Dreams Should Be Lived #MyFirstPostRevisited

Who am I? I’m a Swedish girl with an obsession of horses, residing in Nevada (USA.) I spend as much time as I possibly can outdoors; hiking, camping, looking at wild horses, or playing with my mustang. I LOVE taking road trips. I’m a dreamer, the kind that goes after her dreams.

My grandmother gave me my first camera when I was five years old, and I’ve been taking photos ever since; different cameras, different people, different countries, but it’s highly unusual to see me without my camera.

I only have a couple addictions that I don’t want to live without; strong coffee in the morning, wide open spaces, the joy of hearing my daughters laugh, country music, the pleasure of being around a brave horse, and ending each day in peace.

I recently moved to Reno (NV,) and I am in the process of taking my photography business to the next level. Horses is my number one passion, and have been since before I could walk. Naturally there’s been a focus on horses in my photography business as well. Lately I’ve discovered a demand for other forms of outdoor portraits, and after some consideration decided to start all over with a new business plan, a new website (actually two; one gallery, and one blog,) and do it under a new name.

It’s a little scary to start all over, when you already have a working concept, but I know that I would regret it if I didn’t follow my gut instinct in this. Imagination is the only limit, and I’ve always had a vivid imagination.

One of my personal goals is to ride The Tevis Cup, (the worlds toughest endurance race.) I hope to ride my Virginia Range Mustang, that I adopted in December of last year. It’s a long term goal, and it’s going to take us at least two years to get there. It’s certainly a very exciting project, I love every minute I get to spend with him. He is a real character, and you will definitely see, and read about our journey here on the blog.


Maria Jansson Photography specializes in Fine Art Prints of Western Landscapes, Outdoor Action Events, Ranch Portraits, Expressive Outdoor Portraits; of people, dogs, and horses. Did I mention that I would love to meet you, and your family; four, and two legged?! Don’t hesitate to contact me at MariaJanssonPhotography@gmail.com, to get a customized quote for your photo session. Imagination is the only limit! 

You can find photos from photo sessions, in the gallery, along with beautiful Fine Art Prints.

You can read more about the photos, offers, and upcoming events here on my blog.

Of course you will find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well. Let’s get to know each other!

Feel free to share my posts, and leave comments, I will get back to you!  See you around!

All the best,

Maria Jansson


PS. I apologize in advance for grammatical errors. English is not my first language, but I am working hard to improve my sometimes horrible grammar.

Designing Happiness

Lately I’ve been thinking about who YOU are. I’m grateful that YOU found your way here, and I would love to get to know YOU. Who are YOU, amazing, awesome person that smile when you see my photos? And relate to my story? I believe you are a unique person that appreciate beauty, happiness, and the kind of ”not settling for the Joneses” kind of adventure. That’s why we connected? Right?

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Hiking in California with my baby girl.

We’re more than half way through the first month of 2016. Everyone is starting out the new year with big, and bold new years resolutions. This year my only resolution is going to be; Say yes more, and be kinder. It may sound simple enough, but when you think about it, the two often contradict each other. Saying yes to others sometimes means that I am saying no to myself, and vice versa. My new years resolution is that I am going to try my best to find a balance. Saying yes to learning new things, and helping others, while staying true to the beliefs that I actually find worth fighting for. One of my tactics for knowing when it’s a good idea to say YES, is to make sure that I know where I’m coming from, and where I am going = my past achievements, and future goals.

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Amazing Places – Selfie with my daughter at Grand Canyon.

Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design. – Jim Rohn

I’ve found that it is easier to stand straight, and look forward, when I’m clear about what I already achieved. Is it in line with what I want? Where I want to go?

If you try this method, be sure to turn the more challenging experiences of the past to your favor. (I’m certainly no saint, or perfect in any way.) The purpose of the exercise is to become happier, more focused, and motivated. A list of your ”failures” will not help you achieve that. Becoming a single mom was not in my plan, nether was a failed marriage, but by writing about what I actually overcame/learned from it, motivates me.

A year is a relatively short period of time, you can do this exercise on a yearly basis, but I found it more helpful to use it for a bigger picture. That’s why I am looking at the past five years, and the next five years to come. This is, even though they are personal, more general achievements and goals, that can be broken down in smaller pieces for shorter periods of time. I’m simply sharing them with you, because it’s part of a routine that helps me wake up happy every morning. That makes it possible for me to experience the”not settling for the Joneses” kind of adventures, and since you’re here I’m guessing that something that you have some kind of interest in, right?

Making sure to spend time in beautiful nature, is part of designing happiness for me.       ~Lake Tahoe~


Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. Jim Rohn

My achievements the past five years:

Complete a University Education.

Get a well paid/fun job based on my education.

Quit the same job in pursuit of happiness.

Had the guts to change my universe by moving to another continent.

Learned to be more open to new things/possibilities.

Became fluid in written, and spoken English.

Overcame my strong dislike for weapons. (Something that have given me peace of mind, when I’ve spent time in wilderness areas. Even though I’ve only used it on rattle snakes a couple of times.)

Developed my skills as a photographer (camera use/editing/marketing/sales.)

Survived the first three years with a new baby, in a new culture, without a supportive network (doing so feeling good about my role as a mother.)

Learned more about living in the moment, and letting go of guilt, based on subconscious beliefs from my childhood.

Discovered what I need in a relationship, and what I don’t need. What I can contribute with, and what I am not willing to contribute with.

Gaining the trust of numerous rescue horses, and one wild horse.

Saddling my wild mustang for the first time.


Goals for my next five years:

Improve my English skills further; grammar, and becoming a better story teller. 

Grow my blog.

Create a positive cash flow to my business. Learn more about building a sustainable business, in todays ever changing world.

Grow as a photographer by only working with the best (most suitable for me) equipment, explore extraordinary nature with my camera, participate in photography workshops etc.

Live a full, satisfying life, with a positive partner, that I’m crazy in love with. A man that lifts me up, that I can respect, and support with all my heart.

Teach my daughter true values, and become an even better role model for her, by being happy, and living a full life.

Become more fit and healthy every year.

Improve my communication skills.

Read more books.

Publish and launch a best selling book.

My beautiful daughter, during a hike in the desert (NV.)

Your turn! I strongly encourage you to try this method. It doesn’t have to be about winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or getting an Oscar’s. It’s OK if you don’t share it with anyone, I usually don’t. If you do feel like sharing your game plan, please do! Sharing goals is one way to kick your own a**. It’s very likely that you will work harder when you’ve made your goals more definite.

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. – Jim Rohn

Do you already have a method that keeps you on the right track? Tell me about it in a comment!

Love & Light, Always,


PS. Having the last Jim Rohn quote in the back of my mind have helped me to stand up for myself more than once..

PS 2. This is my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge, at The Daily Post. This week’s theme is Optimistic. I feel very optimistic, and excited! How about you?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight(less)

This week, share a photo of something marked by its weight — or its air of weightlessness. Show us gravity at its most unforgiving, or most generous.

As a response to The Daily Posts weekly photo challenge.


My mustang Rebel, before we became friends, bouncing around in the round-pen. Funny thing how he always was up in the air during our first sessions of ground work. Six months later, after gaining his trust, he did not buck once when I started to ride him. I like to look at this photo as a reminder that he actually was born wild.

Looking forward to see all the entries in this week’s photo challenge!

Enjoy your weekend,



Weekly Photo Challenge: From Every Angle

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “From Every Angle.”

In this week’s photo challenge we were encourage to get creative, and take at least three photos of the same subject, but from three different angles. These photos do not follow regular “photography rules”. Which is cool, since I truly believe the best photos are those who break at least some of the most common rules of photography. I know for sure that the photos from other photographers that truly inspire me, aren’t the ordinary sunset ones. (Right now I am very curious about learning more about creative street photography, but I’ll save that for another post.)

For this challenge I choose to take three photos of my mustang Rebel eating breakfast. When I took the first photo I was standing next to his withers, on his right side. When I took the second one I was sitting on the ground in front of him. when I took the third one I pushed his feeder a little to the side, placing me on his left side. Enjoy!

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PS. I just created a brand new About Page, if you have one minute I would love some feedback! Did I miss something important that you would like to see there? I feel that an About Page should be a work in progress, and I highly appreciate constructive criticism!

Just a Girl….and a very special horse

We had a big storm coming in on Christmas Eve, with high winds. Rebel and I just hanged out, and he got a massage.
We had a big storm coming in on Christmas Eve, with high winds. Rebel and I just hanged out, and he got a massage. This photo is taken right after a very special moment, when I experienced that my mustang was completely relaxed in my company for the first time. 

…I am just a girl who loves horses, I’m not a horse trainer. When the idea of adopting a mustang started to root itself in my heart, I did a lot of research. I’ve enjoyed watching them on the range for a couple years. I’ve been around domesticated horses all my life, but I had very limited experience of actually working with wild mustangs. Still I couldn’t let go of the idea of adopting a mustang. So I did.

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I adopted a three year old gelding, as a sort of birthday gift to myself last year. It was something I wanted  to do for many reasons. I believe mustangs are very versatile horses, capable of many things. I think it’s depressing to see so many good horses live their lives in holding facilities. It makes me happy to see mustangs participate in different events. A couple weeks ago a famous endurance race, known as the Tevis Cup took place in Northern California. There was 6 mustangs competing in this event (2015,) by many enthusiasts considered the world toughest endurance race. That makes me very happy to see. It is also one of my goals to participate with my mustang, when we’re ready.


My daughter Hayley have been involved in the experience from the beginning.

My strongest “reason” for adopting a mustang might of been totally selfish, I had a strong desire of experiencing the inner journey of getting to know a powerful, wild horse, and see what I could learn. See how it would change me, and the way I see the world.

Can be touched all over his body, and stand ground tied for 3min without moving.

Ever since the beginning of the journey with my boy Rebel, I’ve been taking notes, and a lot of photos. My thought is that I am going to put everything together in a book, about our first year together. Lessons I’ve learned, and progress we’ve made. My hope is, that reading, and seeing, an ordinary girl like me experiencing a friendship with a wild horse, might encourage others that are thinking about adopting. I’m going to be very honest with challenges, and blessings that I’ve experienced this first year.



Of course there’s going to be many photos of a very beautiful horse in the book, (a horse that changed color several times!) That might be a completely different audience. It’s totally OK to just enjoy the photos as well 🙂

This morning I rode my mustang for the second time, and right now I feel on top of my world.

Is there something in particular that YOU would enjoy reading about? An approach to the book that would make you more interested in reading it? I would love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a private email mariajanssonphotography@gmail.com.

I hope that your day got off to an awesome start!



PS. To see photos from Day 1 up until now, visit my gallery, look under Galleries in the top menu, Adopting a Mustang.

PS 2. I’d really love your input about my book project!!