Annoucing Bear & Dragon Adventures: How to Catch a Star

A beautiful adventure
A beautiful adventure

Sunday mornings are for late wakings, slow sipping coffee, trips to the market and storytelling. I hope you have the first three checked off because here comes the  last.

This summer in Sweden, I thought I would pack away my camera and not touch it for the full three weeks. Separation makes the heart fonder and all. Well I was WRONG. Sweden in the summer, and all through the Nordics for that matter, are a wonderland of forest, wildflowers, long sunrises (waaay too early) and even longer sunsets (just perfect). The gentle sweeping of barley fields made for an irresistible setting. A trip to a local lopis (rummage shop) reviewed two bug catching nets and a story was born.

How to Catch a Star is the debut of a new Bear & Dragon offering, Bear & Dragon Adventures. This is a more stylized type of session where we develop a fantasy, style it with a special look and props and create a wonderland for play and adventure. The editing approach is equally fantastical. Your child as art. The first event will be announced early next year and set in one of the lush rooms inside the Chateau at Domaine Solvay. The theme will be Royals. If you have a little princess or prince who’s dream is sweeping into their own castle this is the one for you. 🙂

As the weather has taken a turn for the frigid, I hope this sweet tale warms you all the way through. Happy Sunday.

First make a wish
First make a wish
A partner is a must
A partner is a must
Set out with determination and love in your heart
Set out with determination and love in your heart
Search high and low
Search high and low
Close your eyes and feel
Close your eyes and feel
Never give up
Never give up
Follow the last rays of the sun
Follow the last rays of the sun
Fill your heart with joy and they will come to you!
Fill your heart with joy and they will come to you!
There they are!
There they are!
Give chase, soar
Give chase, soar
Almost got them!
Almost got them!
Now slow down and wait
Now slow down and wait
A beautiful dance begins
A beautiful dance begins
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A Swedish midsummer eve

On the road
On the road

These days are precious. So precious and wonderful and special as we spend time, love and energy just enjoying each other. In some ways, time goes slow and in some ways it goes so so fast and even whole periods of your life can seem to fly by in a heartbeat.

Despite occasional protests from the Bear, my camera is the tool that I use to grab these moments in time and store them away. I imagine pulling these out when I am 80 and marveling at all the beauty. All the love and all the moments bursting with the vibrant life we have. Exhausting, busy and at time past trying but I would not trade even one second. As you enjoy your holiday, I hope you also look around and take a more distant view for once. Imagine yourself in 40 years looking at this moment. Let your heart fill up and then jump in and enjoy every second of it.

Here we are in big sky Sweden with our beloved Farfar and Farmor. I am so glad to have had a chance to organize a little mini session to capture the loving relationship that is growing across these generations. This pond is just a short walk from the family home and we have spent many an afternoon throwing rocks and shivering in the cold Nordic waters and evenings enjoying a cold beer and getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Its a special place and I hope you enjoy it!

Trailblazer
Trailblazer
These are the moments
These are the moments
Generations
Generations
Vibrant life
Vibrant life
Touch
Touch
Cool water
Cool water
Love and laughter
Love and laughter
Little big man
Little big man
Flower girl
Flower girl
Before you know it
Before you know it
Jump!
Jump!
For you
For you
Golden
Golden
Our place
Our place

Super Dad

The protector
The protector

This morning I turned the page on my calendar and there it was, a mere 15 days away, Father’s Day! Why are dads SO difficult to shop for? On our possibilities list are a tie, a nice scotch, shaving kits, this amazing drawing replicator…you know, man things. I am not sure where we will land but while I have pappa on the brain, I would like to present some of the handsome and sweet pappas that have graced the halls of Bear & Dragon Studio. Cheers to all the pappas!

Admire
Admire
In good hands
In good hands
At play
At play

Bear & Dragon does Weddings

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Under the flowers

We were feeling the love on a gorgeous June day in FryksĂĄs, Sweden where I had the pleasure of being both a guest and photographer for our two lovely friends, Peter and Karin.

I have to admit, I loved it! Capturing a sweet and enduring love, the emotional moments of the ceremony and the joy after. I am hooked. Looking forward to expanding in this direction for the 2014 Wedding season. Feel the love. 🙂

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In the whole wide world
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Blush
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From this moment
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The next step
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Man & Wife
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I proudly present

Love kills cancer

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Play, love, laugh

Over the holidays I had the extreme privilege of taking portraits of a family living its way through cancer. Johan is almost like family to us and I am grateful that I was invited to spend the afternoon with this incredible and kind family.

A beautiful love story and now many years and six kids later, they nestled in for the holidays to celebrate life, love and family. In our thoughts and prayers too.

Update: Bengt passed on February 9, 2013 surrounded by his family. I am proud to have met him.

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All smiles
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Sisters
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Brothers
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Pillar
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Strength

Leksand Landscapes, aka frost is beautiful

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Skyfall

Can you tell I am catching up on A LOT of photo editing 🙂 After five Christmases in Sweden, I must say that it is beginning to feel a lot like home. Even though it is so very dark (sunrise at 9:00 and sundown around 3:30), it somehow feels very bright and beautiful. i especially love taking long walks in the forest. Have to burn off all that Christmas beer somehow right?

Although only gone a week, here is a somewhat nostalgic post of the fabulous landscapes deep in the heart of Sweden.

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Feel the glow
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Let’s fika – a delightful Swedish tradition
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True love lasts forever aka I have the most amazing in-laws
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Walk the line – the fence on the right is traditional to Dalarna. The one on the left isn’t. 🙂
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Frost is beautiful
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Super bad ass Volvo truck. This thing must be 100 years old. It is made of wood…
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Let’s ride
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Always Zoe

Deep winter hope

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Whiskers

When the joy and ruckus of the holidays dies down, you have two choices. Settle in for a cable knit sweater-wearing, hot chocolate-having, Iron and Wine-listening hibernation or your can get out there and start imagining what spring will hold. While I like to take both in equal amounts, today fell into the latter column as I had a chance to take a lovely walk in the semi-melting snow in middle-Sweden.

When we first arrived in Leksand, it was snowing with a steady whisper. More like ashes somehow. Each morning we would consult the thermometer and remark, “oh its 7 degrees”. As in MINUS 7 degrees but now the minus is so obvious it doesn’t even bear mentioning. Anyhow, about four days ago, it turned positive much to everone’s suprise, so our mounds of snow have become hard, icy moguls.

In this settling I had a little wander on my own. Everywhere I looked, I saw the echos of coming spring. I loved it! Winter has its moments but as we know I prize transition above all. Please enjoy these hints of things to come.

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Feathering the nest
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What remains
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Lynx shadow
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Sitting on the dock of a bay
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Crystalline
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Meet me at the shoreline
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Geometry
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Waiting for spring

A walk through history: Uppsala

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My love affair with Sweden is long and varied. My first trip to Europe was to Gothenberg. I joined a Swedish company, met a Swedish Bear. Married said Bear and now have my own little half Swede to boot. There is something about the land, the people and the steady elegance of life that is arresting and comforting all at the same time.

Time lives on a different scale and on this most recent trip, we took a walk through time, through Uppsala in the breathtaking fall glow. The edge of winter clipped along but kept just enough distance.

We walked along the canal and then explored through the Dome. What a gorgeous and quintessentially Swedish church. The outside composed of perfectly ordered red and black bricks. The inside soaring cream ceilings, bright glass and lovely monuments. Even the tomb of Gustav Vasa, King of Sweden (1496 – 1560).

Back outside you find the University (Truth through mercy and nature) founded in 1477 and a small park peppered with Rune Stones. VarsĂĄgod!

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Sweet Mattias: a baptism

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I have never been to a baptism. Strange considering we are about to embark on a journey to accomplish just this with our little Zoe. I can now remember back to early September last year while out in the Swedish archipelago, we received a call from the Big Bear Family. They were also expecting a little one, just one week before bababoo. Suprise!! Well now he is just over eight months and time to take a sacred bath with Jesus. That’s it right?

Had a wonderful time playing with the babies, eating cake and of course taking lots of pictures. What a grand and beautiful church. Enjoy!ImageImageImage