2018 in review
One month in to 2019, I finally managed to do a 2018 in review. Writing similar posts previous years have helped me to see accomplishments and failures in a different light and from a more conscious point of view. Whether you feel like sharing your reflections with the world or not, I would definitely recommed anyone take the time to reflect and go through the year. After all, we learn and evolve retrospectively.
I wrote but never published the review of 2017 and I hesitated to publish this one. I’m in this phase where I constantly question the reason for publishing photos and posts; what are the consequences of being publicly stating certain things, and whats the point in it. However, I know that I’ve kept returning to 2016 year in review for many reasons. So, I decided that this is for me to remember the feel and what happened during the year. And if anyone feels inspired on some sort of level it is meaningful to publish this, rather than keeping it in private.
Overall, it feels like my 2018 blinked by. There is no doubt that the professional part of my life was the center of attention. On the one hand I’ve witnessed the sacrifices of such a focus, and, on the other, the fruits of having grit at times where I felt low energetically.
The year can roughly be divided into two main chunks 1) getting my first full time job, and 2) finalizing my academic journey. With this almost 50/50 division, time for socializing, and being spontaneous and creative was heavily cut back. Whenever possible I tried to squeeze in seeing friends, family and taking on photo jobs, but overall I had to learn to say ‘no’ to create space for focusing on my education or career. It has not always been easy and I’ve had moments where it got the better of me, but eventually it was needed in order to accomplish the more pressing goals for 2018.
Spending 24-hours in The Krane
We definitely started 2018 on a luxurious note. Thanks to my job as a photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to experience some beautiful hotels and properties around the world. However, out of all these, the Krane in Copenhagen is without a doubt the most special I’ve experienced thus far. Not only was it absolute stunning the accommodation, it was also one of the most unconventional and unique stays I’ve ever had. The Krane is a one-bedroom hotel located in the top of an old coal crane. The room is furthermore connected to a beautiful spa-section run by Amazing Space with two bath tops, a sauna and an overview of the sea.
When our work was completed and the darkness of the night had arrived, we had time to enjoy the spa for some hours, eat dinner and later watch a movie in bed. The following morning, we woke up to the breakfast delivery and spend a few more hours shooting the hotel in the morning light. In all honesty when Kenneth and I think back at this experience, we are still low key mind-blown about the uniqueness and luxury it was to be able to work with and experience 24-hours in the Krane.
Shooting campaign for Moons and Junes
Later in January, I shot a campaign for Moons and Junes for the launch of their lingerie in black. If you have followed along for some years you may remember a portrait I did of the founder Agnete Bjerre Madsen back in 2016. Thus, after having followed Moons and Junes’s journey since the early beginning it was a very happy moment for me to shoot this particular campaign with such a beautiful, diverse group of models. The campaign received great feedback and one year after I still get job offerings based on the outcome of this campaign. It made me realize how much a certain piece of work that you do can really influence the future direction of your work. See the rest of the photos here.
Working at Red associates
In the beginning of February, I started working at the renowed strategy consultancy ReD Associates. Thinking back, working at ReD has been a dream of mine since I started my bachelor back in 2012. With great respect and fascination of the type of work that ReD does, I thought I would only have a chance to pursue this dream with at least a couple of years of work experience. To my great (!) happiness, I was offered the opportunity before having graduated from my master studies. This was without a doubt one of the proudest moments of 2018. So, I decided to postpone my master thesis and take the offer. I’m so happy I did - working there was one of the most progressive and valuable learning processes I’ve ever been through professionally.
My time at ReD was pre-confined to three months as I needed to return to my studies and wrap up my master thesis before the end of 2019. However, before leaving in May, they offered me the opportunity to possibly return after ending my studies. An offer I’m extremely grateful for. When and in what position is not decided yet, but will probably get sorted during spring 2019.
Featuring in video for Rezet
In April, Rezet Sneaker Store interviewed me for a #solestory which focused on female creatives. The occasion was the launch of adidas’ Arkyn shape. It was nerve-wrecking and completely new for me to feature a video. It feels a lot more intimate and revealing, than being photographed. That being said, I was in the best hands working w talented Frederikke and Philip. I clearly remember when Rezet published the video and I found out that the format was much longer than initially planned – meaning that they had chosen to portray me in a format that allowed for a slow-paced and reflective conversation, rather than something quick and tailored for the scarce attention span we have on social media. Thank you so much for the opportunity and this lovely feature Rezet.
taking a Girl’s trip to Budapest
In late April, bestie Mie and I went to Budapest on an extended weekend to spend some intense one-on-one girl time together in a new city and to eat loads of food lol. Mie was 5 months pregnant at the time and we wanted to take the opportunity of going somewhere together before she started this new and very exiting chapter in her life. Today’s she’s mom to a perfect little baby girl <3. Overall, we were quite fascinated by the atmosphere, look and offerings of the city and would say that its a perfect destination for a short and affordable trip away. Stay tuned for a small guide to Budapest in the near future.
working with Visit Copenhagen,
with too much on my plate...
During spring I did a series of photos for Visit Copenhagen under the tagline #localhood. Having completely free hands to create, it was a dream job for me to be offered. In my opinion providing the creator with as much creative freedom as possible, while ensuring that the content is on brand, often results in the most valuable and authentic way to do influencer marketing.
In retrospective, however, while I loved the job I probably shouldn’t have said yes to do it. I completely failed to deliver on the agreed deadlines due to my full time job at ReD and had to postpone it once or twice. It felt so awful and quite unlike me. To my luck Visit Copenhagen showed a lot of understanding for my situation.There’s not much else to say than I realized that I had to practice saying no more often, despite it being against my will in the moment. A learning point I took with me into fall 2018...
Falling in love with Japan
In May, I travelled to Japan with Kenneth and two of our great friends, Thanh and Frederikke. It was such an enchanting and moving travel experience – definitely one of my all time favorite travel destinations. In many ways it felt life changing to experience.
It seems that almost everyone is dreaming of going to Japan at the moment, and, if this resonates with you, I sincerely hope you will at some point in your life. For my part, it inspired me in essential ways to see for example how the Japanese people; arrange themselves in their society; cultivate plants and food; and, generally engage and appreciate nature. I believe the world would benefit greatly from being more Japanese lol.
Currently working on a small guide to Japan so stay tuned to all of you who have asked for recommendations…
Modelling for Fjord ruby
In early June, I agreed to model for Fjord Ruby a brand created by two very talented women. Fjord Ruby is a sustainable outerwear brand that design and produce coats in limited quantities using deadstock textiles. The campaign was shot by Kia Hartelius who I have assisted on several shoots and hold very dear to my heart. Given the whole set up it was a complete no-brainer for me to agree to be a face for such a project and I hope and believe this brand will experience a lot of success in the future.
Shooting the biggest campaign of the year
On a burning hot summer day I shot my biggest campaign of the year. It was for the lovely Australian founded brand, Boody, that makes sustainable bamboo products. Despite it being a long day in the sun, it was such an easy-going and fun shoot with a lovely crew that I remember with such happiness. I’m really pleased about the soft and warm look of the final product and extremely thankful for both the danish Boody team and all the models trusting me in portraying them. Since the shoot I’ve bought a range of the products and use them on the regular because they are so dang comfortable.
Shooting Glossier launch
The last gig I accepted before master thesis hibernation, was to document the Glossier pop-up during fashion week which was held in relation to their much-awaited launch of shipment to Denmark. People who have been following me for a while will know my love for this brand and that I am privileged to have received many of the products as gifts (AD / not paid). Besides using Glossier products on a regular basis - especially boybrow, cloud paint and lash slick - I think their branding strategy is so refreshing and on-point and have influenced the whole industry. So, I was obviously happy to be offered this gig. The only ‘but’ was that the photos were meant to be shot with a phone and with flash. However, it must have been the hottest day of the summer that particular day, and the amount of sweat combined with a phone flash wasn’t necessarily the best combo. I was a bit challenged lol. Nevertheless, it was a great launch full of happy, beautiful people. Thank you to the lovely Glossier team, especially Wenonah & Sarah, for this opportunity!
master thesis writing hibernatiion and making A clean cut
Around the beginning of August, I finally dedicated all my time to writing the master thesis. This focus pretty much lasted until finishing the thesis in November, with only a few exceptions. This deep focus was amazing, and I learned so much from managing the overwhelming process of writing such a big academic piece. However, getting to this point was not without its dilemmas.
Learning from my experiences during spring, it quite early stood clear that I would not be able to write the thesis without putting my own business on hold during this period. It was difficult to accept and exercise in practice. There was no way I could find the time to do everything at once and still be satisfied. I did try for a while, but felt that the efforts and outcomes were compromised by the dual focus. Furthermore, my brain struggled to switch between deep diving into academia during the day and at night switch to random small-talk and networking during fashion week. It felt wrong and I felt erratic and unwell. So, eventually I made an almost clean cut in terms of declining photo jobs, as well as not uploading any content to social media channels.
It felt very counter-intuitive to switch off these channels I’d built over the years and turn down the job offers I was really happy to receive knowing that this would probably have consequences. I would have to work hard on the other side of my thesis to get back to a place where people would think of me in relation to job opportunities. You have to be available and visible - at least to some extent - in order to get job offers in the creative industry and I was worried about the consequences of my hibernation.
After all, there was never any real doubt in my mind wether this was a sacrifice I had to make. I simply needed to in order to have a ‘pleasant’ process, to write the type of thesis I wanted and to complete my educational journey with a true sense of fulfillment. But that didn’t mean that I ever came completely at peace with it. Not until later when able to see the process in retrospective. Something I’'ll get back to in the end of this post.
Photographing a child birth
Quite a few of my best girlfriends have been blessed with a beautiful baby this year – I’m so proud to see you as mothers <3 The story I want to share here, however, is when I witnessed and photographed a child birth for the first time.
In April, I shot a couple of pictures for Cathrine and Adam’s pregnancy reveal. Then, a couple of months later I was given what might be the maximum amount of trust as a photographer when they asked me to photograph the birth of their son that was to happen in October. At first, the question made me speechless. I was so surprised. I’ve never thought about the possibility of photographing child births before. Another thing was, that this was probably the most intimate type of invitation one can get. But there was never a doubt in my mind; of course I wanted to do it.
It was such an overwhelming, fierce and touching experience. Besides witnessing the birth of a human being, which in itself is an absolute miracle, it felt extremely meaningful to document the culmination of this loving couple’s fight for becoming parents. In my opinion, Cathrine’s openness about their fertility treatment process on her blog is the most meaningful blog series in Denmark in 2018. This as it created a dialogue and holds space for other’s who are struggling to become parents in a way that has never been done before.
In the realm of the experience, many asked how it was to photograph something that intimate and if I was scared about becoming a mother myself. First of all, it was intense and but never scary. I feel this sense of familiarity with the process, rather than it being something abstract only left to my imagination. I’m actually feeling better prepared for giving birth myself one day - if I am so lucky. About the intimacy, my only concern was that Cathrine and Adam would regret afterwards that it wasn’t just in their own privacy. That my presence would turn out to disturb them, their privacy and the memory of this moment - which would be totally understandable had it been the case. However, they still assure me till this day that my presence was more valuable to them than what they could have imagined. I believe being present in such an emotionally and physical overwhelming situation while also documenting it, it requires of you to be extremely alert, and rely completely on your intuition and let it guide you to determining wether something is appropriate or not.
It’s hard to express in words how much the experience mean to me besides it being the biggest moment I’ve witnessed this far in life. When I think about it it still tears me up a bit; to have seen the very beginning of a human being’s life on earth. Overall, I’m still deeply humbled by the trust and equally grateful to have been invited and to have connected with Cathrine and Adam on such a deep level. Your little trio means so much to me.
Shooting for Rabens Saloner
Feeling a bit rusty from barely touching my camera for some months while focusing on the thesis, I did a shoot for the Danish fashion and interior brand Rabens Saloner. We shot it in the beautiful settings of Restaurant Alouette on a sunny day in the beginning of November. It felt so liberating to finally create something else that written words again, and it was another one of these magical shoots where the energy was 110% good and the client completely trusted me as creator. Thank you for the opportunity Majbritt and Rabens.
Aligning Birthday expectations
In the end of November, I planned a weekend in Stockholm to celebrate Kenneth’s birthday. With the thesis slowly coming to an end and after months of prioritizing it over doing nice things for our relationship, my idea was to get some calm days together without work and studies, where all we had to do was to eat good food, relax in the spa and spend time together.
However, Yasuragi spa was sort of disappointing and a waste of money, which made us wish we had saved our money and stayed at home instead. In all honesty, I was sad – sad that it was disappointing and that we weren’t able to truly enjoy it.
Finalizing my academic journey —
handing in and defending the master thesis
In the beginning of November the thesis was close to being done - only missing final touches like a bit of tightening up and proofreading. It was such and ecstatic sensation to feel the transition between completely spellbinding in a deep, dark thesis writing hole for three-four intense months; to finally being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you are currently fighting with something similar, hang in there and know that you will get there - there will be light!
Very early in the process, I had promised myself not to fall into the common trap of finishing the thesis in the middle of the night before the deadline. So, I worked from morning till late at night almost every day since the beginning of September, gained a couple of kilos and an intense lower back pain to reach this goal.
Therefore, it was also such a joyful moment when it was finally handed in a couple of days prior to the deadline on Dec 3rd - without feeling sick to my stomach, but calm and grounded at the finish line.
On Dec 10th, I had the viva presentation/oral defense of the thesis. As calm I had been when handing in the thesis 1-2 weeks prior, as completely freaked out I was the night before the presentation. Never had I been that nervous before an exam in my life. I won’t say that the grade did not matter to me, because that would be an absolute lie. But as I entered the examination room on Dec 10th I remember this core desire of having a pleasant and respectful examination - considering it being the last freaking exam of my life and a culmination of more than 20 years of educational journey.
Luckily, I could not have had a better experience, and again this was an absolute high of 2018 - possibly in life seen in the light of the length of this journey. I owe my family, friends and especially Kenneth a lot of appreciation for all the support they showed during the writing process which helped me in essential ways to accomplish this. ILY.
Decompressing and celebrating the end of an era
Standing on the other side of the thesis, on the other side of year 2018, I feel light.
A feeling that was a bit too common in 2018 (and maybe even in 2017) was; I’m so out of breath.
In the type of life I’ve created for myself, my mid-twenties have been a period of years where I’ve had to deal with many key milestones which would shape the direction of my life in central ways. This feeling probably resonates on some level with many of you reading this - my guess is that its quite common at this age. Starting a master, handling constant exams, handling loss of a family member, scaling my business, moving in with my boyfriend, starting first full-time job, finishing my education to name a few. Dealing with these moments, and the connected decisions and trade-offs that transcend so many aspects of your life, is intense and requires so much energy and consciousness. At some point you need to fuel the source you draw all of this energy from. In my case, I think I failed to give myself a proper recharge - in my attempt to accomplish it all - for this process to be sustainable in the long run. A core personality trait of mine are definitely perseverance, but I obviously have a limit too.
It was about time for me to get to a point where there was no project lined up straight after finishing another. On December 10th, I hit that point. Oh my, how I felt the high of the air immediately returning to my lungs and the weight dropping off my shoulders.
Many have asked what’s up next out of kind curiosity and the answer this past month has been I want to land on both of my feet and stand still for a moment. I want to give myself the chance to decompress and absorb the value of all of these incredible and teaching experiences I’ve had over the past couple of years, but I can’t do so without offering myself some time to do so.
Returning to the aspect of putting my own business on hold, I do see the consequences of being MIA. My inbox is emptier than usual. But what I didn’t foresee when I was worried about this, was how good it would feel at this point. It has been priceless for me to invest savings in taking a vacation that could create the space for me to mentally pay my respect and awareness to this final chapter and end of an educational era. As mentioned earlier; after all we learn retrospectively.
I’ve reflected about my personal goals and career choices, slowly started up new work projects, written this piece, as well as exercised more and cooked healthier food during this time. Of course, I will reach a point where I want things to start rolling again, and it probably won’t be too long, but right now in this moment, I enjoy this beautiful change of season in life.
I have this deep intuitive sense that 2019 will be a very exciting and important year in my life and I’m trying to best prepare myself to welcome this.
On this final note, its really important for me to say a huge thanks to all of you supports my work from day-to-day and all of my clients who have been really understanding and supportive when engaging with me this year. And of course a massive thank you goes to my colleagues, friends, family and other loved ones for all the support and the special moments in 2018. Also the ones that weren’t portrayed in pictures and posted here.