taking-photos-in-museums

Taking Photos in Museums: Some Pointers

taking-photos-in-museums
A photo of Pablo Picasso’s The Girl on the Ball I took when taking photos in museums was barely allowed (@Julia Shuvalova, 2001)

January, 20 is celebrated as the World Museum Selfie Day. I’ve just made an Instagram post on the subject, but here I’d like to point you to two posts from 2008 that I wrote about taking photos in museums. Believe it or not, back then it was a bit of an issue for some museums whether to allow personal unintrusive photography or not. Some offered special forms to fill in, for example. I even crossed keyboards with Manchester Art Gallery explaining to them that there was more good to be done to their collection if visitors were allowed to take photos and post them online. Those were the early days of businesses and museums embracing the social media, and everyone was careful not to jump in with both feet. But already in 2009-2010 things had changed, and thereafter museums and art galleries have taken it fine if someone wanted to take photos of the collection. They only asked that we used non-professional equipment, and no flash was allowed. Most importantly, they increasingly stopped charging money for it, whereas before photography in museums was an important source of revenue for any art depository. Frankly speaking, I’ve always been interested in photographing the exhibits because I wanted to use them on my blog or because they struck a cord. Otherwise I have been OK even if I couldn’t take any photos, as this is the case with special exhibitions.

So, below are the posts, and I guess some points on taking photos in museums are still valid and topical. Feel free to leave comments here on in any of the posts.

Museum Photography: Examples from Three Countries

More on Photography in Museum: The Question of Reproduction