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.

October 3rd.

This day, 2002:
I get on a train in my little home town in Norway, with my then boyfriend, big backpack on, and tickets to the end of the continent in our pockets. We were going to Portugal, and stopping wherever we wished on our way through Europe. We were taking a year out from everything, from studies, winter, everything. Little did I know that the end station on our trip would lead me to the family I am a part of now.
Two weeks later, we were on a train from Valladolid to Lisboa. We travelled through the night, and as early morning whispered its first hellos, we crossed the border to Portugal. I was awake, looking at the landscape, excited to see the first silhouettes of our homeland for the year to come. In the coupé with us, was a young French man, about our age, I think his name was Francois. He was also awake, and we were talking quietly as the train moved into Portugal. He worked as an arbonaut; climbing trees, arranging tours for people who wanted up.

This day, 2009:
I marry Nik Payne, a tree climber whom I met in Portugal on a visit back to my friend there.
I've many times thought about that image - me on a train at dawn, talking to a stranger, and that stranger somehow represents the man I was to meet later, in that country. My man, the tree climber. It was as though life was whispering to me: look. 

Milan Kundera wrote: Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress. It is wrong then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences, but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.
DSCN4708 Maria_Nik-4656
This day, 2011: Thank you, life, for showing me this beauty. Thank you, my husband, for marrying me and for walking this path with me.
♥ U.


Drawing, et cetera.