It’s officially Ilana fan week.
I wrote about her inspiring Bibliotek Barnstugan the other day and a few weeks earlier I had the pleasure of having a portrait session with her. Ilana’s just taken the leap into a career as a poet and wanted new photos to represent this new life of hers. Her physical beauty is obvious, but I also wanted to capture the beautiful soul that she has. She is such an intelligent, creative, passionate and strong person. She feels deeply and loves just as deeply.
Ilana and I have a lot in common. We both love and have a fascination for Sweden but we both also come from warmer, sunnier countries and share the occasional homesickness and frustration about the winter darkness and everything that goes along with it.
For her portrait session she wanted to go back to her roots. Back to her first home in Sweden after she moved from Brazil. She’s writing a book about this time, so it felt right to be there. So we met at the cafe where she used to spend lazy Sundays with her love. We strolled along Götgatan and to her first apartment. The quaint little street is lined with beautiful old apartment buildings, all with their own stories. She told me about when she found out that behind each building was a courtyard with a garden. A whole world that you could only access if you had the right code. I still get goosebumps when I remember her telling me that it’s like a metaphor for life in Sweden.
There’s a whole world going on behind closed doors that you only have access to if you have the right code.
It can be so hard to create new friendships and feel at home. If you just have the right code though, some way of opening up the doors and letting yourself in, there so much beauty to be found. I know there may also be a lot of sadness to the metaphor, but I thought it was beautiful. It’s exactly how it feels for me, but instead of feeling sad, it makes me happy. I feel like I’ve cracked the code (at least most of the time).
I’m so grateful to have had this time with Ilana and to share these portraits with her. I can’t wait to see where her new career takes her. See one of her poems here. You can see some more of her work here.