Favorite Sessions

My favorite sessions show love, personality, relationships, life.  My favorite subjects are the ones who can look in my camera and declare “Here I am, for better or for worse.”  I love photographing a child’s tantrum as much as I love a good snuggle.  I love the unexpected moments, the accidental photograph.  I love to photograph a goofy grin, a shared laugh.  I want to photograph a session that inspires memories, that takes you back to a specific moment in time.  I love my job, and I’m honored to put my clients in front of my lens.

About Pikku Arkki Valokuvaus

Pikku Arkki Valokuvaus ultimately documents the love affair between my children and me.

Pikku Arkki Valokuvaus means Little Ark Photography in English.  Its original title is Finnish.  Finnish is the language spoken in Finland.  And Finland, in case you didn’t know (you wouldn’t be the first) is the country sandwiched between Sweden and Russia.  It’s a beautiful, clean, safe, socialist wonderland that has been home to me – an Arizona native- for the past 10 (TEN!!!) years.

Like many photographers, I was originally inspired by my children. When my first son was born, I didn’t want to miss a thing. Now three kids and three cameras later, I still can’t get enough of them. Practicing on them has taught me how to think on my feet, how to aim and fire with speed and accuracy, so I never miss a moment of YOUR session.

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STARTMay 2014
  • Reading

    I am an avid reader.  Like, crazy avid reader.  When I'm substitute teaching (because there often, sadly, isn't much teaching to be done), I go through about 3 books a week.  I go in spurts where I read as much as I can of a single author.  I read legit literature.  I read teen lit.  I read sci fi or fantasy or historical fiction.  Above all, I read to be entertained. The exciting thing in this house is that Benjy is old enough to read, too!  Okay, well, old enough to LEARN to read. "Mom, I want to learn how to read." "Okay, I can teach you." "I don't want YOU to teach me." And fair enough.  In the same way I want to learn how to drive stick shift, but don't want Olli to teach me.  I get it. So, I asked a good friend, who happens to be a former first/second grade teacher to help us out.  And so, for the past 3 weeks, she has been. Here's Benjy before his first reading lesson.

    IMG_3556 copyTrue story:  Benjy will sometimes look in our hallway mirror and say to himself, "I look like a teenager."

    Benjy's first lesson was an assessment, to set the baseline and goal.  Nothing was a surprise, but I was happy to hear that his comprehension scored high.  Back in Arizona, we had started with chapter books- The Boxcar Children (a personal favorite of mine) was the first book we read.  Now we're onto Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  It's wonderful to read books I find interesting and well written.  I can't wait until he's old enough to read some Judy Blume (her Fudge series is genuinely hysterical), or R.L. Stine.  I wonder if we should read Charlotte's Web next?

    He starts kindergarten in a couple weeks.  But they don't teach them how to read in kindergarten in Finland.  They teach them how to sit still and follow instructions.  And then they play outside for 3 hours.  It's kind of amazing.  I reckon once he gets into reading in English, reading in Finnish will be a cinch.  The entire written language is phonetic- no exceptions.

    In other Benjy news:  he continues to be a problem solver/engineer.  He's just announced he's going to turn an egg carton into an ice cream cone holder and make his own cardboard restaurant.

    He loves his back tickled.  And ice cream.  And mint.  And chewing gum- I bought some terrible flavor the other day and he STILL chews it.  He just swishes his mouth with water for the first few minutes to get rid of the menthol taste.

    He's so tan and blond and beautiful.

    IMG_4033 copyEven with food in his mouth.

    And soon, he'll know how to read.

  • 22Jul
  • Meltdowns

    Recently, Henry has been a three year old.  Anyone with a three year old knows what I mean by this.  It's not just that his AGE is 3.  It's that he is A THREE YEAR OLD with his own will.  His own strong will, which needs to be encouraged and at times crushed like a bug. Olli and I were sitting around a few weeks ago, and were like, "Gosh, the threes haven't been as bad with Henry as they were with Benjy.  Huh." I mean, Henry has ALWAYS been Henry- defined by my MIL as "sunshine and thunder," but there hadn't been anything out of the ordinary.  And we thought ourselves rather lucky. Apparently, there wasn't any wood nearby, because we certainly didn't knock on any.  This past week, Henry has been... challenging. Recent reasons for 30 minute full blown, dry heaving, hyperventilating, snotty, tear streaked tantrums. 1.  He didn't want to go to the toilet first (before Benjy). 2.  He didn't want to wait until the end of the song to talk to Benjy. 3.  He wanted me to cut off the end of a carrot. 4.  His swimming clothes were wet.  After swimming.  And he wanted me to rinse them off, so they wouldn't be wet anymore. 5.  He didn't want to put on his rain gear.  Consequently, he walked halfway to daycare in his socks. In all instances, I let him rage and then try to talk him down.  But there is no talking him down until he is good and ready to be talked down.  Unfortunately, 4/5 of these latest episodes have been VERY public. #2 happened at the gym.  Benjy and Ade were already in daycare, so I couldn't leave the building with Henry.  I sat him in the stairwell, hoping he wouldn't cause too many people to hate me.  Someone came out though, full of irritation.  So, we let the gym know we'd be taking the tantrum outside. #3 happened today on the way to the beach.  I won't let him scream around other people, so I had him on a rock, away from us.  He was screaming, "Daddy!  Daddy!!!!" as if Daddy would have cut the end of the carrot ("Just don't eat that part, Henry!" I kept directing him.  And you might think that I just should have cut off the end of the carrot, but no!  Once the tantrum starts, I won't give in).  Eventually, people thought he was lost and tried to help the poor dear.  "I'm right here," I assured them, thanking them for caring enough about this random screaming child. I don't even want to think about what the passersby thought about tantrum #5.  I did everything I could to get him to wear his boots, but he kept kicking them back off.  On the way to daycare, I just kept asking him really loudly, "Are you sure you don't want to put on your rain boots?" so they wouldn't think it was child endangerment! If there's anything I've learned over the course of 3 children, it's that "This too shall pass."  He will return to my normal frustrating Henry soon enough.  Now he's just SUPER frustrating Henry. Thankfully, there's enough sweet in between to get us through.

    IMG_3598 copy

  • So Much Spunk

    My little girl is so spunky, so feisty, so unbelievably independent. When Ade was born, and it was discovered she was a girl, Olli was at a loss.  He imagined a quiet, demure child who would need her hair stroked and a gentle tone.

    IMG_3516 copy

    Umm.  No.  We got Ade.  The loudest of them all.  The one who is UNAFRAID to mark her territory, demand her dues as a member of this family and the UNIVERSE.

    Random Ade facts:

    -She goes down slides of all sizes completely unaided.  I never would have thought even to let her try, but then I was out in the yard, and the boys said, "Oh, Ade can do it herself."  "No, she can't."  "Yes, she can.  Dad lets her."  And THIS, friends, is why we need fathers.  Yes!  She can do it by herself!  And sometimes it takes a Dad, as opposed to a hovering, coddling Mom, to discover it!

    -Her favorite thing at the playground is the swing.  It's all she wants.  Unfortunately, there just aren't enough swings and she has to share.  Then she squawks and claws and turns into a feral beast.

    -She is an amazing walker.  The other day we went for a family walk in the rain and she WALKED.  And walked and walked.  This baby girl walked an entire kilometer.  Going for a walk and letting her actually walk is something that never would have occurred to me as a first time mother.  It took 3 kids for me to realize, "Hey!  Let's leave the stroller at home and see how far she can go!"  (We brought along the carrier for when she got too tired).  She did so well we did it a few days later.  And again that afternoon.  She just takes me by the finger, and we start walking.

    -Her "security blanket" is actually to stick a tutti in her mouth, stick her hand inside her shirt a la Napoleon, and sing like a fire engine.

    IMG_2375 copy

    -"Minä itte!" is her life's motto- I'll do it myself!  For instance, she refused to sit in her high chair and be fed oatmeal.  We let her out, and a few minutes later found this:

    IMG_3549 copyPs. Check out that mullet.  And the gut.

    Adelaide starts daycare at the beginning of August.  I'm going back to work.  She won't be with me 24/7.  I have such mixed feelings about this.  When she's a shrieking, snotty, sharp-fanged beast, I'm elated.  When she's snuggly and brings me her favorite book (an "I can read" book about a girl at a horse show)  and sings me her fire engine tutti song, I never want to let her go.  Oh, motherhood.  Oh, sweet Adelaide.

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Contact Pikku Arkki

I’d love to hear from you!

Helsinki, Finland
+358 50 349 4460