I Tried the #HobbyLobbyChallenge, & Here’s What Happened

If you follow any young photographers on social media, chances are, you’ve seen the #HobbyLobbyChallenge. This fun challenge is a new trend where photographers photograph their models in craft stores (typically in front of the fake flowers’ aisle) and come out with professional level images as if taken in a studio.

According to BuzzFeed, the challenge was started by Kelsey Maggart, a young photographer who also helped popularize the Ugly Location Challenge. Maggart tweeted a behind-the-scenes photo, as well as one of the finished products with the caption, “Snapchat vs. Instagram,” highlighting the differences between the edited pictures and the actual photo shoot setup.

Since then, several photographers have picked up the trend and begun to tweet their results with the hashtag #HobbyLobbyChallenge. So far, most of the photo shoots have taken place in Hobby Lobby stores, but the challenge can be done in any craft store with a floral section.

This past weekend, my friend Morgan and I tried the challenge out for ourselves at a Michael’s store. It was a lot tougher than we expected, and it probably would’ve been helpful to have some assistants to hold the flowers around our faces, instead of solely relying on the shelves. It was also really tough to get shots of the flowers without the price tags on them.

While every shot wasn’t as picture perfect as we had hoped, we managed to get a handful of gorgeous photos from the shoot.  Even though we did the shoot on a busy Sunday and a good number of people were staring at us the whole time, it was a fun challenge.  I really enjoyed how the challenge pushed our creativity to a whole new level I would definitely be willing to try this challenge again in other stores to see if it’s any different based on how their floral sections are setup.

Here are the original pictures we took:

And here they are after editing:

This is a fun challenge and anyone who’s interested in photography should try it. Just remember to be respectful of the stores’ employees and put anything you move around back exactly as you found it. You should also keep in mind that some companies may have policies in place that prohibit professional photography in their stores. According to PetaPixel, a photography news website, Hobby Lobby actually doesn’t allow photography in their stores. Obviously, they aren’t kicking everyone out because the challenge originated specifically as the #hobbylobbychallenge, but they may start to crack down on it as the challenge gains popularity. Michael’s on the other hand, doesn’t require any releases to take photos, and are actually encouraging photographers to try the challenge in their stores with the hashtag #michaelschallenge. Even some of their employees got in on the fun.

If you’re going to try this challenge, make sure to use the hashtag and tag @hercampusufl on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with!

Photos courtesy of Morgan Blake and Taylor Thayer.