12 extraordinary photographers in Ordinary magazine

by Grace Wang in December 2016
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Art & design Photography

We love magazines that look at everyday objects. Actually, we have a theory that while mainstream glossies sell their audiences fantasies, independent publishers are more likely to use the ordinary as a way of connecting with their readers.

As its name would suggest, Ordinary magazine very literally celebrates the mundane — creating a star of everyday objects, they invite photographers to reimagine things like plastic cutlery, cotton buds and sponges, championing creativity through items that almost everyone in the world can relate to.

Their latest muse is the white sock, and all of the photos published in the magazine so far are currently exhibiting at KK Outlet gallery in London. We asked founders Max Siedentopf & Yuki Kappes, to select some of their favourite images from the past four issues.


“We think this photo turned out amazing because Nicolas Haeni not only took ordinary socks, but an ordinary situation (you’re at home with your socks on; there are old crisps and coke cans lying everywhere) and made it extraordinary.”


Mauricio Alejo has been a part of the project from the beginning. We love his view on the ordinary and, apart from that, he’s just a great guy to work with. Even though each photo he took is amazing, we think this one is very special because of how little it took to turn these ordinary sponges into something so alien and wonderful. The texture of the sponge is so mesmerising, almost like the surface of a different planet.”


“Along with Mauricio, Thomas Nordh Jansen has been with us from the start and we really love his ingenious ideas on how you can give all these mundane objects a new purpose, like turning your old socks into a coffee machine.”


“This extraordinary photo was taken by Maxime Guyon. He’s the guy that is able to make a 10 cent fork look like the big design object everyone wants to own but can never afford.”

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Yumiko Utsu decided to take photos in a way that also showed the scope of her talent and imagination. On the one hand you have the weird and vulgar; on the other the innocent and cute.”


“This is one of our favourite photos of the issue. Maurizio Di Iorio was able to make this very ordinary object that we stick into our ears to clean them seem like something so out of this world, fascinating and electrifying.”


“We’re a huge fan of Sandrine Boulet’s work because she can literally take any scene that surrounds us and add a new and playful story to it. On a sunny day, you lie in a park, you dream, you look at your ordinary socks, and all of a sudden they aren’t that ordinary anymore.”


“The only thing Daniel Eatock did was send over the idea — we had to execute it. ‘Photograph the white plastic cutlery on a black canvas and invert the colours in photoshop,’ his instructions said. This is probably one of the best examples of how you can make the most mundane thing look incredible with just a small twist.”


“This extraordinary photo was taken by Thomas Mailaender who photographed his intern. Ironically one week later Yuki had a bike accident and broke her teeth almost exactly like the photo.”


“Sometimes some of the photos that are made with the objects get a little bit out of hand, to the point that you don’t know what the original object actually was or what it was supposed to do in the first place. Harmen de Hoop instead stayed quite close to the actual purpose of a sponge, but also made it a lot bigger than what it is usually perceived to do. Here, the sponge is not only used to clean your dirty dishes, but to make the entire world a little nicer.”


“This extraordinary photo was taken by Li Wei. His photography always revolves around people flying through mid-air which made it very intriguing to see what he would come up with, as he usually only photographs people and not minute objects. We love how the cotton bud turned out to be levitating just like his other models. It has such calm and peace about it, but at the same time it feels like this is the ultimate cotton bud, the superhero of cotton buds.”


Chris Maggio recreated the Eiffel Tower – and made it better.”

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