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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Blog

STARTMay 2014
  • Adelaide the Able

    I've always said that putting my kids in daycare is like the Great Leap Forward.  It's insane.  I put them in there, babes among wolves, and they emerge 7 hours later a fully capable human being. Ade has been no exception. She started daycare in early August.  2 days on her own and the kid was feeding herself with a spoon, insisting on wearing a bib (she had refused a bib ever since we snagged her hair in the clasp), and drinking by herself out of a real cup. We had a hiccup for about a week when she'd scream when we, but now she's a champ. She finds her friends, pokes them in the belly as a greeting, and she's good. She's on the daycare schedule, which means she now naps at 11:30.  And that's rough for days she doesn't have daycare.  It kind of throws everything off.  But okay, we just need to readjust.

    IMG_5221 copyPs.  This is Adelaide eating an entire peanut butter sandwich by herself.  She ate her half then snagged her brother's half.  Hey, dude.  You snooze you lose.  

    So, now I'm just at home, kids in daycare, my phone always by my side, waiting for a substitute teaching job to come through.  I feel like a teenage girl waiting for a boy to call me.  Except the boy in question is the principal, telling me I have work!  Fingers crossed September will be the season of virus and bacteria, clearing the way for my triumphant return to employment!  And fingers double crossed that the infection and bacteria will leave me alone!

    31Aug
  • Esikoulu

    So, today was Benjy's first day of kindergarten.  Or, as we call it here in Finland esikoulu.  Or eskari. We have been waiting for this day FOR MONTHS.  By "we" I mean Benjy.  But I encouraged it.  "You'll have to wait until eskari to have your new two-piece spring suit."  (Something no parent in Arizona has EVER said EVER EVER.)  "You have to wait until eskari for your new shoes!"  "When you're in eskari, you can ride  your bike to school!" (Supervised by me, of course.) Not that he really needed encouragement.  He's been so excited.  SO EXCITED. Part of me gets it.  He's a big boy now, going to schools like big boys do, and what do kids want to be when they grow up?  BIG! But the other part of me shakes my head in confusion, asking, "But what has changed?"  He's at the same place as his daycare.  In the same classroom, with one of the same teachers, and the same friends in the class.  And remember, they don't learn to read or do math in eskari- that's all saved for first grade.  They spend a ton of time playing, lots of time outside, they go on field trips- you know, the same stuff they've been doing in daycare.  But now he's doing it in ESKARI.  So, it's different...? Anyway. I'm thrilled with his teachers, his classroom, and the idea that my kid gets to be a kid and just PLAY for another year of his childhood. And also thrilled that he's thrilled.  And thrilled that he's growing up.  And thrilled that he's growing up in the boy that he's growing up into. And also sad. Because he's growing up.  And leaving me.  And moving across the world with his rock band and he has forgotten to call me for three straight months and he's not even going to be home for Christmas and I weep bitterly into my empty stocking. But I'm mostly thrilled. See?  No tears.

    IMG_4290 copyAnd so he rode to eskari today on his bike with his new shoes (it's still, thankfully, mush too warm for a spring suit).  And I trailed behind him, thinking This is how I will always see him.  This little boy with this little bike, always a few meters ahead.

    But I didn't have long to contemplate, because I was in a hurry!  We were late!

    Yup, 15 minutes late to his first day of kindergarten.  Which turned out NOT to be his first day, because eskari starts TOMORROW.  This is pretty indicative of how I expect to spend the next 19 years of his schooling.

    The end.

     
    11Aug
  • Epiphany

    Recently, I've had an Epiphany.  In fact, I think my epiphany was reached the day I posted one of my last posts.  The one about running free through Helsinki, free to read, swim, and waste time at will, unencumbered by children for a whole day. My epiphany was this:  I actually prefer to be with my children.
    8Aug
  • 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.

    24Jul
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Contact Pikku Arkki

I’d love to hear from you!

CONTACT INFO
Helsinki, Finland
+358 50 349 4460
sarah.marie(at)pikkuarkki.com

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