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.

A year full of love.

That's what it has been. I don't care if it sounds cheesy or soppy, I don't care if it sounds sentimental. The past year has been filled with more love than I have ever experienced in my life. I have been the mother of three children this year. 

I remember preparing for "the worst": that I would be crazy busy, running around like an idiot, barely having time to brush my teeth, feeling pulled at from every angle. And although yes, I definitely feel like that occasionally, it has been so much smoother and easier than I thought. It has just been really great, and my heart is bursting with the feeling of privilege.

Falk. My little man. Your light shines with such warmth, such sweetness, I go fuzzy on the inside just thinking about you. When you were a little newborn, and even before that, when you were in my belly, I always felt that you were calm, relaxed, mild. Those first months proved me right: you were so sweet, and I never felt frustrated or out of my wits. You were close to me all the time, and that kept you safe, relaxed, and veeery sleepy. As you got bigger, you started to show more of that feisty side, and you most certainly have both: chilled out and trusting, crazy and loud. All in one chubby, wonderful, squishy little person.

Before I had you, I often thought about how cool it would be to have a son, especially when I'd be an old woman and he'd be a grown up man. I could point to him, that man, and say: That's my son. And it would make me feel proud just dreaming about it, having a grown up man as my son. Now that you are here, and you are my son, the dream is still there, but it is filled with so much more: all the years leading up to that, all the days with you, watching you grow, getting to know you more and more, being your mother through it all.

We have been through our first year together, and it is with that sad nostalgia in my heart I wave goodbye to it, and take your hand to lead you into the next one. I am sad and very very happy, at the same time. Just let me always smell your hair and snuggle you, and I'll be ok. 

Happy birthday, our beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.

You are loved.

This weekend.