olive and oak

elize strydom's photo journal

Month: March, 2014

an inspiring thing


I was stoked to discover that someone on the other side of the world wrote something lovely about this very blog. Thanks, Bijan! When I post my pictures and type my words, I must admit, I’m not thinking about how many people I’ll inspire or encourage. But it is quite heartening to know that my captures/ramblings are resonating. I’m trying my best to use this space to express my most authentic self and speak my heart as truthfully as possible – forget judgement, forget trends and what’s socially acceptable, forget trying to be what I think others think I should be. If that ends up being an inspiring thing then hooray!

Meanwhile, this week I’m getting serious about planning my next US trip and lining up some Small Town Girls to stay with/photograph. Tickets have been purchased – I fly out June 9 – and I may or may not have just booked four days at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs to kick off the adventure. After that it’s down to business though, I swear!

local love


Last Saturday I had breakfast at a bar. I drank a cold pressed green juice and ate a bagel with an organic egg and some relish on the side…plus a tiny pear and a slice of watermelon. Not your average pub fare, eh? There’s a reason for that: The Local Harvest Collective has taken over Darlo Bar’s upstairs communal lounge and filled it with bags of fresh produce, beautiful blooms and breakfast-y delights care of Cornersmith, Brooklyn Boy Bagels and Prodjuice Cold Pressed Juices. I met Hannah-Rose, Rachel and Alana there and we had the most relaxing morning, chilling on the couches and filling our tummies with fresh, local deliciousness. Just think, next Saturday that could be YOU!


a man, a baby and a dog


Dan and Vienna at The Top Shop in Byron…plus a pretty perfect end-of-the-roll light leak.

it all feels right


Because sometimes you just need to book a last minute flight and go up to Byron to see your besties and their littles. It was such a quick visit – only one night – but if you wait for the ‘right’ time to go you’ll be waiting far too long. The children are growing, we’re getting older, life is moving on…I just miss my girls, Taryn and Ali. And so we went, Dan and I. We arrived at Ali and Nate’s place during quite a tumultuous time. They’re in the process of turning an ‘on the side’ venture into a full time gig, renovating a house in Lismore, setting up a home in Byron Bay, raising three kids under five, dealing with extended family issues – all that fun stuff. But Ali has never been one to sugar coat things or sweep the mess under the rug and I am thankful for that. I would much rather know the real Ali and stand beside her as she navigates the ups and downs of real life. It’s way easier to have a surface level friendship and only share in someone’s Instagram-able moments but you miss out on such rich and satisfying connection if you leave it at that.


Time slowed down and the two days stretched right out. We played with Eden, Tully and Mosko, watched them swim with their uncle Hamish and ate lunch on the deck where Dan dozed off in the sunshine. In the evening we all took a dip round at Wategos then had a picnic dinner on the shore of Main Beach. The next day it was more of the same plus a catch up with Taryn and baby Vienna at The Top Shop. As we chatted I was filled with a feeling of just right-ness. I relished the ease and comfort of being in the presence of someone who knows and understands me so well. I love and appreciate my Sydney friends but those relationship are still in the early stages, a few years old, and there’s something quite different about the way you relate to someone you met when you were 16.


roses by my window


summer scenes (some more)


The calendar says autumn has started. But summer’s still here, I feel it.


a rainy saturday afternoon


…spent chatting and sipping and chewing with friends at Cornerstone Bar, Darlington.

in real life


This is Miss Rachel Kara (aka Mrs Ashton). We’ve been friends for almost three years now but we only met properly last week. You see, when I say ‘friends’ I mean internet friends. It all started on Twitter, I believe. A conversation about photography or fashion or the two combined. Over the years we’ve tried to tee up many a meeting but something always stood in the way. We first saw each other in real life at last year’s Laneway Festival but I was on the job, rushing to photograph some band playing on a stage in the opposite direction, so that hello was far too brief. I remember it clearly though. I heard my name, spun around to see a familiar face and instantly stretched out my arms and gave the girl a hug. A few hours later I was re-playing the scene in my head and it was only then that it struck me as kinda strange. Rachel and I don’t even ‘know’ each other and yet  giving her a hug felt like the most normal thing to do. Funny how the internet can make you feel close to someone. Through Rachel’s blog, Twitter and my brief foray into the world of Instagram I’ve learnt all sorts of things about who she is and how she lives her life. I love that. Thanks, internet! About a month ago Rach sent me this tweet: ‘I want to hang with you this year. Achievable goal? X’ and last week we did it. We spent the morning in Cronulla (where Rach and her mister live …yep, she wakes up to those stunning water views every. single. day) and it was so easy and genuine and satisfying like a home-cooked meal. (I had a similar feeling when I met dear Liz…who happens to know Rachel…of course!) This girl is, in a word, a natural. She’s effortless. She does her thing and does it with conviction. She considers her words. Looks you in the eye. Actively listens. I’ve never felt Rachel was trying to be anyone other than herself – her work, her style, her faith, even her ‘gram – so authentic. She seems quite at ease with her place in the world and radiates calm and contentment. A true gem and a rare find. And so, dear Rachel Kara, I want to hang with you AGAIN this year. Achievable goal? X