Photographer Forces Herself To Shoot In ‘Ugly’ Location Results Prove It’s All About Skill

It’s easy to take pictures of pretty things. But what takes true skill is filming at “ugly” locations and still making them come off as stunning works of art – now that’s talent.


This talent is what distinguishes the amateurs from the pros – a real pro can make magic out of even the more bare-bones aesthetics and resources, infusing them with their expertise and creativity.



Jenna Martin took on a challenge like this with gusto – she wanted to do the opposite of photographers that scout easy, beautiful spots and instead go somewhere “ugly” by normal photo standards. What did she choose? Lowe’s, of course.

Bad lighting, bad backdrops…so how did she work around it to still get breathtaking photos? First, she created some rules. No rearranging displays, no artificial lighting, and she had to stop shooting if anyone else is in the background.

They walked in, very overdressed for a hardware store, and had about an hour before the store closed. They started their shoot in a mix of wide and narrow aisles, having her model pose against trees and paint samples. The pain samples actually looked quite stunning and provide an ethereal ambiance, especially against the model’s long blond hair. While the shits did need to be edited, the post-edits look amazing Tumblr shot and very editorial – you wouldn’t guess it was in a home and hardware shop.

After paints, they moved on the lighting section, filled with vibrant lights and chandeliers. All of the lights which the photographer blurred out of focus actually took on such a moody vibe and reminded us of lounges and warmly lit spaces with an expensive feel. Personally, we think the unedited photos from this section look way better.

Having a stunning model and a sparkly dress always helps, of course. But the trickiest shots were definitely the aisles, which just looked like an Ikea warehouse for the most part. But having the long gown juxtaposed with the industrial, gritty environment, made it look high fashion regardless.

We were treated to yet another location and outfit change in the very colorful pillow section. They could have edited out the discount signs and the pillows didn’t look too high-end to us. The denim hat is also a bit random, but the rest of the images were a win in our book.