Winter is still blowing outside in full force with late winter snow hitting us daily, it gets a bit discouraging to get creative and to get ourselves motivated to be outdoors to shoot. But with the recent popularity of the #uglylocationchallenge created by Kelsey Maggart, the #michaelschallenge was born and it’s a perfect excuse to grab a few friends to try your hand at shooting in the arts and crafts store! You can briefly pretend that it’s actually spring and get your garden thumb ready for summer in the floral aisle.

Originally deemed the #hobbylobbychallenge, it quickly turned sour when Hobby Lobby’s didn’t want photographers entering their stores. Michael’s clearly saw this as an opportunity and in turn welcomed pro and amateur shooters to flock to their stores to try their hand at the newly minted #michaelschallenge. I had a blast doing this challenge and would recommend anyone who’s looking to practice their portrait photography to try this challenge out! The craft store has endless possibilities of colour and backdrops that you can get creative with. So grab some friends and head to your local Michael’s Arts and Crafts store to try this challenge out!

How do you think we did? Read on for more on the whole experience!

Two of my photo buddies and I hit up our local Michael’s on a Monday night to avoid the crowds and though there were a few shoppers around, the general public was forgotten as we got to work. We checked with an employee to see if it was alright, tweeted at Michael’s for permission, and everything went along smoothly! The two hours we spent in the store passed quickly and we were even rushing at the end to complete some of the tonal shots I had in mind. It took a bit of experimentation at the beginning as we were new to shooting portraits but I think the end results were exceptional! Truly surpassed any expectations I had.


We had on hand the following equipement:

  • Canon SL1
  • Canon 6D
  • Canon T3i
  • 28mm Canon lens f2.8
  • 35mm Tamaron lens f1.8
  • 50mm Canon lens f1.8
  • Glass prism
Do’s and Don’ts of the #Michaelschallenge
  1. DO be respectful: Shoppers get priority and be sure to place everything you’ve used back to their original places. You don’t want to be that obnoxious photographer that ruins this challenge for everyone else. Also no one else is responsible for your mess, clean it up!
  2. DO try new things: We threw in a prism and got some interesting effects! Waved some plants around and got more depth of field and colors in some shots, so don’t be afraid to bring in other things into the photos
  3. DON’T go on a weekend: Weekends tend to be super busy at Michael’s so I would recommend non-peak hours, also this will allow for a more relaxed environment for you and the model.
  4. DON’T rush things: Take your time, experiment with different backdrops, and change up your lenses!
  5. DO have fun! This is a fun challenge so get goofy and snap away, it’s not often stores will open their doors wide open for photographers.

A huge thank you to Michael’s for letting in photographers! Also a huge thanks to my buddies LuckyLuant and Jppham87 for getting up to no good with me at Michael’s!

Images of me by Jppham87

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  1. These pics are so good πŸ™‚ we don’t have Michaels in Australia but it would be so cool to find somewhere to do this!

    1. I would try maybe your local crafting store? Or even a different type of store could be super interesting! Thanks for stopping by πŸ˜€

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