The magic of light with Judith Khlk

Meet your mentor Judith Khlk!

Judith Khlk adds shimmer and sparkle in the most beautiful of ways. Her images are pure magic, whimsical visual poetry…one look through her instagram feed @judith.khlk can attest to that, inspiration galore. Judith takes us through what inspires her and how she adds that bit of lit magic to her images to take them to the next level.

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Q&A with Judith

Hey Judith! Thanks for joining us as a mentor for our Creatively Squared challenge about ‘light ‘em up’, adding light to your images. We love it when you enter our challenges so we are absolutely thrilled to have you mentor the community. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you so much for inviting me to join you on this wonderful topic. My name is Judith, I’m a graphic designer and a mom of a two year old boy. Both are influencing me the most when taking pictures for my Instagram journey. I live in Dubai and after feeling at the beginning uninspired due to the lack of seasons and nature I embraced with time the unique beauty around me and the possibilities of creating whimsical pictures with objects of our daily life.

Can you tell us about your creative process, how do you come up with ideas for what to share next on your Instagram account?

Most of my ideas are inspired by my surroundings. Places spark ideas, funny shaped fruits in the supermarket or swings on the playground. I try to create everything organically while we head out on little adventures. Most of the time I have my camera with me I’ll also have little props to play with and to use them in my pictures. Funnily enough when I head out with an idea already in mind, almost certainly, I’ll choose at the end a very different picture or perspective I had originally intended to take.

This challenge is all about adding light to your images. You are so talented at adding light to create magical and whimsical scenes. What are your three top tips for adding light?

My top tip of capturing beautiful natural light outdoors is to wait for the golden hour. The moment the sun is so low everything is covered with warm soft light is just magical. Another thing I like to do is to use battery operated fairy lights. I will put them in jars to add depth or to light up a small area. Last, don't be afraid to add luminosity in the editing process post production. Choose the mood you want to create and emphasize on that. Follow the natural light in your photography for an authentic feeling. You can always add bokeh, lense flares, sparkles of fairy dust for the extra tad of magic.

Do prefer to add light whilst taking your photos [fairy lights etc] or do you mainly do add light in post production?

I like to mix both. A picture is more authentic if there has been a real light source in it. While editing it I play with the intensity of that light and add more if I like the way it looks.

Find out more about how Judith creates her whimsical images in our Creative Journal post: Composing magical fairytale images with a touch of sparkle

Any tricks / apps which aid in adding light to your captures?

Bokeh Cam Fx or KiraKira+ are wonderful to add light spots and sparkles on your phone. When editing in Photoshop I like to use Overlay images that can be purchased on Etsy and many other platforms. They come in usual with a black background and when the blende mode is changed in Photoshop they turn transparent.

What equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D750 for most of my pictures, sometimes my Iphone and a tripod when I take videos for cinemagraphs. I always edit in Photoshop and Lightroom.

They say never work with children or animals but you often include your beautiful little boy in your captures. Do you have any tips to help us work with our little ones and include them more in our images?

Thank you very much. Yes, just go with it. Don’t expect a certain picture, what I’ve really learned is that you rarely get the picture you want with kids but you get many, many better ones if you go with the flow. Give them something to hold and see how their play evolves. And if you have a wild child like me capture them sleeping. That’s actually the only time I can adjust, reshoot and rearrange the setting of a picture.

As creators we are always looking for ways to do our best work with whatever materials, low budget or environment we have available to us. What’s your number one home studio hack for those that are facing the same challenges?

Turn your surroundings into your advantage and make it your unique style. Everyone's life is different and our environment individual. Look for the beauty in nature where you live, take pictures in front of interesting doors you pass by every day or bring vintage teacups in your grandmas house to life. Try to shoot the same things from different perspectives with different light. At home I think to fix a camera to the ceiling is an incredible hack. Build a little cardboard box and place your camera inside. Unfortunately, this has never been an option for me as our ceilings are too high but the endless opportunities always spin in my mind especially for stop-motion videos and large flatlays.

You certainly make the most of living in Dubai and using your location as a backdrop. Do you have any tips for making the most of where you live?

Dubai is an incredible place for lifestyle photography, pictures of lovely cafes, architecture and amazing food. Not so much for my favourite, images of nature and flowers. Only when I stopped to chase something I can’t create I started to embrace the photo opportunities around me. High grass on the side of the road, big rocks at the beach or groceries in the supermarket for my flatlays. If you still run after something that is not given where you live, it’s good to pause and embrace the pretty corners around you.

We can all relate to falling in and out of love with Instagram, how has your account evolved over time?

At the beginning most of my pictures were based on the afternoon naps of my son. And if he wouldn’t have outgrown them so quickly I probably still would take daily pictures of his slumbers. I knew very early that they won’t last very long and shortly after his second birthday he skipped them totally. That's the reason I’ve always created a variety of pictures, as my forced perspective images, flatlays or outdoor photography. With time those kind of pictures have taken over and I only post sometimes sleeping scenes that I take now in the mornings.

Judith xx

Judith is the guest mentor for our June 17-23 creative challenge ‘Light ‘em up’ and will be featuring her favourite entries and feedback on the @creativelysquared Instagram account. You can find Judith at @judith.khlk or simply click on each image to take you directly to the post on Instagram. We invite you to join Judith and the rest of the Creatively Squared community and light things up. Hit the button below for entry information and full resources.

Getting in the mood with Barbora Kurcova

Meet your mentor Barbora Kurcova!

Barbora Kurcova sure knows how to bring the mood to her images. Barbora, or @herinternest as you might know her, is an active member of the Creatively Squared community.

Q&A with Barbora

Hey Barbora! Thanks for joining us as a mentor for our Creatively Squared challenge about mood lighting. We love just love it when you enter our challenges so we are thrilled to have you mentor the community. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am so glad to be part of this amazing community, so thank you! I am Czech living in Oslo, Norway. I work full time in a regular nine to five and in my free time I explore and develop my creativity. I love photography as a tool to share my thoughts, ideas, knowledge and views on the world but I am passionate about so many things, perhaps that is why I rarely run out of ideas for my photography. My biggest passion at the moment is conscious and sustainable living and finding simple ways how can we all do just a little bit better.

Can you tell us about your creative process, how do you come up with ideas for what to share next on your Instagram account?

For me inspiration and ideas are all about being conscious and having your mind and eyes opened as ideas are everywhere around, even in the most boring everyday objects or activities.

I would say my creative process goes two ways: either I have a visual idea, an image in my head and try to make it happen, find the best location/background, props and lighting to make it live, or I have something I want to say and I try to figure out how could I visualise that idea or message. But in general it is a lot of failed ideas and a lot of figuring out how to make things work, so patience is needed!

This challenge is all about using lighting to alter the mood of your photo. What are your top tips for capturing a moody image?

The moody image is all about a story and story-telling. Think about the emotion, moment or situation you are trying to communicate with your photography. The light, texture and movement are in my opinion three key elements to making each photograph a bit more moody. I see moody images as a bit of a theatrical, movie-like images capturing moments rather than things. It is about translating the three dimensional mood full of amazing light, scents, sounds, into flat image whilst still managing to create a bit of mystery and tension.

Light is key to great photography in general and especially if we want to capture or create certain mood. But moody photographs definitely don't need to be dark! It is more about looking for contrast, shadows, depth but most importantly light fitting the mood be that soft morning light or harsh direct sunlight. I prefer daylight myself but candle light or strong flashlight can create interesting effects too!

Different textures really help to bring depth into the photography and also different layers of light as it will break in many different ways. And adding movement is amazing tool to translate the idea of specific mood into image! It doesn't mean that there need to be something moving, like twirling skirt or hair blowing in the air (although that is of course amazing). It might just mean that instead of organising flower petals into beautiful arrangements, you just through them from the height to let them fall on the surface more naturally!

What equipment do you use?

I do not believe that the equipment is what makes the great photography and try to keep it as simple as possible. For the longest time I was an Olympus PEN E-PL7 girl so most of my photographs up to today are taken by that camera with a 17mm lens. Unfortunately my trusty ‘photofriend’ said goodbye a couple of weeks ago and I upgraded to Canon. So at the moment I have Canon EOS M50 and a couple of lenses, 32mm for portraits, 22mm for more street photography and the kit lense 15-50mm which I carry with me on a lazy day as it is a really good overall lense. It is a fantastic camera but I still have so much to learn to quite understand it, it feels like I am starting my photography journey from the beginning the old ways don’t quite work the same.

As I am working on a one big project now, I upgraded to better tripod but have been using the cheapies they had in the shop up until now. Now I have one which can tilt 90° and is great help for flatlays! I can use an app on my phone as a remote control to connect to my camera which is super handy especially for self-portraits! And when it comes to editing, I am really basic as editing is not what I prefer to spend my time on, I rather try to take the photograph just right and usually just enhance a bit of contrast or saturation in VSCO.  

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Are there any techniques you use to enhance the moodiness of your captures?

I suppose there are two layers to it: before production and post-production. When I want to create moody image I usually look for beautiful natural light, often next to the window where the shadows are soft yet dramatic and I can play with where I want my light to hit the subject. You should definitely try it yourself and see what works for your idea, but in case of portraits, facing the source of light (window) or looking away or side ways will have very different impact on the photography! It is all about what is visible, what is hidden, what is in the spotlight and telling the story.

When it comes to post-production, I usually play with highlights, shadows and contrast to make the image feel just right. Maybe you want to create more soft, mysterious feeling so fading the image can help a lot, or maybe you want to highlight the dramatic shadows and then upping the contrast can help.

You have an imaginative and beautiful knack of taking self portraits. Do you have any tips to encourage people to take their own self portraits?

Thank you so much! If you would ask me two years ago if I would put my face on the Internet and enjoy it, I would laugh for sure. I think the biggest “push” for me came when I shaved my head about a year and a half ago and suddenly realise I have nowhere to hide, my face felt so bare. So I started to accept it more and show it more in the creative portraits, using my face as canvas (sometimes literally). I have actually written a free e-book with all the tips how to start and feel comfortable in front of the camera as I got asked so much!

To be very honest, I do really hate my photos being taken and take 99% of my photos myself, because I know how I look the best, what are “my angles” and no one is stressing me. It is an intimate moment, almost like a self-care routine really and I absolutely recommend to find a quiet time to start learning!

In general I would say take your time and way to feel comfortable and take it one step at a time. There is no need to have your face out there if it makes you feel any kind of negative emotions but if you really want to try, start small. Maybe first take portrait from a big distance, landscape with a tiny figure. Next photo could be you hiding your face with beautiful bouquet or big autumn leaf but a bit closer and slowly you will work your way to “close” portrait. And before you know it, your first portrait is out there!

What’s your number one home studio hack for working with limited space and resources?

Keep everything and think outside the box! I am a bit of creative hoarder so if I have a nice shoe box, wrapping paper, leftover flooring, sample wallpaper, whatever can come photo handy, I keep it. That way I have a lot of material to work with, mostly really “garbage” which can help me create virtual reality in my home. It is not about tricking people into thinking my life is perfect, it is just about getting the visual idea right. When trying to create serene floral portrait, messy kitchen in the background is just not going to work. So when the day is dark and I want to create something, I take out my wooden floor boards hidden under the sofa, put them on the window sill and create small home studio in no time!

We can all relate to falling in and out of love with Instagram, how has your account evolved over time?

What a great question! I had another IG profile or five before but when I started Her Internest, it  was more intentional, with goal to reach magical 10k followers. I was very present, posting every day and really putting a lot of effort into posting and connecting and I loved it. I grew about 20k in one year I think and then realised I do not want to grow much more as I was not able to communicate with people as before and the amount of comments and DMs became impossible to handle with full time job (thanks to my amazingly engaged audience). And the community and connection is what matters to me the most, sharing my creative visions and ideas with people who spend their time receiving my content is so valuable to me.

Fast forward to about one year ago, I stopped focusing on growth and started to focus on finding my true self and true style, what would I do or post if there was no likes, what would I create if there was no Instagram, those sorts of questions filled my mind. And to be very honest, I am still there figuring it out, sharing my journey with my followers. I am very purpose driven, conscious person so I would hate to waste people's times by posting ”whatever”. What is the next step, I don't know, but as Instagram is my hobby and not a source of income (except few gifted items which I am very grateful for) I don't feel too pressured to figure it out. And when I fall out of love with Instagram, I always try to reconnect to my own ideas and creativity and get out of the “comparison, everyone is better than me” Instagram loop. Focusing on doing something creative and sharing later always works!

Barbora xx

Barbora is the guest mentor for our June 10-16 creative challenge ‘In the Mood’ and will be featuring her favourite entries and feedback on the @creativelysquared Instagram account. You can find Barbora at @herinternest, her website or simply click on each image to take you directly to the post on Instagram. We invite you to join Barbora and the rest of the Creatively Squared community and get in the mood. Hit the button below for entry information and full resources.

Chasing sunshine with Hannah Argyle

Meet your mentor Hannah Argyle!

Hannah Argyle’s light filled captures will inspire anyone. The talented photographer lives in Northampton in England’s East Midlands with her family including her two beautiful boys and the rather large Albert the rescue dog who all feature as her muses. Hannah has an incredible eye for capturing light, anywhere from a simple window vignette in her Victorian terraced house, a beautiful wall with a perfectly cast shadow to the golden magic of the countryside. Did I also mention that Hannah is partial to a still life and flatlay arrangement. She certainly has something to inspire everyone and I personally have been a long time follower on her journey.

We are so lucky Hannah is very generous to share her tips with us and what she has learnt on her photography journey. We had a chat with the lovely [not to mention modest] Hannah to find out more about what inspires her.

Q&A with Hannah

Hey Hannah! Thanks for joining us to mentor our Creatively Squared challenge all about lighting, our community requested you many times over so we are thrilled to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thanks so much for having me! I live in Northampton in the UK, in a Victorian house that is very much a work in progress! I'm a Mum to two boys, who you may see pop up in my feed from time to time. I've been a full time photographer for about 3 years, working mainly to create content for brands here on Instagram and on paid collaborations on my feed. and I also offer tuition sessions in my studio here in Northampton.

Can you tell us about your creative process, how do you come up with ideas for what to share next on your Instagram account?

My creative process is very much lead by what "ingredients" I have to hand. I love photographing nature, so my work tends rot be very seasonal. I'm always looking for something to make an image just a little bit special, whether it's the frosty morning, or an autumn mist, or a beautiful golden hour... these conditions can turn any landscape or scene into a dream world. Because I don't live in a particularly photogenic place, I have learned to make the most of beautiful light or conditions. Aside from that, I love to photograph my home, my travels and my kids, and I try to go with wherever the mood takes me, and not limit myself to what may be more popular on Instagram!

You have a beautiful talent for capturing light. As a photographer, what are your top three tips you would give us aspiring image takers to capture the sunlight? Any dos and don’ts?

Thank you very much! Soft light is easier to work with ie. light filtered by clouds, or when the sun is low in the sky. I'm completely self taught and frustration lead me to find out what I wanted to know, after many a ruined photoshoot. Strong sunlight will create high contrasts and dark shadows, it's therefore difficult to expose the shot and can be unflattering with portraits, leaving dark shadows under the eyes and nose. 

My biggest tip would be practise, constantly. Figure out what went wrong, and what you could try next time. Try going out at golden hour and shooting towards the sun (backlit) to create a dreamy effect. Experiment with different angles and figure out which placement of the sun gives you the desired effect. 

If you have no choice but to shoot in the midday sun, try seeking shade. If you cut off the light from above (for example if you are under a tree) you will get that more flattering side light directed onto a face. 

I find each season the light has a different quality, and the longer I have been a photographer, the more I understand different lighting conditions and which are my favourite to work with! I am obsessed with light, I'm always watching what it's doing, where it enters a space and which direction it travels in throughout the day. The first thing I do when I travel with my job is work out where the sun will rise and set, and therefore which locations will work to shoot at which time of day. 

What equipment do you use? Any tricks which aid in enhancing the lighting of your captures?

I primarily use a Nikon D850, and a variety of different lenses. My favourite lenses are probably 50mm, 35mm and 70-200mm. I use a tripod for all my self portraiture, and I set my camera on a timer to take 9 shots. I'm yet to experiment with a remote shutter, I've just got used to doing it on a timer and it works for me! Not knowing when the exactly the camera will click gives my shots some of their spontaneous feel I think. I worry I'd lose this if I had a remote in my hand. 

I shoot in RAW which I think is the single most important thing you can do to optimise the light in your images. I edit in Lightroom on my laptop, or Lightroom mobile for iPhone images. I'm a believer in getting the light right before taking the image, and I think it's really pretty impossible to correct bad lighting through editing. I do like to reduce the highlights in the sky in my pictures though, to try and avoid a completely blown out sky.

Your account has a beautiful mix of countryside scenes, interior shots [with cameos from yourself, your boys and your rescue dog of course] along with floral flatlays and vignettes...do you have a favourite to photograph?

Thanks so much, I really like to mix it up! I do it for my own sake really, I think I'd get bored if I limited myself to one genre. Sometimes I think Instagram would like me better if I stuck to one thing, haha! In the end though it's got to be fun and to be able to maintain an account for a number of years, it's important to feel passionate about what you shoot. 

My favourite thing to photograph is probably my kids, closely followed by nature - wild flowers, golden hours, misty mornings etc. Having said that I really enjoy styling too!

What are your tips for successfully mixing these genres on your Instagram feed?

I guess keeping a constant style, colour palette and editing is all key to being able to post all sorts of pictures. It's the greatest complement when people say to me that they knew a picture was mine before they even saw the name. 

Do you have any tips for good lighting for your beautiful vignettes and flatlays?

I always use natural light from a window. Again my tip would be to learn to watch the light, look at the way it falls across objects in a room, what time of day you like it the best etc. If you have a flat lay close to a window, you'll have a more evenly lit image, if you move it further away you'll have moodier lighting. Once you know the light you can play with it, make long shadows a part of the composition, or use dappled light or strong contrasting light to create a really striking image. 

We can all relate to falling in and out of love with Instagram, how has your account evolved over time?

My account began as simply a way to keep myself amused and feel creative again after having my second baby. Having followers wasn't an aim, and it being a full time job was certainly not something I ever imagined! As it's grown there has obviously come a lot more pressure, and sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming. I think many of us have made mistakes, done collaborations we wouldn't want to do again, posted picture we wouldn't post now! I've always been very open and honest on Instagram, and I've done my best to stay true to myself and carry on regardless with what I love doing, in spite of the algorithm! Having said that I'm also quite guarded about my children, and my life isn't an open book to anyone who chooses to dip in and out. I think it's a difficult thing to negotiate having a genuine voice and telling our story, yet still protecting our children and not leaving a digital footprint that they have no say in. I'm not necessarily getting it right but it's something I'm very conscious of.

Hannah xx

Hannah is the guest mentor for our June 3-10 creative challenge ‘Chase the Sun’ and will be featuring her favourite entries and feedback on the @creativelysquared Instagram account. You can find Hannah at @hannahargyle, her website or simply click on each image to take you directly to the post on Instagram. We invite you to join Hannah and the rest of the Creatively Squared community for some creative fun in the sun. Hit the button below for entry information and full resources.

Meet the Creatives: Bronte Huskinson

Meet Bronte!

I’m Bronte but most people call me Bee. I’m an Instagrammer, a blogger and a writer. I’m all about trying to live as kindly as I possibly can, whether that is being nice to people or being kinder to the planet.

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Q&A with Bronte

You are best known on Instagram for being a bookworm, for those of us that are new to the term can you tell us what ‘Bookstagramming’ is?
Bookstagramming is essentially a community on Instagram that take photos of books. This can be anything from a simple flatlay to marvellous Photoshop creations using books as props.

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We can all relate to falling in and out of love with Instagram, how has your account evolved over time?
Oh gosh, my account has changed dramatically overtime! I started off on Instagram just posting book flatlays (they’re still up on my account if you fancy having a bit of a nosey!) and over-time I developed into doing more creative photos. I started appearing in them a lot more and Photoshop became a bit of a main staple in my photos. But after a while, I felt like I wasn’t being ‘me’ anymore. When I started the account, I had no idea that it would become my full-time job, and I was much more than someone who liked books. That’s when I decided to do my rebrand and change my name from ‘bookishbronte’ to ‘frombeewithlove’. This was very freeing for me and was something that needed to happen, but I also felt like I had no direction anymore. That I was just posting photos for the sake of posting them. So I decided to go back to why I started the account in the first place; to show off my writing. And now I am doing exactly that! Each month, I theme my photos around a short story I write at the end of the month. It’s early days, but so far I’m loving it! It makes me feel like my account actually have a purpose, and the location changes every month so I’ll no longer be getting bored of my photos like I was before.

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Can you tell us about your creative process, how do you come up with ideas for what to share next on your Instagram account?
This is something else which has changed a lot. But it’s always about finding the right inspiration. Previously, I used to take a lot of inspiration from other Instagrammers and Pinterest. I’d find a concept that I would like and somehow make it my own. But now I don’t really look to other Instagrammers for inspiration simply because I think that if a photo already exists on Instagram, why would you want to recreate it? I still look to Pinterest for inspiration, but it’s not for concept ideas anymore, it’s more for poses. I absolutely love looking at editorial fashion shoots for posing ideas because they’re always so unusual! I also really love taking inspiration from certain decades – I’m a sucker for the 60s!

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What equipment do you use?
I use a Canon EOS 200D with an ef 16-35mm f/4l lens. I used to use a 50mm kit lens, but since I’ve been doing a lot more outside photography, a wider lens means you can get so much wider! I also think that natural lighting is the best lighting, and I never really use any lighting equipment unless it is a flatlay of objects that create really harsh shadows. I mainly use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing.

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It seems you have quite the knack for doing creative and whimsical edits in Photoshop. How did you get started?
I mainly got started with doing edits in Photoshop because I got bored of the photos I was doing and I needed something to re-spark my love for photo taking. I’m the kind of person who’s always looking to do something different, and at the time, I wasn’t seeing many bookstagram accounts who were using photoshop. So I started doing really simple Photoshop editing which I taught myself to make things float. Then things got a bit out of hand and crazy before I calmed it down again. I always think Photoshop looks best when it is kept very simple, especially for beginners.

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As creators we are always looking for ways to do our best work with whatever materials or environment we have available so we loved your blog post on ‘How to create great photos when you don’t have an Instagrammable house’ What’s your number one home studio hack for those that are facing the same challenges?
Of course, it always helps when you have a plain white wall but I’m not about to go and ask you to buy some paint and start painting your walls haha! If you can, I would think about investing in some backdrops – they don’t have to be anything fancy, they could just be large white card or plain bedsheets! But if you’re not looking to buy anything, I would really just use what you already have and use it to your advantage. Do you have a colourful wall in your house? Use it! I do a lot of overhead shots on the bed, and these are really simple and easy to do, especially if you don’t have an instagrammable house.

You have started your own book club on Instagram @girlswhocanbookclub, can you tell us about it and how we can get involved?
The Girls Who Can Book Club celebrates all things women. It’s a community run by women who feature books written by women. We cover a lot of different genres from early readers and beyond. It’s really simple to get involved, all you have to do is follow @girlswhocanbookclub where at the beginning of the month we announce what books we are all reading and you just read along!

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We can see from your blog that you have a passion for writing as well as reading, do you have plans to write your own book?

I do! I’ve recently started posting my writing on Wattpad which I update weekly. I also publish a short story at the end of the month on my blog, which is loosely based on the photos I’ve been posting that month. I do have plans to release a book in the future too. Your personal mantra is ‘self-love, empowerment and kindness’ I think we could all do with a healthy dose of all three, how do you stay positive and inspired? I think it’s important to note that it’s not possible to stay positive 100% of the times. There’re definitely days where I feel like I can’t do anything right or the world is crumbling beneath me – that’s completely normal! But I’ve always been a very optimistic person who believes that everything that happens to me has happened for a reason. Even the bad things are there to teach me something. Seeing the good side to everything is just part of my nature. Staying inspired, however, is something that I used to find really difficult. Before I decided to start basing my feed around a short story, I found it super hard to stay inspired because I didn’t have a direction. I’m the sort of person who needs to have a reason why I’m doing something, otherwise I start to feel quite lost. It also doesn’t help that I get bored easily, so now that my photos are going to be changing every month, that’s definitely helped me to stay inspired and excited about what I’m doing. My advice would be to not limit yourself to what you create. Don’t be afraid to change it up and experiment, especially if you’re unhappy with what you’re creating and just creating for the sake of your followers. Keep experimenting until you find something that makes you excited.


Bronte is the guest host of our ‘The Life of Pages’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Bronte’s photos on her Instagram account @frombeewithlove




Meet the Creatives: Tracey Carroll

Meet Tracey!

Hi, my name is Tracey and I live in Adelaide, South Australia. I am married to the kindest man, Tony, we have known each other for over 25 years, we met while working in a restaurant and have been together for sixteen years. We have a beautiful daughter Charlotte who is ten, we also share our home with a little Jack Russell cross Dusty, he's the sweetest!

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I am a classically trained Chef and I worked for many years in Restaurants in Adelaide, I also ran a catering business 'Lemon Tree Catering' with my closest and dearest friend Shannon.

Now days I am so blessed to be working as a Photographer, recipe developer and stylist for a fabulous, family owned food business here in South Australia. I am so lucky to be able to combine my love of food and cooking with my passion for photography and styling... it's my dream job!

In my spare time I love to spend time with Tony and Charlotte at the beach, I also love my garden and spend many hours tending to it especially my beautiful roses. I am learning ceramics at a local arts society its so much fun and I really enjoy it!

I have always been interested in photography, Instagram really ignited this passion again for me a few years ago, it’s been a fantastic platform for my creativity and along the way I've met so many lovely and like minded souls, who would've thought that a little app could make such a difference in ones life!

Q&A with Tracey Carroll

How would you describe your creative style?
I would say my creative style is light and bright, I like to photograph with natural light.

I also love to forage! its usually the basis for my photos, I carry a pair of secateurs in my car, I'm always quick to pull over and snip a few branches from the roadside!

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Photographing our everyday life is also important to me, I always tell my daughter..."you'll appreciate Mummy taking all of these photos one day!" I love looking at our family photographs, reminders of happy and special days.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
I mostly use my Canon 6D DSLR with a 50mm lens and sometimes a 28-100mm lens but I still use my iPhone on occasions as well. I edit my images in Lightroom Classic CC

Can you tell us why the theme ‘My moments with flowers’ resonates with you?
I absolutely love this theme, flowers are something I truly love! I always have fresh blooms in the house, anything from a small posy to a big huge bunch of foraged loveliness! it just makes me feel happy! I’ve been lucky enough to meet some very talented folk through Instagram and Lisel from Belle Bouquets is amazing! I absolutely adore her work and the paper flowers are exquisite!

Can you share 3 of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

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I love this image of my beautiful daughter, although you can't see her face I think it really captures her soft, gentle and sometimes serious nature. I also really like this soft afternoon light.

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This was taken with my iPhone on a day we spent in the Adelaide Hills with our closest friends, it was the perfect day...fig picking followed by a picnic by the lake, a really happy and special day!

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My favourites -David Austin Roses. I liked the softness of this one, the tones and the depth of field. This image was taken with my DSLR, it’s always exciting to capture the first beautiful blooms of spring! I'm trying to push myself to take more "moody" photographs, its something that I'm working on, but I quite liked this one of a David Austin in the garden in the early morning after a rain shower.


Tracey is the guest host of our ‘My moments with flowers’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Tracey’s photos on her Instagram account @traceyc1968




Meet the Creatives: Bianca Masciulli

Meet Bianca!

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I am a Mum of three kids who lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I work as a self employed Accountant / Bookkeeper most days whilst my kids are at school. I discovered Instagram just three years ago when I was looking for inspiration for our renovation. I am now lucky enough to work as a content creator for some amazing brands. Content creation has become a passion of mine, my creative outlet when I’m not crunching numbers!

Q&A with Bianca Masciulli

How would you describe your creative style?
My home has a mixture of white and grey walls (hence the name of my account) so I tend to stick to monochrome colours and tones with some natural elements (greenery and timber). I love to showcase products in my home through shelfies (my favourite prop is the mantle in my bedroom), close up product shots, flatlays and larger scale styled room photos.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use both an IPhone 8 Plus and a DSLR camera. I am still learning how to use my DSLR, YouTube tutorials have been my saviour! I use a few different editing apps, my favourite is Adobe Lightroom.

Can you tell us why this week’s challenge theme resonates with you?
The prize this week comes from my favourite faux flower boutique, Faking Beautiful. I love using flowers as a styling aid in my home, but having to change them weekly can be costly. Faux flowers are a cost effective option. The flowers available for purchase at Faking Beautiful are so lifelike, you would swear they are real! Every week, I put together a new arrangement of flowers, tailored to my current style selection. If my feed is going to feature natural tones that week, I will stick to greens and white faux flowers. If I want to add a pop of colour to my feed - I use bright flowers mixed with greenery. A styling tip for you - use porcelain or ceramic vases to showcase your faux flowers so you can fold and hide the stems. I don’t like to cut my stems so I can use them over and over again in a range of different arrangements (in varying sizes).

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

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I was recently lucky enough to collaborate with Target to help launch their “Field of Dreams” homewares range. I love a good bargain, and of course love homewares! So for this campaign I was able to combine both and show my followers how I was able to style Target’s budget friendly homewares in my own home.

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I have prints all throughout my home. Some are expensive forever pieces, the others are inexpensive internet finds. It is these prints that I change frequently when I modify the style or theme of a room. My base colour theme for my prints is monochrome, it literally goes with everything and is super easy to photograph. I like to add a pop of colour in the form of flowers or greenery. I suffer from hay fever, which can be triggered by real flowers, so faux flowers, especially in spring are my only option.

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If you asked me three years ago to style homewares, I never would have been able to come up with anything even remotely close to this! This image is my reminder of how far my styling has come. I am forever grateful to all of the businesses that trust me with their products, the practical styling experience has been priceless.

Any final tips on how to create the perfect faux floral arrangement for your own home?

  1. Vary your flower stem height within your bouquet to make the arrangement look more natural and not too perfect.

  2. Consider mixing your flowers with greenery. Flowers look great en masse but I prefer my arrangements to include real or faux greenery. The eucalyptus gum stems from Faking Beautiful are the perfect faux greenery option.

  3. If possible (i.e. your vase has sufficient space) bend your faux stems instead of cutting them. This will allow you to use your stems for a variety of different arrangements in the future.

  4. Don’t be afraid to bend the wires of your faux floral arrangements to shape your stems. When you work with real flowers, unless you add wire you are limited by the flowers natural shape. With faux flowers, you can bend the stem wire to position your flowers in a number of different ways.

  5. Make sure to turn your vase around to check that your floral arrangement looks great looks from all sides.


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Bianca is the guest host of our ‘Creative Confessions’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Bianca’s photos on her Instagram account @white.grey.all.day



Meet the Creatives: Allison Goh

Meet Allison!

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I have a big love for creating pretty scenes in little squares. I didn’t always do what I’m currently doing now - I was a medical scientist back in Perth, spent my days looking down microscopes in a big white coat. Together with my husband, we moved to Singapore three years ago and I started IMEHLY where I let my love for styling fill my days.

Q&A with Allison Goh

How would you describe your creative style?
My creative style is dark and moody, flatlay structure mostly with pops of colours. My flatlays used to be made up of many random objects in one little square without actually having a story/theme. It has definitely evolved since, and each image is now more thought through instead of just random things coming together.

What kind of equipment do you use?
My iPhone takes all my photos you see on Instagram. I like working with nature such as flowers and fruits - it’s the only reason I make trips to the grocery store. I do however have a huge collection of props which I buy whenever I go on holiday. Flea markets are the best places for styling props.

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Can you tell us why the theme you are hosting is important to you?
As previously mentioned, I love working with nature related elements. There is just so much beauty around us and they are accessible to anyone who wants them. There is no need to buy expensive materials to produce beautiful images.

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

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I personally feel that working with different types of blooms can be tricky because I don’t always know if a certain type of flower would complement the other. But somehow everything here works and I’m really happy with how this turned out.

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This was my first time exploring with a fabric backdrop and taking the shot from a different angle instead of my usual flatlay. It took me a while to set this scene up but I loved the end results.

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This was one of my first projects for a client in NY. Even though this was only a setup, this scene made me want to dive into the luxe and romance this little square had to offer!


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Allison is the guest host of our ‘Nature’s Candy’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Allison’s photos on her Instagram account @imehly and visit her website www.imehly.com



Meet the Creatives: Jessica Lucius

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Hi, I’m Jessica

Although I’ve never had formal culinary training, I’ve been cooking since I was very young- inspired by watching my grandma and parents in the kitchen (and about 2 million hours of Food Network). I have always had a pet bunny- now I have a baby lionhead named Marshmallow, and I just adore animals (as you might’ve noticed from my food art). When I’m not in the kitchen recipe testing, decorating or eating I love to workout, spend time outside, read and watch movies.

Q&A with Jessica Lucius

How would you describe your creative style?
My creative style is a lot like my own style I think - lots of pinks and golds and pretty touches with playfulness mixed in. Happy, cute and colourful.

What kind of equipment do you use?
My Vitamix is my most used kitchen tool, but I also often use a kitchen aid mixer, silicone moulds, LOTS of piping tips, sprinkles, and a variety of surfaces and plates for styling (my marble pastry slab is my favourite of them all).

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Can you tell us why this week’s challenge resonates with you?
My workspace is my favourite room in my home. It’s where I spend my days creating, and my evenings cooking, planning, and hanging out. I just love the energy of being in the kitchen and bringing in the ideas in my head to life.

Can you share a few of your favourite images and tell us why you love them?

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There’s just so much happiness here. I love the colors and those clouds are a nod to one of my first ever food creations.

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Pusheen is one of my favorite characters to recreate in food form. I just love how cute and playful she is. She always makes me smile

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I just adore Winnie the Pooh (and ice cream is my fave dessert). His sweetness and wisdom are constant sources of inspiration for my food art (and he always knows the perfect thing to say no matter the situation).


Jessica is the guest host of our ‘My Workspace’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Jessica’s photos on her Instagram account @luxeandthelady and check out her website Luxeandthelady.com







Meet the Creatives: Shriya Sinha

Meet Shriya!

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Hiya! My name is Shriya! I was born and brought up in India. I graduated and worked as an interior designer in Singapore. Got married, moved around a lot and currently settling down in Australia with our 3 yr old daughter. I got into photography all because of my husband and his camera gear! My husband (who is into landscape and night photography) taught me the technical know how of DSLR and from then on I never looked back!

I am driven by creativity with an eye for detail and aesthetics! The insta grid is my creative outlet that I enjoy composing to de-stress from the daily life routine and take time out for myself. I want to keep learning, be inspired, be original along this way!

Q&A with Shriya Sinha

How would you describe your creative style?
My creative style has evolved a lot in the past one year. But I have always loved and relied on natural light for photography! I started with food photography and styling along with travel/motherhood shots. And moved to white/bright flatlays and content styling that speak of simplicity and minimalism, which of course I am totally enjoying currently!

What kind of equipment do you use?
Have been using Canon 7D Mark I and we just upgraded it to 7D Mark II. My beloved lens is Carl Zeiss Planar.

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Can you tell us why this week’s challenge resonates with you?
I appreciate and adore people who create bespoke and unique handmade products! I always feel drawn to the talent and amazing skills shown by an individual. And am so elated to have connected with Anna from @rawcottoncollection for this theme which involves her gorgeous handmade bags and clutches!

Can you share a few of your favourite images and tell us why you love them?

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I loved styling this setup! The heart shaped brownies pop up as the main focus with layer of props around it! Love the minimalist look of this with beautiful details!

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The soft pastel pink florals, zen feels , and the letterings look divine and oh so pleasing in this shot!

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I love relaxed morning vibes! This image depicts the perfect serene bedroom mood and my love for tea !

I started my journey with Creatively Squared in 2018. And It’s been such an amazingly inspiring each day every day with a community of beautiful supportive people! Super grateful for all my loving tribe I found through this insta portal!

You know who you are and You are as real as you can be! ♥️


Shriya is the guest host of our ‘Warm Up’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Shriya’s photos on her Instagram account @ofmixednotions







Project paint: Meet the creative behind the revolving door of colour

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Meet Marita!

I started out on Instagram to let the creative side of me evolve. I have always enjoyed being creative and this was just another way to better myself so to speak. I love the fact there are so many other amazingly creative people here on Instagram that I could learn from and in a lot of cases, make lasting friendships with.

There is so much encouragement from this creative community and it’s such a pleasure to be a part of it. I started taking part in Creatively Squared challenges right from day one and I have loved it ever since.

Then there is the whole other part to my Instagram account which of course is my one of a kind, ever changing coloured door - hence my Instagram name @that_coloured_door_69. It all started after I took a trip to the UK and saw all the coloured doors. I came home absolutely inspired to paint my door which I first did in December 2016 and the rest as they say is history. After another trip to the UK in 2018 I visited Notting Hill and Primrose Hill which cemented the fact that I needed to keep my coloured going as the colours I can paint her are endless. I love its quirkiness and it also allows my creative side to go wild.

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Q&A with Marita

How would you describe your creative style?
Ohh dear, that's a hard one! I would say its ever evolving, a little bit quirky (I mean who has a door that changes colour every month) light hearted and fun. I like my posts to reflect who I am.  

What kind of equipment do you use?

At the moment I just use my trusty iPhone 8+ but have just bought a Canon camera and looking at doing a course to learn how to use it - I can't wait

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Can you tell us why you love this week’s “On The Bed” creative challenge theme?

When I was asked to be a guest host I was absolutely honoured and so excited. Like I said before I've been taking part in Creatively Squared challenges since the very beginning. I think I even won the first ever challenge I participated in! So to be back three years later as a guest host blows me away and I just feel proud.

Hosting this weeks challenge is extra special to me as I have been known this week’s sponsor Cheree from The Pillow Slip Store for a couple of years now. I adore her products and we have a special friendship. I may have quite the collection of King Size pillowslips too!

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Cheree has gorgeous style and her business is so unique. I also love the fact that she supports so many other small businesses out there. When I put my very first order in from her online store, Cheree inboxed me after seeing my delivery address, as it turns out we grew up in the same area just one town away from each other - what a small world!

We love following your monthly coloured front door project, what inspired you to do this?
I was inspired to first paint my door after a trip to the UK and seeing all the coloured doors. My first coloured door was a red door for Christmas and I loved the look of it so much I just knew I had to keep it coloured. After that there were so many colours to pick from so I just thought I’d have to keep changing it’s colour every month. As far as creative projects go it’s pretty quirky and one of a kind but I couldn’t imagine the door any other way.

Our beautiful 84 year old home was built by my husband Mark’s grandparents and his nan lived here right up until she passed away. She was so happy to know that we were buying the house from her estate and that it would always be in the family.

She started painting the door when she lived her. First it was lemon with a white trim and then later it was then grey with a black trim so it’s had a colourful life this 84 year old door of mine.

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How do you pick the colour each month?
I usually have no idea what colour I will do but I start planning it a couple weeks before with a visit to Bunnings. Usually I know straight away when I see a colour that it’s THE ONE but sometimes I will put it to a Instagram vote if I’m undecided which is always fun

You must be pretty good at painting it now, how long does it take you?
I’m pretty good at painting her now & from start to finish which includes sanding and taping off parts it takes me between 45 -60 mins


Marita is the guest host of our “On The Bed” themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Marita’s photos on her Instagram account @that_coloured_door_69







Wake up inspired: Meet the print designer creating affordable art for stylish home interiors

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Kate Fenning is the designer and founder of online art prints store Yorkelee. Kate studied graphic design and worked in marketing and advertising at various ad agencies around town, before giving it all up to become proud mother of her two boys. Kate started Yorkelee prints after going on maternity leave, wanting a better work-life balance and doing what she loves – creating art and spending more time with her kids

Q&A with Yorkelee founder Kate Fenning

Yorkelee founder Kate Fenning

Yorkelee founder Kate Fenning

How would you describe your creative style?
Eclectic minimalist - I made that up but it sounds good.

What kind of equipment do you use?
Sony digital camera, Mac computers, iphone, Epson large format printers

What inspired you to start your own creative business?
I went on maternity leave to have Yorke, didn’t want to go back into advertising, wanted better work/life balance. It started as a hobby, didn’t ever expect to start it as a business, it just evolved organically from a ‘need’ that ended up being other people's need, I feel like a lot of good businesses start from a question being answered, a need for something that isn’t yet available.

How did you come up with the name Yorkelee?
It’s the combination of my boys names - Yorke Levi and Morrissey Lee. I condensed it to Yorkelee, it was the best I could come up with at the time lol

What did you do before Yorkelee?
I studied Graphic Design at uni, then worked in Advertising doing pretty much everything, project manager, studio manager, operations manager which gave me a great understanding in running and maintaining profitable businesses.

What has been the best part of your Yorkelee journey so far?
I’m still super grateful everyday that people love my designs and want to buy them. I get excited seeing customers excitement and love for our work.

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What inspires your beautiful prints?
All of the designs tell a story, they’re the evolution of me really, the different stages in life that I have been through and what I’m feeling at the time. I get inspired by experiences and channel that creatively.

Do you have a favourite print collaboration you have done so far?
The collaboration with Catherine from @the_stables_ would have to be my all time fave. I also love our HP collab for the Vogue event we did last year.

The Styler wall art print collaboration with The Stables

The Styler wall art print collaboration with The Stables

If you could collaborate with any creative who would it be?
I would love to collab with Ikea, who wouldn’t, that’s my ultimate dream.

Do you get warm fuzzies when you see your prints hanging in people's homes?
Of course, that’s our WHY.

Can you tell us why the theme ‘Home is where the ART is’ resonates with you?
I'm all about creating affordable art for the home. I believe everyone deserves to wake up in an environment that inspires them.

Can you share a few of your favourite images and why you love them?

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It's my fave gallery wall. Was taken for an interview I did with The Canberra Times last year.

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It shows the balance between comfort, practicality and style. I believe you can have it all.

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Styling kids bedrooms is so much fun.


Kate is the guest host of our ‘Home is where the ART is’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Kate’s photos on her Instagram account @yorkelee_prints and visit her website yorkelee.com.au





Sugarcoated Creativity: Meet Jenna from Love Bites Cookies

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Meet Jenna!

I love all things pretty and sugary. I have a massive sweet tooth, and I combined these loves and created a little business. I now have the ability to add extra sweetness (with my cookies) to people’s special celebrations which is such an honour.

I love travelling the exploring the world with my husband. We also have a beautiful golden retriever who adds so much love to our lives.

Q&A with Jenna List

What inspired you to start your own creative business? 
I've always loved baking. When I was 4 I used to sit at the bottom of my slippery side each day in the dirt and make 'mud pies' for my neighbours... thankfully, my treats taste a whole lot better these day but  apart from the location and the ingredients, not much has changed. If I'm using my hands and creating pretty things to give for people I'm happy!  My family and friends spent a long time encouraging me to turn my hobby of baking into a little business (I, like a lot of you, struggle with self doubt) but eventually I listened to them... and here we are!    

How would you describe your creative style?
Sweet 😂 and pretty

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How do you come up with fresh ideas for your cookies? 
To be honest, icing 500 cookies the exact same way can get a little boring. Although I do take corporate orders, I enjoy the creating the smaller, personalised orders more.  I try to mix it up and use different techniques from piping to painting to drawing on my cookies. I'm constantly experimenting and learning new thing through trial and error.   

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What are some of your favourite materials to work with? 
As long as I have butter, sugar and flour, I'm pretty happy in the kitchen.  But for styling, I love to use fresh flowers and different papers, materials and pretty plates. 

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Do you have a signature style that you are known for? 
Not really, but its always so fun when people go to a party and message me telling me they saw and enjoyed some of my cookies.  There are a lot of incredible bakers out there.  I used to do wedding cakes and other sweets but these days I focus more on sugar cookies because they give me the most joy.  I see decorated cookies as little edible artworks. 

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What has been one of your favourite projects you've worked on? 
Oh goodness... there has been so many.  I'm in love with the sausage dogs I created for valentines day.  Over the past year I've created a few 'Claris the mouse' themed orders.  I love Megan Hess' work, so it's always lovely to create cookies to match her book.  It's such a sweet theme for a little girls party.  The first cookie order I did with this theme was hard to part with! 

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Can you tell us why this week’s ‘Show me the love’ creative challenge theme resonates with you?
We all need more LOVE in our lives.

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Sometimes I create cookies that I just love and don’t want to part with.... but I love that so many people are going to enjoy these.

Jenna is the guest host of our ‘Show me the love’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Jenna’s photos on her Instagram account @lovebitescookies and visit her website lovebiteslifestyle.bigcartel.com






Meet the Creatives: Sarah Shanahan

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Meet Sarah!

I am a professional organiser with a passion for restoring order and calm into my clients homes. I love all things interiors and am a married mother with four beautiful grown up kids.

Q&A with Sarah Shanahan

How would you describe your creative style?
I love warm, Scandi style minimalist interiors. Organised of course!

What kind of equipment do you use?
A varied range of organising tools.

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Can you tell us why the ‘Organise Me’ theme resonates with you?
Hosting this week’s theme is a huge honour for me as my Instagram feed is carefully curated with the aim to inspire others to get organised and restore calm back into their homes and lives. I can't wait!

What are your top 5 tips for staying organised?

  1. Have a vision for how you want the space to be, if you can visualise it you are more likely to achieve it. 

  2. Pick a small area to declutter first to get you started, so you can see instant results and therefore be more likely to keep going. 

  3. Make a pile of 'keep' 'maybe' 'donate' and 'toss'

  4. Ask yourself...'do I need it, love it, use it?' If not let it go! Or put simply, 'does it spark joy?' ( thanks Marie Kondo!) 

  5. Practise tidying up at the end of each day, everything needs a home and needs to be returned to its home at the end of every day. 

    Most importantly - ENJOY YOUR POSSESSIONS!

Can you share a few of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

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To remind us all that there is beauty and joy in the simple things

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A lot of my images on my Instagram feed are flatlays that I have created, I love telling a little story through a flatlay

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I unpack and install a lot of kitchens in my job and I want to portray what I do in a simple joyful image.

Sarah is the guest host of our ‘Organise Me’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Sarah’s photos on her Instagram account @sarahshanahan_lifestyle and visit her website sarahshanahan.com.au


Creativity that sticks: Meet the designer who turned her hobby into a niche creative business

Meet Yael

I'm a graphic designer and an all round creative enthusiast who loves all things that incorporate DIY and creativity. I also have a background in painting and sculpting but for the last nine years I have been following my passions for paper crafts and photography. The idea for my sticker business was inspired by my love of scrapbooking which I was immediately drawn to for it’s endless creative possibilities. It is such a rewarding medium that allows you to create and cherish lasting memories.

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Q&A with Yael Yaniv

What inspired you to start your own creative business?
I found there was such a limited range of stickers available in Hebrew so I started making my own. and I now create collections for scrapbooking and planners in both Hebrew and English. My backdrop collection stemmed from my love of photography, I love photographing all sorts of textures and would routinely use my wooden floor boards at home as a backdrop for my photos. It was 9 years ago that I first had the idea to print an image of a wooden backdrop and the collection grew from there. Now I see backdrop potential everywhere I look and print them both as magnetic backdrops and as firm ones-double sided on light metal for my store.

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How would you describe your creative style?
I love minimalism. both in my life and when I create I like to keep things simple.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I take all my photographs for instagram with my iPhone and use my own backdrops, of course. My DSLR only comes out for backdrop shoots and special family occasions.

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Can you tell us why the you think it’s ‘what’s underneath’ that counts?
I love all the creative possibilities that backdrops enable in your photography by using different textures like marble, wood, stone and concrete. By using different backdrops I can easily add context and use different colors to enhance my creative vision.

Can you share a few of your favourite images you have created?

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This backdrop is one of my favorites, the idea for it struck me one morning when I wanted to take photo in bed and the light was just horrible outside. I thought to myself how great it would be to have a backdrop of linen and blanket so that I could capture the same effect of my bedroom.

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This photo depicts some of my favourite addictions - stickers, flowers and granola for breakfast

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I photographed this backdrop at the Portobello Market in London a few years ago and as I adore the city it is still one of my favorites.

I have always enjoyed participating in the Creatively Squared weekly challenges and I’m so happy that I have had the opportunity to get to know the community and meet so many talented people from all around the world - sponsoring and hosting this week’s challenge is the icing on the cake!

Yael is the guest host of our ‘What’s Underneath’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Yael’s photos on her Instagram account @yaelyaniv and shop her collection from her etsy store - Yael Yaniv  






Meet the Creatives: Katherine Dorrington

Meet Katherine!

I am a photographer and stylist who loves working with flowers and the natural world. I offer product photography and social media content for creative business. I love books, I’m addicted to magazines and I enjoy searching for the perfect vintage objects to add to vignettes. I’m have two girls, aged 5 and 8, and when I’m not spending time with them you can generally find me in the garden or dreaming of travel.

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Q&A with Katherine Dorrington

How would you describe your creative style?
I’d say my creative style is layered and often features a botanical element. I love moody images and scenes and love playing with natural light.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
Canon 6D - my favourite lens at the moment is a 50mm and a recent purchase of a 70-200mm which I love! I also use my iPhone 7 Plus and edit with Lightroom on my desktop and vsco on my phone.

Can you tell us why the you love this week’s theme?
If you take a peek at my Instagram account you will see how heavily florals feature in my photography, I’m completely obsessed.

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Can you share a few of your favourite images you have created with us?

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I love the depth of colour and texture, and I think this photo portrays a rich mood.

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This is one of my favourite images as it contains some of the flowers I adore, the layering and composition works well and it’s visually arresting (in my opinion!)

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This image really evokes a sense of happiness in me as I took it one afternoon at my mum’s property in Dwellingup after raiding her rose garden for flowers and her cupboard for vintage treasures. I think the light really sings in this image with the vintage cut crystal. It was the product of some happy faffing!

Katherine is the guest host of our themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Katherine’s photos on her Instagram account @katherinedorrington and visit her website foragedandcollected.com






Meet the Creatives: Dorinela Hamamci

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Meet Dorinela!

I am a happily married Romanian living in Turkey with my husband, who is a Turk. I have a knack for foreign languages and have studied several tongues from childhood until college. I have been working as a professional translator for 10 years now, but always nurtured my creative side as well. I had pursued many creative outlets over time, like drawing, sewing, painting and writing, but photography and product styling was what really sparked my interest and creativity, so pursuing this path came naturally.

Q&A with Dorinela Hamamci

How would you describe your creative style?
I am drawn to color combinations, different textures and light, and nature is my greatest inspiration, but food and drinks also play an important part in my creative process. I rarely follow a pattern when creating my images, I am more of a spontaneous creative and often get the ideas for my images starting from a single object, texture or color. I am a constant learner, so both my style and my aesthetic continuously develop, along with my technique.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
I have a Nikon Coolpix S6200 camera, but most of the times I use my Sony mobile phone to take my pictures, as it makes the editing process easier and faster, with all the basic editing apps available on mobile.

Can you tell us what the theme ‘Fresh Start’ means to you?
This is my first time hosting a theme for Creatively Squared and it couldn't have been a more appropriate time or theme. A fresh start at the beginning of the new year is what all of us are hoping for. This is a time of renewal and it has a special significance to me as I will hopefully make the leap into a creative career in the following year.

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Can you share with us a few of your favourite images and tell us why you love them?

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This was one of my first attempts at darker, moodier photography and I loved the outcome, which proves that getting out of your comfort zone can be surprisingly fortuitous.

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Legs flatlays are one of my favourite types of creative photography and I think I managed to successfully balance the elements in this particular flatlay, which is why I like it.

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Getting creative with food and/or drinks is one of my favourite things to do. Also, I love pink, so I think this particular image is representative for my creative process lately.

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Since I discovered the wonderful community brought together by Creatively Squared, I have learned a great deal about content creation and have made a lot of friends, people that constantly inspire me to better by skills. I am thankful for the opportunities this creative hub offers and I hope we will collaborate even more in the following year.

Dorinela is the guest host of our ‘Fresh Start’’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Dorinela’s photos on her Instagram account @dorinelahamamci






Meet the Creatives: Emma Brookes

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Meet Emma!

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My name is Emma; I'm a 23 year old blogger and photographer based in Brisbane, Australia. I have always been a very creative person, which is what lead me to start an Instagram page - a place where I could express myself visually. From there, I bought my first DSLR camera and spent every spare second watching YouTube videos learning how to use it. For the first time in my life I felt genuinely passionate about something and was determined to improve a little bit each day. Now, 3 years later, I have just resigned from my day job to focus on photography. I am so grateful to have found something that I love doing and be surrounded by an incredibly supportive community too.

Q&A with Emma Brookes

How would you describe your creative style?
I would describe my creative style as simple, but carefully thought out. I like to let the subject shine by not putting too much else in the photo.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
I have a Canon 80D, which I almost always attach to a tripod. It's going to sound crazy, but I then use a small builders bubble level to make sure my camera is straight. I love working with fixed lenses; my favourites being my 50mm and 24mm.

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Can you tell us why you love this weeks ‘Rose Tinted’ challenge theme?
I am so excited to be hosting this theme as pink / rose is my absolute favourite colour!

Can you share a few of your favourite images you have created?

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Up until now, my page has always been dedicated to food and I was somewhat known for my platters. Out of the hundreds I've made, this shot is probably my favourite.

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This has always been a favourite of mine. Coincidentally, it is also the most popular image I have ever posted on my Instagram page.

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I like this image because I was experimenting with food photography in my garden and didn't have high expectations. So I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out.


Emma is the guest host of our ‘Rose Tinted’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Emma’s photos on her Instagram account @healthandfitnessbyemma and visit her website emmadanielle.com



Meet the Creatives: Katrina Hawgood

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Meet Katrina Hawgood!

I am Katrina, a devoted wife and mum to Parker and Layla. I have a love for photography and styling, which is what drew me to this platform. I live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and have a heart that beats for anything Scandinavian.

Q&A with Katrina

How would you describe your creative style?

Clean, crisp, white and bright.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D7200 and a 50mm lens.

Can you tell us why the theme ‘Escape’ brings to mind for you?

Escaping is giving yourself time to unwind and reconnect. Whether it’s escaping for ten minutes so you can have a hot coffee in peace or a weekend escape in the beautiful hills or on the divine coastline. Everyone needs an escape and everyone’s ideal escape looks a little different.

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

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For me this is the perfect daily escape. Sipping wine, eating cheese and reading a book beside the pool is the escape from everyday reality that I sometimes crave as a mamma.

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While floating around the pool, reading a book and eating cheese I can pretend that I am off on a tropical escape, where time doesn’t matter and the mind is allowed to wander.


Katrina is the guest host of our ‘Escape’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Katrina’s photos on her Instagram account @onemums_style and visit her website onemumsstyle.com

Design for life: How this solo-prenuer makes it her business to celebrate ethics, sustainability and innovation

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After collaborating with Gingerfinch over a year ago we were keen to chat to founder Peita again and find out how the last year in business had gone and also to see how her personal journey to live simply was unfolding. After reading her previous contribution to our blog “When less is more, finding freedom and fulfilment by living simply” we were full of admiration for Peita’s true dedication to living a more simple, fulfilling life which is seen in the conscious choices she makes both within her home life and business.

The passion Peita has for her business is clear, especially evident in the the depth of care she takes when sourcing and personally testing each item stocked in her online boutique Gingerfinch. More than just supplying her customers with the latest in designer homewares - each item must meet Peita’s own high standards in terms of ethical production, environmental impact and innovative design.

Join us to learn more about Peita’s journey over the last year, how she is staying sane as a solo-prenuer and what motivates and inspires her.

Q&A with Peita from Gingerfinch

Congratulations on celebrating your first anniversary with Gingerfinch! What have been some of the highlights from your first year in business?

Gingerfinch founder and director Peita Davis, captured by Straight No Chaser Photography

Gingerfinch founder and director Peita Davis, captured by Straight No Chaser Photography

Wow, it's been such a whirlwind year it's hard to list them all! But I'd say the biggest highlights have been being featured in some of my favourite publications. Real Living, Inside Out, House & Garden, Adore Magazine, the Financial Review, Good Weekend have all showcased my products, and it gives me such a thrill to see what Australia's best stylists and photographers do with Gingerfinch products!

It sounds corny, but I'd say the other huge highlight has been getting feedback from my customers. Being an online business (and a solo-operator, at that) I can feel a bit cut off from my customers. So I nearly do backflips when they reach out and thank me for their products and our service. I keep every email in a folder called 'warm fuzzies'. I love it so much!

And what challenges have you overcome?
As I mentioned, I'm a solo-entrepreneur, and my biggest challenge is having to manage every single aspect of my business, even the things I'm pretty rubbish at. I had a realisation in June this year that I had been operating for almost a year and I had not done any real marketing. I was so focused on building my product range (because that's what I love best) and I had completely neglected the communications aspect of my business. I've since had to re-prioritise my efforts to make sure the jobs I don't like get as much attention as the ones I love.  

What advice would you give the Peita from a year ago?
I would say 'great products are vital, but they're useless if people don't know about them'. Marketing, marketing, marketing. It has been my primary skills gap and I would tell myself to get learning and doing a lot earlier.

Selection of homewares from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

Selection of homewares from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

How has your personal journey for simple living evolved over the last year?
That's a tough question because the reality is that there's little that's slow about my life at the moment. I do stick to my 'pens down by 8pm' rule (although that doesn't include Instagram, of course), I try to get out for a walk more than once a week, I potter in my terrace garden most weekends, and I still read a fantasy/Sci Fi novel before sleep each night. I grab those small moments that help me tap out and calm down. It's working, so I'm not too hard on myself about not leading a slower life. Girl's gotta do, and all that.

What inspires you?
Nature is my biggest inspiration. That's what will really pick me up if I'm in a tizz or if I feel burnt out. I get my design inspiration from the talent all over instagram, and from great publications like The Design Files, The Design Chaser and The New from NZ. And my wonderful business friends are also a huge inspiration for me. We are always thinking of solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems, and sharing experiences, wins and failures. I'd be lost without them!

Porcelain spheres from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

Porcelain spheres from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

What do you look for when finding new brands and products to stock at Gingerfinch?
Ohhh this is my favourite question. I actually wrote a blog post about this because I'm really passionate about ethical product sourcing. I'm always on the hunt for innovative design, so when something catches my eye, I ask three questions: who made it? What is it made from? Where is it made? I only stock a product when I'm confident that it's made by hands (as opposed to mass-produced in a factory), is made by sustainable materials and in ethical conditions locally or offshore. If I'm not totally sure about the quality of the product, I often order one as a customer and live with it for a while to make sure it meets my standard. I pour myself into making sure that Gingerfinch is the place people come when they want something rare-find, of exceptional quality and ethically made. Something they'll treasure for life.


Peita Davis is the Founder and Director of Gingerfinch Homewares and Lifestyle. Follow Peita on Instagram @gingerfinchhome and visit gingerfinch.com.au






Meet the Creatives: Marianne Krohn

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Tell us about yourself Marianne

I‘m a Visual Merchandiser with 10 years of product styling experience in retail. I‘m experienced in styling an extensive range of products and on a daily basis, I work with everything from jewellery and fashion to tableware with many companies including the largest department store chain in Switzerland

I‘ve always been in love with the two-dimensional product styling and photography showcased in catalogs and online stores. However, being a very tactile person, online shopping has always been lacking something to me. And I know I‘m not the only one feeling this way.

The sense of touch cannot be replaced. But I have learned that it can be compensated by sight with the help of outstanding product styling. And I‘ve made it my mission to bridge this gap.

I have been passing on my knowledge to the people around me as long as I can remember. In my heart, I‘m a teacher. To me, teaching is not only about passing on knowledge. It‘s about giving the people I work with the confidence in themselves. About giving them the basis to shine with their new found knowledge!

Marianne takes us through her creative process taking part in a Creatively Squared Challenge

How would you describe your creative style?

Minimal, toned-down, refined and precise.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I own a Canon 80D and usually use a 35 or 50mm prime lens with it.

I do my editing work in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Can you share some of your favourite images and why you love them?

Coffee spill

This is the very first photo I created for one of your challenges. It stands for the moment in which I decided to start exploring my creativity. The moment in which I found a way out of the frustration of creating only "products".

I was just playing around and had fun when creating this photo. And just like the coffee spills out of this glass, it made my creativity overflow again.

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I've styled and shot this photo for a client. It was part of a series to introduce her new spa product range.

This photo is one of my favorites. It tells the brand story of a local English company that highly values sustainability and sources its material locally, whenever possible.

And it displays all the styling skills that I have acquired over the years and that I love teaching my friends and clients. This is also the reason why I use it as an example in my free product styling guide.

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This photo is pure magic to me. I'm a professional stylist, but even with my decade of experience, most stylings don't turn out precisely how I imagine them.

And this image is one of these rare occasions. The idea developed from pure instinct. And the photo is pretty much an exact replica of what I imagined.

I would never even have considered creating something like this without participating in a Creatively Squared Challenge. And I'm incredibly grateful because I never thought I would be able to create something like this.

What led you to your current career?

I've chosen my creative career as a Visual Merchandiser after having been forced to give up my academic career due to mental health issues.

I'm suffering from a Borderline Personality disorder. And it will accompany me for the rest of my life. What helps me deal with it, is knowing that being open about my personal struggles and my own pain, is helping others cope with theirs.

While the main goal of my business is to support other business owners through powerful product styling and by teaching them my skills and experience, I'm also a mental health advocate.

My mental health issues are a constant challenge for me. But I'm also grateful for my illness. Without it, I would never even have considered a creative career. I would not be where I am today. I would never have created any of these beautiful images that not only bring joy to me but also to so many people around me.


You can see more of Marianne’s photos on her Instagram account @marianne_krohn