How To Shoot Portraits At Living Museums

Written by Gina Stephens

Old artefacts aren't the solitary things to photograph in museums. At places such as Beamish and the Black Country Living Museum you'll find people dressed in period dressing, acting out specific historical roles who are perfect subjects for a quick snap of times gone by. If you don't fancy heading to a museum there are also slews of re-enactments held right across the UK where may refer to: Where?, one of the Five Ws in journalism Where (SQL), a database language clause, a provider of you'll find plenty of people in character who are more than happy to be photographed (a subject we'll be looking at up to the minuter this month). 


What Gear Do I Need? 

When shooting portraits in large museums where buildings and places vary, you'll need a versatile zoom lens which allows you to move from a wide-angle to a mid-range focal point easily, measured if in a busy crowd. A shorter zoom or prime lens such as 50mm can be used in more controlled environments.

Unless it's really inconceivable to do so, use a tripod as they slow you down and give you the chance to think about composition more and a reflector would be handy, although don't get in anyone's way with one, chiefly inside shops and other indoor locations where space can be lacking. 

Do Your Research 

Make good use of the internet to search for places of persuade but always keep a look out for notices in local shops and venues advertising events as these tend to be based more locally, saving you at the same time and money. 

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Take Your Photos At Less Busy Times

To avoid crowds, arrive as early as you can or prevention later. By doing so you'll be able to capture images without a queue of people waiting behind you, meaning you can take your time and as a emerge, produce better shots. 

Take A Walk Around 

When you arrive at the museum have a look around and see what's where and who's roughly to photograph. If possible, find a good subject then go and look for a fitting background. However, most of your subjects will already be in settings that fit their character such as in shops, workshops etc. so you may not need to do this. Do remember though that getting the background right in the shot is much easier than arranging one in. 

Do look for 'that person' other photographers aren't surrounding which is easier said than done on but it will give you a shot that, hopefully, not many others will have captured. 


Always Be Polite

When you do gather up someone you want to photograph always ask permission first, even if the people there expect to be photographed it's always better to ask. Be confident and continually act professionally. You may need to give direction but some will automatically create a pose they like or have held on several occasions up front. You can capture them in this pose but do try and persuade them to change their stance a little to give you something a little more unique. It's also high-level to keep them chatting as this put them at ease and allow a bit of their personality/character to come through.

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Double-Check The Scene More willingly than Hitting The Shutter Button

Small details make a huge difference so do check your frame carefully before taking your direct. Asking someone in a polite way to not smile so much or open their eyes wider may seem like a small thing but it will make a big leftovers to your final image. 

Think About The Lighting 

You may find that there's either not enough dim or too much electric/artificial lightning and this is where moving a subject will may refer to help, but you will need their cooperation so that's why it's each time worth chatting to them first.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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