Easter 2019
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This year we decided to celebrate Easter in Erik’s forest. There is a small cabin there to sleep in, but with no isolation, no toilet and no fridge, it is a far cry from the luxuries we are used to. It is a good thing my boyfriend is the woodsman he is (you wouldn’t think that of someone born and raised on Södermalm), managing to keep me warm at night and food cold during the day.

//I år feiret vi påsken i Erik sin skog. Det finnes en liten hytte der hvor man kan sove, men uten isolering, toalett og kjøleskap er det langt ifra den luksusen man er vandt med. Da er det bra at jeg har en riktig handyman til kjæreste (hvem skulle trodd det av en født og oppvokst på Södermalm), som holdt meg varm på natten og maten kald på dagen.

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The days were mostly sunny, with the thermometer showing approx. 20 degrees Celsius. Perfect conditions for running around in the forest a couple of days. Sajka had the time of her life, running around the forest investigating all it has to offer. By lunch time she was filled with impressions and had gotten all the mental- and physical stimulation a 16 month-old dog needs during the day. She was then more than happy to lie down by the campsite outside the cabin and chill.

//Solen skinte for det meste og termometeret viste rundt 20 grader. Perfekte forhold for å rusle rundt i skogen i noen dager. Sajka hadde det helt fantastisk der hun sprang rundt i skogen og undersøkte alt den har å by på. Ved lunchtider var hun allerede så fullpakket av inntrykk og hadde nok fått all den mentale- og fysiske stimuleringen en 16-måneders hund trenger i løpet av en dag. Hun var da mer enn fornøyd med å ligge ved grillplassen utenfor hytten å hvile.

Erik heading off to try out his new brush saw.

Erik heading off to try out his new brush saw.

Sajka guarding the campsite whilst daddy is off working in the forest.

Sajka guarding the campsite whilst daddy is off working in the forest.

The actual Easter-celebration took place on Saturday together with Erik’s family at his sisters country house not too far away from the forest. This included a tasty Easter egg-lunch and no less than two egg hunts! The Easter Bunny even left an “egg” for Sajka to find, which she did in no time, my good girl.

//Den faktiske påskefeiringen eide rom på lørdag sammen med Erik sin familie på søsteren sitt feriested ikke så langt unna skogen. Feiringen inkluderte en smakfull påskelunsj og ikke mindre enn to eggjakter! Påskeharen hadde til og med gjemt et “egg” til Sajka, som hun fant på null komma nix, flinkisen min.

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We had BBQs, we played cards surrounded by lots of candles at night and drank beer and just had a jolly good time. I never thought three nights in an old, cold and dirty cabin could be this cosy, but it was just about the perfect way for us to spend Easter this year.

//Vi grilla, spilte kort omringet av levende lys på kvelden og drakk øl og hadde det veldig fint. Jeg trodde aldri at tre netter i en gammel, kald og skitten hytte kunne være så koselig, men det var virkelig den perfekte måten for oss å feire Påsken i år.

Happy Easter
— Renate
Why did I go back to an office job?
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I am extremely critical to everything I do. Not just in work situations, but in life in general. From the way I present myself, the service I provide and the quality of the result at the end of a project. I am terrified that a client won’t be happy with the work I have done, because the feeling of letting someone down is probably the worst thing I can image. Even in situations where I am really pleased with the photos from a shoot, I am still just as nervous and anxious upon presenting the result. It is to the point of feeling physically ill. Why? Because I don’t believe in myself.

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Working as a freelance photographer involves a lot of client hunting. You need clients to earn money, it is as simple as that. And in order to get clients, you need to sell yourself and your abilities to others so that they want you. It is fair to say that this is not my strong suit. As a result of fair of rejection, I didn’t really do any client hunting at all during the time I “worked as a photographer”. All the work I had came to me. And that is not a way to build a portfolio, create a name in the photography industry and earn money.

I believe working as a photographer could be a social profession, with great potential to work with a lot of different people on shoots, networking with potential clients, collaboration partners (makeup artist, stylists, realtors, editors etc), with other photographers etc. If you have the right mindset. For me working as a photographer was the loneliest of professions. Because I made it that way. And as a result of that I started missing colleagues; banter, hanging by the coffee machine, eating lunch and helping each other with whatever issue it might be.

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I always performed well working in an office. I can say that with confidence based on the feedback from my colleagues and managers, and based on the measured targets that put performance down on paper black on white. It is an arena where my insecurities are lowered, which is a great feeling for someone like me. With an ever-growing guilt of not earning any money and the also growing dislike in working on my own with all the challenges that comes with that, going back to an office job was one of the easiest things to do. I have now worked for my new job for close to 5 months. I am doing really well and I am truthfully enjoying it a lot. I feel confident, happy and excited about the job I am doing. And that is a wonderful feeling. Just like a 9-5 is not for everyone, being your own boss is also not for everyone.

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With that said, I would absolutely love being a photographer full-time, if I only had the courage and belief in myself, something that I so very lack. Because I do love photography, and I do love editing even more so. Who knows, maybe one day, in some way.

Images in this blog entry are behind the scenes photos from the photography workshop I attended last year.

3 years ago today...

…I saw a picture of a guy wearing a bow tie and thought to myself “what a cutie”.

A week later, we met. I got drunk on red wine and was dying the following day.

A month later he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes.

4 months later I moved in with him.

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We have since then travelled to 6 different countries together, been drunk on champagne in two different cities abroad, moved to a bigger apartment, bought a dog, been the happiest we have ever been (at least I have) and also the most depressed. It has been a roller coaster of 3 years, where the first couple of years started off as a fairytale I thought only were to be found in the movies.

If our foundation hadn’t been so strong, then I am not sure we would’ve gotten through this last year. Thankfully it has been and hopefully we will soon be able to enjoy the calm after a storm.

Love, LifeRenate SolhaugComment
Workshop in Mallorca
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I attended a workshop on (in?) Mallorca last September. It was held by photographers Emma Schödin and Nathalie Nyberg. We were a small group of photographers attending, all with different backgrounds, experiences and preferences, and we all had our own reasons for attending. It was a great group that got along from day one and it was really good being able to connect with other photographers to share ideas, struggles and get the feeling of being colleagues rather than competitors. Being a photographer can be a rather lonely profession, so building a network is so valuable. I believe the workshop did just that, and this is one of the main reasons why I would recommend anyone with interest in working with photography to attend a workshop held by Emma and Nathalie.

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Emma and Nathalie had arranged three shoots the one day; a family shoot, a pregnant shoot and a couples shoot. Another day we had a full day wedding shoot, from getting ready, to the ceremony and portraits afterwards. The last shoot was also a bridal shoot, but only with a “bride” this time and also only the portrait part. These images are from that shoot.

See images from the couples shoot here.

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They are now arranging new workshops, this time two separate ones, both in Stockholm. One is focusing on Pregnant/Couple and the other is a Wedding photography workshop. You can read all about both workshops here if you are interested.

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This is not an ad I would like to point out, just a recommendation for all interested in these types of photography as I myself had a really positive and great experience from the one I attended last year.

I personally think the images I am left with (sooo much material to build a portfolio!) are amongst my favourite images I have ever taken, and for that I am grateful.