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© 2020 By Victoria McDonald | Victoria McDonald Photography 

Ugly Places | Pretty Photos in Woodstock, IL


One of the most obsessed topic around scheduling a photoshoot is the location. Each person has something that they are looking for in the perfect spot. Pretty backdrop, greenery, flowers, texture or a connection to the place.

Well, a week or so ago, a small photography group I am apart of suggested a challenge - Make pretty photos in an ugly spot. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!! I borrowed my neighbors girls and went to some ugly spots around the Historic Woodstock Square.

Let me tell you, it. Was. FUN! Brought me back to the days I did photo meet ups in the alleys of Chicago.

In any case, I wanted to share this with you because sometime we focus on the wrong aspects of planning a shoot. For me, the point of the shoots I set up are the people and the connection they have with each other. I encourage my engagements sessions to be somewhere that means something to each other, those shoots tend to come alive like no other. This is what you get when you take the focus out of the pretty perfect spots and look at what could be.

This is what you see:


This is what I saw though:


Cool right?

Here are a few more.

What you see


What I see:


What you see:


What I see:


What you See:


What I see:


What you see:


What I see:


Now, of course The Woodstock Historic Square is not an Ugly place to visit. Its overall super cute, but just like any place has the dark corners everyone passes by without a thought. What drew me to each one fo the locations was not only that it was ugly and the point of the shoot - but each spot had texture that helped frame the girls. Like I mentioned before, the square means something to them too... they grew up here. They have walked theses streets and danced in the alleys. They are comfortable here and the connection shows in their enthusiasm.

Thank you to Corrine and Lily for the fun times in the streets! Anyone else have an ugly spot???

#northernil #modern #illinoisphotographer #woodstockIL #Familypictures #Chicagolandphotographer #lifestylephotography #Mchenrycountyphotographer #Creativelocations #AdventureMiniSessions

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