Out of Water // Baby Belly Session

In September I asked my expecting friend out for a photographic adventure. Actually, I visited her at home, in her bathroom, in her bath. There's many inspiring images floating on Pinterest you know - it was time (and opportunity) to try out recreating them and let some fantasy flow. Here's what we did: got some milk, got some milk powder, got some blossoms, green branches and a light sheer dress. The bath tub full of warm milky water covering pinkish flowers looked so tempting and magical - here's a few bits of hour cooperative result.

Pregnancy is a very personal matter, if not THE most personal mater at all - no need to say or question it. That's why I am so overall happy and grateful to the women and couples, who open up to this topic - sharing their birth stories, strengths, pain, difficulties, joy, complication or advice. All together they are making the topic of birth more human again, bringing the experience of birth back to it's natural roots and unbinding it from a purely clinical matter. Even for the ones who are more selective with sharing - I know they feel better about themselves and their decisions after getting inspired by private stories made public on personal blogs. I know that they get calmer about the yet unknown first-time body experiences, becoming a parent at the same time and the emotional firework or overload it brings with it.

I am grateful that the action of birth in general has very much changed since I myself was born in the Soviet regime Lithuania; that here in Germany there's a freedom of choice how to give birth to ones child in comparison to nowadays outdated Lithuanian limitations where private midwifes are haunted like black magic evil witches; and I am grateful for having inspiring friends who don't mind opening up, sharing their beautiful stories and contributing to a general knowledge of natural beauty and a lifestyle free of disgust, scepticism or body alienation.

Here are a few stories, that completely opened up my view and let my knowledge grow immensely. I will forever be thankful to these courageous people around the globe for letting me follow their stories and set myself free in my yet to come future decisions: the story of Alba, the story of Roo, the wonderful short movie Mild Witchcraft and the photographer of births / mother of three Georgia.

The topic and all the grand magic behind pregnancy and birth will always be my kind of topic which I never get tired of being curious about. Photographing it is yet another terrain waiting for the opportunities to be explored.

Camp in Germany // Beach Time Sweethearts

Recently, my BFF Jurga, her boyfriend and I decided to go camping for a weekend - wherever, doesn't matter, as long as it's in the nature, it's green, close to the water, kind of calm yet giving a summer holiday feeling. Last minute, just the day before leaving, we heard about this awesome place on the Baltic Sea coast called Prerow - a fisherman village on a peninsula, combining a lagoon-like calm sea on the east, yet rough waves on the west side of the peninsula, a forest in between, soft sand and our campsite on the edge of the dunes. For us, two Lithuanian girls, this place was giving a very rare sense of a Baltic homeland site, it was mind blowing to recognise something we grew up with on another countries shoreside like the preserved architecture of little wooden houses, the landscape of the shore, a pine tree forest just along it.  

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We stayed at the Regenbogen Prerow Campsite. As we checked in very late, for some magical reasons we got the very spot we actually were wishing for - at the very corner on the last bit of the campsite, where our two of the four neighbours were a dune (with the sea 100m behind it) and a young growing pine forest. Moreover - we got located next to the nudist beach :-) So I could finally get one of those pictures out of my tent that I was always dreaming about when diving into Pinterest scrolling too much. However, absolutely everything was perfect about that weekend - coffee in the sand, rain in the night time, sun all day long, braless suntanning, campsite cooking, hot water showers and, of course, a lot of amazing scenery filled with love and kisses for my photographic delight.

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It wasn't my first time at the German part of the Baltic Sea. But all these years we've been fast to book flights to anywhere in Europe for hikes, roadtrips, beaches and longing for distant corners with high peaks, hot springs or long sandy stripes of beach. But I had to realise how little I actually know Germany and how much it has to offer nature wise if you know where to look for it. If you have any advice, top 5 must experience nature locations - share it with me, please. I'll mark them up in my map and save my weekends for them.

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A Family Portrait: Meeting Dorija

This summer when I visited Vilnius the city was booming with vibrant colours, bright sun, musical fountains and vivid people. It felt like it's the Vilnius I always wanted to see, I was so happy that this is the capital of the country I grew up in. The more I think, the more I consider it to be - as Lithuanians say - 'the middle of gold' kind of city with spectacular aesthetic background for making and enjoying arts and culture, yet also for living a quality life to the fullest within friends and family circles. One of those sunny afternoons I met up with Eglė & Andrius and their newborn daughter Dorija for a family portrait session that we have been talking about online for almost a year now. Gladly the weather was perfect and we could take the fullest advantage of the amazing city.

It happened to be one of the most personal photography sessions. The thing is - my name is Dorija and  it's not a typical Lithuanian name, nor it is German, nor from any other country I know about. It's pronounced Dó-ree-a in a three syllable melody. In fact, this name was a unique creative present from my mother to me thirty years ago. And as there was no other Dorija in kindergarten nor school, later on I got curious when will the name emerge into bigger circles and the time will come for two Dorijas to meet each other in one room. And here I was, holding the precious blond baby girl in my arms, calling her to look up into the camera, watching Dorija fall asleep. While many probably can't understand or find it silly, for me - it's a first in a lifetime experience, even if with my thirty years of age.

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The last shot is my overall favourite one. When we got home, Dorija needed to be fed and sleep after the intense photo session. We were all a bit exhausted from all the excitement of the day. Just naturally, in a deepest silence of the evening, harmony took over, I took the last undirected snaps and my work was done for the day.

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Family Values

On my 30th birthday last year Benni and his family of five came along to celebrate with me. As I was living in Helgoland on an island far far away in the North Sea, Benni packed their tents, stoves, sleeping bags, games and camped on my island for a week. The kids, when they first came and put their tiny feet on the beach watching the seals from far away asked him: can we stay here for a long long time daddy? The holiday was just beginning. I know Benni and Christina, now his wife, since their first flirts and their first attic studio apartment. Many things happened since - their first pregnancy test, moving to their second, third, fourth, fifth apartment, second baby boy arriving, then their third baby girl. I was the one trusted to look after the two older babes when the third was in the hospital on its way to see the daylight for the first time. And then in the morning in the hospital - I was invited to be introduced to their new baby on her very birthday.

It's the closest and most intense connection I have had to a family apart from my own. And the most intense connection I've had to growing humans - knowing someone from his first foetus cells up to when his cells have multiplied so many times that a conversations about 'where do babies come from' with him eight years later is possible. And then you tell him about the foetus he's once been, telling something about starting out in mamas belly.. I can't believe how time passes - best way to see it is to watch a little person grow.

All this experience makes me realise how thankful I am to each one of Bennis family. How much more prepared, shaped and better educated I feel when approaching any other little (or big) human being on this world just because Benni let me be so close to him.

As that close friend I know what Benni and Christina had been through in their relationship. Warm and cold, sometimes ice cold times. But following their story, or rather being trusted with their story, I could learn much about human relations, husband and wife relations and whats the glue keeping people together for the lasting.

And that is only because Benni has let me so close to him, talking openly about his joys and worried concerning his family; and at times maybe taking my opinion, my experience as an advice or just some words or a piece of music I'd show to him. Only through honesty and complete openness we could bound this strong trustful friendship, and most of all - learn to be a better humans from each other. We exchange, therefore we grow ourselves and grow values between us.

Now he is like my third brother, with whom I occasionally share Christmas, Easter or even Thanksgiving festivities (as of his American mother). And if it's needed - he'll be the one bringing me to the hospital on a Christmas Eve with a tonsillitis - true story, really happened.

And so here's a few days of our week together - with summer sun, beach, campsite and burger brunches.

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Shot with Nikon D7000 + Sigma Art 35mm f1,4

Hint me a message for a family portrait sessions - legere, playful, natural, pure. I'm currently in Spain, but will be travelling to Germany and Lithuania this summer.

Country Side Babies // Embracing what I have

Once a year when I'm in Lithuania I go visit one of my very best friends, an inspiration and spiritual guide, Evelina. On a countryside with her husband and now three children they live a life of fulfilment and freedom. With happy chickens and fresh eggs, a tiny lake and wild meadows around. They are far away from city noises yet close enough to stay attached to friends and family and a slight amount of busy life.

I remember talking on the phone to my friend just after her first boy was born. I was in a mountain village in Italy with a bunch of young filmmakers breeding ideas and filming 24/7, she was telling me how the birth went - in water and dimmed lights, many details that I enjoy knowing. How naturally the woman’s body goes into it’s own rhythm while birth, taking time, even capable to produce natural painkillers when needed. Since my childhood I though it was a magical natural mechanism, non stop fascinating in every detail. Of course, needless to say, every body and birth is different. But my friends story is overall natural and wishful.

Now, I watch the little ones grow. All talking, acting, deciding on things of their own little world. I’m kinda this aunty from far away, seldom coming around, but intensively playing with them and photographing them when I’m there, telling stories and learning about their universes of toys and curiosity. How incredibly unique and beautiful they are! How gentle their little fingers, big eyes with large ideas behind, with open souls they touch yours without shyness.


Evelina and me are the same age, yet our lives are so different. Our focus’ are laid on different things in the material world, but spiritually she guides me so often with very simple words and understandable happier life formulas. Those seem to apply to anyone really, in any situation or position in the world.

I was always sure I will be a mama one day. Time is passing, all friends become mamas slowly one after another, and I just so don’t feel that way yet. Sometimes I envy this family life when seeing the beautiful sides of it, but I caught myself envying the idea of it. Today, I really don’t know if I will ever me a mother and enjoy motherhood, if it will be given to me, at least I stopped thinking about “the perfect picture” where everything is planned for a certain age, with a certain income or a certain real estate. As God’s ways are so overall mysterious - I simply don't know and am fine with it. Craving for that greener grass of the other side might not even be something I am capable of dealing with.

Right now, I live this single solo traveller life and I have to admit - I took me some time to recognise it’s perks and truly appreciate them. What I have right now is freedom, time and space to move without sacrifices. Yet it took me time to truly enjoy the gifts of my circumstances.

To embrace what you have - this is my biggest lesson of the past year. Is it your children, is it your job, is it your freedom - all of them are there for a while, be sure nothing's forever how it is right now. Look more closely, recognise the perks of the situation and appreciate them for your own happiness, doing the best of it. The world will be happier with a happy you.