Tack!

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My husband says I have an ”unfair” job, as it’s such a great job nobody can compete with it. He also says I get spoiled by receiving compliments so often and that I have no clue as to how tough the real world of business is. And over and over again, I respond: ”In my job, I’m only successful if the client is 100% satisfied, and when you really touch their hearts, then it’s the jackpot! How many hearts did you touch today?”

So today I want to share this email with you, from an amazing young mom-of-two, who made me fall in love with her love and energy for life and her babies the minute we met when her daughter was just a little baby. She became a friend and a person I admire. She is also the editor of a  great family site:www.mamma24.se and this is the email I got from her after she read about our Essencevitae Project.

”Juliana! Det är fantastiskt!

Jag minns första gången vi mötes, på gården bakom Simpleworld. Nova Mini var ett par månader gammal och lika försiktig då, som nu. Mitt mammahjärta var ungt och skört. Du glittrade och hade en 6 veckor gammal bebis där hemma. Du blev en förebild, en mor som jag genast såg upp till och som visade att inget i moderskapet var omöjligt. Allt handlar om passion och kärlek.

Vi pratade och du visade mig boken, boken som fått dig att starta The Essencevitae Project. Jag minns hennes ansikte, jag minns Pappan och jag minns bebisen – jag tänker på dem ibland, och i mina oroliga stunder försöker jag minnas blicken i hennes ansikte – De bilderna är fastbrända i mitt minne, de är de vackraste bilder jag sett, därför minns jag dem, därför har du en speciell plats i mitt hjärta – för ingen har någonsin rört vid min själ så som de bilderna , som du tog den där dagen.

Du är mer än en människa Juliana, du är en unik varelse, med en gåva, en kvinna med ett ”extra” öga och du använder det ögat på ett fantastiskt sätt. Det du gör är så mycket mer än konst, än fotografring. Du får själar att lysa igenom i dina bilder. Det är unikt.

Tack för att du delger mig och självklart ska jag hålla mina öron och ögon öppna.

Varma kramar
din Emilia ”

Thanks, Emilia!

It warms my heart that we will be able to work together towards this greater good!

Kram!

juliana

Kamera & Bild and the Essence Vitae Project

This morning started out in a very special way: our most important life assignment is being spread out to the world. When Amy called me for the interview I thought: if we can together plant a seed of inspiration in every photographers heart, my mission has been accomplished. I’ve always wanted to contribute to make the world a better place,  but I had a hard time finding out how. During my university years, I worked as an English teacher and I thought that if I could make my classes as positive, happy, light and fun as I could manage, I would be contributing to making people forget all their sorrows and concentrate on the beautiful side of life.

That’s why I always entered the classroom with a smile. No matter how my mood was, no matter how I felt when I woke up. When I entered the classroom, only the most positive, lightest, and happiest side of me would be present. Wouldn’t it be great to allow ourselves to  forget all the sorrow for a few hours just play, laugh, sing, jump, shout crazy words out the window (eheh….yes, I made them do that, too…..hihihihi…..I know, I was merciless) and hug. Huuuuug as if there were not tomorrow.

Love was a big part of the classes. Many times I would just stand there and dance, like a nut, in front of the class. Or sing. With my terrible voice. I would sing. And they would laugh. And I would  laugh. And the world would already feel as if there would be many tomorrows. It was then I knew I had to do something with love, hugging, and bright ”tomorrows”. So I started journalist school, years after I finish my Design School. because I wanted to photograph and write. I saw myself going to war and sending my photographs to the world’s  biggest news agencies, or being a reporter for the Lonely Planet discovery program, where I would meet tribes in Africa and show everybody how wonderful and easy the simple pleasures of life could be.

After many years, and many courses with photojournalists, I realized that war photographers seldom showed happy pictures. Misery, pain, suffering and sorrow were often present in award winning shots. I could never photograph a dying child without interfering somehow. I would never dare to leave my loved ones and go somewhere where the imminence of death was a fact. I would never dare to live in a hut and have ants crawling in my ears. That’s when I knew this would never work out for me. And then, I also realized that I could interfere. I could make my pictures a reminder that I could always find beauty in the ugliest of the beasts.

And that beauty was called: love. The uglier the beast, the stronger and purer the love. I do hope that we will be able to help all families immortalize the purity and beauty of their love.

The Essencevitae Project. The essence of life.

The whole article about our initiative can be read here.

Serendipities

A few weeks ago, I was asked to photograph the children-books writer Annika Hjerpe for a magazine interview. While talking on the phone with her to book a day for the shoot, she asked me where I came from, as she noticed my accent. ”Oh, I’m from Brazil, from a city in the southern part of the country”, I said. ”Oh, really???”, Annika replied, sounding extremely happy. I couldn’t understand why, but a few seconds later she said: ”My grandma was born in Brazil!”

Only that fact was already super interesting and woke millions of questions in my mind, but I just didn’t know that the best part of her story was yet to come:”She also came from a city in the south: Curitiba. Have you ever been there?” I had to control my hysterical laughter, as she was speaking of my hometown! Her own Swedish grandmother, born in Curitiba, in the beginning of the 1900’s! I don’t know if it was another weird coincidence or just a seredipity, but Annika was almost like the brunette version of my own mother. Already on the phone and by mail, we talked and talked and talked. Annikas grandma’s life story would make a great adventure book!

You can already tell that the ”short” interview became an hour-long and I even got to know Annika’s daughter and granddaughter. Of course that I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of this beautiful famliy. Annika also felt very inspired by our Essencevitae project and kindly donated her children book, Därför är Sofia Glad, that’s about about a little sick girl that found her cure after all her suffering, to the children we are photographing. She has even written a book inspired by me: ”Mamma i trotsåldern”……hihihihihi………

So, Annika, welcome aboard! We are very happy to have such a talented writer and a bright soul in our boat!

Johanna & cystisk fibros

When Johanna heard I would be photographing for the Essencevitae Project in Dalarna, she emailed me and asked me if I thought I could find a few minutes to photograph her. And then she told me her story.

Johanna is a warrior, a fighter, and has been fighting her lung disease for many years. I thought nothing could inspire me more than her beautiful words in her blog. And when we met, the love I found in her family of two, inspired me even more. I’ll leave you with a magnificent poem I found in her blog.

Johanna, I’m so happy you’ve contacted me and that I got to meet you both. You will be always in my heart!

Det har gått en tid
sedan jag satt i gräset
på randen av min värld, och höll i
min penna för att meditera, för att
skriva poesi: till solen, till träden
till det som skapade dem alla

Vad går jag miste om
när jag stannar i denna dånande, stilla tystnad
fördröjningen av min egna poetiska undran?
Å hur mycket fägring det finns
runt mig, om jag bara
väljer att se.

Tekla, sneak preview

Oh, what a wonderful day I’ve had today! It all started with a beautiful sunrise at six in the morning and then amazing sunshine the whole day. Not only from the sun itself, but also from three wonderful families I photographed for the Essencevitae Project. The train ride to Dalarna went as smoothly as I could wish for, and I was met by Hasse Kroghs welcoming smile at the Hedemora station. Hasse took the day off  and spent it driving me around to the different families I was going to photograph. Thank you Hasse, from the bottom of my heart, for taking part of your precious family time to help us out. I had the honor of photographing Hasses family  for our project last year. Read about their shoot here.

Every time I meet these wonderful parents, I get more convinced that love is the absolute best medicine there is in the world. These people are not just outstanding parents, they literally cover their kids with so much love, respect, peace and harmony, that the kids’ smiles are contagious!

Thank you all for letting me share a part of your lives today. I’ll leave you with pictures taken in the first 15 minutes of our visit to Tekla’s family. Much more to come from their 300 great shots, and  more about my first family of the day to come tomorrow!