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.

Ronja has been counting down for aaaages. "Is it the 17th of May soon?" - "How many days now?" - "What date is it today?" (- at which point I will answer: "It's the 1st of June! Oh NO! We forgot about the National Day!". She never falls for it.) This morning, even though she very well knew what day it was, she had to ask, just to be sure. And finally. THE DAY OF THE PARADE HAD ARRIVED. Phew!
I remember this so well from my childhood, how wonderful the celebration of our National Day was. Basically, there were three important days during a year: My birthday, Christmas Eve - and the 17th of May. So even though the pressure leading up to the day is intense, I can so easily identify with her. And this year was special, as it is her first year at school, and thus got to be a part of the parade with the marching band and the whole school and everything.
It all answered to her expectations, as she said: "It was even more fun than I thought!".
The rest of the day was spent eating ice cream, cake, cookies, more ice cream and more cake, and hanging out with family.
Very nice, but it's also ok that it's a year 'till next time. In between, there's my birthday and Christmas Eve, so still loads to look forward to!
Photos above: Two happy and one sceptical Payne + Freja and grandad on the way to check out the gravel.

Mrs. Payne loves...

The canvas!