Ugly Location, Pretty Portraits

Recently there has been a trend circulating the internet called the “Ugly Location Challenge.” It began earlier this year and seemed to spark notice in many widespread YouTubers, from Niki and Gabi to Aspyn Ovard to Jessica Kobeissi, internet stars took advantage of this trend and encouraged their followers to do the same. The Ugly Location Challenge is taking portraits of a model in an area that would be seen as undesirable to most. For example, some locations often used are Michaels, Lowes, Mcdonalds, Laundromats and grocery stores. I decided to follow the trend and do my own Ugly Location Challenge at a laundromat near my home.

I decided to shoot with my 35mm lens to have more of the background in focus and to really draw more attention to the washers and dryers in the back. I was lucky enough to not get kicked out but I would recommend asking the owner before you begin shooting to ensure that it is allowed and you’re not disrupting their business. I would also recommend going early on a weekday to make sure there is not a lot of people and to have better lighting for your images.

Here is my attempt at the ugly location challenge. I hope this inspires other photographers to realize that location is not everything. Good photographs are not dependent on the location in which you are shooting, good photographs come from natural skill, excellent composition and ability to edit in post. I encourage everyone to not feel limited by where they live or where they are shooting, grab your camera and go take some portraits your location is not everything.


I edited these images with a more retro and faded style than I normally would, using Lightroom to create a vintage look in these images.

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark ii

Lens: 24-85mm- used 35mm setting

Aperture: 3.5

ISO: 250

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