Make the artist: what sparks joy in your ordinary

Picked flowers from the garden are what sparks joy for me this week.

Picked flowers from the garden are what sparks joy for me this week.

“We must first make the artist before we make the art. Out of nothing nothing comes.”

What sparks joy in your ordinary? I asked this question over on Instagram, and no-one answered. Not one bite. Feeling like a little fish in a big ocean, I decided I had two options. I could either sulk and swim away with my tail between my fins or I could put my big girl pants on and ask other photographers directly. So out came the big-girl pants.

I’m a true believer in finding joy in our ordinary as a way to nourish and nurture our creativity. It’s something we can do in our every day rather than waiting for big adventures. It’s a feast of little things that continually feed our creative hearts. I know if I am runny on empty dappled light on my garage door is the burst I need to get through the afternoon. I may do another post on ways to “see” beauty in your ordinary, but for now, I’ll share these wonder-filled images of ordinary from photographers all around the world. Hoping it feeds your creative heart from afar.

Viveash Photography

I see ME in YOU
Colour and
Concrete walls.

Often we crave fancy locations, but there’s something magical about this colourful mural on a concrete wall. Becs is the queen of finding them in suburbia.


Chloe Lodge Photographer

I was sitting having breakfast and all of a sudden across in the kitchen something caught my eye. My son had jumped on the counter to make my husband a coffee. Adaline was on her little car wearing her summer shoes with her winter socks. An abandoned shopping cart in amongst it all. The morning light was streaming in creating a spotlight for this every day moment. I keep my camera in the kitchen so grabbed it, I had about 4 seconds to shoot before my son jumped off the counter and the dog licked my face. I got two frames, I edited it for all of three minutes whilst being pestered by my 2 year old as she wanted to use my iPad. This all happened 15 minutes ago. Why am I sharing this??? Because I am a big believer that capturing your life doesn’t need to be over-thought or over-analyzed, simply nurture your sixth sense and document honestly. Feel your way and remember it for always. ‘You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth’ Annie Leibovitz

There are many layers of light, shadow, colour and reflections here, and what looks like a simple image is actually quite complicated. Chloe does this so well.


Kirsty Larmour

“Do you love street food? What’s your favourite? I am such a fan and as long as I know it’s vegetarian I’ll try most things! From tacos all over Mexico to skewered stuff in SE Asia and pretty much anything that was going on the streets of Kolkata! And I’m glad the girls are taking after me too!! “.

Kirsty is a globe-trotting mama and her ordinary looks extraordinary, but she continues to find joy in the little things - like teaching her daughters to eat street food.


Zoe Wittering

The end of the school year is here and as the pace of our mornings moves into holiday mode it seemed like a good time to talk about my personal project #before8h48.

Zoe’s 365 project is the perfect example of finding beauty in our every day. She uses light and shadow to tell wonderful stories of her ordinary.


My Captured Life - Shelley Reis

For me, the unequivocal worst part about social media is having to caption everything you do. And to appeal to the algorithm and keep eyes on your work it should apparently be a long and engaging ramble. I love to write but ultimately I’m a visual person. Sometimes I just like things. Sometimes I don’t know why that might be. Right now is one of those times. So please excuse my mediocre caption-writing skills and enjoy this image of my voracious ice-cream enthusiasts. .

There’s nothing more ordinary than ice-cream on the back steps, and Shelley makes this moment feel like magic. Dessert for the queen!


Alice M Photography

Shadows are fast becoming a part of my work and I love finding new ways of capturing. Here is my family, my three children and my husband and I am, of course, behind the lens, so infused in the image too.

These strong shadows at the playground create an interesting family portrait and Alice has an eye for finding them


Marlene Sayson Photographer

When you’re looking through old files and come across something amazing that you never even realised you had. I just fell in love with this shot and needed to share. Sometimes something just jumps out and you that you can’t explain. And you don’t need to. This is it 🖤

Marlene’s superpower is seeing stories in the details and using black and white edits to create a timeless portrait from her ordinary.


Emma Wood Photography

We don’t always have a pretty background or the perfect location, but what we do have is real life and raw emotions. Sometimes that’s all you really need. Oh, and a Lensbaby 😊

The use of colour and the soft light turn this ordinary moment into a work of art. Emma’s creativity always gets my creative heart swooning, but this stopped me in my tracks.


Kylie Purtell

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." -- Maya Angelou.

Kylie is the queen of straws, and I’ve promised her a straw crown. She uses a packet of plastic straws to add colour and flare to her ordinary. It’s simply divine.


Snowflake Photos

There's so much to love about this image for me. The window light as her only source of illumination, the top down, bottom up blind on the window making for a light show on the wall, her toys that have been scaled back over the years but are still there, her little hands reaching up and her wet hair down her back. It's pure everyday kind of magic.

Sometimes in our motherhood journey, we miss things, but our creative heart still sees them. I love how Marissa noted fewer toys and all that this ordinary means to a Mum.


Cindy Cavanagh

What sparks joy in your ordinary?
For me, it's this spot right here. Dappled light on the garage door as I run errands, drop off kids, or pick up groceries. I see it every time I arrive home, and it fuels me to the next pick-up. So where is your ordinary? Send me a pic or tag me! I'd love to hear from you. ♡♡♡

Cindy CavanaghComment