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.

Chester Zoo: Behaving like animals.

It's the second time we have been to the Zoo (if you disregard the fact that we live in one), and I was very dubious to going there the first time. I remember going to Copenhagen Zoo when I was about 13 years old, and I ended up crying in there because I felt so bad for the animals. I swore to never go to one again. Then, last year, my father-in-law invited us to Chester Zoo, and although I declined at first, I was talked into it by my husband. Chester Zoo seems to be very much into preservation of endangered species and education of people to help preserve bio-diversity, and that concept is visible throughout the whole park. Whether or not that justifies keeping animals captive like that, I don't know, but it made the visit easier for me, at least a little. And of course: The girls loved it.
This year we decided to go again, with Brother Payne and family. The girls went a little crazy, and Freja actually turned into a tiger at one point, crawling around and roaring at people. The little nutter.
And like last year, the thing that impressed us all the most, was the Butterfly House. You walk into a huge greenhouse full of exotic plants, and around your head flutter hundreds of butterflies in different colours and sizes, some are as big as little birds. It's like suddenly walking into a wonderland. And the tangible experience of that was even more impressive than watching lions from afar.

Second destination.

First destination: England.