ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Ugly Location Challenge

Students challenge themselves to turn local locations into beautiful backdrops.


Ashly Ring

The “Ugly Location Challenge” is a rising Twitter trend where people create high quality photoshoots in their hometown and common locations. From Walmart to Hobby Lobby to gas stations, the “Ugly Location Challenge” challenges photographers to use lighting and angles to make eye catching shots of their models. Sophomore Allison Beckman and senior Madison Mahoney both find this activity to be inspiring and worthwhile.

“I think Antioch is a cute little town, and it has a lot of good places to take pictures,” Beckman said.

Gas Station

Doing a quick five-minute photoshoot in a car at the gas station is a super easy way to take awesome pictures. Most gas stations are well lit and have fluorescent lights in many neon colors to fit every aesthetic.


Many students at Antioch use Walmart as a hangout spot. So, why not turn it into a photoshoot to remember all of the fun memories?

Mahoney agrees that Walmart is a great place to get some photos.

“My favorite location was the Walmart flower section because it’s the infamous place you always see on Twitter, and it was really cool to do it in real life,” Mahoney said.

By using Walmart’s art sections, which are filled with fake flowers and ferns, one can turn a photoshoot into one identical to a photo taken in the Botanical Gardens.


Menards is one of the best locations to use in this challenge. Beckman believes that Menards is the best place to participate in the challenge.

“I like the Menards lighting section because it’s flashy and unique,” Beckman said.

Menards’ entire lighting section is filled with glistening chandeliers and the paint sample section makes a bright rainbow background for photos.

The Outdoors

Even though it may seem obvious, Antioch has numerous locations for outdoor photoshoots. Lake County has the second largest forest preserve district in Illinois, according to It is easy to find a location to get out for some fresh air and get some photos in, with forest preserves being easily accessible, and the bandshell and the wetlands right near it.


Antioch’s infamous sawmill is a match made in heaven for this challenge. This spot is a popular location for prom, graduation and wedding photos and is conveniently located right in town. The sawmill creates a rustic look for backdrops and creates a vibe that matches Antioch’s small town feel.