It's been so long I almost feel like I should introduce myself again, but nah, this is my blog and I'm still the same as the last time I was here.
No need for any "what have you done these last few months?" because we all know nothing happens every day is the same and when all this is over blah blah.
Let's skip that.
I wanted to talk about my new hobby. Film photography.
It starts years ago actually, but maybe this is when it takes off for real?
David got me an old Rollop Lipca for my birthday a couple of years ago. I've been wanting to shoot more on film (I took classes in film development when I was in my early twenties and ever since then it's been a dream of sorts).
The Rollop Lipca stood on a shelf for a long time. I didn't understand the manual- it was for a similar camera but not exactly the same- and I worried I would somehow destroy the camera before I even got to use it.
This winter though, I decided to get to know it for real. I took photos around the house and a couple of self portraits.
Last week I had them developed and it was SO exciting receiving the email with a huge zip file with my very first roll of 120mm photos.
Some of them were a bit too shaky, some where just not that great (you have to manually roll the film forward after every shot and it's not completely easy to get it exact, so there was one instant when the top of David's head ended up in the bottom of a photo of my fiddle Leaf Fig). But I did get a few that I actually really like. let's take a look, shall we?
Figuring out how to get the focus sharp for self portraits is definitely something that I have to figure out, but I really love the look of these two self portraits. They feel like great encouragement.
This window is a constant source of inspiration for me. The combination of dark shadows and bright soft light just gets me going.
I love this photo, it came out even better than I expected.
Dramatic backlit monstera, is another one of my things.
This one obviously came out WAY too shaky but I still wanted to share it because this journey is not about being perfect. I'm learning, and the great thing with film photo is that the mistakes can still be charming- I mean it looks warm a cozy as hell, right?!

But now you're saying "The title of this blog post mentions TWO rolls of film, so what's up with that, Lotta?"
Well, I'll tell you in a second, if you'd just CALM DOWN.
Before David and I got married, way back in 2013 we found an old Carena Micro RSD 35mm camera at a flea market in Sweden. We wanted our wedding to be photographed by our friends, with different types of cameras, so we ended up having it documented on a Polaroid, a DSLR, mobile phones of course, and then this little Carena.
The wedding photos turned out great, and I kept using the Carena all through that autumn.
Then in March 2014 I loaded it with a black and white film and brought it along for a weekend in our home town visiting our families.
There was one major thing that happened in March 2014, and that was that our short film Lights Out went viral.
And that happened the exact day as David took this photo of me sitting in my parent's kitchen sofa with sunlight in my eye, completely unknowing of how our lives were about to change.
Dramatic skies over the bridge Munksjöbron in our hometown Jönköping.
This is the gate to the courtyard of the apartment building where my parents and I lived up until I was 9 years old. I must have been feeling nostalgic walking past this place to take a picture.
It's also quite nice to see that my love for photographing places where shadows and light meet has always been there.
I took these three photos in Sund, just outside of Jönköping.
I think this was taken almost exactly a year later, in March 2015, when David's mother, Agnetha, came to visit us in Gothenburg right before we were about to leave to go to LA to make Lights Out- the feature film.

And when we left Sweden I decided to bring the Carena camera with me...
A blurry self portrait of me dancing in the apartment we were finally able to get in LA in 2016 after having to rent airbnb's for a year. We had almost no furniture for the longest time.
And then we bought our house.
And I filled it with plants.
And as usual I fell in love with the light and the shadows.
Somewhere around here I had forgotten about the roll of film and opened up the camera for a quick second before I realized my mistake. So a couple of photos was just white blur, but this one here turned out quite beautiful in all its faded moodiness.
And then we'll end this with another photo of the dramatic monstera- one of my biggest sources of inspiration.

Looking through the photos from this roll of film was quite emotional- our whole journey was in there.
Even though I kept forgetting about the Carena, I always picked it back up again.
Now there is a new roll of film in it and I won't let it sit for years this time.
And as for the Rollop Lipca, our journey together has just started. I feel so inspired, for the first time in a long time.
It makes me wonder, where will we be in 6 years? What moments will I have covered by then?

/Lotta
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When all this is over we will remember the routines we made in these out of the ordinary times.
We will remember the lunches we had on our shaded patio every single day.
How I learned to make Bao, the perfect sushi rice, fresh pasta, Japanese Milkbread, fish tacos, salmon tartines worthy of any fancy restaurant, and how we had Swedish pancakes on Sundays.
We’ll remember how the sun made its way through the ceiling of oak tree branches and created glittering spots of light on the table.
How our collection of serving bowls and platters had to grow substantially because my culinary adventures demanded it- and how fun it was to search for, and then find, the perfect vintage pieces for sauces, salads and potatoes.
We’ll remember the afternoon naps we took on the small patio sofa, entwined ~just so~ to fit. The sound of a leaf blower somewhere in the neighborhood, the wind chimes we’d not been able to locate, the smell of weed drifting over from the girl living next to us, the toddler screaming in the house across, the buzzing of a hummingbird flying by over our heads, and the fighting between the two squirrels that both seemed to have decided they alone deserved to live and reign in these tree tops.
We’ll surely remember the evening walks. Up and down dwindling streets, muffled hellos through face masks to neighbors we didn’t know we had before. The cheery HI! from the celebrity that always seemed so happy to see us even though we’d never met and didn’t know each other.
The street corners where the sun always blinded us if weren’t wearing sunglasses, the hills that raised the pulse, the ugly party house where we once saw an inflatable flamingo that had flown over the wall and onto the street.
We’ll also remember the sandwiches we ate on the balcony after our walks, right when the sun was setting behind the trees. How we could sit out there every single evening and never tire of it.
(We’ll always remember the love we have for our house.)
We’ll remember all the movies we watched (maybe not exactly what they were about- we all know I forget every movie five minutes after the credits has rolled), how it took us forever to choose which 90s action movie we wanted to rewatch that night, and David’s shock when he learned I had not seen a particular film (only to realize 30 minutes into the movie that I had, in fact, already seen it).
How my (already staggering) popcorn consumption went through the roof those months, but movies demand popcorn, and we saw so many; curled up on the sofa, forgetting for a little while that outside roared a pandemic.

The world this year was upside down and the history books will be full of statistics, facts and data that will shape the way we see our future for many many years to come. Injustices came to the surface and people will have too many memories of unfairness and stuff they wish they could forget.
But these things here are for us to choose to remember when the books will not.
I’ve thought about this place a lot lately. I guess that’s why I’m here, again, talking with you.
It’s been so long since I wrote anything meant for this space.

I’ve been evolving.

I had a few months when I had to write only for myself, when I needed to just ramble without filtering feelings and thoughts. It was good, I think. Then I stopped doing that. I didn’t need it anymore. That was good too.
And then the months flew by with Actually Having Real Stuff To Do and oh wow the difference was overwhelming.
At the start of this year I thought a lot about what I wanted to change in my life, and then a week ago I realized I had actually done it. Or at least I’m well on my way towards it.
You know when you’re sad and you say to yourself “If I just had this or if I just had that, everything would be so much better” but you also think “maybe I’m not good enough for this or that” but you work hard, or you let time do its thing, you’re patient (or not so patient but time sure goes anyway), and all of a sudden you have Those Things and yes that WAS exactly what was missing?
Well, that was what happened to me.
One of those things was theater.
I’ve missed it. And now I have it.
It’s just a class. But there is no “just” about it. Because it’s been life changing.
It took a fleeting self confidence, roped it back, secured it safely, right where it belonged, smack dab in the middle of the heart.

I mentioned that I had been thinking about this place lately.
And then, the other day, someone wrote on twitter how much they love this blog.
This previously dying space.
I was surprised.
I went here and I read three pages back and I felt proud of my words. I liked them a lot. Even though the posts have been sporadic, they have been worth it. They have been good.
I’ve missed blogging, but the past five years’ changes in life-privacy-work made it so difficult to know what to make of this place. I can’t go back to blogging the way I used to- I can only move forward- and I really would like this little corner of the internet to be a part of it. If possible.

So if you see me here more than usual, don’t be surprised. And likewise; if you see me here just as sporadically as in the past couple of years, don’t be surprised by that either.
Any of it is worth it.
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We’re getting used to rainy days. I bring my umbrella, because I know I will need it later.
People around me are dressed for the weather in a way I haven’t seen Angelenos before. Prepared.
This morning I opened the bathroom window and saw that our patio had turned into a pool. The rain was pouring down so hard and fast it was almost impossible to see anything through the water.
Five Lyft drivers gave up on their way here, but the sixth one made it. I was just about to give up and call it a rain day, when Alejandro drove up next to our house and took me through the flooded streets of Hollywood trafficked by Angelinos who are learning how to drive in heavy rain.
And believe it or not, right now the sun is shining through thick grey skies and the pool on our patio is more of a puddle.

We had a visit from a mountain lion early yesterday morning. He jumped over the stone wall, ran smoothly across our garden and took the stairs up the hill. Security cameras are great for spotting wildlife and mailmen.
Magnolias and Camellias are in bloom all over town, and it’s so green it surprises me every day.
The other week I was out walking when I suddenly had to stop; it smelled just like Sweden in the summertime. It hit me so hard, in the most wonderful way. I stood there and sniffed the air for a good while, laughing and trying to remember what exactly it was that made it feel like Sweden. Lush green plants, soaked through grounds after heavy rainfalls, a nearby lake, sunshine on wet asphalt, and a whiff of seagrass.

I miss the warmth.
We have a lot to long for right now. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime kind of spring, by the looks of it.
The things I long for the most though comes after, when we have time for Sunday afternoon naps again, entwined just so to fit on the narrow couch, breakfasts in the sun at our favorite cafe, walking to the sushi place for lunch, and hanging around our house together- just being.
The small things, are the important things.

/Lotta
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