It's with a full heart and a huge sense of gratitude that I sit down and write while my images from this morning are uploading in the background. It isn't every day I am excited to get up at 5am. It isn’t every day I get to spend time with four beautiful souls consciously living their best life.
It was the local community board that connected me to this incredible young family, wandering Australia in trusty Lloyd, their artfully fitted out school bus - aka 'home'. Drawn to their words as they sought land to park on while they observed the uncertainty kicked up by covid, I knew immediately these were my kind of people. Later via Instagram, I was drawn to Marthe's (Mac) gentle beauty, Jed’s magnetic 'smeyes' and their off grid ways. While their stay in Tassie was sadly cut short, their time in Byron was my win and I just knew I was going to have to document their wonderful world.
Jed and Mac's love story began in Oslo, when a serendipitous nudge sent Jed to Norway, instead of London like the majority of his mates at the time. Jed Harris and Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik (meaning father's daughter) dated for a year before moving to Aus to travel the country in their Landy. They spent years living in different zones before moving to Margaret River when they became parents. Ellida (4) and Embla (2), their divine blonde urchin haired daughters, not only made them mama and papa, but made them a true tribe, giving them increased motivation to be together more.
As renters at the time, they considered the traditonal idea of home ownership, bill payments and the rest, but after taking a few hits from the system back in WA during the process, these two reevaluated EVERYTHING. The concept of roaming wild again in a bus as a home, previously only an idea in its embryonic stages, took legitimate shape and together they birthed 'Lloyd'. While they still call Margaret River home to a degree, they do not miss their house bound life, particularly as it was a life in which Jed spent big chunks of time working away from his three favourite girls wanting nothing more than to be home.
Once the decision was made, while still working FIFO, Jed renovated and kitted out Lloyd himself over 18 months. Together Mac and Jed's vision has brought to life a family home that is not only functional but oh so beautiful. It is cosy, open, and best of all, sustainable. Lloyd boasts a compost toilet, solar panels and a mini pot belly stove for starters.
Harris Snorresdotter Family 1 : The System 0.
Of course living in a bus comes with a few limitations, perhaps as the babes grow or when car spots are hard to come by, but for the most part, it suits them all down to the ground. They have manifested a life where Jed can be a stay at home dad for his girls, absorbing them both in all their wonder as they grow, while indulging in his other favourite things like surfing and spear fishing whenever the mood takes him. Being a certified holistic baby sleep consultant means Marthe is able to work wherever they drop anchor. A passionate advocate of community, she is launching a parenting podcast next month aptly named 'It Takes a Village'. Not many people can say they have this much flexibility or love for what they do, every single day.
The four of us had met up a couple of times prior to our shoot and I had a clear vision already of what I wanted to be able to create for them, but it wasn't until I was in the bus this morning, at first light, with a near gale punishing Lloyd's exterior, that I really felt at home. Not until I was sharing their intimate space and talking in depth to their darling girls did the enormity of 'random' connections such as these dawn on me. Fortuitous friendships like this may start on social media but they end up filling your heart and lighting up your soul. To say I'm inspired by these two and the life they have created for their family would be an understatement.
Their girls are growing up every day not only under their Mum's wing but also under their Dad's. This in itself is not only (sadly) a rarity, but such an inordinate advantage in life. Something the girls will discover for themselves as they navigate their future. Ellida and Embla are energetic but calm, confident but discerning enough, they are inquisitive, open, adventurous, empathetic and generous. In other words they have all the wonderful attributes of their parents. They are so very nurtured. They are whole. In short, they are blessed. They are the children this world needs.
Thank you beautiful ones for letting me be a part of your family for a short while. I feel nothing short of honoured and uplifted.
In the words of papa Jed... 'Don't wait for a life changing event to change your life'.
“Some days I take for granted this life we live. I forget how hard we worked to get here and the sacrifices we made. There were many. It’s just life now. A great life. But then I look over and see how far and strong the connection between Jed and his girls have grown and I’m reminded of where we used to be. He’s always working away and dying to be with us. I was exhausted from always being on my own and trying to be everything for our girls to fill the hole. And so I’m gently reminded of how f**cking grateful I am to be where we are today. Not from luck but from hard work, sacrifices and determination. And it was all worth it to be able to give our girls this rare gift of time and presence."
“When we moved into the bus a year ago I let go of so much worry and thought about what was going to happen in the future. I finally began to trust our path and things that will unfold for us exactly how they were meant to be. And I can honestly say that after pushing sh*t uphill for years, as soon as we moved into the bus we have had such good fortune. Everything has worked out and things feel right. I’m not sure if that is acceptance or manifestation but either way it feels good.”