CHIAROSCURO STYLE BY FREJA TROELSEN
Tell us about your life, where do you live currently? And could you please present your family? Some probably already know you, but could you present yourself and your family to those who don’t know you?
My name is Freja Troelsen, I just turned 31 and first, I am the mother of three children - Frigg (7), Fridtjof (5) and Hedvig (1). We live, my life partner Jonas, our children and I, in Copenhagen city in two apartments actually - next to each other. We needed more space and that was just the way it could be. It works - for now at least
What is your occupation? Does the ‘Woman and their children’ project still exist? Are you involved in any other projects right now?
I am a photographer. That is what I do and that is what I love to do the most. I am slowly finding my way back to work again after my maternity leave with Hedvig.
I hope to find the perfect balance between work life and motherhood by working with Forlaget Mammut and by starting to photograph professionally again.
One of my biggest wishes is to start a photography project about motherhood, maybe mine, maybe others - maybe both - and follow it through.
The last few years have been a long life lesson: you can’t do it all and you have to do something for yourself - not just for others - otherwise you will burn out.
So I aim to find that balance that gives me space and energy to do things I want even though I know it is a privilege.
What is motherhood for you?
My motherhood is the most important thing to me. I’m not sure I’m able to find the right words. Every time I’ve become a mother, I have lost my ground connection for a short while only to stand even stronger than before.
Motherhood makes me feel both fragile and strong. My life with my children is in the present and it is a gift - for me the greatest of life.
Your pictures remind me of the chiaroscuro style but could you please explain to our readers better how you would define your work?
(oh, thank you!) I try to work with what is in front of me. No big set-up or many props. I don’t plan a picture. I am a perfectionist and it is mostly a curse.
I used to plan my pictures down to every detail but it just left me not satisfied with my work because I had such a clear idea of *the perfect picture” before I even started and sometimes the work ended up perfect but I don’t like it even though I am a perfectionist. So I practiced letting go, going with the flow as they say and going with the light and seeing what happens. That is one thing I think defines my work: light.
What really inspires you?
I get really inspired by light - I see light before anything else and it is just a big part of my work and how I see the world. Everything is beautiful when the light shines on it.
And my children is a big endless inspiration to me. Without them I am not sure I would be photographing. I was studying to be a teacher when I became a mother for the first time but motherhood and the time with my first child made my creativity blossom.
How do you spend your relaxing time with your family?
My family and I enjoy being in nature - go for long walks. The best days are when we don’t have to achieve anything else than having a day and both Jonas and I value that a lot.
I also value alone time with the children - spend some time with one of them alone - it can be a whole day or just a walk. I often ask Frigg and Fridt (the two oldest) if they want to come and watch me drink coffee, and then we go to a coffee shop and just talk - and it is just a good time.
I don’t have much time for a hoppy - right now - it will come and that is okay - but I dye with plants, knit, sew, cook and generally try to create things with my hands - it gives me so much.
The values you teach to your little ones?
I try my best to teach my children to be good to others, the earth and to be good to themselves - and that they never need to be anything other than themselves.
Your photos convey a fresh, calm and supernatural air. Something that coincides with our slow fashion values as a brand. Could you tell us about your connection with sustainability?
I think sustainability by now has become a natural part of my thinking and my lifestyle. I think sustainability starts by being grateful for the life around us, by being sensuous in our being in the world and aware of everything we are gifted with every single day: the light, the sounds, the seasons and so on. Being that gives me the drive and desire to make sustainable choices.
You can see the work of Freja Troelsen and her family on her Instagram accounts and website: