Me shooting Karin at a local theater. Photo by Andreas Lundholm

Karin and I are connecting even deeper as we are exploring concepts and ideas for future photo shoots.  I love how she is always triggering my creativity by sending me photos of herself in various moods. “I got in the mood” she wrote earlier this week and took a selfie with a lot of attitude, standing on the WC in a small train passenger toilet. She really is a muse. I love her dearly. “I believe in you so much Karin. If you master the art of demanding space without feeling apologetic, nothing can stop you from reaching the stars. I want to help get there.” I wrote. “I knew it from the second I first saw you.”

I have so many ideas for new projects with Karin, hopefully we’ll meet up soon to discuss them. I miss her. I miss my muse. However, somewhere in my heart, I can’t help feeling a little guilty for moving on from the times I shared with Domenique. She will always be missed. But new times, new visions – new muses. My artist-heart is in love.

Me shooting Karin at a local theater. Photo by Andreas Lundholm

The first photos of Karin

While I am still editing this week’s photo shoot with Camilla, I took a little break so I could work on my first photos of Karin, the ‘muse’ girl I met a month ago. She’s an actress and I see so much talent and star quality in her. I love these photos and my camera simply adores her.

How to approach a potential muse – part II

Me and Karin earlier today.

Remember the girl I saw a few weeks ago, who could be a potential muse but I didn’t know how to approach her (read the post here)? Well, I did approach her with my wish to get to know her and to put her into my work somehow. She said: “Yes, I would like that very much”.

An artist has a heart within the heart dedicated only to creativity and artistic expressions – and sometimes it falls in love with a theme, an obsession, a person or a place. This happened to my artist heart when I first saw this girl. Her name is Karin, a young and promising Swedish actress. We will be collaborating with some creative ideas soon and I just want to capture her beauty and energy with my camera.

I feel so inspired. My artist heart is filled with both love and new ideas. ♥

How to approach a potential muse?

It very rarely happens that I meet someone who naturally embodies the essence of my art. It happened with Domenique. She was my friend but became my muse, something very honorable for a person – and for an artist as well. It is like a love affair, but only through the creativity. Platonic of course.

With my muse Domenique, 2007

a self portrait reflected through Domenique’s sunglasses

Domenique is and has been unavailable for our collaboration for many years. Her life is entangled in various destructive elements and now it’s not even possible for me to see her anymore, even though she’s only two hours away.

I am a portrait photographer – I love to explore the edge between fiction and documentary and concepts like identity and sanity through my pictures. I haven’t been an active photographer for almost 7 years since I had to sell my camera to buy a better computer for my digital art.

When Johnny got me the Canon camera for my birthday, all these new ideas popped up in my mind. I could do this, I could try that. But I have no model. No muse.

from our collaborations:

And then it happened. I saw her entering the room. A new girl. A new possible muse. She was perfect. My “artist heart” was in love. I learned her name, we chatted for a while and I felt like a predator about to go after her grey at any moment. But I don’t know how to approach her with my visions. I want to take her photo. I want to make her my muse.

I have to come up with a good plan so I won’t scare her. Being a muse is a privilege but it’s an intimate relationship between the artist and the model, actor or whomever might trigger the art nerve. It is so much about trust and a shared intuition. Ingmar Bergman had many muses – he called Liv Ullmann his Stradivarius.

Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann

I will let you know when I’ve dared to ask her to pose for me  – and if she would be comfortable to work with me. If not, she’ll always be the muse that got away. 

The stories behind my art: “Dreamgirl”


“Dreamgirl” by Mia Makila, 2012 (digital mixed media)

I created the digital piece “Dreamgirl” in 2012, 3 years after I took the photograph of my muse Domenique that I used as a base for the digital artwork.

The photo session with Domenique was inspired by “The Last Sitting” – by Bert Stern where he snapped the last pictures of Marilyn Monroe before they were featured in Vogue the same year she died.


From “The Last Sitting” photo session by Bert Stern (1962) where Marilyn Monroe where posing officially for the last time in her life.

My original photograph of Domenique that I used for “Dreamgirl”:


My original photo of my muse Domenique, posing as Marilyn, inspired by Stern’s pictures.

I also made two other versions of “Dreamgirl” by painting and adding new details and textures to the original fine art print:

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Outtakes from my Marilyn photo session with Domenique: DSC_0135sssmarilyn14DSC_0219aaasmarilyn31DSC_0339

The story behind my art: “Natascha”

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In the summer of 2009 I was involved in a voluminous photography collaboration with my muse Domenique. Every week we would meet up at a diner and have brainstorming sessions, coming up with characters and planning props, costumes and make up for. We were playing around with the concept of ‘identity’ – inspired by Cindy Sherman of course. I would write scripts for the characters, we would visit vintage stores to buy the necessary outfits and props. I was lucky that Domenique is a make-up artist and a hair stylist as well as a model because I don’t have any talent for those things. Instead, I was the photographer and the ‘director’ during the photo shoots.

But the ‘Natascha suite’ wasn’t something we planned, it just happened – thanks to Domenique’s creative mind.

That day we were supposed to shoot another project, but when Domenique knocked on my front door, dressed in one of those Elizabethan collars (her dog had just been sick), barking at me and telling me she’s got this cool idea about a ‘wolf lady’, we found ourselves planning a new project, in the heat of the moment, and we had so much fun during the photo shoot, you can tell that I couldn’t stop laughing behind my camera:


I love this photo session because it was such a creative day, when something unexpected takes over something planned and controlled.

natscha4You can see more of my photography projects with Domenique at my tumblr blog THE MUSE AND THE CAMERA.