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.

Me & my dad, ca. 1980.

I've always really loved this photo. It used to be in a little golden frame, always on a shelf or a dresser somewhere in my parents' house, and so many times I have stopped and picked it up, and really looked at it.

The kid is me, and the guy is my dad. He's probably around 30 years old at the time, so I'm older now than he is there. (Woah. Those words hit me like a bomb, actually.) And I, the child, am about two years old, like Freja is now. And he's pushing me on the swing, and I'm laughing, and my mum is probably laughing too, because she's the one taking the photo, I think.

In all the hustle and bustle of doing up a house, managing the every day, working, shopping, cooking and cleaning, there are two children growing in this family. And as they're growing, they're leaving some of what was them behind, and becoming something new. All the time. And we won't get it back, not ever. Only through our photos can we slightly smell or feel or subtly grasp what and who they used to be, a year ago, or a month ago, or even just last week.

For me, this is the most difficult thing of being a parent. I constantly have to let them go, and it makes me grieve a little, all the time. Who they are is so fleeting. It's like I cannot open my senses enough to thoroughly absorb them, to store them in my memory deeply enough.

So then, the camera helps me out. And even though it's a thin comfort, at least it makes me think I did my best, and that I can look them up when my memory fails me. Sometimes I even pretend that what they leave behind is in my photos, so all I have to do is take good enough pictures, and then it won't be lost after all.

Time is stored, memory is stored, love is stored, life is stored in the photos.



Little by little.