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.

Hoist anchor!

Wow. Back online after the lightning struck our modem dead - twice. Hopefully this one will last longer, if this mama can remember to pull out the plugs when nature starts rumbling. 

This summer has so far been a roller coaster in more ways than one. After starting my summer break in the end of May and up until now, I have done a whole lot of thinking. I brought myself to a place where I had to make an important decision, and it wasn't an easy one.

My love of photography has always been there, ever since I learned how to use my dads old analog Nikon EM, but it has evolved, and become more substantial, a bigger part of my life, something I've taken more and more seriously. And although my teaching job was great, and having a steady income every month was lovely, there was this voice within, I think it came from my heart, and it started speaking really loud. It was so loud that in the end, I couldn't hear the other thoughts I tried to think: for example that I should work a few more years as a teacher, that I should wait, that I should have more security, that maybe I shouldn't change anything at all. All I could hear was: Go for it.

So I did. I jumped, I did what scared me the most.

I am not going back to work this autumn. I am now self-employed. I am shocked, happy, relieved, and crazily excited about it. It feels like a completely bonkers thing to do, but it feels so right. That voice isn't so loud anymore, it just sort of grunts happily every now and then, gives a little sigh of relief, says that I did good.

I wouldn't have done this if I didn't think it would work, if I didn't have faith in it. I think I can make a living out of being a photographer, and so far it has been great. Lots of work, lots of photos, lots of happy customers. 

I am doing both the birth photography (see www.birth.no & www.facebook.com/fodselsfoto for more) and the more conventional work, as my alter ego Bygdefotografen (www.bygdefotografen.no & www.facebook.com/bygdefotografen) - both for the private and commercial market. I have tons of other plans too. (And yes! You are welcome to get in touch if you need a photographer!)

After having gone through this process, thinking so much my head was about to crack, weighing things back and forth, worrying, pondering, feeling confused - out of all of that, after the decision was made, came this one feeling, this one word. Freedom.

I am free. 

Making friends.