Marte Marie Forsberg: Visual Story Teller

This week we meet the marvellous, modest woman that is Marte Marie Forsberg. The Norwegian photographer has built up an avid following of over 200 thousand people via her beautiful visual diary of food and travel. After travelling the world for 15 years it was a photo on Instagram that bought her to her new home in Dorset, an idyllic white thatched roof cottage where she lives with her adorable dog Whiskey. We take it back to the beginning and see where it all began.

1. Where did you grow up?

I'm Born and raised in Norway on a tiny little island, I'm the last of 4 children so growing up I got to spend a lot of time with my beautiful parents. My Dad was out working and travelling a lot so I got to spend most of my time with my Mum in her kitchen and garden. The best place to be in the house was just sitting next to her on the kitchen counter cracking an egg making pancake batter or just watching her.

2. Is your Mum’s kitchen counter where your love for food first began?

I never really made a lot of food, in the beginning it was all about just observing her and participating in small tasks. We'd walk barefoot from the kitchen door into the garden and she'd talk to me about the different vegetables, plants and fruit trees. We'd make berry sodas, jams and porridges, and I just loved that smell and warmth that came from the kitchen. So when I started traveling at quite an early age, I just wanted to go out and explore the world with my food memory in mind.

"I think it’s important to get outside your comfort zone so this is what I did and I haven’t looked back."

3. Where did you study?

I was studying fashion design in Italy, when I finished that degree I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I completely changed gear and started Arabic, hebrew and middle eastern politics and economy at a University in America. Whilst I was doing that I really missed being creative like I was during my fashion studies and as a child in a creative household. I missed my Mum, I missed my family and I missed Norway so I began reminiscing, cooking and re-creating dishes from my childhood and around the same time I thought I have to take a creative class. I signed up for an introduction to photography course. My professor was a very handsome man and I totally fell in love (he was my age so there was nothing creepy about that) and also fell in love with photography at the same time. We ended up spending 3 and a half years together travelling. He's a very talented commercial american photographer so I got to observe his work, learn and explore photography by his side even though I never thought that I would be a photographer at the time, it was all a very natural process. I started to use food as my subject and this was the beginning.

4. After travelling for approximately 15 years you returned to Norway, what bought you back?

I parted ways as friends with my professor boyfriend and I moved back to Norway about 2 and a half years ago, I didn't really know what to do but I had studied fashion design, taken middle eastern studies, I loved to eat and take pictures, but I couldn’t work out what to do with all that. I came home and I had a long think about what I wanted to do with my life and it just seemed natural to pick up the camera again and build on my life experiences even if it didn't make sense with fashion design or middle eastern studies. As I was photographing I soon realised I was drawing upon all those things I have learnt in school, my travels and from being with my photography professor.

"A big focus for me is telling the stories behind the food, the who behind the brands and how they got to where they are."

5. When did you decide to position yourself as a professional photographer for the first time?

2 and a half years ago I launched my portfolio website probably before I was completely ready but when is the right time to go from being an amateur to a professional? I think it’s important to get outside your comfort zone so this is what I did and I haven’t looked back.

6. You now live in Dorset, what bought you here?

Instagram believe it or not! It was a year after I’d launched myself as a photographer and I was still living in Norway but on a shoot in Scotland, when I saw this white thatched cottage and I thought that’s my home, that’s it! It was in Shaftesbury and I’d been before as my friend had posted beautiful landscape shots and lived about an hour away so I vaguely knew of the area, I went to view the cottage the next day, signed for it, returned to Norway packed my bags and moved. I just knew and I wish I had that feeling more often but it just felt right.

7. Being a photographer you have to travel a lot, how do you manage a work/life balance?

My dog Mr Whiskey! I got him as I moved to Dorset and he grounds me, I’m able to say no to last minute jobs instead of dropping everything and whizzing off as I have to and want to stay with him. I travel about once a month instead of every week or so and I’m fortunate to be able to shoot a lot at home. One client flew in their whole team from the US and shot the campaign at my house, it was a dream waking up in my pyjamas and walking downstairs to shoot a fashion campaign in my living room.

8. What does the future hold for you?

I hope to continue to do what I do right now, telling stories around food and a couple of book projects in fact I don’t know how much I can say! I’m also really excited to be working on some film projects as opposed to photography and a big focus for me is telling the stories behind the food, the who behind the brands and how they got to where they are.

Marie's Website: mmforsberg.com
Marie's Instagram: @marte_marie_forsberg
Images: Fox and Favour (@foxandfavour)