June, 2013

I am writing this from Los Angeles a month late, and all of this seems a world away. Alba is sleeping with her head on my chest and her Papa is on the other side of the world. Life changes suddenly for me, there is no order. Sometimes I write notes in my phone when the feeling strikes me, so instead of trying to recollect I’ll share those from June.

(These images are from our trip to our family in North Queensland, and a visit to the community gardens near our new home. I wish I took more photos. I was disconnected from photography this month.)

While I sing Alba to sleep on the highway, with her small hand in mine, a thought strikes me and makes my voice tremble mid-lullaby. My voice holds more power than it ever has. The sound is calming her and may always be a source of comfort.
I often forget just how important I am to her, how the details of my face are more familiar to Alba than they are to me. How my mood colors her day. The patterns of my clothing are a part of the landscape of her world. I am home to her more than anywhere on Earth and I will always be her Mother.

In our new home the past has followed us. It is there in the dreamcatchers I made from twigs from the Blue Mountains hanging above our bed, the polaroids on the bookshelf of when we first fell in love, the worn teddy that was mine when I was as small as Alba is now. I love to remember it all, to stay up late with Matt retelling our shared and seperate pasts.

I’ve never been content with being content. The excitement that stirs in my chest is my drug. Yet when I feel the lows of living without stability, it’s all I want.

I lay on the grass at the community gardens and Alba runs down the path dragging my bag, she pulls out my camera and lifts the heavy thing to her face to take a photograph. I wonder if she will be a documenter too.
My little girl is growing up. Not fast, like everyone said she would, but slowly and perfectly in her own time. She spends days with my auntie and cousins now. When I call her my baby I pause and wonder if she really still is.

In the backseat of the car on the way to the hospital I hold a gauze pad over Alba’s burst blister. It is so swollen and big I can’t look. Pus and blood trickle stickily down my arm. I cry quietly, so Matt can’t hear me. My girl has been in pain for days now. I can bear my own pain, but hers cripples me.
Soon I can no longer keep quiet, I cry with all of her heartbreak and pain to come. Motherhood weighs me with sadness, with the same intensity that it fills me with light.

I trace the places where my body stretched. Softly beneath my breasts as they became heavy with milk, less softly across my sides as I grew a human being in my womb. Not so long ago I traced these places with disappointment and longing. All too influenced by the image obsession of our society and my industry. But now as a Mama I finally accept my body. And I am happy to have a body, to have life, to feel love.

84 love notes

  1. Hello, A while ago I met you in Bali. You were staying in a villa in Ubud and the day we left, lots of photograph friends were coming for a month to you guys. Anyways, love your website and photography! Beautiful! Good luck and I hope you had a great time in Bali!

  2. I really enjoy your photos and musings. Best wishes to your family with hopes for a happy reunion soon. Our family moved cross, well, continent, this summer, and we had to endure the first separations ever, first sending my three kids unaccompanied minor on a red-eye, then chasing them cross country in our vehicle… then again as my husband and I scouted out our new area while the children stayed with grandpa. It was harder than I imagined on us all. ♥


  3. Hello !
    I have been reading you since you started and my question is: what camera do you use?
    I am sorry if you already wrote it somwehere, but I didnt notice it.
    Thank you 🙂

  4. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.

    I will always bookmark your blog and will come back down
    the road. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a
    nice weekend!

  5. they are talking about your cementary shoot on tv in the news in poland! i was very suprised. they said “australian photographer Nirrimi Hakanson took controversial photos with naked girl at the cementary and appeared in the world of fashion”. i don’t know if it’s nice, or maybe not, but i love it that poland knows about you! did you know that you were on tv today in our country?
    by the way, there is big affair – polish photographer took photos at the jewish cementary (he wanted to draw attention on some kind of a problem which is connected with the fact that polish people don’t remember about history). what do you think about it? in my opinion there are a lot of great photos at specific places and a lot of bad photos too, but it’s not destruction of property or disrespect. yours are absolutely these first, very emotional and very fashion! love it!
    whatever, sorry for my english, i’m out of school now, haha!
    lots of love

  6. Do you ever feel as though who you are in practice is not who you are in theory? I have read so many of your posts and am always left wondering why someone who is essentially a self professed gypsy/hippie/holistic would have a blog, Instagram, fly business class etc. It’s akin to being perhaps a very diligent vegetarian who only eats organic produce but deigns to buy recycled anything, uses toxic cleaning products, drives consistently instead of taking public transport and so on. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with taking from both holistic and hedonistic worlds, but it is strange when someone so meticulously constructs their life to suit a certain light, especially when the manner in which they communicate it is somewhat contradictory to the ethos of that life itself.

  7. Days pass and everything is more of the same. That worries me. In this year, I was intended to do a thousand things during the summer, and although I have enjoyed it a lot, I have not been at all satisfied. I mean, every day that passes is one less day in this world, and my desire to make the most of this life, are tremendous. What happens is that I spend the day thinking “wow, it would be great to know to do this, or go to this place, or to be like that person”, planning and imagining myself doing those things. I think, but I did not act. I stay on the sidelines, without crossing the line. I don´t know if anyone understands what I mean.

    I’m in love with Tumbrl, not because I am an “addicted” to the internet or anything like that; just, I love seeing pictures of people; people who do things that I would love to do. I know that I have only 16 years, and that is not going to end my life tomorrow (Or maybe yes, who knows?), But I can not stand it. I can not stand to see the days pass without more, one after another, always as equals. And I know that the problem is mine. That instead of complaining, or be writing this, I should be doing what is in my hands to change, and for once do something I love in this life.

    I’m at a point in my life where I had to make the decision to choose between “science” or “letters” to start the Bachelor, but I really don´t have any idea of what I want. I have almost clear that I am going to choose a career that I won’t be passionate about. And that overwhelms me. I don´t know with whom I can talk about all this, because the times I’ve tried to do, in short, it has been simply embarrassing.

    Also, to make matters worse, today I have been reading this beautiful blog, and I have come a desire to hug the person who wrote it, and to shout how wonderful she is just because she get her dream. Seriously, you´re incredible.

    I don´t know how to start changing, or where, or anything. Could it be that I’m the only one who feels this way?

    Kisses xx

  8. Heya! I understand this is sort of off-topic but I needed
    to ask. Does operating a well-established blog such as yours take a massive amount work?
    I’m brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal every day. I’d like to start a blog so I
    can share my personal experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

  9. Finding aid for lots of lifes issues is hard . It is always nice to have the option to get hold of good quality information such as this to help to inspire us if matters get hard .

  10. Your words inspire me as a young mother. I am just 24 and hearing you makes so many things better. Reading your poetry makes me remember everything I see about my sweet Nova everyday. It is so amazing to see that more than just I look at my daughter with such love and beauty. Thank you for being able to put zminto words what so many amazing mothers see and feel. It truly touches my heart more than you will know.

    With love,


  11. I don’t comment often, but every time I read your reflections on motherhood I am struck by how similar they are to my own. What a wonderful girl you have on your hands =) What a strong foundation of love you are building for her future.

  12. Your blog is totally awesome. I love the rare feeling, but still very strong. It’s kinda feeling of life. And your photos are one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. They have so sensitive but powerful touch. The picture of Matt and Alba on the boat, with the little butterfly flying in the corner, is wonderful. There’s a really strong feeling of father and child, spending time together, teaching each other and loving each other.

  13. I really enjoy read your beautiful blog. Your words and your life are so simple and nice! I always dreamed to have a life full of freedom and simplicity as yours, but it is not easy living in this society… I love paint, draw, write, sing and photography… but all of this is considered a kind of… garbage… in my family and my nearly society!
    I wish so hard to run away from this life and be happy, as you are! But is not so simple…
    I am mother, to. My daughter, Camila, is my inspiration to trying to be happy… and I’m trying!…
    I wish you a lot of happiness, you deserve it! And me and my daughter are sending kisses and hughs to Alba! She likes a lot see her pictures!
    Dulce and Camila

  14. I´m a 17 year old girl who reads your “blog” every day. You are such an inspiration, both when it comes to your text and your pictures. Your day to day life with your beautiful little family are breath taking. If you have or ever get an instagram, I would love to follow you. Your life is so honest and magnificent, and I truly wish that you keep writing about it:)
    Thank you for making my day so joyful and inspiring.

  15. Again your words and images stir my motherhood and aestetic emotions. Finding out your blog was like a revelation to me. Imagine, I even quoted you on my blog. I’m a mum to my two litte boys, John and Staś, and I love photography and all the stories that can be told by its means. Thanks to you I understood that images of my daily life are no less important that any creative session. I understood that my life and my boys are what I am pround of.
    Thank you.

    Wish all the warm to your heart,

  16. It’s amazing how the subjects of your photography have changed in such a short time. The change is neither bad nor good, it’s just a noticeable shift.

    Your photos use to focus on the stoic, crazy, and more haunting images of life or would be an expression of your imagination (as able to be captured with what limited places, props, and people were available). Now, however, they seem to be warmer and capture more of those amazing ‘once in a lifetime’ moments–like those images that flash in your mind when revisiting a fond memory of the past.

    You have changed so much in the past couple of years, yet remained much the same.
    I look forward to seeing how your subject and style of photography continues to morph into.

    Take care.

  17. Att du och din blogg finns i min värld är något av det finaste. Dina ord och dina bilder berör och känns så äkta, så självklara och ändå vet jag ju att det inte är så lätt. Att få bilder att beröra som dina är en konst! 🙂

  18. “I’ve never been content with being content. The excitement that stirs in my chest is my drug. Yet when I feel the lows of living without stability, it’s all I want.”

    Amen to this, so much resounding truth.

  19. love your pictures:)! Can you tell me something about your camera and lenses?. Do you use TCS filters? All the best, Ola:)

  20. i’ve read so many of your writings and was always intrigued and touched by each one of them. but this very one, this short yet simple and sweet… unleashes with such maturity and contentment and excitement with and about life…. well done Nirrimi. You’re beautiful, it’s true.

  21. beautiful rich pics, as always. you are a beautiful family and a beautiful person. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and memories. Take care as I’m sure you will

  22. I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that you’ve updated your blog! Love your photos (as usual) and your last photo reminds me of my boy and I. Haha. Such a bad habit to use the phones while lying on bed, but its the only best comfortable place to be a while surfing the net. 😀

    Btw hope all is well for you and alba. Take care and enjoy your special moments with her. 🙂


  23. I get so happy when you write new post about your life, because it inspires me to keep going and to realize that life isn´t awful at all
    love from a tiny unknown town of the world

  24. Hi Nirrimi! I noticed that happiness fills me when a new post of yours is there. Beautiful images, beautiful people, beautiful life. And little Alba growing up, exploring the world…thanks for so much inspiration, angel. Thanks for sharing the simplicity.

  25. I keep thinking about a family who recently sold their home, all their belongings and took off across America in a camper. She’s a photographer and is doing shoots along the way and weddings. It sounds scary and awesome. I’d like to think I’d have the same courage. Maybe somewhere in there is where your answer lies. The stability of a home, but wheels to take you new places.


  26. beautiful words! I love when you say “Motherhood weighs me with sadness, with the same intensity that it fills me with light.” so true, I can totally relate!

  27. Dear Nirrimi,

    There is a couple with a baby of their own (Charlie Hague and Megan Williams) living in my home county in the UK, who built a very lovely eco-home on land owned by the Charlie’s father. They did not get planning permission before they built it, and are now being ordered to demolish it. They are currently trying to apply for retroactive planning permission, and Megan has a petition up on change.org asking Pembrokeshire County Council and the Welsh Assembly to grant them retroactive planning permission. Before they built their eco-home, they were living in a caravan on the same spot. As far as I’m aware, the main reason they have been given for demolishing their home is that it is “harmful to the rural character of the area”…

    I don’t know the couple personally, but I respect them for trying to build the kind of home that they did, and I want to help them by letting as many people know about their situation and Megan’s petition as possible. Is there any chance you could let your fans know about it, as I imagine many of the people who follow you relate to your desire for healthy, happy living?

    Peace and love to you and your family (especially that little cutie Alba!)

  28. Your family is loved so much by many. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your world. You are such an inspiration and help me get through my dark days.

  29. Your words are fantastic! So truly you are. And photos..Someday I’ll sit in front of the computer and read all your posts! It’ll be great ‘ book ‘ 🙂

  30. Nirrimi you are such a good writer, it inspires a lot of people, its so lovely and Alba its so beautiful!, makes me so happy to read about this! I would like to know your love story with M, please share it!

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