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.

Blueberries & a turning point.

A year ago on this day, we all went blueberry picking in the woods. I was so pregnant I could hardly move without having contractions (those so-called Braxton-Hicks), so I was mostly wandering very slowly around, taking some photos, while the rest of them were picking. Ten litres of blueberries, they picked. Ten litres of blueberries forgotten and fed to the pigs a week later.

Earlier that day, in the morning, we were sitting outside on the front porch, probably picking peas or beans from the garden out of their pods and preparing them for freezing. Chatting away, the kids and Nik and I. All of a sudden we saw three eagles in the sky, directly over our heads, soaring in a circle over us. It was fascinating. I remember thinking The baby is coming tomorrow, it felt like a sign or something.

That night when I went to bed, I couldn't settle. Something big was about to happen in my body and I knew it. I slept lightly for an hour or two, got up in the night and realized I was about to become a mother again.

For some reason, that blueberry picking has etched itself into my mind. Ronja took a couple of photos of me and Falk then, and they are some of my favourite photos of me. The embodiment of motherhood, so ripe with baby that I almost burst at the seams, so still and at the same time so powerful. Touching my boy on his head, feeling his hair, taking in what were some of the last moments when he was still my youngest. Moments captured on the brink of a new life, with all its chaos, rawness and bliss.

Last photos as a 0-year-old.

Afternoon bliss.