22 October 2010

About me

Lately when I have been asking for advise, I am stopped half sentence and recommended to simply replace words with action. To just go ahead and do it. To a procrastinator this is pretty earth shattering. But putting things off and just talking about them have not really worked for me, so I am willing to try a new approach. Ever since I started this blog, the "about me" section has been taunting me, daring me to explain myself. So with no further delay I give you "about me":

I am the result of a one night stand, and as such the child of a single parent. I have seen plenty of examples of how well this scenario can turn out, but this was not one of them. The kindest thing I can tell you about my mother is that she was unfit to be one. But that did not stop her from having my sister, the younger child that in many ways became my responsibility. Against all odds we grew up, mainly due to some very responsible grandparents and a sweet elderly neighbour, that I can only now think of as angles. I was born and raised in Copenhagen, and I spent a large part of my not so childhood in the basement art gallery facing a church in the centre of the city.

Learning to read was at the time the single most important thing that had ever happened to me, and later learning to write saved my life. I suspect that growing up lonely has a lot to do with the way I see the world today. In some areas of life I am blind as a bat, but in others I see things perhaps more clearly than most.

By the time I finished high school I was fed up with being told what to do. I stuck it out on an empty stomach (I still don't understand how I could deny myself food, when I loved it so much), only because I loved singing, and being a part of a community. I got my own apartment, job and boyfriend, and managed to at least look like I fit in. And maybe I did. But as anyone who have been to or grew up in hell will tell you, the transition is not smooth. After a good fight I got accepted to the Danish School of Design's line of Fashion, where it took me nearly three years to recognise that my love for fashion lies in the accessories. 

I left for what I must be careful to call a series of extended visits to New York, and leave it at that. My boyfriend was a photographer, I was surrounded by cameras, all we had in the fridge was film, and still I did not see what was right in front of me. Blind as a bat, I tell you.

Later I worked as a stylist, which landed me (and my friend Pernelle Caspersen) a gig on Danish morning TV talking about fashion. I started my own company designing accessories, and it was only then that I finally got around to taking pictures. At the time the free postcards was a cool thing here, mainly because the art director was a woman with balls the size of watermelons, and her very own razor sharp sense of style. I can see no other explanation as to why she would allow the creative team that was me and my friend do this:

Pixelated stills

Heavily pixelated stills made from a small movie, with our favorite model Sara Bro.

Postcard paparazzi style

A kitchen shot from the paparazzi inspired series, intentional orange skin, flash, scrapings and all.

This was just an extension of what we did anyway: playing dress up with our friends, partying and taking pictures. It seemed only natural that we take it to the next level. With nothing resembling experience, a budget or a business plan we launched "Mamarazzi Studios" with a bang.

Once upon an invitation

Over the next year we transformed people with wigs, props and make up, my friend in charge of hair and make up, and me behind the camera, portraying women in a variety of identities. The dress up part was not about disguising who you were, but rather to uncover more sides. The prints were reworked with sandpaper, paint and anything we had handy. We got a lot of attention and a couple of front pages in the press, and we had truckloads of fun, but after a year of not getting paid, it was all we could afford. What a luxury it was to just do it, and how un-procrastinated of me, really, come to think of it.


Because of the concept it made sense to use people already known to most Danes, when building our portfolio, and fortunately they were happy to play with us. Above is TV hostess Cecilie Frøkjær.
Karen and Maria

Singers Miss Mukupa and Maria Montell


Actress Iben Hjejle.

Raised to believe there is no tomorrow, I never really planned for anything. Every penny I made from my design business I spend travelling the world and partying hard. Running. My last stop a few years back was the year I spend in Amsterdam. Only there did I realise how much I missed and love Copenhagen. I am finally done running. And with that came also the obvious subject of the blog I had been thinking about making. Which brings us to today.

(this is the longest post I have ever made, I wonder if you are still here?)

Even now that I have allowed for the concept of thinking long term, some things you just can't plan. If you know what I mean? All I know is that I am done procrastinating. Any day now.


  1. So Whats up!?

    Whatever it is I am 100% certain that you can pull it off.

    Hugs Morfar

  2. I loved today's post. I've been reading CC for about a year, drawn to the exquisite and funky images of a city I visited once seven years ago and have been thinking about ever since.

    I am so appreciative of this blog, and the way you share the things you see on the streets, in the corners and in plain view. Thank you for sharing this everyday beauty.

  3. Phew Sandra, this could fill many, many posts - you've lived 3 lives already and hey, off to the next step. I think you are a cool, very strong person! (P.S. My love for photography started when I dated a photographer = little food too, lots of other stuff, and a daughter. But he's no more...) BIG HUG!

  4. Wow. Tak for historien, Sandra.
    Du har et af de største hjerter jeg har set i blogland og et af de skarpeste blik. Power to you.

  5. What a wonderful post. Thank you for this.

  6. You have all made me so happy with you sweet comments, thank you so much.

    I er så søde!

  7. This post was great! Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself. Let's hope that after quitting procrastination you'll still have time and write for us :)

    By the way, I love the new header picture :0

  8. This post was the only one taking its time to get out. Other than that I can't stop myself writing for you. And I am glad you like the new header, it kept me up last night, procrastinating a good nights sleep. :-D

  9. hey sandra, what a story! so moving and interesting... and so brave to tell your story to the world. this is something i admire. and i love the work! nice to know you better :)))

  10. Hello, and nice to meet you :) I'm glad we're all here in this little space.

    Your childhood sounds much like my wife's, in some ways. Her mother was a single mother who was not fit to be a mother (still isn't), my wife was basically raised by her grandmother and great-grandmother (she's never met her actual father), and then her mother got married, and had another daughter, which they treat as an inconvenience and a bad child, but do nothing to help her except feed her terrible food and put a roof over her head - we love her dearly and are glad when she can come visit and stay with us, and we just hope she cares enough to get herself out of that situation she's in now and do something better with the rest of her life. She's a good kid.

    Thanks for sharing the photos and the stories, and best wishes for doing exactly what you need to do. Cheers!

  11. Hi Carole, I am happy you feel that way, and that you like the work. It seems like a lifetime ago, I miss messing with colors. :-)

    Hello Portlandize, yes this is a cosy place to hang out, I agree, and so nice of you all to drop by. I am sad for your wifes sister, but sometimes all a person need to stay sane and on track is just one person on her side, and it sounds like she has that. Thank you for the good wishes, it was so nice to hear from you again.

  12. i always told you to write, and you are so good in this!! I love how you wrote your story. love the blog! MARE

  13. Hello Mare, I know you told me so... I am happy you like it!


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