✧♡✧ Highlights of 2019 ✧♡✧
(One photo from each month, starting top left. You can read more about these photos and each month of my 2018 below.)
This year has gone by faster than ever! We’ve had so many highlights - on road trips around in our beautiful country, for nearly six weeks in total during Easter and summer, in mostly beautiful weather. We had a great time photographing and enjoying nature, trying nice accommodations, and finally visit the northernmost parts of Norway. During the autumn break I also went to Israel for the first time. That was an even greater experience than expected. We also had a memorable and fun weekend of extended family reunion during late spring, and a wonderful time together with family in September - celebrating my dear brother’s wedding.
I’ve also had lots of fun assignments photographing confirmands, weddings, one year olds, pets, families, newborn babies and so on all through the year. Due to this, I haven’t had the time to edit that many private vacation photos yet, but I really should soon. Nor have I got to enjoy nature and hikes that much from spring on, due to all the time spent on assignment photos, and on my singing too, on my spare time. It’s a bit hard, trying to balance everything I love doing. I've also finally started what I’ve wanted to do for a long time - replacing all my big and heavy Nikon gear (that I except from this have been really satisfied with), with Sony.
The saddest thing this year was when my beloved dog for 13 years had to be euthanized due to sudden illness in October. It has made our home and hikes (which I’ve had few of due to this) feel empty and sad during the year’s last months. But the joy and excitement of spending some wonderful and memorable Christmas days together with my family, and to look forward to celebrate New Year together with Richard’s family have really helped lately ♡
You can read more about each month of my 2019 below if you’d like to:
1. (Top left) 。The Famous Foreigner 。
JANUARY: The year started with preparing the year’s first assignments - photographing a newborn and singing in a wedding. I also had a memorable 35th birthday celebration. My choir got a second memorable visit from the amazing American gospel artist Norman Hutchins this month, a great man of inspiration.
We had a nice weekend with snow then (which is rare here at the coast), but I was too busy singing - so no nice winter photos for me. But later, when a rare mandarin duck visited our neighboring Jæren district, we went to photograph it on a new thin layer of snow, as you can see on the first photo in the collage.
FEBRUARY: Started with a fun girls’ weekend together with photography friends on beautiful Jæren – revisiting the mandarin duck from January, and photographing the winter-dressed landscape. I had many nice hikes during beautiful sunsets this month - together with Richard along the coast of Jæren (like on the second photo in the collage), and together with my dog Tessi on Eigerøy island where we live.
I also had the year’s first cat photography assignment for The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals. I still love doing charity like this, and meeting lots of new people and adorable animals.
The weather was really nice and warm during the winter break. Even though I had to work this year, we got to enjoy some sunshine outside on my spare time, and we could even wear t-shirts on one of our hikes (not normal at all in February). It was lovely to photograph the first snowdrops in the sunshine (snøklokker in Norwegian), and photograph and listen to the year’s first Eurasian Skylark too that week (sanglerke in Norwegian). My favourite season spring was really approaching!
-A self portrait of me and Tessi on a sunset hike on our island here. (If I knew that this would be one of the last ones of us, I would have taken so many more during the coming months..)
MARCH: Started with a nice sunset hike with a colleague, and photographing lots of cats and rabbits at the local center of The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals. They also threw a five year anniversary charity party in the end of the month, on a new hotel in the town of Stavanger – where I both sang and photographed the guests. The same weekend, I sang with my gospel choir on the kick-off party of the county’s largest soccer team, from the same town. A fun and different experience ツ
Richard and I also joined a photography club this month, where we already knew several members. It’s fun to be part of something together. I also had several walks along the coast of Jæren this month, most of them to photograph the year’s first and beloved oystercatchers (tjeld in Norwegian). I got several unforgettable nature experiences watching the oystercatchers in silence, and nice photos of them by the ocean and waves, as you can see in the collage. It was nice to bring my parents on one of the walks, when they were visiting. It was a different kind of nature experience than they are used to on their island.
APRIL: Started with a busy but really fun weekend, on a pre-Easter tour together with my gospel choir in the western and southern part of Norway. Then I had a long and wonderful Easter vacation, starting with the year’s most beautiful sunset (that I realized a little late, and only photographed the last part of, by the sea by our house). Then we went by car and ferry to the Ryfylke district, to a fairytale-like forest that I have longed to visit during spring. It was filled with beautiful wood anemones stretching towards the sun.
On Palm Sunday we started our memorable Easter road trip for one week – visiting all the counties in the western part of Norway, and revisiting several of our favourite places and accommodations. We enjoyed and photographed fjords, lakes and mountains, stunning reflections and landscapes, a little snow, spring flowers, and stunning sunsets the nights we stayed at the amazing Kråkenes lighthouse out on the cliffs (in the collage). I also had to add in a photo of one of the puffins we photographed in the evening light on our final destination – the famous bird island Runde. The weather was too good and warm to be true all the way ツ (The route for the locals: Hardanger-Luster-Fjærland-Stryn-Vågsøy-Sunnmøre-Stryn-Voss.)
Back home again, we also enjoyed some nice hikes on beautiful Jæren. April was actually so nice and dry that we had several wildfires in the country. In the end we longed for rain, which waited until after Easter. It was almost like the abnormal summer the previous year.
5. (Middle left) My Dearest Clothing
MAY: Even though the sun still was present, the warm weather from April was replaced by cold winds, sleet and a little snow (!). I photographed five beautiful confirmands this month (my favourites for portraits, in their national costumes, suits or dresses), and attended the whole confirmation day of one of them as a guest and photographer. I also photographed a christening that led to a surprise wedding of the baby's parents – where I also sang, and photographed the party. It was really exciting – being one of the very few that knew about it ツ
For the weekend of the National Day, we spent two nice days in the southern part of Norway - on a hotel we hadn’t tried before, with amazing view and lovely food for the celebration. We also drove through nice nature, to a place I hadn’t been before - where I took the self portrait in the collage, wearing my beloved national costume that my dear late grandmother and my mother made for my confirmation twenty years ago.
My choir had another great American gospel artist visiting us this month: Kurt Carr. I’ve listened to and sung his songs since I was a teenager, so it was really fun to get to know him a bit, and sing together with him. I also photographed more adorable kittens and cats for The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals this month, and made time for some nice hikes. I love walking by the sea in May – watching all the nesting birds and all the wildflowers blooming. Luckily I got some nice photos of Tessi among the coastal flowers, on our actually last hike like that on our island, ever..
The last days of May I went to the island I’m from, for a fun and memorable weekend of extended family reunion on my dad’s side of the family. After my grandparents died, I don’t see my aunts, uncles, cousins and heir children that often. We had lots of fun together for several days.
JUNE: Started with a fun closure party of the family reunion this weekend of May/June. I photographed several of my cousin’s families outdoors, to be used on their Christmas cards.
I also had one last national costume dressed confirmand to photograph when I got back home, and some adorable kittens for the Society for Protection of Animals as usual. Later I photographed two lovely weddings, both of them outside by the sea on beautiful Jæren. I also had my very first hair model photo shoot. Both the customer and I was luckily really satisfied.
We had an interesting invasion of butterflies called painted ladies this month, in large parts of Norway (tistelsommerfugl in Norwegian). I haven’t seen that large amounts of butterflies over time before, and I don’t know if I had seen that species at all until now. The one in the collage is one of the thousands in my former boss's garden, where we organized a summer party. I brought my camera to photograph butterflies after the cleanup, and also for testing the 70-200 mm I was borrowing for the summer, on her cute dog (my 50-100 mm was in for repair).
We also made time for some nice hikes in the summer dressed nature, and I attended a fun summer concert with my choir. The last day of June we started on our long and exciting road trip towards the northern part of Norway.
JULY: We spent the first three weeks driving around in our wonderful Norway, mostly in the northern parts. We also took some detours to Sweden and Finland. We almost had so many nice nature experiences, so much good food, so many nice places to stay and too good weather to be trueツ We stayed on lighthouses, went on bird safaris and several stunning hikes, spent time with lots of locals, Richard finally got to show me the places he stayed and spent time the two years he lived in Troms, and we also met some of his friends and acquaintances there. And when we finally reached western Finnmark, which was the first for both of us, we visited so many stunning places that we only had heard and seen so much of.
Richard fulfilled his wish to drive all the way to Nordkapp (North Cape – the northernmost point in Europe that can be accessed by car), and I fulfilled my wish to really see the northernmost counties of Norway.
I also had a couple of long mindight sun hikes that I never will forget. Sadly Richard couldn’t join me due to his health and mosquito allergy (they unexpectedly didn’t care for my blood) - but there’s something special walking there in the magnificent scenery all by yourself in the middle of the night. Like enjoying the amaaazing view over Alta Canyon (Google it), with no other people around and the midnight sun in your face for five hours. Even the weather wanted us to have a great experience. Before we arrived, they had snow and cold weather up there (!) But from our second day in Finnmark, we only had really warm and lovely summer weather every day. (The route for the locals: Sognefjellet-Lom-Junkerdalen-Storjord-Hamarøy-Bardufoss-Lappland/Finland-Kautokeino/Finnmarksvidda-Gjesvær-Nordkapp-Porsanger-Hammerfest-Alta-Øksfjord-Sørøya-Reisadalen-Sørkjosen-Skjervøy-Olderdalen-Lyngen-Tromsø-Sommarøy-Senja-Mosjøen-Oppdal-Undredal.)
After coming back home and reunite with our dear dog Tessi, who had been taken care of by my parents, we also had time for some more nice hikes closer to home. I also sang in a wedding and photographed more Animal Protection cats, before starting working again.
I sadly havent’ had the time to edit that many photos from the amazing road trip yet, but here are some from the two northernmost counties:
AUGUST: Started with my parents visiting us. And me taking pregnant photos for one family, and family photos for my sister - including cute one year old photos of my nephew. I also made time for a whole day, showing my parents several nice hikes in the area where I live, in beautiful weather the same weekend.
Then we actually went on a second road trip, since I got an extra week of vacation. We got a beautiful and warm week, back to our favourite places in the western part of Norway, and also some days in the middle part. Finally we had the time for a memorable hike to some idyllic old shielingins in Stryn, as seen on the collage (normally we only drive around there, and don’t take the time for hikes). (The road trip route for the locals: Dalen-Hemsedal-Sogn-Jølster-Stryn-Balestrand.)
In the end of the month I photographed two adorable newborn girls, and lots of cats for The Protection of Animals. The last weekend, I went to Bergen with my sister, for our sister-in-law’s fun bachelorette party.
9. (Bottom left) If I could turn back time one week ♥‿♥
SEPTEMBER: Started with taking newborn photos of my mother-in-law’s first great grandchild, and my sister-in-law’s first grandchild ツ It was also fun to get some adorable photos of their cute dog, when the baby was breast feeding. Later I spent a whole weekend having fun and rehearsing together with my choir, and I also sang in a wedding. I also took some casting photos for the first time this month, for a friend in my choir who’s a musical artist.
The biggest happening this month, was my brother’s wedding on Os (close to Bergen) the 14th. I was both singing together with my sister in the church and photographed the whole wedding. Even though the rain poured down the whole day, and we couldn’t take any of the photos we dreamed of outside by the fjord, we still had a great day – and found some nice places for photos inside.
I also had a really fun photo shoot with a one year old on Jæren, in warm and beautiful weather (we were really lucky!). And I visited lots of cats again at the center of The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals, and actually got two new beautiful confirmands to photograph (one of my favourite things to do). They’re confirmations were in spring, but they regretted that they hadn’t taken photos yet.
10. Netanya by Night
OCTOBER: Started with a really fun photo shoot on Jæren - of a confirmand in her national costume, in beautiful light in a forest with still some green trees, and on a nearby beach during sunset. Then I went to Israel for the first time, together with my choir and friends for the autumn break. I didn't have that many expectations, and didn't quite know what I was going to experience down there - but it was much more beautiful and even more interesting than I expected. We visited the Galilee region, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Netanya (close to Tel Aviv).
After coming home, my dear dog Tessi suddenly got ill one day, and we had to euthanize her the next day. The tests showed possible stomach cancer. As I wrote on the day we lost her: Losing the one you have shared the most cuddles with the past 13 years, got the most attention from, shared most walks and nice nature experiences with, shared most quiet mornings with, and also is your most used photo model, feels really bad. It was some hard days in the start without her. I went back to the center for Protection of Animals two days later, to have as much furry cuddles (and photos) as I could get.
NOVEMBER: Started with some singing assignments, and photographing my adorable newborn neighbour girl, which I had to visit several times since she only wanted to be awake and moving on the photos ツ I also photographed the baby daughter of a former colleague of mine, that I hadn’t seen for about 13 years. Fun!
The photo in the collage is of my first killer whales sight (spekkhogger in Norwegian). We went by boat to Eigerøy lighthouse (close to where we live) a nice Saturday, together with Richard’s sister and her boyfriend. When we stood by the lighthouse to enjoy the view, I saw some special and big fins in the ocean. The thought of killer whales struck me, but I convinced myself that it couldn’t be – they normally don’t show up here. So we thought it was pilot whales or something. We watched them for a while – three large ones and two babies.
Sadly I didn’t bring my largest tele zoom, but at least I had the camera so that we could zoom in the photos on the computer at home, to see that it really was killer whales! Probably on their way to the herring in Northern Norway. Maybe we would have followed them by boat if we knew that earlier.. The next day we heard that others had had them around their boat for one hour, right by our house (!!!), before we saw them 😮 So actually we could have had them much closer if we only went outside at home 😂
I spent most of the month editing assignment photos, and rehearsing for Christmas concerts. I also finally decided to start on the process of replacing all my Nikon DSLR gear (because it’s too large and heavy for assignments and trips) with Sony. I’ve known for a long time that Sony is better for my use, since Richard have used it for a long time. But it’s much more expencive than Nikon, so I’ll need a long time before I have replaced both Nikon cameras, six lenses and two flashes. I started by buying the Sony A7III camera and the 85mm f/1.8 lens. The plan is to buy a A9 too, and of course several lenses. Meanwhile, I will use both Nikon and Sony.
12. ♡۰ೋღ Home ღೋ♡
DECEMBER: Christmas really hit me and my choir the first week of December, having five Christmas concerts on three days, and I also attended a Christmas party with my job in between. Both we and luckily the audience thought the concerts were amazing. We have so much fun together, and there are so many talented singers and musicians in the choir.
I also still was busy editing photos for others on my spare time, and attended some Christmas singing where I live and where I’m from too.
We spent the Christmas days together with my whole family, which I loved. It’s special seeing Christmas through children’s eyes again, celebrating together with my niece at three and nephew at one ♡ I I finally got to try my new Sony A7III on Christmas Eve, since the weather and time hadn’t made it possible to take photos the last month since I bought it. We also got some nice photos by the sea and lake, during the foggy sunset on my homeplace on Christmas Day, as you can see on the collage (but not with Sony, since I only have a 85mm yet). After going home again, I got sick which lasted until New Year’s Eve (and so did the bad weather). Typical – when I finally had some time with little plans but to finish lots of work. But luckily I feel a little better now for a fun New Year’s Eve celebration together with Richard’s sister and family.
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I almost feel bad for having had such a great year (besides the loosing my dog part), with all the vacations, good memories and good health. There’s so many both around me and farther away, experiencing hard things. But life has struck me before and probably will again one day, so I guess I just have to be thankful and enjoy all I can as long as I’m able to in the future too.
Still I don’t have that many plans for the new year yet, but I hope to visit Paris or another nice city together with one of my best friends during spring. And I guess Richard and I will enjoy our beautiful Norway and its nature next year too, on road trips and hikes - even though we haven’t booked anything yet. We’ve talked about visiting some of the few parts of Northern Norway that we haven’t visited yet, during summer. (We also really want to experience Northern Norway during winter, but don’t know what year we will have the chance to do so.)
I’ll also spend some money on continuing replacing my Nikon gear with Sony through the year. And I have some exciting confirmand photo shoots planned for the spring, a valentine wedding photo assignment, and some summer weddings for both singing and photographing. My choir also has many assignments and concerts planned for the upcoming year.
I hope to spend more time together with both my family and friends in the new year than I have been able to this busy year, visiting my homeplace more, and making more time for nice everyday experiences outside home together with Richard – even though that means that I have to hope for fewer photography and singing assignments.
One last big wish for the new year is to find a new dog that we both feel is the right one to fill the empty space after our dear Tessi left us. Even though we know that no dog will be just like her, I long for another four-legged best friend to love and take care of, and who will make my joy for nature, morning walks and hikes be stronger again.
Thanks to all who wanted to read about my year, and to all my photography followers!
I hope you have a great 2020 ahead - filled with happiness, everyday pleasures and good memories!
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(To watch and read my Highlights of 2013, take a look here.
To watch and read my Highlights of 2014, take a look here.
To watch and read my Highlights of 2015, take a look here.
To watch and read my Highlights of 2016, take a look here.
To watch and read my Highlights of 2017, take a look here.
To watch and read my Highlights of 2018, take a look here.)