Do it for the Gram: My Review of Happy Place

Are you constantly looking for fun backdrops to take photos? Apparently you (*cough cough* 'we') aren't alone. 

There is officially an entire place designed to let you 'DO IT FOR THE GRAM'. 
Instagram, that is. 

Insert, Happy Place

Note: I was able to visit the Happy Place installation while it was still in Los Angeles a couple of months ago. It has since (and at time of blog post) relocated to Chicago. This is a review / blog about the Los Angeles location. 

Late last year, thanks to a Groupon ad (yes, I love Groupon), I was made aware of this photo-friendly interactive installation of some sort in LA, called Happy Place. 

Since a large part of my day-to-day work involves content creation, it seemed like a dream come true! I immediately began asking friends if they wanted to go, since having a friend to actually take the photos would be great, right? 

Sadly, as soon as I went to buy tickets, I learned Happy Place had unexpectedly shut down (it seemed to be a permit issue or something, but I really don't know). 

Fast-forward a few months: Another Facebook Ad has informed me Happy Place is back and bigger and better than ever!  

Found me a girlfriend and off we went! 

First off, the LA location was at LA Live, also known as the monster-sized sports/ dining/ living/ entertainment complex surrounding the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. This made for probably some of the worst traffic and parking scenarios the average American could imagine. But, inside we go...

When you arrive you have to check in. You selected a time slot when you purchased your tickets, and that is important! You go in in groups at your time and this allows you to spend some time in each room without *too* many people all trying to get the perfect pic in the same spot. 

Let's get down to the real stuff though. The Pix.

The rooms have amazing themes. Overwhelmingly yellow, Happy Place's Signature color, it could be difficult to look cohesive depending on your outfit. Also, since you can't really change anywhere (and it would greatly disrupt the flow of traffic to have people constantly primping) you're pretty much stuck in one look. This fact makes the concept a little weaker than it could be, since most people would want some variety. 

My solution?

Accessories and third pieces. 

I wore my ride or die black Julia dress and black tights and sneakers. I brought a yellow Joy Duster Vest (happy coincidence with the color) as well as a few other overpieces, etc. I was able to throw them on for different photos without needing to undress. 

See?...voila, I present "confetti dome". 

There were some REALLY cool and creative set ups. One of the ones I had seen via social media before arriving was the flower room and I was really excited! 

The look was very cool. I mean, raining marigolds (or whatever they were)? Pretty dope. BUT...the lighting was WHACK. And I mean really whack. 

I had a portable soft ring light with me and still didn't love it whack. 

For a place obsessed with pictures, the lighting in SEVERAL rooms needed drastic improving. But I mean, still cool. 

If you happen to find yourself at the Happy Place without a buddy to take your pic, the other patrons all seemed really cool and willing, especially when my friend and I asked for one together. ALSO, the staff is amazing and pretty well-versed in iphone photography, so feel free to ask. They captured this pot o' gold shot for me, and I very much appreciate whatever angle the employee used to make me look like I got that much air. I can assure you I was about 3.5" off that ledge.

All in all, I vote YES for Happy Place. If you find yourself nearby its totally worth the hour or two just for the laughs (some of the set ups are pretty funny). Plus, who doesn't want some great photo memories? 

Tell us if you've been or want to go! I know there are other similar ones popping up all over! Spill!

 


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