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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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.