Hello July

Happy first anniversary of living in Norway. What a year it has been. Bring on July – one year into this new life.


TanjadM-4b textThings happen for a reason.
And we happened upon here.
And here is home.
And home is where the heart is.
And the heart is a wonderful thing.

So here we are. Wholeheartedly.

An Image That Speaks Volumes – Connection

PersonalProject_connection-2
Personal projects are a great adventure that often lead us through the most unlikely of paths. Our intention in starting this project is to hone our skills and see where this particular path takes us. We would love it if you joined us on this adventure.
Our intention is for the images to do the talking. We believe a single moment captured forever in a photograph can speak volumes. These images require no words and at the same time, tell a whole story.
Every other month, we will choose a single image to share with you. These images will usually follow a theme. By seeing, we hope you hear our voices.
If you’d like to visit other participating photographers to see their interpretations, follow the links:

Our intented future.

Tanja_coffeeI stand leaning against the terrace doors.

The morning’s first coffee in my hands. I sip.

The house is still quiet. I notice the seagulls flying over, a ferry passing and I know that I am home.

I have arrived.

A feeling of intense happiness overwhelms me. I take it all in.

This didn’t just happen. I made it happen. We made it happen.

A life visualised intentionally created to fit our needs.

 

The house we left behind.

There it was. A comment on someone posted around the new year on Facebook.

We celebrated new year´s eve in your old house and had an amazing time.

I cried. I loved that house. Not at first though. I can honestly say I hated every brick and wished I´d never bought the place. But then we remodelled.

We adapted the house to work for us as a family. I redesigned spaces and gave them a new purpose. I studied our movements and mapped down our needs. We made the house work for us. There was FLOW. It was our home.

Dreams needed pursuing. And we decided to leave the house.

I envisioned the new owners as a lovely family. And I had my closure. I gave love to every room, took photos for the realtor and sent the house on it´s merry way to find new people.

My wish turned into reality.

Within 3 days without even being viewed, our house was sold.

Our journey had begun.

On the day we left, I thanked the house.
I took a moment in every room and smiled with the knowledge that I would never see it again.


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Hello June

As a first of a series, I intend to welcome every month. Not by looking back but by looking forward to things to come.

Hello June! I welcome you!

You house the birthdays of some of my favorite people in the world.

Nature is wide awake and ready for warm long days with midsummer as the ultimate white night.

You will be filled with parties and social gatherings. Summerparties where we will meet new people and celebrate with new friends who already have become so dear to us.

June will feed our hearts and our souls before the summer vacation.

Let the celebration of life begin.

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17. mai!

I morgen er den store dagen der! Endelig!!!

Denne 17. mai blir helt spesiell. Det er jo den første nasjonaldagen vi feirer siden vi flyttet til Norge.

Morgendagen blir STOR og det blir som prikken over i-en for denne familien. Det er litt over 10 måneder siden vi flyttet til Norge. 17.mai betyr om mulig enda mer for oss nå.

Vi har gledet oss MASSE til denne dagen. Og selv om det regnet i dag, hadde jentene det gøy i rondastakkene sine.

Hurra! Ønsker alle en fantastisk dag i morgen.

17mai-1 17mai-3 17mai-6 17mai-8 17mai-9 17mai-11 17mai-13 17mai-16 17mai-17
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17mai-23 17mai-24 17mai-25 17mai-26 17mai-32 17mai-35

 

Ranunculus

RanunculusFresh flowers can make a room come to life. These ranunculus are among my favorite flowers.

 

A personal post by Tanja de Maesschalk - www.tanjademaesschalk.com (4)

On milestones and motherhood

This was going to be about my youngest child Lisa.But it’s not…really. I have to admit that – rather selfishly – it’s about me. About myself as a mother and my feelings of powerlessness with the passing of time. I sit here and realise that yet again time has slipped through my fingers.

There is an ambivalence to seeing  our kids grow up.  As a mother I want them to be happy, do well and grow into mindful, confident and compassionate adults.  But with each birthday I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness creeping up on me.  Why is there no pause or rewind button on these kids???

Lisa is our youngest. Our little surprise who makes our lives very eventful. She went from baby to toddler at warp speed. My baby who was wide awake and looked me straight in the eye from day one. This one was going places and wasn’t wasting any time. Clever little thing! It feels as if she came into this world only yesterday, yet today is her last day in preschool.

So here we are… all preschooled out. Ready for a new chapter. We officially have three schoolkids now. Wow… there I said it.

You go girl, go and spread your beautiful wings. Be your best self and follow your kind heart, my little starchild!

I love you.

Mommy.

Here she is on her first day at preschool on the left, and with her diploma at her graduation. A personal post by Tanja de Maesschalk - www.tanjademaesschalk.com (4)A personal post by Tanja de Maesschalk - www.tanjademaesschalk.com (1)A personal post by Tanja de Maesschalk - www.tanjademaesschalk.com (2)A personal post by Tanja de Maesschalk - www.tanjademaesschalk.com (3)

 

Ik zou een stukje schrijven over mijn jongste dochtertje Lisa, maar eigenlijk gaat het gewoon over mezelf. Over moederschap en tijd… hoe de tijd vliegt en onze kindjes niet te stoppen zijn. Hierbij foto’s van de diplomauitreiking van de derde kleuterklas. Op naar een nieuw hoofdstuk!

The one where I followed my heart.

I have given it a lot of thought and I have weighed pros and cons as one does when standing on the verge of a big decision. That’s what one is supposed to do…
But I am me… and I’m not one to live by lists and well-founded business decisions. I am a creative, always following my instincts.  I have this profound belief that people are best at the doing what they love.
We do a better job doing the things we are passionate about. So I followed my instinct and passion.

Interesting people, good design and photography are a few of the things that make me tick.

Some may remember last year’s personal post about the Gift of Time. A lot happened in the past year. I was honoured with an award, an interview and the respect from peers that I never thought possible.  They will forever be fond memories to treasure. Wedding photography has taught me to think quickly and has made me a better storyteller. I am truly grateful for all the weddings I had the honour of photographing.

However, in my heart I was always the lifetsyle photographer. A mom with a camera who initially wanted to take better photos of her kids. I am going back to that with a new passion and hope to capture your life with a fresh eye. As of this year my photography will be focused entirely on lifestyle.

I’m excited about the future and can’t wait for all the exciting projects that will cross my path!

Much love

T

PS: Since no blogpost should be without a picture, I’m sharing one of my three muses. They mean the world to me. And they deserve a mommy who is mindful, happy and never too busy to play!

Vanaf 2013 zal ik mij geheel specialiseren in lifestyle fotografie. Ik fotografeer babies, kinderen en jonge gezinnen.

Merry Christmas

It’s cliché to say that time flies but it’s true. Time seems to move faster as we grow up into adulthood. A week feels like an eternity for our children as they count down till Christmas.  Seems like it was yesterday that I sat down to write my last Christmas post.

This past year has been wonderful. Everything is easier somehow. Hard to put my finger on it. We’re getting things done both privately and professionally.  Pieces of our lives are slowly falling into place and it feels good.

We’re slowing down and taking time to enjoy.

Take a step back and apprecitate what you have.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Hug your loved ones.

Love,

T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner of the Bruidsfoto Award 2012 – Emotions category, people’s choice award.

Last night, my photograph was awarded with the prestigious Bruidsfoto Award in the Emotions category.

I’m humbled and very happy with the public’s award for the best wedding image in the emotions category. This was a category with 10 amazing and very powerful images. Each and every one telling a story in one shot.

A huge thanks to all of the lovely people who cast their vote for my image! I am truly touched by your support.

Here are a few impressions from last night as well as the winning image.

With gratitude,

Tanja

 

Thanks to Lesley Stefanski for shooting and sharing the event images!
More about the other winners can be found on the official site for the Bruidsfoto Award

award winning photography

award winning wedding photographer

 

Dance

My girls will dance whenever they get a chance.
Commanding their faithful audience (that’s us!) to watch closely as they twirl around in their little tutus.

So dance… my girls.

Be carefree and enjoy!

Love,

mama.

wonderful tutu by my friend Wendy

more tutu inspriation on Pinterest

When did you turn 6?

This is a hard one to write. Why, I’m not sure.

Emma is our second child.  I cannot explain how wonderful it was to know that we were having a girl after an amazing little boy.  Emma came into our lives and made everything pink!

Emma Louise is such an amazing little girl. She’s our little thinker. The girl who communicates with butterflies and God and comes up with the most amazing storylines for Ken and Barbie’s life.  Being gifted never comes without baggage. And her sensitivity is something we’ve learned to help her with. Being able to talk about her feelings has been a huge outlet for her.

This little girl is growing up so fast – almost too fast. Maybe that’s why it has taken me forever to write this post. I get so emotional when I see time slipping away and my children growing up. Each new year is celebrated, but a part of me just wants to rewind and cuddle my babies just once more.  I wish I could.

I’m sharing a few shots of my Em – who never seizes to amaze me.

xoxo

slipping

 

award winning photography

Nominated for the Bruidsfoto Awards 2012

I am so honoured to be nominated for the 2012 Bruidsfoto Awards. This is a prestigious award for wedding photographers throughout The Netherlands and Belgium.  The image below was selected from 1700 submissions.

What makes me especially happy is that this is one of my all time favorite images. I love that was selected by the jury.

The image below has been nominated in the category “emotions”.

If you are so inclined, please vote for my image on the Bruidsfoto Award website.  In order to cast your vote,  select 3 images in each category. Each category has a winner, and the photo with the most votes is the overall winner.

bruidsfotoaward

Below is a list of images that didn’t get a nomination. They all have a special place in my heart, so I thought I’d share.

And finally.  To my clients, my gorgeous, amazing brides and grooms.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!!!

 

Enjoy the images,

xo

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This year and coming into my own.

This is a personal, long post. And no, I will have no regrets.

It has been a year of ups and downs.

Sound cliché? Think again.

The year before it had been so clear to me. I actually spelled it out. “I shall have NO REGRETS”.

Somehow 2011 remained undefined for a long, long time. What was it going to be about? Could it possibly be better than the epic ’10? No way! Or … way?

2011 was to become my most amazing, epic and insightful year – EVER!

I connected with some of my heroes within the business. Some facades crumbled before my very eyes. I moved on… I grew as a photographer and – hopefully – as a person. I made new friends. Friends who stood by me and supported me every single day. Thank you for being there when I needed you! Thank you for giving me sanity when I doubted myself. You are awesome! And you are going places! I will be here to cheer you on, every step of the way!

Our kids grew up so fast this year.  They surprise and amaze me every single day. I see so much of myself in them. I am privileged to be their mother. It’s exhausting, frustrating, amazing and glorious and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!!!  One day I hope to have raised 3 harmonic, happy grownups. Meantime we’re enjoying the path that leads us there. I love the three of you with all my heart!

Birthday came – and so did the puppy I had wished for.  I thrive with a canine around. I heart my happy Willow. I’ve never had or met a happier dog – ever!

I travelled and took new friends on a roadtrip. Little did I know they were sisters from a different mother. I love you. You are always with me and I owe you so much! I may live far away, but know that I am there if you ever need me.

Summer came. Whilst everyone was complaining about the weather, I kept hearing the blast in Oslo over and over again in my head.  Hug your kids and pray for a sane future.

And finally … to my soulmate.
We were friends. We became lovers. We exchanged vows. We became parents.
I will grow old with you. You are there to pick me up when I feel insecure.  You are sanity when I am crazy.  You … are my ROCK.
I love you.

So with this said.
I look ahead, with no regrets. With only hope and plans for the future.
Where it will all take me, I do not know.
But I will give it my all.
I love my life. I just need to remind myself from time to time.

I still wonder what 2011 was all about… Maybe it was more about the journey than the actual goal.

Enjoy these last days of the year.  And make YOUR 2012 amazing!

Much love,

Tanja

PS: below are some shots from my favorite time this year… on a mountaintop in Norway – pre 7/22.  Enjoy the goofy selfies of the rock and me. xo

 

 

Merry Christmas and the Gift of Time

Today is the day.

Our three little ones have been so patiently waiting. The tree is surrounded by white and red wrapped presents.

They will soon know if they will get what they wished for. They’ve been so good, they have nothing to worry about.

It’s such a joy to watch the kids’ innocent anticipation.  There’s a sparkle in their eyes!

I’ve been pondering about what the ideal gift would be for myself. And after much consideration I came up with the best gift ever: time.

How is this a gift?

I live a fast-paced life as a mother of three with an own business. I passionately love what I do. However, someone decided their would only be 24 hours in a day. And that isn’t working out for me – at all.

Needless to explain that a day only streches so far. So how to get more time? The answer is simple : delegate!  So I have made a list of the things I do not love passionately. And those things will be delegated from now on.

In return I will have more… time.

May all your Christmas wishes come true!

Love.

XO

T

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Shoot

This year I was going to do it differently. I was going to plan this waaaaay ahead of time and avoid stress.

But then time went warp speed on me…. again.

I’m sharing one of the shots from our little Christmas shoot yesterday.More to come – later.

Enjoy 2 of my babes.
xoxo

 

Would you like to connect with me? Send me a note!

View my Portrait portfolio.

Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Birthday Lisa!

She was our little surpise. Today is exactly four years since she was born at home, straight into our home, our heart, our lives ! Our little bundle of joy!

Lisa is funny, passionate, LOUD, talented and intelligent!  I see so much of myself in her. I love her with all my heart! I could never imagine life without you our sweet Lisa Amalia! She blows me away every day.

Lisa loves her binky and blanky… And I love how she plays with her hair when she gets tired.

We love you Lisa. Happy 4th birthday, baby! Please keep surprising us.

xoxo

 

And here’s our little song… I improvised my own lyrics when you were born: “Lisa, Lisa, Lisa – Du må ikke gråte… ”

Got  a question? Send me a note!

View my Wedding portfolio

Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter

Marius is 8

He was the ultimate Lano-unge. I can’t help but wonder where the past few years have gone. In front of me stands this eight-year old boy with a twinkle in his eye. He is kind, beautiful and has the best sense of humour I’ve seen in a kid. I’m so proud and happy to have this boy in my life.

He is a good boy – and a good man in the making. I love him to bits!!!

Marius, my awesome first kid turned 8 on Saturday.

It was not to go unnoticed ;-)

Here’s a bit of this and that….

Mike Larson Tuscany Style Workshop

I met California-based international wedding photographer Mike Larson almost by accident in the spring of 2010 in Antwerp. Little did I know that Mike’s talk at Calumet would have such an influence on me as a photographer.  Later in the year I got an email from his office about small group consulting sessions througout Europe in November of 2010.  I wanted to know more and put together a group quickly. That session changed a zillion things for my business.

Then. came. Italy.

I was already booked for a destination wedding in Italy around the same time. So it made sense to head out there early and do the workshop. I posted about the workshop on Facebook.  Three fellow photographers, wanted to join me on my roadtrip to Tuscany. That trip in itself was epic!   Thank you Natalie, Patricia and Vinita for being my travelling companions. Vini thanks for keeping me awake for 20 hours just by interviewing me and asking me a zillion questions. I loved it!

Mike specializes in vineyard and estate weddings. This particular workshop is for photographers who want to specialize their business. Mike is hosting another one in Italy next week. Also he will be doing a workshop in The Netherlands in November. Be fast if you want to grab a spot, as day 1 is already sold out!

Below are a few of my shots taken during the 2-day workshop.

The gorgeous styling and stationery is by Vanessa from Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations. Her work blows me away.  I love her eye and style!

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Mike Larson Tuscany Workshop: Mike Larson Photographers, Inc.
Design, Styling + Coordination: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
Invitation + Stationery Design: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
Floral Design + Furniture Rentals: Floralia
Table Settings: Small Masterpiece [ We Set The Table ]
Wedding Cake: Erica OBrien Cake Design
Venue: Villa La Selva
Bridal Gown (white): Angel Sanchez via M Bride Salon
Bridal Gown (cream ruffle): BHLDN
Jewelry: Rachel Leigh Jewelry
Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Durantehttp://www.calligraphybydurante.com

 

Have  a question? Send me a note!

View my Wedding portfolio.

Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter

 

 

A royal wedding!

A girl can dream, right? Well let them dream I say!  So they stayed home this afternoon to witness the wedding of the century with me.

They even dressed for the occasion… tiara’s and all! I’m sharing some images of our princesses, their wedding procession around the fireplace and practicing royal poses!

Life is a fairytale if you want it to be!

Many congrats to the royal couple!

T

 

 

 

Destination Norway

It’s where I recharge my batteries and regroup my thoughts.   Norway is where the heart is.

I love what I do and love doing it in different countries meeting new people.  That is why this year I hope to do some sessions and maybe even a wedding in Norway during the month of July.  So… if you’re interested, or know anyone who is, spread the word and contact me!

I’m excited about this! Hope you are too!

Oh and I’m excited about corona strawberries too… they are a very important part of our summer! Sorry belgian strawberries. Yes you are early, but there’s nothing on like norwegian corona’s – so sorry.

Much love,

T

 

The Princess of all Things Pink!

Emma Louise, the princess of the pink universe – my little thinker – turned 5 recently. As with all things in her life, she knew exactly what she wanted to do for her party. She told me she wanted to make cupcakes and play in a jumping castle. And as with kids parties in our house – they get to wish on their special day! Thus, mom got creative.  From invites to treat bags to straws… all done in Em’s fave colour: pink!

I had never decorated a cupcake in my entire life… so apologies to any conoisseurs out there, hehe! It was all about having fun really.  In order to avoid our kitchen turning into a warzone, I made the cupcakes on beforehand so the kids would only have to decorate. Oh yeah, I was in total Martha-mode!

Everything went exceptionally well and I felt we had rocked this party. Everybody happy for yet another year!

The next day Emma announced that she was turning six the next week… :- )

I love you my dear princess… may all your birthdays be for the age you wish to be – and may you live happily ever after!

xoxo,  your mama

 

 

 

Sweetness on four legs

I was in the middle of doing some pre-spring gardening work on Saturday when Arjan told me to “get ready we’re going shopping”. Panic… I was dressed for GAR-DE-NING!!! Didn’t he see that?  There was to be no discussion.
So a shower and some interrogative style questions later we were off…

Just to give you an idea of the conversation that followed:

-Me: Is it in Antwerp?   A: Not in the city centre exactly?
-A: I should empty the trunk of the car first.   Me: Seriously??how big is it anyway?
-Me: Shouldn’t we drop off the kids at my parent’s? (thinking we were getting a lamp or chair and dreading the idea of three kids in a design store!)
-A: Don’t worry, kids are allowed
-Me: Do I look worried? – followed by a very fake smile.

It went on for a while and I must have looked like I had a giant question mark over my head! I was in agony – seriously.

But I was not to worry… for the gift my amazingly sweet husband had in store was a puppy!!!  The little baby Shi Tzu that I had been wishing for for so long.

And there she was…  looking.right.at.me.

Meet …Willow –  The puppy who stole my heart! Not only was she the perfect birthday gift, she is a gift to all of us.

PS: Arjan.. I love you and sorry for calling you sweet on here but you are totally sweet and amazing, so get over it. I WOOF you! ;-) Oh and gardening is totally dorky and I love it. So there!