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.

Tribal life.

A year or so ago something happened on Facebook that made it worthwhile dropping by there for me. Based on common beliefs, dreams and ways of living, a group of people gathered to form what we for fun call "the tribe". The basis is, amongst other things, a book written in the 70ies by a woman called Jean Liedloff - and to me and Mr. Payne it is the most important book we have ever read. It is truly a life-changer. While reading it, we were made to think through both our own childhoods and our ways of parenting, and it spurred reactions both of grief, frustration, awakening and relief for us. It is a book I want to buy to all people - and especially to everyone who are or will be parents. The book is called The Continuum Concept. Read more about it here

So anyway, this virtual tribe has been living and growing for a while, exchanging knowledge and ideas about so many things - not just parenting the continuum way (and attachment parenting, which might be more familiar to the general public), but healthy eating and growing your own food, living off-grid, homeschooling and unschooling, birth rights, and more. Last week I met some of these wonderful people in a big garden for a day of talking, eating lovely food, and just hanging out. I also had my first blessingway - which is an ancient native american tradition where women sit together and symbolically bless the pregnant mother and her unborn child, preparing for the passage of birth with love and support. Oh, and then I had the most wonderful full body pregnancy massage from one of the women who is a doula (I will dedicate a post to two of these special ladies later, keep posted!).  It was just really lovely, a day full of joy, sunshine and inspiration. I am so happy to have met these people. Love!


Me getting the symbolic blessing-thread around my wrist. This stays on until I have had the baby - and all the women in the circle have one too. Photo by Maren Sjøtveit / Tilstede Fotografi 

The waiting game.

Summer bliss.