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Sibling love

Love for reading all right. Somehow books seem to bring out the best in them. It’s enough for one to grab a book with lots of pictures, like Maps or Mamoko or Mrowki. Or some Moomin stories. Then the other follows, they both cuddle up on a sofa and start telling stories. Alvar’s are limited to short “words” still, but he really tries.

 

This post is part of Childhood Unplugged photography collective. Check out Childhood Unplugged on facebook and play along on Instagram by tagging your unplugged moments with #childhoodunplugged.

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ashley - So sweet. Siblings are the best.

Stained glass whole

You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.
― Miriam Adeney

When I watched this TED Talk few months ago my mind immediately went to Awital and her family. Pico Ieyr  talks about how for more and more people life is spent taking pieces of many places and putting them together into a stained glass whole. How home for them is work in progress, much like a project on which they are adding new things, upgrades and improvements. How home for them has less to do with a piece of soil than a piece of soul.

Awital invited me to document their very last moments spent in Finland. Their transition between a country they came to love and treat as home to a country that is home, but also a big unknown. She wanted to remember these small, ordinary moments that with time turn into small gems, imbued with meaning. Making pancakes in the morning, flour smeared on the table, fingers blue from smashing blueberries. Drinking green juice. Going out and watering the plants (even if it was raining). How the swing creaked. Artwork taped to the window. The small crumbs of reality that make up the whole galaxy of their life.

This is a small glimpse of the Day in Life session that I offer. You can view others here. To book yours contact me.

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/mariahedengren - Lovely!

Fall into autumn

November. Seriously? Mentally I’m still in September and I have trouble remembering it’s the sock time of the year. Because socks are vile things. OK, OK, they do serve a very useful purpose. I just don’t like socks.

Ingrid wakes up every morning and runs to the window hoping to see snow. I remember that. November is my birthday month and I was always hoping the snow will be there when the day arrives (lucky for me the birthday is at the end of the month, so it almost always did arrive). So I watched the color bleed of the world, day by day, slowly, relentlessly. Waiting. Enjoying the wait. Of course I loved the snow, but waiting, anticipation was as much fun.

I guess it can be hard to like this weird kind of reverse spring that November is. Just think about it as a month of finding happiness in the pursuit (and no, I don’t mean the pursuit of Christmas presents).

Case in point. This is just one of these small, totally random things my kids are doing. Alvar found this small, plastic, yellow boat in the sandbox (I did or did not say “there you are” when he found it. It’s supposed to be in the bathroom to be played with in the tub. I didn’t know it’s a desert boat) It was filled with frozen rain water. The best fun was breaking the ice. After accomplishing the mission they moved on to other important tasks. Swing. And then we roasted some apples (camera retired at this point)

This post is part of Childhood Unplugged photography collective. Check out Childhood Unplugged on facebook and play along on Instagram by tagging your unplugged moments with #childhoodunplugged.

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Unplugging and backyard camping

Our life has changed a lot in the past few weeks. My maternity leave is over and I’m back to the day-to-day office work (yes, I still take bookings for the family sessions, but spots are very limited). That’s why it’s been so quiet around here- I’m still learning the ropes of organizing all the things I have on my plate and not going crazy in the process. Getting the hang of it :)

So the job is eight hours, four days per week. Time with family has shortened, but because of that I feel there is more purpose. Office takes eight hours, plus the commute so everything else has to be squeezed into way less hours than before. Meaning that prioritizing and focusing became our second nature.

This has made me realize how much time I was wasting by idly scrolling through newsfeed on Facebook and browsing the internet. And that in fact this habit was bordering on addiction. I was terribly distracted and way, way too often glued to my screen. Meet my new, distraction-free iPhone.

No mail, no Safari, no social media. I decided to give it a go as an experiment for a week. It’s been almost four weeks since and I’m not going back anytime soon. And yes, I still like to have a smartphone. Shortly after going distraction-free my phone fell on the floor and the front glass is shattered. I was forced to use a dumb-phone (aka old NOKIA with a keyboard) and I really miss Google maps & navigation, camera, WhatsApp and Audible for listening to audiobooks on my way to work. So these are the smartphone features I would like to have. It just seems I’m not dealing very well with having the world of internet and social media at my fingertips. So I will skip that and keep the rest. If you are interested in nitty-gritty details of uninstalling apps and son on, here is a really good how-to article.

In lieu of the missing icons on my screen I carry these three things with me:

– journal for quickly writing fleeting thoughts/ impressions/ ideas

– sketchbook for line drawings (I guess you could replace it with anything creative. Crocheting thingies for example)

-small book of poetry. This is like Twitter, just… better.

Admittedly, my bag is (way) heavier than before, but my head feels lighter.

From the time we come back from work and daycare we have some 4 hours together as a family. That’s not a whole lot, considering that we also have to eat, take care of the household and dog during that time. But having so little time and not a whole lot of digital distraction means we actually focus and most of it is quality time. Spent on fun stuff.

One evening we built a fire-pit in the backyard. Just a big hole, lots of stones and simple benches around. Since then we’ve spent many an evening sitting around a fire, roasting marshmallows, watching sunsets and just… being.

This post is part of Childhood Unplugged photography collective. Check out Childhood Unplugged on facebook and play along on Instagram by tagging your unplugged moments with #childhoodunplugged.

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Mary Yung - Your post resonates with me so much. Participating in this journey of Childhood Unplugged made me examine my own plugged in time and make it a point to be online. Kudos to you for your heavier bag but lighter head!

Noora Tuomisto - Sounds lovely :) Very much like how I feel about digital distractions. I have been somewhat addicted to facebook and very addicted to angry birds (though this also brings back nice memories as playing angry birds co-incided with breast feeding our youngest son when I was still at home and he was still so little that we were almost as one). After testing life without them I feel much more present. Contacting friends using the phone (as an actual telephone!) and meeting them in person is for me much more fulfilling. This of course cannot be done on a daily (or even weekly) basis – as visiting facebook – but I feel that still less is really more. Haven’t yet tried removing email from my phone, but considering it – already helped, when I took work email off my phone.

Skipped morning yoga today and cuddled in bed with our kids for an extra half an hour. Now my shoulders miss yoga but still no regrets, the kids are so sweet and so real :) Like it says on a postcard: “Life is now. Press play.”

karba - Noora, this sounds lovely! Try removing your email for a week maybe? It’s so easy to bring it back if you decide you need it.
Life is indeed happening now and it can so easily slip. Kudos to you for pressing play :)

Ania - Dziękuję za kolejną inspirację… Po odkopaniu pasji teraz to :-)aż postanowiłam napisać.. ;-) stara prawda, jak świat stary: nie brakuje nam czasu, marnujemy go… I ja odczuwam to jak łatwo go tracę, jak mi umyka..życie odłożone na bok nie zatrzymuje się przecież, pauzy nie wcisnę..a najgorsze jest to, że to bardzo męczy!rodzi tyle niepokoju i poczucia frustracji i rezygnacji…
A palenisko piękne wyszło :-)
Mam wrażenie, że dużo od Ciebie biorę.. Czy kiedyś uda mi się odwdzięczyć?mam nadzieję :-)

karba - Aneczko, cala przyjemnosc po mojej itd :) Odwdzieczylas sie piszac tu :)

Flower buds

Visiting a house where a newborn lives is like stepping into a different universe. Quiter, milkier, softer. Huggier. Light seems to cuddle the tiny feet.

Newborns are amazing creatures. I’m not sure how to best describe it, but let me try… It’s quite clear that when you look at a newborn baby the most distinct personality traits are already visible. But not fully. Newborns resemble flower buds for they are soft, vulnerable and require nourishing. But nothing in the world will change what that flower bud is. It will become what it already is, it’s decided. The person he will become is there, in the small body 100% depended on those who love him. But it’s not all visible and you will only recognize these personality traits in hindsight, looking back. Each new day reveals a little bit more of the character. Tiny bits. How he looks at people, how he reacts to new environments. Small things, tiny beads on the complex chain of what makes a person. One small bead after another. Until one day you look closely at your preschooler, see how curious, funny and brave he is… and you realize that he has always been like this. That you always knew him as that person, you just didn’t know how to name it yet.

Introducing Kippo, the little flower bud of a human and Marica, person who nourishes him with love, milk and cuddles. Cannot wait to see who will he become.

These lovely photos were taken as part of new type of session designed especially for families with newborn babies (vastasyntyneen kuvaus, vauvakuvaus). It’s a 2 hour shoot where I follow the family and document some everyday routines- feeding, nappy change etc. All the small things that change slowly, invisibly and are so rarely documented. I also take a few more “formal” portraits of the new family member. These are very, very natural. No funny hats, bows or unnatural poses. Just the baby because I think newborns are beautiful as they are :)

You can read more about my philosophy of photographing families here.

Contact me to schedule your session. Looking forward to meeting you!

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