Vintage from Paris

As I mentioned in this post earlier, one of my friends runs the web shop Vintage from Paris. This made me realize I actually have yet to share the photos from last spring!

We spent a couple of hours going through Lorraine’s collection of vintage dresses at Sophie’s  Canele, a French cafe in the middle of Stockholm. Gorgeous location, amazing dresses, and what would a photo shoot be without a French bulldog? 

A postcard from Paris

This spring, I packed my bags and finally got my ass to Paris. And could you have a better tour guide than one of your best friends, who also happens to be 3/4 French and run a shop called Vintage from Paris? The answer is no. We also managed to time our visit right after photographer Jamie Beck published her Paris Eats post, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I still dream about cute bistros, amazing cakes, and, of course, margaritas from heaven (specifically, hidden Mexican bars).

Someone once told me that everyone loves Paris for the same reasons, but people coming back from Berlin always have a unique story for it. There’s some truth in that observation. But after a magical weekend here, I’m perfectly happy with loving Paris just like everyone else does. It’s gorgeous.

It's not about the gear (but sometimes it's worth it)

“That’s it, I’ve decided.”

I was listening to an episode of Chase Jarvis Live Show about photography and creativity. Usually, when photographers gives advice, it’s aimed towards people starting out and includes a version of “it’s never about the camera, it’s about how you use it”. Which certainly holds a lot of truth. In this interview though, someone pointed out that sometimes, upgrading your gear might be exactly what you need if you feel stuck. 

That was the letter of approval I needed to make up my mind. I’ve had my Canon 5D Mark II for almost eight years. We’ve traveled the world together. We have shoot dance portraits, weddings, pregnant friends, babies, even cars. It has never failed me. But eight years is a long time and the updated model was released just months after I got mine. I considered continuing with Canon and go for the latest version of my model. After all, I knew it would deliver. 

Here’s the other factor though, I wasn’t only upgrading for quality, I was upgrading to feel like a beginner again. To have fresh eyes, to be forced to be aware of what I was doing. I could have managed my 5D blindfolded and possible even with my hands tied. 

 Working on posing like I mean it and not in my usual awkward way. Having the PlayMemories app in my iPad makes it a whole lot easier. 

Working on posing like I mean it and not in my usual awkward way. Having the PlayMemories app in my iPad makes it a whole lot easier. 

Long story short (erhm), inspired by Jamie Beck who frequently shares her work with this model, I finally settled for Sony a7R III. And last week I got my new favorite lens to go with it, Sigma Art 35mm, f1.4. Editing these high-resolution files is the absolute dream. Pixels aren’t everything, but having 42mp to play with gives you so much freedom, and I haven’t felt this inspired to shoot in years. 

Hell, I might even begin to update Instagram on a regular basis again. 🤯

PS: If anyone in Berlin want to meet up and do some collaborating and take portraits in fun locations, beep me!

When your friends have kids

You know what happens when you leave your home country and spend a couple of years traveling? Your friends keep living their lives, and of the sudden, you come back to a world where they turned into real grownups.

Just this year two of my friends are getting married, two are now house-owners, another two bought new apartments, and two has given birth to babies.  

All while my biggest contemplation is if I should invest in a new suitcase since my current is now lacking one out of four wheels and the zipper only works one way, otherwise it rips open and everything falls out like the intestines of a slaughtered animal, which is kind of how I feel about my wardrobe after wearing the same dresses for months. 

Contrasts, you know. 

There are two flip sides to this. One, I get top priority when I'm in Sweden. Since they don't know when they'll see me next time, they always squeeze me into their schedules. Some of my friends I actually spend more time with now than I did when I lived a subway ride away. Two, when they are pregnant I get to bring out my camera and create some memories. (Also, awkward photo shoots I put my friends through these past fifteen years could be a post of its own.)

Which brings me to what I actually wanted to share - photos of my gorgeous friend Christine. She decided to give birth while I was in the middle of an Atlantic cruise, constantly drunk on margaritas. I may have cried a little when I finally got wifi and saw that little Lou was out and well. (I blame that on the tequila.)

But before I left for that trip, we managed to get together for the traditional pregnancy photo shoot. The weather did not agree with our original plans, instead, we improvised with what we could find in her building and went for a subdued vibe. Different from my usual style, and something I want to explore more. 

A first for everything (such as car photography)

Sports and cars. That would be my two biggest blind spots. When people talk about the hockey game last night or some new car on the market, my eyes go blank and my mind wander off to some place more interesting. Like what to eat for dinner. And I hate cooking.

But throw in a camera in the mix, and it becomes instantly more interesting. A while ago I got the chance to help Bobby take some pictures of a car he was testing for an online magazine. A Porsche Cayman GTS, if that tells you anything.

Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS
Porsche Cayman GTS

This was new territory for me, and in hindsight there was a bunch of things I could have done better. But it was fun and I would actually love to do more of it. Who knows, give me a year and maybe I'll even get myself a driver's license.

Read the review and see more pictures at tjock.se (in Swedish).

Perrine & Stefan

October 4 was not a day like any other. It was the day when Perrine and Stefan got married. And I had the privilege of documenting it all with my camera.

Photographing a wedding is scary. The stakes are higher than your average photography gig. If your camera breaks, your memory card fails or you screw up in any other way, there are no do-overs. It is a wedding. One time only. Puh. I am sweating just thinking about it (even though I had a plan B for pretty much everything except a Russian invasion).

But thankfully, everything went smoothly. We basically just had a lot of fun and hopefully it shows in the photographs. Thanks Perrine and Stefan for letting me be a part of your day!

New York, New York

New York. One of those places you have to see, and before you even arrive you know you're going to love it. Expectations were high when I got on the plane a few weeks ago and headed to JFK. And I was not disappointed.

I will not bore you with some kind of travel guide. Other people have already done it way better than I could after ten days, Niotillfem and Helen to mention two. But since I want to remember what I did and where I went, and enjoy reading others stories, I will summarize what New York was for me.

Coney Island

Beach, boardwalk and photogenic carousels. You see why I had to go there. Spent the day hanging out with Jenny and Johan at the beach, walking around and taking pictures of every ride we could find.

The Bourgeois Pig
The Bourgeois Pig

My colleague recommended this place because of the champagne punches. Great place to stop by before dinner, we thought, but then we discovered the menu. Champagne and cheese in all forms for dinner? Yes, please. Also, it feels like you are sitting in the lobby of a red light district establishment. What's not to like?

Clinton St Baking Company

Ok, I confess. I went here three times. First time by myself, then I had to introduce Jenny and Johan to it, and then also Sandra, Malin, and Helene. So you understand why I had to go back. Erhm.

Everyone recommends this place, and if you are not there early, you will have to wait outside. Totally worth it, though. If you are going to indulge in American pancakes, you might as well do it properly. You will not be disappointed. (Bacon fried in sugar? Yes, please.)

Me and Jenny spent an evening at the hipster bar Union Pool in Williamsburg. Fun place. What was more fun though, was my roommate E's response when I told him about it.

"Oh, you went to Union Pool? I see where you are. Like your state of mind. You know what I'm sayin'?"

I did not know what he was sayin'.

"It's a place where people go when they want to meet people. Know what I'm sayin'?"

Ah. Got it. It explained a lot.

The Meatball Shop

No, this is not like Swedish meatballs. It's a bit more exciting (if you ask me). You pick your meatballs, sauce, carbs and vegetables by drawing with a black marker on a laminated menu. Cozy environment, awesome service and I still dream about that affogato.

The High Line

Everyone recommends it, and I see why. Definitely worth walking through while in the area.

Another recommendation. At first we couldn't find it, then when we had given up, there it was. A small sign over a door you could barely notice. Cienfuegos is a Cuban bar, with a cozy atmosphere and some really special drinks.

And by special I mean insanely strong.

Saturday in Williamsburg

One day E, who I was staying with through AirBnB, invited me to tag along for a barbecue. It ended up being an awesome evening with water balloons, burgers, beers, drumming and singing in Portuguese, and then the night ended with dancing at The Woods. Needless to say, it was awesome.

The Spotted Pig

The burger. That's all I'm going to say. Go there, get the burger. And the fries are magical.

Hello street photographer

When I was walking through East Village with E one day, we ran into Richard Sandler, a street photographer. I didn't know about him before, but after looking through his website, I'm really impressed. Also, I may or may not end up in a photo somewhere.

Gemma

My last night we went to the restaurant Gemma, at Bowery Hotel. Great food, but what made it more awesome was the atmosphere, with a million candles.

Portrait

When you go to a club here, it may also happen that someone will draw your picture without looking at the paper and give it to you, framed and everything.

Love it.

So long for now

As I mentioned earlier, I stayed in a room through AirBnB. It was located in the middle of East Village, which was perfect for me. A lot of good restaurants and bars nearby. Also, my host E was really fun, and showed me around and let me tag along to things when I wanted to. The room was good as well, plenty of light and space. If you are planning to go to New York and need a place to stay, let me know and I will connect you!

sanna-stefansson.jpg

New York, New York. Can't wait to go back.

The awesomeness of Costa Rica

Pura Vida!

If I don't start this story with that phrase, no one would believe that I've actually been to Costa Rica. So, there it is. Pura Vida! A phrase that means "pure life", but is basically used in every way possible. Hippies getting high all day? Pura Vida! Response from the mechanic who accidently drilled a large screw into the inside of your car? Pura Vida! (True story.)

These are a few of the highlights from my recent trip to Costa Rica, collected in one huge blog post.

Life in Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa truly is a paradise. Magical sunsets, dogs  running free everywhere (and I mean everywhere) and if you do not have a surfboard while walking around, people might look at you funny. I was here for almost a week and well, I understand why people who come here simply never leaves. Everything looks like a postcard from paradise.

Yoga with a view

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If you are going to Santa Teresa, taking at least one yoga class is mandatory. I recommend Hotel Tropico Latino, who has several classes every day and the most amazing view right by the beach.

Surfing

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What is even more mandatory when in Santa Teresa is of course surfing. If you have never been on a board, like me (let's forget my sad attempt last summer in Biarritz), you need to take a lesson. Amit at Del Soul Surf School was awesome. He managed to explain the basic technique, get me up on the board and actually take a few waves in less than two hours. My biggest problem was the fact that the waves freaked me out a bit.

This wave is so small it's embarrassing to call it a wave.

I'm Swedish, our waves could barely make the water in a bathtub splash over and here they were way over my head. But after a while and with the help of some encouraging pep talk like "this wave is so small it's embarrassing to call it a wave", I did get over it and started to just enjoy it. It was awesome. I might very well take a full on surf trip this summer.

Rappelling in Manuel Antonio

This was one of the things I REALLY wanted to do and it was beyond awesome. There are an infinite number of tour operators, so we went with the company our hostel recommended, Quepo Canyoning. The guides were great and I pretty much laughed (or screamed) the whole time. We got to do several ziplines (one of them I did upside down), rappelling in a waterfall and a so-called "monkey drop". The excitement!

The Hostel Culture

Anyone who has ever met me knows I love hostels. Not all of them of course, but the concept. There are a particular culture and openness. A feeling that anything can happen and you never know who you end up sharing a room with.

Recommended hostels

Out of the six hostels I stayed at, these four are the ones I recommend.

Hostel Casa Del Parque, San Jose I just stayed here one night when arriving in Costa Rica. Nice and clean place and the owner was really helpful on how to get where I was going. Would stay here again if passing through San Jose.

Kokua Hostel, Santa Teresa Kokua is one of those hostels you could easily think "I'll just stay one more night" until you realise you have been there for months. There is just that vibe to it. Also, the owner is really great and helpful.

Hostel Vista Serena, Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio is not really a must-see destination, but this hostel makes it worth the visit. There is something about the common room (it might be the view) that just makes people start to talk to each other and hang out.

Hotel Kangaroo, Jaco If it wasn't for the horseriding tour, I would not recommend anyone to go to Jaco. But if you have to, Hotel Kangaroo will make you feel right at home.

Horseriding in Jaco

Before my trip, I searched for horse riding tours in Costa Rica. One place caught my attention. Discovery Horse Tours, operated by Chris and Andrea Wady, is dedicated to treating horses the right way. The main part of their horses are rescues. Not that you could tell, because these were the most healthy and happy horses I've seen in my life. (And I've had my own horses for a large part of my life.)

I took two tours, the Jungle Spa Ride and The Back Country tour. I recommend both of them. The scenery is so beautiful it makes you want to cry (and chain yourself to a tree, so they can't make you leave, like ever). Chris and Andrea are amazing people (obviously), and Liana, who was my guide for both days, is really fun and inspiring. Definitely worth a trip to Jaco!

Final words

As you can probably tell, I really love Costa Rica. These two weeks was a small preview of everything the country has to offer and just writing this post makes me want to book a one-way ticket back.

Another kind of photoshoot

About a month ago, me and my friend Anna-Carin decided to take some photographs. Not just for fun, but also to remember this time in her life. You know, having another life growing inside of you is not something you do everyday. (Except for nine months, but you get my point.)

Anna-Carin
Anna-Carin

None of us had been a part of any "pregnancy shoots" before, so we did what anyone would do in the modern age; we googled. And let me tell you, there are some very disturbing things out there. One thing we noticed was the whole holier-than-thou expression many of them had. Not really my thing, and hardly Anna-Carin's either. We wanted photographs with a more happy and relaxed feel to them.

So we met up in the golden hour (which is a looong hour, thank you Swedish summer) and just played around. Turns out, the whole holy-thing is kind of hard to avoid. But we had a great time and since Anna-Carin looks amazing as always, I think we managed to get some good photos.

24 hours at Kroombit

I have not updated this blog in over a year. That's insane. I just started it, and then I got swept up with work and all of the sudden it was 2013. Oh, well. I guess I better just get back on the horse, so to speak. And what better way to start than with a bunch of pictures from my Australia trip? I thought I would start with one of my favorite parts - Kroombit Lochenbar Station. Kind of a magical place.

Kroombit

We drove by car, and stopped several times to take pictures of the view. A 50mm lens is not the best for landscape photography and I'm just not good enough to make it justice, so I will spare you most of them.

Kroombit

As we were getting closer, we met these guys.

Kroombit

And after ten hours by car (and an overnight stay at Rockhampton, not the most exciting town) we finally arrived.

Kroombit

Hello Kroombit!

Kroombit

We checked in and had a cup of "cowboy coffee".

Kroombit

Then it was time to go horse riding! The fancy girl to the right was my ride for the day. Her name was Shy, which is kind of funny, since she was anything but shy.

Kroombit

Our leader, Jonathan, checking his shoes for spiders.

Kroombit

The whole crew! From the left: a girl who was working there, Ching, me, and Viriya. This was also Christmas Eve, so please observe our matching red and green scarves.

Kroombit

Kroombit

Kroombit

Kroombit

Kroombit

I have had my own horses since I was seven years old, but sold the last of them 2004, if I remember correctly. So it's been a while, but it was so much fun to be back on a horse again.

Kroombit

On the farm they have wild horses, and some of them they break in. This is one of the new fellas.

Kroombit

Kroombit

Besides breaking in horses, Jonathan also takes care of animals that are wounded or does not have anywhere to go. We spent a couple of hours going insane over these two cute lambs. They were only four days old and could barely walk.

Kroombit

Kroombit

Kroombit

Kroombit

I mean come on, have you ever seen anything cuter?!

Kroombit

He also had three birds, not sure of the name of them though. They were almost well enough to be released into the wild again.

Kroombit

And then we met this wallaby baby. They found his mom dead beside the road, and this little joey had a broken leg.

Kroombit

Jonathan is taking care of him til he is well enough to be brought back into the wild. They do a thing called "soft release" if I remember correctly, which means that they will still have access to a farm with food and shelter at first, so they can come back to safety.

Kroombit

Kroombit

The dog in the picture is kind of the mom of the little farm, and she is taking care of whatever animals Jonathan is helping at the moment.

Kroombit

He has to spend all his time in this little bag, to avoid any pressure on his leg.

Kroombit

Ok, just a few more lamb pictures.

Kroombit

If I could, I would have taken both of them with me. Not sure they would enjoy a small apartment in freezing Stockholm though.

Kroombit

On Christmas eve we also had a christmas dinner with everyone who worked there and a few locals, and then we had a good time at the bar. The next morning it was time to move on, though I could have stayed there for weeks if I had more time.

Kroombit

Had the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast. With cowboy coffee, of course.

Kroombit

Then I walked around, taking pictures to remember the place.

Kroombit

If one wanted coffee, you would just take a cup ...

Kroombit

... and get some hot water from here. This is also where they cook all of the food.

Kroombit

True.

Kroombit

Kroombit

Kroombit

The bar. Somewhat more empty than the night before.

One day, I will definitely go back. Thank you for an awesome time Kroombit!