in real life

by elizestrydom

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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

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