I’ve hinted at this so many times and now I am finally ready to tell: I just founded my own photography business.
I offer portrait, family and animal sessions for now and you can find me on Facebook. In the coming months I will be launching a blog to share photoshoots, a website and a small online shop selling my most requested images as prints.
I am very excited! Juggling a full time office job, a photography business and my personal life will be challenging (in fact, it already is), so I am taking things slowly. In the past months I have done a lot of research, talked to my accountant and learned about taxes and the whole business side of it. I am doing everything in this myself (including the website), so the new pages will be up one at a time.
The idea is to build this business slowly but steadily over the next few years.
I’m happy to be finally doing this and excited to see what 2012 will bring!
I had been meaning to write a post about the chapstick I made, but that will have to wait another day. I spent sunday afternoon at my grandmother’s with my mother (her former daughter-in-law).
My mom had just returned from a trip to Poland, where she had searched for the property her father had owned before WWII. Both her parents are from regions that fell to Poland after the war. Both her parents died young, so she never had the chance to know much about them or their extended families and was left all alone at a very young age.
A couple of years ago she went searching for her mother’s family’s place in Poland also. She had nothing to go by but a couple of postcards and photos from the 1940’s, but she asked her way through the region, finding the village and the houses she looked for. All throughout her trip the polish people were incredibly kind and helpful. She was pointed to an old farmer who spoke german and who lived right next door to the house her mother’s family had owned. And here comes the incredible part: the old farmer handed her a business card that someone had left with him years ago. It was from a cousin my mom had never known, who had come to search for the place also and, knowing there should be family somewhere he didn’t know, left it there for them to find, should they ever come there.
My mom called him and visited him in Berlin and through him, was able to find out more about her family. He had been a young boy when they had to flee from their homes at the end of the war (before my mother was born in western Germany). He had a baby sister and a brother. They fled with their parents and my mother’s family (her older sister, mother, aunt and grandmother) but everywhere they went the Russians had already come. My mother’s family went back but the cousin’s family went on. Along the way they were discovered and the father was led into the woods and shot. The mother in a panic then fled back home with the three children, losing all their possessions along the way. Soon however that village was also invaded, and the mother was raped and shot in their home. The three children were then left all alone and fled west with a trek of people. They reached Berlin, where their baby sister was kidnapped by one of the women in the trek and they were only able to locate her a couple of years later. They had lost contact with my mother’s family, who later fled to a different part of Germany.
Why do I write this? Partly because I can’t get it out of my head and partly because I think stories like this remind us, with our often petty little problems, how damn lucky we are to live in the times we live in, free and fed and warm. And that there are people out there who aren’t so lucky today.
I have some dearest friends in Italy, family almost, at least that’s how I think it feels for all of us. I’ve been visiting there since I was 5 years old, sometimes every other year, sometimes with a few years in between where I didn’t make it. Being in that part of the world feels a little like coming home every time and I never realize how much I need to be there until I arrive. This last visit was only short of two days and I soaked up every minute of it.
My Italy is rolling hills
and picturesque flower pots.
Wide open spaces, century old stone houses and family vegetable patches at every corner.
My Italy is noisy family dinners, with food you never knew could taste this good, deliciously prepared by 86-year-old nonna.
My Italy is lemon trees on the terrazza and trying to keep up with an italian conversation heavily flavoured with regional dialects until I give up and just let the words buzz around me pleasantly while breathing in the air that hints at the sea some 30 minutes away.
My Italy feels like home.
We’ve had very heavy snowfalls again in the last few days. I can’t remember a winter when we had continous snow on the ground for weeks before christmas.
Since it is dark both when I go to work and when I leave again I hadn’t been able to take any photos of it at all, so yesterday I made the most of my time (that is, the time that I didn’t spend sewing).
It really does look like winter wonderland around here.
Despite the snow we went and visited my grandma, who lives alone now. My mom hadn’t been to her house since my parents split up more than 15 years ago. In a way, my grandpa’s death has brought us all closer together again and my grandma was so happy to have us there and especially to get to talk to my mom again after all those years. We agreed on the way back that we would be doing this more often in the future.
My grandma’s house hasn’t changed one bit, it looks exactly like it did when I was a kid. We joke about that, but it’s kind of nice really. There is so little constancy in our busy lives as it is.
I bullied my brother into letting me take his picture. It’s the kind of big sister I am.
And my aunt’s doggy had no choice in the matter anyway. That resigned look? I get that a lot 😉