Conceptual Photo Challenge: A Grace Note

“Soul” was one of my favorite movies of 2021. It’s a beautiful story that affirms “regular old living” is the miracle of life. Not the achievement of one’s grand dream or the pursuit of one’s passion. While dreams and passions are certainly very special, it ends up being the small moments, the grace notes that matter most and make life worth living. And the world is filled with grace notes!

And yet, as we hustle and bustle and get distracted by our minds and try to juggle all of our commitments and responsibilities, we don’t leave ourselves any time to notice the small things that give us a tiny spark of joy. Or if we happen to notice them, we dismiss them, or they barely register.

Take a moment to change that. The next time you notice a grace note, like the squirrels chasing each other through the tree branches, the smell of the lilacs in bloom, etc., pause and savor it. Appreciate it, even if it feels a little meaningless or incomprehensible. Don’t judge your grace notes. The things that lift your spirits might not make sense to others, like the scene in “Soul” where Joe empties his pockets and sees what Number 22 has been collecting all day: string, a petal, a scrap of paper.

grace note

#MindfulPhotoChallenge Day 3: A Grace Note

Today’s challenge is to photograph a grace note in your life. A grace note is anything that brings a little lift to your spirits, a tiny spark of joy to your psyche.

Ground yourself and come into the present moment. Silence your chattering narrator. (Read this if you missed the introduction to the course and don’t know what I mean)

Slowly and mindfully look around you, paying special attention to how your feel. Follow your curiosity. Is there anything in your surroundings that gives you that small inner smile?

Perhaps you notice the light streaming through your window.

–A shadow.

–A scent.

–An expression on your dog’s face.

–A new leaf unfurling on your houseplant.

Once you’ve found your grace note, try photographing it in an interesting way.

Be patient, it may take a little time and effort to showcase grace note in a way that pleases you.


As you photograph the item, try to show the viewer of the photograph what intrigued you about your subject.

Share your images on Instagram with #mindfulphotochallenge and/or #RefocusPhotoChallenge.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like:

  • My full color 30-Day Photography Challenge Workbook here on Amazon.
  • My Photography Articles Listed and Sorted by Type here
  • My Mindful Photography Workshop here