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.

Just right.

A beautiful thing happened today:

For the first time in many weeks, I felt like myself again, and I had that feeling again, the one I've been missing so much. Since this baby moved in, I have felt so off, so tired and out of focus and nauseous and, then, down. And it's been tearing me up a bit - even though I have known that it was a passing thing - but I haven't had space to feel that wonderful tingle of happiness a lot. Yes, this baby is very much wanted and we are so happy about it - it's not that. The fundament is right, but my physical self was too busy just hanging in there, so everything was affected by that. I was starting to worry a bit. But then, yesterday, and today, I have had days where I have been me again - and today I had a moment I have been longing for. It can happen anywhere, anytime, in any context, there is this sudden explosion of happiness in me, like my chest is going to burst for a few seconds, and I feel butterflies in my tummy, and everything is just right. Not spectacular, not sensational in any way - but just right. I was just cooking, and there it was. 

And then, later, I opened a book that I'd picked up from the post office, and the words in front of me were about this exactly, and I just felt so fuzzy and happy and on a wonderful journey, it was simply beautiful. The book was Home grown by Ben Newitt, and the words that struck a chord in my heart were these:

"But the freedom I speak of is more than temporal; it is also a freedom of emotion and spirit, to know that happiness and fulfillment can be found in the smallest and simplest of places and things. I think of the way I'm so often caught off guard by some small, commonplace moment (...). Sometimes, I cannot even identify a trigger, like when I am walking down the farm road, and I am suddenly swept by a sense of knowing my place. Not just in the here and now, but in the grand, infinite scheme of things and forces far beyond my capacity to even imagine.

What I gain from these moments - the quick bloom of warmth they bring, the quiet sense of knowing that there is nothing else I need - cannot be readily measured, and because it cannot be measured, it cannot be traded. It is my own wealth. It is unique to me and therefore it is secure."

That. Exactly that.

Another thing I thought of today:

How I was afraid that telling you all about the pregnancy would somehow jinx it, that it was wrong to put it out there. That I should have waited. And then I realised, after I have read all the messages and comments from everyone, that what it really did, was open up to all the love and well-wishing and good vibes from people everywhere. And that has to be a good thing, right?

T H A N K  Y O U  for all your sweet words, they are so appreciated.


New project.

Chosen again / Chapter four.