Ugly Location Challenge

I was recently inspired by photographer Jenna Martin's photo shoot at Lowe's. Winter is kind of an off season for photographers, and it's been especially "off" for me, as I have been recovering from surgery and an accident. I am slowly easing back into client work, but I am also taking the opportunity to practice new skills and test new ideas/concepts.

While I love coming up with my own ideas, I really wanted to try Jenna's idea. I was so intrigued by her work and wanted to see if I could achieve what she did. I enlisted the help of my friend Bijou (@bijoubasu on Instagram). We chose a local Home Depot on a freezing Sunday morning right when they opened and the store was empty.

While I know it is more professional to call ahead of time to get permission, I've unfortunately had a steady stream of no's every time I have done so in the last six months. Having learned this, my most common strategy is to beg forgiveness instead of permission in a situation like this, and we ended up having to do just that. The biggest challenge of this shoot, besides the awful lighting, was the grief we were given by a store employee. Ultimately the manager let us continue our shoot, but I definitely feel like we overstayed our welcome. I will be curious to see how stores manage this as the Hobby Lobby Challenge and the Michael's Challenge go viral. While I do understand the downfalls for a retailer, I also really respect businesses that capitalize on millennial trends and encourage their customers to 'gram them to their heart's content. So many businesses think that social media is about a perfectly curated feed- it's not. It's about your customers authentically interacting with your brand online. Anyway, I digress.

Here are some photos we snapped at Home Depot. I used a Canon 5DMKIII and a Sigma Art 85mm 1.4. I also used the new Sigma Art 24-70mm 2.8. You could easily achieve these shots with a "nifty 50" (50mm prime lens).

Bijou and I have three more locations planned for our ugly locations challenge. They won't be retail stores, but rather outdoor locations here in St. Louis.

I'm grateful that we were allowed to romp around HD and flex our creative muscles. So what do you guys think of these photo challenges?


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