My Exhibition 2015/2016! A little piece of me...

I have had three exhibitions so far. All of them showing my other photographic work which you can see on Every time I was nervous, every time was nerve-wracking. With these fine art portraits I thought that it would take me much longer to build up the courage to show them publicly, printed and framed, on a wall, spotlights on. Surprisingly, it didn't take me that long. The thought WAS nerve-wracking but then everything happened very fast.

first set of images

first set of images

I got a lot of encouragement from the people around me, a date was set, images selected, printed, hung. Instead of planning an opening and making myself even more nervous, I decided against an opening and went with the "they hang, it's too late anyway" attitude ;) . An exhibition is always unnerving. But it gets really bad when it takes place in your hometown. Many people know you, see you around town and many of them see your images. In the grocery store, or anywhere else, you start seeing yourself as "the girl dressed in blue fabric, emerging from a giant birds nest". It is pretty funny when you really think about it!

Nerves and insecurities aside, the images are received really well (at least that's what I heard) and for me it was a bit of an ice breaker. If I do get the chance to show my new work again towards the end of 2016, I will feel less nervous and I can promise right now that my images will be bolder :)

Typically, I sell my images "off the wall" and they are sent or delivered after the exhibition ended or customers can order prints without the frame, I collect the order forms and get to work. It doesn't happen too often that I get to meet buyers. The day before New Year's Eve I DID meet buyers from Denmark that had decided to purchase the image "Curiosity". This was absolutely exciting and it made me truly happy to package and hand over this "little piece of me" personally. The buyers told me where they lived (an island in the North Sea!) and what meaning the image has for them. BEST part of my exhibition adventure! :) These are the brief moments that are the BIG reward for working on concepts, finding dresses and props, shooting in awkward places and/or positions, and hour-long, sometimes daylong edits. It reminds you why you create. I don't create to use up space on my computer's hard disk. This would be a very lonely and unfulfilling existence. I create and give a small piece of myself which then finds a new home, gets new meaning, and, hopefully, makes somebody happy!

my second set of images

my second set of images

A new year of adventures!

I meant to write and publish a new blog post two days ago. I didn't, I do it now. My desire to jump right back in and create was greater then writing in my blog so I did just that - I shot and edited. And this brings me straight to one of my resolutions (or intentions) for this new year. Last year was, in many ways, one big, giant lesson in my personal as well as photographic life.

One of the lessons learned is being able to act right away or at least as soon as possible on your plans, wishes, and goals. Don't contemplate something for too long.. Just trust your intuition and do it! Or, on the opposite end, let go of actions, habits, situations, or even people that are a big negative in your life, that don't make you feel good, bring you down, make you sad, disappoint you or are simply unhealthy for you. So far, in these first 13 days of 2016, I'm pretty happy with myself because I am taking this intention to heart and act on it.

I knew I wanted to start shooting my fine art portraits again and I tried to plan shoots and I was overthinking it. Yesterday morning I threw all plans out the window, got into one of my new dresses (thank you, santa!), set up my camera, re-arranged our living room, and spent a good hour crawling in and out of the living room cabinet. In the evening, I edited and was fairly happy with the result (considering I got a bit rusty). I finished the edit this morning, I am completely sore from my little shoot, and just very happy that i am back into it.

Along with changes in my personal life and in my way of thinking in many areas, along with lessons learned and much trial and error, I know this will be a super exciting new year with plenty of chaos and adventure, all of which makes life awesome! I will spend plenty of quality time with my little family (my husband and our two adorable kittens); I will make more time to shoot my fine art photographs and finally realize some long-planned shoots (see what I mean?); I will fully dive into my commercial portrait photography; ....oh, and I will finally get my dusty, old bicycle out of its temporary (like...10 years....) resting place and use it again ;)

My own list of 2016 "intentions" goes on and on. What are your intentions and goals for this year? Feel free to share a little in the comments and help inspire others :)

Finally, I want to wish you all a wonderful, inspired, healthy, and adventurous NEW YEAR!!

P.S.: Here is a small glimpse into my personal 2015. Another look back and then....ONLY forward! :)

Musing about the concept of TIME ;)

Is time a "healer" or is it a burden? Does time work for or against us? Do we "take" time or is time being taken from us? Does it tie us down or can we use it in our favor? Does time fly, is time money, can we "waste" time, is time free or is it priceless?

As you can see I have been thinking a lot about the concept of TIME. I had too because time had almost become an enemy - not ENOUGH time for anything, constant pressure, and 24 hours never seemed enough. It started to seem like I never had time for the important things (or anything). At the same time, I have never been less productive, inspired, or efficient. It became paralyzing and unhealthy. The more paralyzed I was, the more time I "lost". It became a circle.

Until I took a step back and TOOK TIME - for the people I love, for the things I'm passionate about, and for myself. I had to reduce my pace and learn again to take things easier, be more laid back again. For far too long I let TIME dictate everything I'm doing - to a degree where I started to have health issues (nothing major but enough to scare me), couldn't think clearly anymore, was often irrational, made mistakes, and was always as tense as a tightly drawn wire.

Somehow I was smart enough and took it as a warning sign, checked my pace and my rhythm. Of course, this is not a process that is finished in a few days or a week. But I am now in a much, much better place than some TIME ago. I let time work for me, I gave myself time, and will continue to do so. I let go of the "strictness" of time and started to see it as my friend again. And, yeah, I realized I don't have to do anything in record speed or 15 things at the same time. ;) There is time enough for everything and everything will happen in due time.

This image was created weeks ago when I was still in this pretty bad place. This is how I felt back then - tied to a giant clock without any way to escape. Things changed since then but I still wanted to publish this image because it represents a tiny part of my story and a huge learning experience. As you may notice, this image is far from perfect. In fact, I think it is one of my worse ones. Now, I could have gone back into editing and presented you with a more polished, better version. I did not. It is what it is. When I created it I rushed, did not take the time because I thought I didn't have enough. See where this is heading.....? So, here it is with all it's technical imperfections, representing a very important lesson.

I'm sure many of you had similar experiences and probably not only once. Feel free to share your thoughts and stories in the comments!


"People are born everyday. Ideas and views and goals and dreams. Born every day. In fact, every second of every day. Giving birth is hard. Not only the baby from a mother's womb. But the birth this child has to give throughout its life, again and again. To ideas and views and goals and dreams. And friendships and relationships and new selves. This, I claim, is the hardest type of giving birth. When you want to re-invent yourself. When you need to let go of things known and deliver the unknown. There is pain involved. And great joy."

I wrote the above quote down a long time ago and thought it was so perfect for the image. Unfortunately, I did not write down the author! So, let's just enjoy these beautiful words, let them sink in.....and probably never find out who came up with them.... ;) 

Curiosity and how hardware stores are the best source of inspiration

I use a Nikon D7000 and my favorite lens is a Nikkor 40mm 2.8G. Then I have several tripods, a few reflectors, and my trusty camera bag that I love more than any fancy purse. Ok, truth be told, there are a few more lenses and filters and accessories. But the 40mm, one sturdy Manfrotto tripod and the bag (a Tenba, for those interested) are really all I need for almost any shoot. Therefore, I don't spend a lot of time in camera stores. In fact, I think I haven't been to one in almost two years. Where I like to spend time is in fabric stores, at flea markets, and especially in hardware stores! I ALWAYS, without exception, walk out with something that I could use for my photography. They are just great, aren't they? Clamps, pieces of wood, random containers, construction lights, paint, tape, barbed wire, regular wire.....just so many great items to use for photography!

During my years in the US I saw my share of ginormous hardware stores. But now, living in a small country where everything is.....well, small, imagine my absolute delight when my husband and I discovered this DIY store the other week that even had a DRIVE-IN section!!! I have heard rumors that something like this existed but have never seen one in person. Imagine all the stuff you can get there for all your photography projects. [I do sound like a complete geek, don't I?] My husband quickly succumbed to his fate and patiently walked miles and miles through that store with me. Also, he tried not to look too embarrassed when I let out a small shriek of joy when I found the perfect ROPE. Trust me, only fellow (conceptual) photographers will understand my reaction ;) I proudly brought home my rope, sat down, and started sketching my photo ideas. Let me tell you, items like this make me happier than any pair of shoes. I'm a photographer girl, not a girl-girl after all :)

Two days, one quiet morning, and a night shift later I finished my first rope image. I kept it very simple and for this simplicity I love this image.


I also recorded while editing and, as always, you can watch the video right here! I have used stock images of ropes in the past and the resolution was always terrible. So, this time around and with my very own rope I could photograph rope sections individually and piece them together later (as you can see in the video).

I cannot wait for my next trip to my new favorite store and I'm curious to hear if you share my love for hardware stores. Have you purchased items in DIY stores that you couldn't find anywhere else to incorporate into your photography? Which ones and for what images? Let me know in the comments section below!