Tonje Lilleås

My favorite images of 2020 – Blogmas Day 9

2020 has been a crazy year for all of us. Even if it isn’t over yet I want to give you my favorite images of 2020 to show you that it hasn’t been all bad.

Springtime in the forest

When choosing my favorite images of 2020, I was never in doubt that I had to include at least one image from the photoshoot I did with Big Brother and Baby Boy in the local forest this spring. They’re just too cute. I love how they show both our boys’ personalities and how much they’ve grown over the last year.

When choosing my favorite from the shoot I had to go with one that also shows how the relationship between them has developed. This year there’s been no doubt that Big Brother really is exactly that; a big brother. He teaches Baby Boy new words and skills, he helps him out when he needs a hand down the stairs from our porch and he teases him when Baby Boy has gotten too much attention. Just like a big brother should. And Baby Boy looks up to him in such a profound way. I love watching the magical moments between them. Just as much as I have to remind myself that their bickering is so, so important in developing a healthy relationship and sense of self.

Sunset in the mountains

I’ve enjoyed many sunsets this year, as a lot of the year has been focused on outdoor life. This isn’t special for 2020, but what is special is exactly how important getting outside has been for staying healthy mentally. And it’s no surprise that more than one of my favorite images of 2020 are images from our outdoor lifestyle.

This year we’ve almost spent every day just the four of us. And it’s been great for our family spirit. We’ve become even more close knit. And because we’ve done so well at prioritizing outdoor life, family adventures in nature, we’ve not had any major breakdowns this far. But I do think that’s partly also because we’ve made it possible to give each other some space from time to time.

When my bike was stolen when summer was about to start, we went to the cabin for a few days. We had amazing weather and just enjoyed spending time at the beach by the lake. One evening I got to bring my new bike to a nearby lake for sunset. It was probably the most magical evening for me this year.

Of the many images from this evening, I think this image of cotton grass is my favorite. It reminds me of having a whole summer of magical moments ahead of us. Of the mosquito bites itching like crazy and the sound of total silence.

Summer at home

I didn’t think I was going to get to go home this year. Our plans for Easter in Sunnmøre were cancelled, then we had to cancel our plans for going to Finland to visit my brother. But as the first wave of lockdowns was over, we got to go for a road trip to visit family and the places we love this summer anyway.

Choosing a favorite image from a whole road trip isn’t easy. But nevertheless when I managed to it really wasn’t that difficult. I’ve wanted to shoot something like this image for years. Even though it didn’t turn out exactly like I had planned, it is most certainly an image that reminds me where my happy place is. I’ve been asked to go to my happy place many times in therapy. And I have to ask which one. When asked what they have in common, the answer is easy. It’s the mountains. Always the mountains.

Adventuring alone

I try to get at least one week of pure creative output each year. It’s a blessing and privilege to be able to. This year I wanted to stay at the cabin for a week by myself. Just shoot images and video, hike and relax in one of my happy places. I didn’t get to do that. But I had a version of it while I had some work to do in the area where the cabin lies. I won’t combine work and creative output that way again. It didn’t work that well for me, I didn’t go home feeling rebooted the way I usually do. But I did get a few nice images nonetheless.

My favorite among the images from this week isn’t necessarily the best image I’ve shot, but it’s an image from the one moment I felt I was really charging my batteries throughout the week. Sitting in the top of a tree, taking in the area that I know so well and just breathing.

Portraits of the boys

I’ve shot so many portraits of the boys this year. I think they’ve gone from finding it exciting, to being tired of it and wanting me to put away the camera, to being used to behaving like normal whenever I shoot. I love scrolling through the images looking at how much they’ve grown. Especially Baby Boy. He’s gone from being a baby to a toddler with his very own opinions on everything. So smart and clever and funny, my heart melts whenever he smiles his most charming smile at me.

I really can’t choose one portrait that is my favorite, but here’s a selection. I love the natural portraits that isn’t part of a planned session. When I capture them, not someone they try to show in front of the camera.

The screensaver

For the longest time this year I’ve had this one image as my screensaver on my phone. I think it speaks for itself, it’s summer and freedom and playing and being carefree. And it’s no doubt one of my favorite images of the year.

The Christmas lights

You’ve probably seen this last image recently during Blogmas. If you haven’t, then please check out the post that it’s from. I had been lacking motivation and energy for a while, and needed to get out to shoot. Do something totally different. And I didn’t know what images I was after, I just wanted to work a small area and see what I could come up with. It was pretty magical when this scene appeared. Nothing grand, just a few black pebbles on a tiny beach. Lit by the sun in a stunning, warm light. It looked like loads of Christmas lights. Magic. Making me remember that soon Christmas will be here.

So that’s it, my favorite images of 2020. It’s been such a different year than expected, and I think my images and creations reflects that. I’m so looking forward to 2021, hoping I get to photograph new landscapes and more of both the people I love and the people I have yet to meet. I’m so thankful for every single one of you who show up and read this blog, who follow my creations on Instagram and who’ve watched my videos on YouTube. It really does make a difference to know that there are people out there appreciating what I share with the world. I hope I see you all tomorrow for another day of Blogmas!



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