, I didn't take these things for granted when he was born and I learned about his condition, so it makes my heart sing, every day. 

And then there's the fact that he is blissfully unaware of all of this, of all my thoughts and worries, that he knows nothing of this noise. He only knows love, this little boy. And because of that, I think, he is the greatest example. Pure love, quite simply. Pure gold.

Reflections in bed.

These four.