If you spend any time on Instagram, you've probably heard of the #michaelschallenge, the #hobbylobbychallenge, or the #craftstorechallenge. They are all different versions of the same thing--a challenge for creative types to go into their favorite craft store and take photos that look pretty despite being in a fluorescent-lit aisle of plastic products!
A few months before this trend really took off, I had actually jotted down a list of stores and spots in the area that would make unlikely but possibly really fun locations for photo shoots. Michaels and Hobby Lobby weren't on my list, but my favorite craft and fabric store JoAnn was!
I called up and spoke to the manager of the Hudson, NY store to make sure it was okay to shoot there, then I reached out to my 2017 and new 2018 Mod Squad members to see who was available on the same day I was. It was awesome that five of them were able to join me on such a last-minute adventure!
Most of the posts I've seen on Instagram for these craft store challenges have featured one aisle of the store, and one aisle only--the fake flowers aisle. With layers upon layers of silk flowers and vines, it's a natural choice to use for this type of photography. But I wanted to make sure we captured many of our looks in other parts of the store, too.
Of course there was a lot of fabric to choose from so those aisles were a given. I have to say, though, that the biggest surprise was how much fun it was to shoot in the beads aisle. Not only were the rows of beads pretty, but holding them close to the lens created some fun and funky reflections of those same, ugly fluorescent lights I mentioned above!
So what do you think? Are you ready to try the craft store challenge? If you are, just make sure to ask permission as some stores may have policies against it. Also, of course, put everything back where you found it! And if you do try it yourself, tag @jenniwaka on Instagram so I can see what you create!
JenniWaka Photography is available for senior, teen, and family photography in New York's Columbia and Dutchess Counties, as well as nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts. Click here to contact me and book your session today!