I will have to make myself step outside today. Perhaps I'll walk down to the lake, putting aside my strong desire to process all of the wedding photographs before leaving on Wednesday.
I have no problems with choosing to work through while in Norway. I already know that, rather than explore the cultural institutions of each new country I visit, I prefer the experience of life lived on the inside ... lived with the people who invited me there.
I'll curl up on a couch, I'm happy to cook, clean or arrange flowers but I love ... absolutely love, being there, close to the heart of each story.
It turns out I'm not really a museums and art gallery kind of woman.
I loved Sagrada Familia but was so sad to know no one in Barcelona. It was the first time that ever happened during these years when I wander the world a little.
I flew in to photograph a wedding in Madrid ... saw nothing of the city but lived an incredibly intense few days with the friends and family who had flown in from all over to celebrate with Kathleen and Manuel. Opera singers and scientists, all kinds of larger than life, wonderful people. I cried as I photographed the ceremony.
But I cried when I photographed that wedding in England. Tears poured quietly down my face as I captured the pride and the love on Clare's Dad's face, as he walked his beautiful daughter down the aisle ... his goal, after a massive stroke turned life upside down, back home in Australia.
I do cry sometimes but my camera, my work ... they take me so close to the heart of everything. Even this wedding, when the love is so strong, and so powerfully present ... photographing the groom's speech, the bride's response, the son's speech too. There were quiet tears, that I'm sure nobody saw as they worked with their own tears.
Photography, and the intensity of it, takes me beyond the every day. I remember that time I spent in a local neighbourhood for the few days I was in Cairo, working with my client, as she sought out pieces for her Berlin exhibition. It was only as my plane soared into the sky that I saw the pyramids and remembered ... 'oh, the pyramids'.
And even better, so many friendships from those journeys continue to this day.
And that's how I prefer it. I love to step inside that bubble of family and friends, of locals. It's the greatest privilege, the richest experience ... and then to be allowed to attempt to capture the intimacy between people who really know one another, or who are living their everyday lives. There is nothing better.
This time, to stand here, on the edge of the love that Ren and Egil have for one another, to witness them making that public commitment, and to attempt to capture the love that flows out from them and over their family and friends ... who all give it back to them. That has been almost overwhelming.
It has felt something like warming myself on a fire after time spent out in the cold.
And to be caught up in the hum and bustle of their home ... full of friends and strangers living together ... for me, that is always the best of travel.
As for my goal ... if I really think about it, it has always been about making an attempt to capture the reality of the emotion and the intimacy between family and friends when they come together to celebrate.
But it leaps over into public events too. Strangers viewing art, unaware of my camera. There is often a rawness when someone is unaware of the camera. They are truly themselves, and perhaps that is the best a person can hope for.
I guess it's becoming clear that I have this idea that there is so much beauty to be found in capturing what is real. I laugh when I tell people ... oh, I just want to capture something of your soul when I photograph you.
People, when they show a little of their soul, are beautiful. I strongly believe that Photoshop is no more than a tool, to be used in much the same way the darkroom was used. It's not for improving someone .. not for ironing out wrinkles, softening their features, making them slimmer ... it's for cropping, when you didn't quite get close enough. For adding light when there wasn't enough. For straightening ... or that's my idea of it.
I believe ... mmm, I believe that these few days in Norway have been some of the best days.