olive and oak

elize strydom's photo journal

Month: June, 2014

the start again

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Today’s the day: I’m flying to the US to keep working on the Small Town Girl project. The adventure is about to start again. And while I love my Dan and my friends and family, there’s nothing quite like a solo adventure is there? This trip took a while to take shape and there were definitely some stressful weeks (no replies to the millions of emails I sent out! no girls to shoot! a girl to shoot…nooope, she cancelled!) but things have come together…sort of. My rough plan is Palm Springs, California to Seattle, Washington to Winthrop, Washington (hi Tara) to Cave Creek, Arizona (hi Rachel) to Ellenwood, Georgia (hi Hannah) to…I don’t know where. I’m leaving room to follow a spontaneous lead or two. I may even re-visit some of 2013’s Small Town Girls. It’s kinda scary to be plan-less but kinda exhilarating, too.

I’ve set up an Instagram account just for Small Town Girl. I know, I know, I’m back on Instagram (but I thought you said…?). Maddy, Rachel and Hannah-Rose were able to successfully convince me that by taking a different approach – making the account about this project rather than my life – I could avoid some of the pitfalls I faced last time. I’ll post a mix of the photos I’ve already taken (on 35mm film) as well as iPhone snaps that document the process as it’s happening. The aim is to connect with past, present and future Small Town Girls in Australia, the USA, South Africa and beyond as well as people who wanna see some photographic evidence of this thing I’m always going on about. Please do follow along! I’ll be developing film as I go and will post the images here as soon as I can. But for now…farewell Australia…hello USA!  

 

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alphabet family journal

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Just over a year ago my friend Luisa asked me if I would like to contribute something to a new publication she was putting together. I jumped at the chance and pitched a photo essay. At the same time my friend Rachel told me Luisa had asked her to write a piece for what would eventually become Alphabet Family Journal. I wasn’t happy with the results of my shoot so I didn’t end up submitting it but Rach thought it would be cool if I took some photos of her and her then flatmate, Ella, in their little blue house in Newtown to sit alongside the article she was writing. We made our submission and kind of forgot all about it. Fellow photographers mentioned that they had contributed images too, but no one was really sure if or when the magazine would come to fruition. And now we’re all red faced because Alphabet Family Journal is here and it is glorious. Seriously, when I first held AFJ in my hands and slowly turned its matte pages I couldn’t quite believe how wonderful it was. It celebrates families (in all forms) and the homes they create together in a genuine and relatable way. The words are poignant and the images are warm, inviting and inspiring. I’m so proud of Luisa and the work she has done to get this thing off the ground. And I’m proud of the friends, fellow bloggers, photographers and writers who have submitted such high quality work. Last weekend Luisa asked me to take some photos of Maria and Mel reading AFJ for an article in Broadsheet. I’d been wanting to meet these ladies for some time now so it was the perfect scenario! Sweet Maria made us feel right at home in her Potts Point apartment and served green tea and homemade pie.

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may made

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Last month’s heat broke records: The warmest May in Australia’s history. Sun bathers didn’t mind. Nor did my little succulent friends.

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I caught up with Maddy and it warmed my heart to see her so happy.

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I watched this childhood friend marry her love.

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I spent close to three hours at Cornersmith with these beautiful little ladies and they convinced me to sign up to Instagram again (sort of…more on that later).

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We read Alphabet Family Journal (it’s out it’s out! More on that later, too) at Paramount and bumped into Mikhail and Nicola.

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I bought Children of Auburn by George Voulgaropoulos and Permanent Vacation by Luke Byrne + Ryan Kenny at the Photo Book Fair at the MCA while Dan found a sunny spot to sit outside. 

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The sun hit this building on King Street late one afternoon and it took my breath away. May was made up of lots of wonderful little moments like this.