Human interaction
Sep
16
to Sep 22

Human interaction

It’s time to put your best foot forward and get hands-on! This week we are looking for creative ways to integrate a human element into our photos. From an action shot of busy hands at work to relaxed reclining legs, putting people in the frame helps add context to our visual storytelling. When photographing places or objects, adding human interaction adds a point of interest and gives your viewer a better understanding of your subjects use and purpose. Challenge yourself to add a human element this week to convey movement, size, build emotion and add warmth and depth to your narrative. 

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Get hands on, literally, and put your hands in the frame

  • Get those pins out and photograph your legs in a looking down pic or on the bed scene

  • Give yourself a manicure or pedicure and show them off

  • Place yourself in a vignette...don’t worry, you don’t have to show your face. Turn your back to the camera or crop the photo from your shoulders down

  • You might have a beautiful bump to show off...take a pic of it with some newborn goodies

How to participate

During the week of September 16 - 22, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_humaninteraction. Our talented mentor Patti Schmidt from @pattischmidt will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Patti Schmidt

Our mentor this week is the ever so talented Patti from@pattischmidt. Patti’s light filled images capture the essence of her family life in a beautiful but authentic way. She adds the human element so cleverly in so many ways, her feed is full of inspiration to add human interaction. Plus, Patti is a super lovely, genuine person so it’s an absolute honour to have her mentor us this week! Get to know Patti some more in her mentor interview by clicking here.

So all hands on deck, lets get handy in your images or get your pins out and show us a human presence...we want to see YOU!


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In Context
Sep
23
to Sep 29

In Context

Adding context to your image is one of the most important aspects of visual content creation. Having a clear theme to your image makes it easier for your audience to understand and appreciate your creative thinking. Your challenge is to visualise the story you want to tell and select the appropriate items or locations you need to bring it to life. Use context to create a scene that is recognisable and familiar or serve up the unexpected to catch your audience by surprise. 

Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • You might be going on a trip or a weekend away, flatlay your holiday essentials

  • Planning some DIY or renovations, mood board your ideas to help visualise the aesthetic and feel you would like to create

  • Build an outfit and put it in flatlay or vignette form

  • Set your camera on burst mode and capture some candid moments

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In Situ
Sep
9
to Sep 15

In Situ

It’s time to capture your everyday situations as you touch, sample, use and taste items you encounter in daily life. There is an art to capturing a real-life situation in a relatable yet artistic manner. Can you tell the story of an object and how to use it through just one image? Think about it’s attributes — is it beautiful, functional or delicious and how do you convey this feeling to your audience.

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Choose an everyday item or product from your home and style it in use

  • Capture your morning beauty regime

  • Convey the feeling you have when using a product you love

  • Take a snapshot of how you, your family or pets like to eat your favorite food

  • Spritz on your fave perfume

  • Set your camera on burst mode and capture some candid moments

How to participate

During the week of September 9 - 15, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_insitu. Our talented mentor Connie Chan from @whatshepictures will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Connie Chan

Our mentor Connie from @whatshepictures will be helping us look through the magnifying glass on those things we use everyday, she’s an expert in product styling so we are in for a real treat! Connie really respects the items she styles. She shows them in a beautiful, aspiring light and relatable manner. Connie is so open with her tips and pointers too, there is always something to learn from her images and posts. So grab a coffee, relax and read her Q&A here. Perhaps take a pic while you are at it!

So look around you and appreciate those little things you use everyday. Show them in all their beauty and glory, show us how they make you feel and what you love about them.


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On the Go
Sep
2
to Sep 8

On the Go

It’s time to unleash your creativity on the world around you! Next time you leave the house, try and capture a snapshot of the people or things you interact with along the way. Every person place or object you encounter has a story to tell. You could consider where and how you use your belongings outside of the home and how that context changes along with your surroundings. This week challenge yourself to take an impromptu photo and see how creative can you get with the book you read on your commute, your handbag or the coffee in your hand. Hit the road, keep it candid and share a scene from your daily life.

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Think outside your house: the things you see and experience on the go

  • The essential things you take on the go: your reusable coffee cup or water bottle, a magazine or book, headphones and sunglasses

  • Document your morning coffee ritual

  • Perhaps your local coffee shop has a pretty floor, cool wall or beautiful aesthetic...take a candid photo

  • Shoot a looking down photo of your favourite handbag, on the go coffee or shoes

  • Stop and take a snap of that mural you love, perhaps a stop motion of you walking past

How to participate

During the week of September 1 - 8, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_onthego. Our talented mentor Kelly Williams from @myscandistyle will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Kelly Williams

Our mentor this week certainly has a talent for the candid. As well as doing amazing flatlays, Kelly from @myscandistyle cleverly incorporates her active and ‘on the go’ lifestyle with her little fam bam. From holiday snaps, coffee dates and wall pics with her little man, Kelly shares those everyday moments that document her lifestyle. These add a human authenticity to Kelly’s Instagram that we can relate to and allows us a peek into her world. Read our interview with her and let’s peek into yours too!

So hit the road or footpath, keep it candid and share a scene from your daily life. Let’s get going!


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Welcoming Whimsy
Aug
26
to Sep 1

Welcoming Whimsy

What a month it has been! So far we have explored the extraordinary, we have been tickled pink with colour and we have brought our imagination to reality. This week we want you to jump right into your imagination. Let’s sprinkle on the fairy dust and take a departure from reality. We are welcoming all things whimsical and invite you to add a touch of magic to your creativity this week. Anything is possible with a little imagination and this is your opportunity to bring your ultimate creative fantasy to life.

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Creatively edit your image to add a touch of sparkle

  • Play with scale and enlarge or reduce the size of something in your photo

  • Re-enact a scene from your favourite fairy tale or story book

  • Multiply an object or person within your image

  • Add movement to an image like flowing drapes or a dress blowing in the wind

  • Bring an object to life within your image by having it float or fly

How to participate

During the week of August 26 - September 1, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_welcomingwhimsy. Our talented mentor Shilah Sirois from @shilahsirois will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Shilah Sirois

Our mentor this week sure knows how to bring the whimsical to her images…she welcomes it with open arms and embraces it with a passion. She is Shilah from @shilahsirois. Delving into her feed is like immersing yourself into a fairy tale with rose tinted glasses, you escape reality into Shilah’s beautiful, magical world. From submerging herself with jellyfish to levitating her family and beautifully ghostly family portraits, Shilah brings the cool to the whimsical and makes us all want to defy reality. Get to know Shilah a bit more in her mentor interview and learn her whimsical ways.

So forget reality and enter the world of whimsical. Break the rules and leave your audience in wonder and awe...welcome the whimsical into your world and make it feel at home this week!


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Build your Scene
Aug
19
to Aug 25

Build your Scene

Forget the prop cupboard, every cupboard in your house is styling fodder in this week’s challenge. Sculpt, collect and arrange everyday items you have on hand to illustrate a page from your visual story. You could create a landscape out of linens or project your vision onto a wall. Every surface you encounter is a blank canvas for you to set the scene and let your imagination set sail!

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Create a landscape out of linens

  • Use items of clothing or found objects to shape an animal or character

  • Use cardboard or paper cutouts to create a scene or character

  • Transform a blank wall into a mural or landscape

  • Draw onto your photograph to add new detail and context

How to participate

During the week of August 19-25, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_buildyourscene. Our talented mentor Danielle Dean from @sienna.and.i will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Danielle Dean

Someone who is a pro at turning linen into sofas and cardboard boxes into almost anything is our mentor this week, Danielle Dean from @sienna.and.i. I have literally followed Danielle from the onset. I have watched her creativity grow and blossom, as well as her daughter Sienna. Her magical and creative scenes invite us into her imagination and Sienna’s dreams, the little princess of napping. Danielle is so generous with her time and tips too so we are in for a real treat this week…click here to read her interview and delve into Danielle and Sienna’s world.

So don’t let your imagination be limited by your reality this week, just build it yourself and bring your visual story to life.


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Colour my World
Aug
12
to Aug 18

Colour my World

Forget everything you know about what colour you think something should be and instead imagine what it could be. It might just be brighter, cooler or warmer or an entirely different colour all together. This week we want you to experiment with innovative and unexpected ways to use colour in your images. Project rainbows onto your surroundings and challenge yourself to reimagine the world as a more colourful place.

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Change the colour of the sky in your photo

  • Desaturate your image and feature just one colour

  • Transform a blank wall into a mural or change its colour

  • Add a coloured overlay onto your image

How to participate

During the week of August 12-18, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_colourmyworld. Our talented mentor Erin Summer will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Erin Summer

Our mentor this week is no stranger to colour, and she’s certainly not afraid to show it! It’s Erin from @erinsummer_, even her name invokes colourful connotations. Erin’s colourful captures and edits always brighten my day and she doesn’t shy away from bringing the colour. From turning oranges and avocados rainbow coloured to colouring her world with rainbows and bold nailpolish, Erin is such a vibrant inspiration to us all to just let go and have fun with colour. Get to know Erin here and get some more colourful inspiration.

So give colour the red carpet treatment this week and invite it into your world. Feel free to blue my mind with your colourful interpretation and let it become a pigment of your imagination...it’s colour week!


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Make it Extraordinary
Aug
5
to Aug 11

Make it Extraordinary

This week we are taking ordinary objects and using them to create something extraordinary. Is your piece of fruit masquerading as an animal or perhaps becoming an outfit to wear? It’s time to think outside the box and reimagine what your inanimate object of choice could be in another life.

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Take an ordinary item and transform it into something else entirely

  • Look at the clouds outside and look for recognisable shapes 

  • Use an object as an outfit 

  • Paint or shape a scene by arranging different objects

  • Use an inanimate object as your starting point and then paint or draw the rest of your scene

  • Paint or draw with innovative powders or liquids

  • Dress up like an inanimate object 

How to participate

During the week of August 5-11, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_makeitextraordinary. Our talented mentor Aravis Dolmenna will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Aravis Dolmenna

Our mentor this week is the very clever and creatively resourceful Aravis from @aravisdolmenna. We have been lucky enough to have Aravis host a challenge with us before. We have invited her back, this time as a mentor because we believe she has so much to offer our community. Plus she is, in my opinion, the best person on the gram that can make a banana, a safety pin or some spilt milk into something amazingly extraordinary. We caught up with Aravis again and delved into her extraordinary imagination, read here interview here.

So open that stationary drawer, grab some paint or raid the tool box and look at ordinary things in extraordinary ways…set your imagination free.


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Bonus Challenge - Catch Up
Jul
29
to Aug 4

Bonus Challenge - Catch Up

In between our scheduled monthly topics we have a bonus week so we are letting you play catch up!

Have you missed any of the themes from the last two months? Or perhaps you had a great idea for one of our past challenges that you didn’t get a chance to execute yet. Now is your chance! Your challenge this week is to revisit or reimagine one of the themes from the last two months.

To refresh your memory here is a recap of our June & July topics. Click the links for full theme details, inspiration boards and resources.

Catch up on our June topic: Lighting

This topic is all about lighting and how you can explore and enhance the light in your styling, creativity and photography. So put your thinking caps on and open your eyes to the world around you to appreciate how the sun shines, how the light falls and how the shadows cast.

Catch up on our July Topic: Food

Our food inspired challenge themes will have you kickstarting your culinary skills and taking your edible aesthetic to delicious new places. Join us as we explore all aspects of food and dining from working with raw ingredients to meal prep and creative plating. This topic has something for everyone and no matter if you are a professional food stylist or an absolute beginner we guarantee to challenge and satisfy your creative appetite.

How to participate

During the week of July 29 - August 7, 2019 create a new image inspired by one of the previous weekly themes and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_catchup along with the original challenge hashtag. Our community manager @marisa.young will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

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Play with your Food
Jul
22
to Jul 28

Play with your Food

Forget everything you’ve learned about good manners because this week we want you to get your hands dirty and play with your food. It’s time to get more artistic and experimental with your next dish and it doesn’t matter if it’s completely indelible because we only care about the aesthetics. Let your imagination run wild and share your best conceptual or ‘cute food’ idea.

You could use some spaghetti to make hair or mashed potato to make a face in a food art portrait or abstract work of art. Serve up your meal in a creative way with different garnishes or make mealtime fun for the kids, big and small. How about using food in an unexpected or different way like using ingredients as a dye or paint, or use food in children’s play literally as stamps, props or take over their play kitchen. There are so many you could play with your food so get creating and get playing!

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Create a scene using just food items

  • Experiment with different garnishes to add an artistic flair to your food

  • Replace food items on the plate with something unexpected or inedible

  • Design a cute character or animal made out of food

  • Imagine the journey your food took to reach your plate

  • Innovate a fresh way to serve a traditional meal or food item

  • Replace the plate altogether and find new and inventive ways to dish up your food

  • Forget the meal and pamper yourself by using edible ingredients to make a facemask 

  • Use food ingredients to make natural dyes or paint

How to participate

During the week of July 22-28, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_playwithyourfood. Our talented mentor Harley Langberg will be selecting his favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

Meet your Mentor: Harley Langberg

Our mentor this week is an expert in playing with his food. Harley from @harleysfood_art creates amazing food art from the contents of his fridge and pantry. From portraits of celebrities to cute animals, I don’t think there is anything Harley hasn’t tried his food art hand at. He has provided us with some great tips and insights too so be sure to study up on these and get inspired. Get to know more by reading his mentor interview.

So follow Harley’s lead, raid your fridge and pantry and use some humble ingredients to create something wonderful. We can’t wait to see what food art you create.


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Meals in Motion
Jul
15
to Jul 21

Meals in Motion

Over the last couple of weeks we have served it up and worked with food, now we get to the fun part - the preparing and the eating! You may have heard of the saying the camera eats first, well this week we want you to eat along with it. Get hands on as you prepare and serve your meal and bring your family or some friends along for the ride to celebrate and enjoy dining together. Sometimes being candid is more of a challenge than achieving a perfectly styled table top so don’t be afraid to let go and have fun this week!

You may even add motion to your meal literally! You could create a stop motion of serving up your favourite meal or better still, seeing it disappear from the plate as you devour it! You can also allude to movement in your images simply by capturing pouring, sifting, stirring, dripping...all the motions of cooking and eating!

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Treat yourself to a meal at a cafe or restaurant and have a go at styling the table top on location

  • Create a stop motion as food disappears off the plate

  • Allude to motion in your images by capturing movements such as pouring, dripping or sifting

  • Have fun with a hands-on or interactive food like fondue or whipped cream

  • Cook dinner for your favourite people and capture some candid images of the meal being enjoyed

  • Get colourful and messy with your food

  • Get creative with ways to enjoy an informal takeout meal away from the kitchen table

How to participate

During the week of July 15-21, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_mealsinmotion. Our talented mentor Effi Tsoukatos will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Effi Tsoukatos

Our mentor this week is Effi Tsoukatos, one half of the duo from @sydneyfoodsisters. She has a great appreciation for seasonal produce, so she is the perfect mentor to move onto, excuse the pun, from our farm to table challenge last week. Amongst her mouth-watering food styling, she also has a beautiful knack of adding motion to her images or cleverly alluding to movement. It makes you just want to dive into the image and start feasting!

So put your meals on wheels and get moving...and get eating! Let’s have some deliciously good feasting fun this week.


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Farm to Table
Jul
8
to Jul 14

Farm to Table

Food Styling - Week 2: Farm to Table

Look no further than the fridge or local farmers market for your inspiration this week. Food makes the perfect photography subject from still life to countertop photography. It is accessible, comes in all different shapes, sizes and textures and the best part is you can eat it once you are done! This week we are taking a closer look at the fresh produce and ingredients in their most raw and pure forms.

Preparing broad beans fresh from the garden. Source:  @twiggstudios

Preparing broad beans fresh from the garden. Source: @twiggstudios

Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Celebrate which fresh fruit and vegetables are in season in your part of the world

  • Hero your favourite piece of produce

  • Style a still life photo featuring fruit

  • Deconstruct your favourite dish and find a creative way to photograph the ingredients

  • Share your favourite recipe under construction

  • Shoot a countertop ‘making of’ video as you prepare a meal

  • Create a pattern featuring raw ingredients

  • Show the flavour profile of your favourite wine or other food item

  • Using the skills learned in our Lighting Techniques month experiment with adding mood and light emitting objects to your table setting

How to participate

During the week of July 8-14, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_farmtotable. Our inspirational mentor Aimee Twigger will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Aimee Twigger

This week we are appreciating where your food comes from and we have the perfect mentor on board to help along the way. Aimee Twigger from @twiggstudios sure does appreciate her produce and where is comes from. Hailing from Devon in England, her beautiful styled captures pay homage to the process of preparing and cooking whilst having a tremendous respect to the food; its origins, its journey and what’s in season. From visiting the cheese maker to making lilac sugar from the beautiful flower, from making pasta to making gin, Aimee is a breath of freshness and inspiration.

Find out more about Aimee and her creative process in our Interview: Honouring the ingredients with Aimee Twigger

So open your fridge, raid your fruit bowl or visit your weekend market and pay homage to those everyday ingredients that go into those beautiful meals we salivate over. Show us how you farm to table!


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Styled and Served
Jul
1
to Jul 7

Styled and Served

Food Styling - Week 1: Styled and Served

There are many inspiring elements of tabletop styling, your serving ware, linens, centrepieces and of course the most important piece - the food itself! There is plenty of room for creative expression when serving food from every day meals to styled special occasions.

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Ways to challenge yourself this week:

  • Create a special event at home and style up a table top to celebrate it

  • Experiment texturally by layering different fabrics and linens

  • Treat yourself to your favourite meal and serve up a setting for one

  • Reflect the origins of your food of choice in the styling and table setting

  • Style a table setting or centrepiece using unexpected items

  • Remove the table altogether and style a meal somewhere else such as a picnic lunch or breakfast in bed

  • Using the skills learned in our Lighting Techniques month experiment with adding mood and light emitting objects to your table setting

How to participate

During the week of July 1-7, 2019 create a new image inspired by the weekly theme and share it on Instagram tagging @creativelysquared and #cs_styledandserved. Our inspirational mentor Christall Lowe will be selecting her favourite entries to feature on the @creativelysquared Instagram account during the week.

Resources from our Creative Journal

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Meet your Mentor: Christall Lowe

When it comes to crafting compelling food stories, Christall Lowe from The Style Tales knows a thing or two about scene building. Christall is an expert food stylist and food photographer, and a whiz in the kitchen who specialises in creating detail rich, moody photographs with a lot of depth. She is resourceful at finding ways to add warmth, contrast and texture using everyday items, without taking away from the star of the shot (the food!) and we are lucky to have her sharing her expert tips with us this week!

Find out more about Christall and her creative process in our Interview: Serving up stylish food stories with Christall Lowe


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Chase the Sun
Jun
3
to Jun 9

Chase the Sun

Sunlight is a photographers best friend - it’s abundant and free to use. Although with the weather being unexpected sometimes the sun can become your frenemy and the challenge becomes learning to work with whatever conditions come your way.


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