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.

Ten years: Childhood / motherhood.

When your first child travels earthside and into your hands, you are also born as a parent.

Ten years ago today I became a mother to a chubby, beautiful, strong baby, and my life, this life, began. I remember one thing very strongly from the first moments after birth: The feeling of having been given an enormous privilege. This baby is my daughter. I had won the lottery, I was the luckiest mother in the world because this child had chosen me to be her mama. After ten years, this feeling is just as strong. That chubby, dark haired baby has grown into a tall girl with hair the colour of sand and the most beautiful smile. She is funny, open, caring, strong, independent, crazy, smart, artistic, sensitive, reflected. She is still my baby, she still snuggles up close and lets me in, and yet this new person is emerging, all the time. At ten, I have to accept that her childhood is in transit, and that we are entering a whole new path together. It is so exciting and I'm so curious, and still: There is a little lump in my throat that won't go away. I think of all the hugs, kisses, i-love-yous, all the lullabies and mornings, all the meals, conversations, the laughter and the tears, the arguments, i'm-sorrys, of the every-days and all the moments, those moments that were ten years, the moments that make a life. 

I think of us holding hands and walking side by side, and in that image lies a promise, the promise that I won't let go, not ever, not in ten years or a hundred. 

Happy birthday, my lovely, wonderful girl.

Freedom of birth.

An inside sort of day.