Maëlick in the North

Toy Photography in Northern Finland, Sweden and Norway

Photography Diary – December 2020

The year is coming to an end, and I feel like running late on so many fronts. In my last diary post, I wrote about hoping to be able to write a post at Stuck in Plastic about my major achievement of 2020 and a reflection post about my creative journey in 2020. Unfortunately, this will have to be postponed to 2021.

Card exchange

The big event of the month has been our annual card exchange at Stuck in Plastic. During the month, cards arrived in my mailbox. Still, I only opened most of them after Christmas as I was away from home for almost two weeks.

This year, the choice for my own card was a photo of the Bellville Snow Queen I took in March. The Snow Queen is among the figures I photographed the most this year and I still hadn’t shared any of my images yet. I thought it was now time to show the outcome of what I’ve been working on in 2020. Still, this will most likely stay a small teasing. I will keep working on this series of photos next year and want to keep the result to myself while the project matures.

My best photo of 2020?

Being so busy lately, I kind of missed Flickr’s annual “best shot of the year” challenge/contest. While I don’t think there is such thing as a “best” photo of the year, I like to use this opportunity to reflect on the photo(s) that best represent the past year.

I only picked the photo this week and landed on my Snow Queen photo from the card exchange. This year, I decided to not spend days trying to pick one even though there were a few other good candidates. I had already spent time picking a photo for the card exchange… And my selection criterion just happened to be the same.


This month, I went to Oulanka for work. As I was in urgent need of holidays, I had initially planned to stay there at least until the solstice. I had plans to explore the area. In particular, I wanted to go to Ruka to try my brand new country skis, to Riisitunturi do some snowshoeing, and stop in Korouoma on the way back home to see the frozen waterfalls.

But as rain was forecasted, I decided to change my original plan…

Winter solstice in Kilpisjärvi

Instead, I booked a cottage in Kilpisjärvi and spent a week there. The weather forecast wasn’t amazing, but there was some a small chance of partly clear sky for the winter solstice. It couldn’t be worse than rain or being at home with a grey sky and little to no snow. Moreover, this was finally my chance to experience true polar night.

The magic of the polar night in the Arctic…

Experiencing the polar night for a week was worth it. At times it was also depressing, particularly in the morning before going out. In the end, I got rewarded with two days of partly cloudy sky. I also tried to make the most of the cloudy days. It was worth it and there was something special about being in the fells, surrounded by an almost completely white landscape.

When (almost) everything around you is white…

However, while this trip was a complete success on a personal level, the same can’t be said from a toy photography perspective. Even though I came back with over 3000 files on my camera, there are only a few with toys. At the moment, I’m not even sure whether there will be a single “keeper” out of these few toy photos.

As I’ve been this year to Kilpisjärvi in June, September, and December, I feel I will have no choice but to come back during spring, so I have experienced the place in all four seasons.

(If you’re interested, there’s a replay of my IG stories available.)

Running late on projects

Beside that, I’m running late on several toy photography projects. Before leaving for Oulanka, I built Diagon Alley and started to photograph it. However, I need to also postpone that project (and a few others I’d like to start) as I need to prioritize something else… Hopefully I’ll be able to tell more about these in January.

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