Tonje Lilleås

I’m getting an ExoQuad

I’m getting an ExoQuad. When I asked you and everyone else I know to help me reach my goal of regaining freedom and independence in January, I never dreamed I would be able to say that I’m getting an ExoQuad already.

Now I’ve paid the first installment and it’s official. My ExoQuad will be here before spring turns to summer. It’s going to be a black beauty, and I really can’t wait. With the ExoQuad I’m going to get back to shooting both nature and urban landscapes. I’m going camping to be on location at sunrise. And I can’t believe that I’ll be able to do sunset shoots whenever I want to again.

Adapting

In one way it’s a bit scary how fast I’ve adapted to not being able to head out whenever I’ve wanted to. No doubt it’s partially due to the fact that I’ve just thought about the restrictions as something that is right now. “Today I have to stay at home”, “I’m not able to come along right now” or “I can’t shoot this amazing sunset, but I will shoot the next one”. This way of thinking, along with constantly working out to improve everything that I can, has made it way easier to adapt.

However I did reach a point where I felt too limited. Between October and December of last year somewhere I started thinking “Fxxx it, I need more than this”. And on December 7th 2023 I found what was going to give me what I longed for; the ExoQuad.

I’m not sure how to sufficiently explain how much of a change this will mean for me. But I want to try.

What used to be

In 2022 I shot images for a client project. The project was a photography book showing off Hamar. And even if this wasn’t the most technically demanding shoot, it was still a challenging task. We needed a lot of photos. All of them part of a whole, but unique at the same time.

I spent the whole summer collecting and creating images. I walked kilometer after kilometer with my camera pack on my back every day. And my mom still makes comments about my shape that summer (“Remember how far you were able to walk, Tonje?”).

After finishing the project I went to the cabin at Savalen for a week in September. It was just me and Zelda, and we hiked. Every morning and every evening. Sunrise and sunset. Even if it was overcast most of the week. We hiked, I captured images and video, and we made some core memories. And I remember thinking “this has been the best year in photography for me. I just want to keep going. This is me starting the right path.”

What’s to come with the ExoQuad

I haven’t shot a client project or hiked since. But with getting the ExoQuad, I’m hoping I’ll get back on that path.

And I’ll continue on another path that I started last summer. One where I brought the experience of collecting images for that clients photo book into the way I document life with my family. Only with the ExoQuad I’ll be able to document all of our memories, and not only the ones that are within the range of my crutches or manual wheelchair. The book of family photos from 2024 is going to be so massive. Family be warned;)

I guess what I’m trying to share is that I’m excited. I’m getting an ExoQuad, and with that I’m getting some of my favorite parts of life back. Can’t wait to show you where it takes me!

All the best,

Tonje

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