Getting drunk in the bath and other guilty pleasures...

I don’t have many vices. I don’t peel off other people’s sunburnt skin, I don’t smoke, do drugs, buy designer handbags, order dessert or watch any of the Real Housewives or the Kardashians (am I missing out?). I do, however, love getting tipsy in the bath. Usually (but not always) alone…

Getting drunk in the bath: There’s just something so comforting about running a hot bubble bath and sinking into the inviting, effervescent water with a cool glass of wine. I can’t hold my liquor at the best of times, but drinking a glass or two of wine in the bath, combined with the heady heat of the water, makes that alcohol take immediate effect. Add in some good tunes playing in the background, usually Scottish crooner Paolo Nutini (I love taking a bath with Paolo) and before long I’m in that lovely tipsy place, where you think you are utterly charming, fabulous and hilarious (I wish I could be that version of myself all the time - just without the red face).

I highly recommend this relaxing activity if you find yourself at a loose end of an evening ;)

This is how red my face is when I finally emerge from my alcohol-infused soak in the tub.

This is how red my face is when I finally emerge from my alcohol-infused soak in the tub.

Bribing my children to brush my hair: If slavery hadn’t been abolised in Sweden, there’s a good chance I would have a slave to brush my hair. Don’t get me wrong, they would be treated with utter kindness (I’m not the whipping type), and they would not have to sleep in the slave quarters. They would just be at my beck and call to brush my hair whenever I so wished. If I was tired, stressed, hangry or anxious, I could just call on my lovely hair slave and they would happily brush my hair and voilà, I would instantly feel relaxed and happy.

In the absence of a hair slave, I have from time to time, bribed my children with ice-cream or money, or letting them stay up later if they brushed my hair. Surely I’m not the only mother who does this? Right? RIGHT? Luck was on my side once when a friend from Ireland came to visit for a weekend, and I couldn’t believe the words that came out of her mouth: “Sandra, do you want me to brush your hair?”. “Do I ever,” I said and ran to get her a brush. 15 minutes later (I’d hoped she’d last longer, but arm cramp set in), she put down the brush, I said goodnight and fell into the kind of sleep that can only come after a session of expert hair brushing. ‘Nuff said.

Crying to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah: Every so often, I’ll bottle up all my emotions and they will quietly bubble away beneath the surface. Usually the best release for me is to cry and let it all out, but sometimes the tears will refuse to flow and I’ll feel like I’m going to explode with unexpressed emotions. Cue Jeff Buckley. RIP Jeff. I’ll lie down and listen to his haunting version of Hallelujah and almost immediately the floodgates will open and I’ll be sobbing, choking and spluttering on my on own salty tears. I paint a lovely picture, don’t I? So although the Jeff/Hallelujah/crying experience isn’t enjoyable at the time, the release that comes after is worth it (the puffy eyes not so much). So if you’re feeling emotionally blocked, have a good old cry to Hallelujah, You’ll Never Walk Alone, or I Will Always Love You, or whatever gets you feeling all the feels. And just let it all out ;)

I realise none of the above is photography related, but so what. Hopefully you don’t mind me sharing my random thoughts and musings. Better out than in, right? ;)

Dealing with unexpected erections and ants in my pants

If you are anything like me when you are working then you will want to remain the consummate professional, whatever may happen.

I pride myself on providing my clients with a wonderful photography experience. When I arrive at a portrait session, my intention is to do my job with calm, positive energy. I direct my subjects and help them feel relaxed with lighthearted and easygoing banter.

Sometimes, however, the universe has other plans for you. Take, for example, the time I arrived at a client’s home for a photo session. I’d just gotten the mom, dad, sons, daughter and very affectionate labrador into a great pose when all of a sudden the dad shouted, ‘“STOP, he’s got an erection.” I promptly lowered my camera and quietly panicked. I thought he was talking about one of his teenage sons, and how awkward this situation was going to be for him. My brain was desperately trying to think of some consoling words for a teenage boy with an untimely boner. Turns out, it was the family dog, proudly sporting a very obvious erection. Yes, sometimes (apparently) on a photo shoot, you just have to patiently wait for an erection to subside to get the shot you want.

And sometimes on a shoot I get ants in my pants, literally. A repeat client asked me out to their summer cottage south of Stockholm one glourious June afternoon to photograph the extended family. After greeting everyone, I found a lovely wooden staircase for them to sit on. I backed up as far as I could to get everyone in the frame. In my enthusiasm, I accidentally backed up on an ant hill and before I had a chance to react a furious colony of ants were charging under my pants and up my legs. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Riverdance (the Irish dance show), well, I gave those dancers a run for their money that day with the way I kicked my legs into the air. I had no idea I could kick or scream that high. It was several long minutes later before I got those angry ants out of my pants. Yes, the little buggers bit the bejesus out of me, but you know what, I still got the shot ;)

In the mood for love | How I photograph couples

Nevermind location, location, location. It’s all about connection, connection, connection ;)

Remember the connection you and your partner had before the kids came along? Remember the excitement, the butterflies, getting lost in each other’s eyes, the lazy weekend lie-ins, exploring new cities hand in hand... Those were the days, right? ;)

I don’t know about you, but I can hold my hands up and say I’m a terribly romantic and soppy soul. I love seeing people in love - completely lost in each other, oblivious to the rest of the world. My hubby and I still hold hands, even after 20 years together. I’ve got a collection of love notes and Valentine’s cards I’ve accumulated through the years that I will never recycle. I’ve still got gifts from my first love that I can’t bear to part with. I still grin like an idiot when I watch Dirty Dancing (Patrick Swayze in that black shirt though - be still my beating heart). John Legend’s All of Me makes me swoon. Yes, I did just say swoon like this is the 1950’s and I’m some damsel about to faint. I did warn you - I’m soppy.

Whenever possible I try to photograph the parents together on a photo session. For many of them, it’s been years since they had a photo taken of just the two of them. And surprise surprise, they are always happy they got in front of the camera and got that precious shot :)

P.S no women were thrown in the water in the making of these photographs ;)

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes | Familjefotografering Stockholm

“Pretty soon now you're gonna get older “ - David Bowie

Isn’t it funny how they change and grow right before your eyes? You never notice it as it happens, you just see it suddenly one day they come home from school, or they stand it different light, or you see them next to a younger kid, or you find a photograph of when they were nine months old, and then you see it. You see the subtle changes; different expressions, the hair colour has changed slightly, legs are longer, the look in the eyes is more grown up. So much can change in your children in such a short amount of time.

Don’t stop photographing them once they have outgrown the baby and toddler stage. All changes should be documented. All stages are worthy of photographs.


“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” - Dr Seuss