My Story

I believe that creating a garden and tending to it on a daily basis is the best way to transform and maintain our health, both physically and mentally. Being in charge of a piece of land, even on a tiny scale, provides a sense of purpose and a little bit of influence in a time when it often feels like the natural world is crumbling around us.

 
 
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For almost a decade, my work as a sought-after destination wedding photographer took me far and wide around the country and the world. By the end of 2014, years of stress turned into a 6 month long depression. My collapse was caused by a combination of many events outside of my control as well as thoughtless choices: untreated trauma from my teenage years; becoming a mother and caring for two small children while starting my own business; ignoring every sign to slow down and completely neglecting my own physical and mental health. In the end my body simply gave up.  I was done.

I had to make dramatic changes in the way I treat myself, the way I eat, my bedtime, my approach to my work and my life in general. Learning to say no but thanks has been one of the toughest lessons of my life, and is a constant work in progress.

I do my best to take care of my body's most basic needs and my garden plays a huge role in that providing fresh air, movement, meditative work, and allows me the opportunity to create a space where nature and wildlife can thrive and give our family so much abundance in return. 

Having my hands deeply burried in the soil growing flowers and vegetables is my happy place. Capturing what I see with my camera makes me feel like this is what I was meant to do.

 
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt

- Margaret Atwood

 
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Sigridsminde in the 60s

Sigridsminde in the 60s

 

What is Sigridsminde?

Sigridsminde is at the centre of our family's desire to live a slow thoughtful life in harmony with nature and the changing seasons, and being as self-sufficient as possible. 

For those who do not speak Danish, Sigridsminde means In memory of Sigrid. Sigrid was a kind hearted woman who took in my father-in-law when he was very young and became like a mother to him. The family still clearly recalls how Sigrid used to walk around in the garden in the last few years of her life, with her head scarf and apron on, feeding the chickens. It was always in the cards that the farm should stay within the family and I had always wanted to live in a place similar to where I grew up. The potential of the farm became a shared dream for my husband and I. 

Since we took over from my parents-in-law, in 2009, we have planted hundreds and hundreds of trees and shrubs. Bit by bit, we continue to transform pesticide-exhausted monoculture farmland into chemical-free woodland, wild life corridors, flower meadows, hedgerows, and wild garden areas where nature thrives. It is our hope that we can one day complete this wild-ification with all the land we own.

In the spring of 2014, we found a carpenter who specialises in hand-cut wooden signs and had a little 'ceremony' where we named the house 'Sigridsminde' in honour of the woman who embodied many of the values we share. Every time we enter our driveway and see that wooden sign, it reminds us why we have chosen the life we have. 

 

 

F.A.Q.s

 

What equipment do you use to create your photos?

I always say that my work comes from my heart and eyes not my gear, but I get why you ask. I started out 10 years ago with a rather crappy (the digital quality wasn't the best back then) Olympus camera and still managed to get a good start in wedding photography and only upgraded when I got better than what my camera could help me create. So don't be discouraged if you can't afford the most expensive pro equipment just now. There's time to grow :-) You can read more about my gear and editing in the Resources section.

What is it like living on a small island?

I get this questions a lot and you can read all about it in my blogpost here.

Do you offer workshops?

I've got a few workshops ideas that are rumbling around in my head. They are mostly focused on home and garden, intentional living and creativity and visual storytelling. If you know you will not be able to attend a physical workshop here on the farm, my upcoming online Garden Life photography course might be something for you. Either way, feel free to sign up to my email list, and you will be the first to know when things are up and running.

Would you like to collaborate on putting together a workshop or retreat?

I am all for collaboration! Feel free to email me at info@camillajorvad.com and tell me about yourself and your idea, and we'll see if it's a perfect match :-)

Do you collaborate with brands / Can we hire you to photograph our product?

Yes, I frequently collaborate with creatives, farmers, artists and small businesses and brands with a focus on sustainability and quality. You can find out more and enquire about pricing and availability on my portfolio site.

I am coming to Aeroe island for a holiday or weekend. What do you suggest I do/see during my stay?

You can get the full scoop on the very best the island has to offer in my personal guide to Ærø island but here is my top three:

  • Homemade ice cream (the world's best!!) with both classics and unique flavours at Cafe Aroma on the harbour in Ærøskøbing. (my personal favourites are Mango sorbet, Black Sesame, Peach sorbet and Liquorice)

  • My favourite area on the island is the protected cliffs at Voderup Klint on the South-West coast.

  • A lunch at and visit to the cosy cafe and shop at Den Gamle Købmandsgaard on the town square in Ærøskøbing.