a day in the life – Surry Hills

People keep asking, now that the 52 Suburbs ATW exhibition and book are underway, what am I going to do next?

While I am keen to do another project (I like projects, can you tell?) I’m enjoying being de-focused for the moment – as well as working on other people’s projects and earning some of the folding stuff.

A few weekends ago, for example, I was commissioned by a client to capture life in Surry Hills.

Do you remember my blog post about this inner-city Sydney suburb from my first 52 Suburbs project three years ago?

Back then I was amazed how much it had changed from when I used to hang out there as a 20-something (the Hopetoun etc).

But this time around I didn’t expect it to have changed much in the last three years – but it has.

Despite the change, however, it remains one of the more interesting corners of Sydney.

I wandered around, happily snapping away, doing my job – not talking to anyone much but having a lovely time imagining what was going on inside their minds.

Here are some of the images – and just for fun I’ve added the possible thoughts of the subjects therein…







'end of a long night'_7am_Taylor_Square




















love him not 2

























at least the sun is shining















ah well





love him not




















And finally, a last thought from me…






I’d love to hear your thoughts about the place – and any other thoughts you’re keen to share on this almost-wintry sunny Sydney afternoon.


  1. katya says:

    So good to see u doing your “thang” ….been following ever since a saw something on glebe !! Keep going …we love u and yr lovely daughter xxx

    • Louise says:

      Wow, Glebe, that was a long time ago! I love that you’re still travelling around the place with me – and now Coco too!

  2. gill says:

    ah – the armchair meandering continues! Thanks for the post (and comments).

    • Louise says:

      Meandering is so good isn’t it, whether it’s in the armchair or not. Very happy you enjoyed this little saunter.

  3. Janie says:

    Lovely! You have a knack of portraying ordinary life in an extraordinary way. The lady in the green dress with the men looking at her reminds me of an old black and white poster my dad had – I think it was called American Girl in Paris.

    • Louise says:

      I think it was called ‘An American Girl in Italy’ by Ruth Orkin. Shot in 1951 in Florence. In an article Ruth Orkin’s daughter says, ‘My mother, Ruth Orkin, had many loves. Photography and travel were two of them.’ Could be Coco talking about me… Anyway, very flattered my pic brought such a great image to mind. Thank you Janie!

  4. Mark says:

    Nice to see more shots from you

    • Louise says:

      Thanks Mark – I absolutely loved being back out there. I lose all sense of time and feel completely at peace when I’m wandering around with my camera. Therapy really!

  5. Lisette says:

    I love the photos and the imagined thoughts! :D
    Keep ’em coming!

    • Louise says:

      Thanks Lisette!

  6. Nancy says:

    Love it Lou, have forward to my bro who lives in the ‘hood. X

    • Louise says:

      Oh good, hope he likes it. Thanks Nance.

  7. Nirah says:

    Ahhhh….you have quenched my thirst while I wait patiently for your book….awesome, wistful shots with a new twist….

    • Louise says:

      Glad to be of service Nirah. Not too long now…

  8. Nick says:

    You’ve taken it to a new level with the captions. Love the fresh perspective.

    • Louise says:

      I wondered if some people might find the captions on the actual images unnecessary, or even annoying. But it was fun, different. Very glad you enjoyed them.

  9. gay Miers says:

    Surry Hills looks rather sophisticated methinks. Love the reflections.

    • Louise says:

      Bits of it are pretty swish now. But thankfully it still has some rough edges left. Cross your fingers they stay rough!

  10. Jackie Nolan says:

    Louise, you have such an artistic soul. You can
    capture people and places with such a keen eye.
    Just wonderful art and photography!

    • Louise says:

      Very kind, thank you Jackie.

  11. Trudie Hurt says:

    Your ability to hone in on the gorgeous details of what just can pass us by in every day life is unique & inspiring. Love your work.

  12. Cate says:

    Thankyou. Again you bring a feast. Love the last one. Diversity. How do you see such wonderful shots? They must pass us everyday! Welcome back to the neighborhood. X

  13. Leanne says:

    Beautiful photos! I went to your exhibition today at the museum if Sydney and absolutely loved it. You put diptychs together so beautifully- so inspiring!

  14. maggie bernaldo says:

    louise – always great to see your emails in the ‘inbox’ – looking f/w to your book, meantime your blog is suffice. MaggieB (Margret)

Order my first book online

Buy the 52 Suburbs Book online

Find out more about the Sydney book here



EnglishItalianChinese (Traditional)GermanFrenchHindiTurkish