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.

Work vs. life.

I often grab myself feeling sorry for her. She doesn't know all the work in store for her, but I do. I remember hours of meaningless assignments, writing almost straight off the books, doing what I had to do, but actually learning very little. I did well in school - meaning I have good grades - but I only taught myself the important stuff right before tests, and usually forgot about most of it afterwards. Now I only remember what I learned about the things I really loved. I think I would have loved more of it all, hadn't it been for all those hours on those chairs, doing assignments I didn't see the point of, listening to teachers who did their best but also suffered under a dry and non-creative environment, bound to the schedules laid upon them from above. I have asked her if she would have wanted homeschooling if she could choose, she says in a way she would, but she wouldn't want to be away from her friends. And she's a bright girl, she's responsible, so most likely (and hopefully) she is one of those that will come out on the other end okay, with good grades, good friends, and not too traumatized by it all. But I know  - because I remember this, too - that something will have been lost on the way. That natural curiosity, you know? The restlessness and energy that makes you want to find something out right now, the enthusiasm that makes kids ask "why?" a hundred times. Learning how to hold your horses isn't always such a good thing. This video explains more, and is definitely a must-see.

And yes, we are seriously considering homeschooling. It is quite a rare thing in Norway, I think about 400 kids are homeschooled here, but it is possible, and we have the way of life here on the farm to support it. This video made my belief even stronger, you should watch that too.

The possibilities are endless. All we have to do, is to understand that we can go our own ways, we don't have to follow the crowd, we can make our own choices. Freedom, again.

Do you have any thoughts on or experiences from homeschooling? I'd love to hear them.


Happy Friday!

On freedom, self employment and birth photography.