Pop-Up Museums & Picture-Perfect Tips

October 26, 2021

I returned to The Color Factory and The Museum of Ice Cream in September and just let me tell you… these are two of the coolest places I have ever seen! Both are full of colorful and interactive exhibits. They are a photographer’s dream, but I know that not everyone gets those Insta-worthy shots in these places. Don’t stress, though, because I’m about to make your pop-up museum visit totally picture perfect. Check out these pop-up museum photography tips below!

What to bring to the pop-up museum

Your camera!

It may seem obvious, but DO NOT forget your camera or at least your smartphone. You won’t be able to take any photos if either of these two items are left at home. Bring an extra battery, too!

A light source

I have also noticed some rooms are kind of dark in pop-up museums, so you could eithert pack a small LED light or flash for these darker rooms, or you could bring a tripod so that you can lower your shutterspeed without shake. It may seem like a pain to carry extra equipment, but there’s nothing worse than a dark or grainy photo (from raising ISO too much)

Some pals

If you want to be the subject of your photos, you are gonna want to have someone there to take them. Selfies are awesome in some situations. But being able to have more posed and planned photos are always a win. If you’re feeling independent, you could also bring a remote shutter and use a tripod to take photos of yourself!

Phone stabilizer

If you have a shaky hand or the “camera shakes”, a phone stabilizer is a great tool to use- especially if you’re trying to record videos for reels, Tiktok or Instagram stories. Your images will be more focused, and you won’t have to take the time trying to get them focused either. This is the best way I have found to avoid camera shake. 

When to head to the museums 

If you are looking to push your creativity and expand your photo skills, a pop-up museum is the place to go. But there are certain times to head to these museums and other times to avoid altogether.

Avoid the weekends

Go to the museum during the week, when children, teens, and families will more likely be at school or work so the museum will be less crowded. The less people there are crowding around, the easier it will be to take awesome photos. 

Go during the school year

Speaking of school, you also probably want to visit during the school year. Once the summer hits, everyone is looking for air conditioning and entertainment — and the museums become crowded. This tip also counts for school breaks; I would avoid the museums during these weeks as well. 

Get there early

If you have to go on the weekend or when school is not in session, get there at the opening bell. It will give you the most time in the museum before it becomes too crowded. You will not need to figure out how to get the perfect shot without interrupting or waiting for people to move. 

Bring the right clothing 

If you plan to be in the pictures, check out the museum website beforehand so you can get an idea of the different exhibits and colors. I like to pick a solid color or a graphic print that is more neutral (like black, white or blush pink) and won’t clash with any of the rooms. 

Bring a jacket & an extra pair of shoes

Bring a jacket or sweater with you to change up your look. A whole outfit change can also happen, but I feel like it is a waste of valuable photography time. A change of shoes is also a great idea. There are definitely some cute shoe selfie moments at both museums I traveled to, and others I know are popular. I traveled with two pairs of flats that I could easily slip into my purse and they were completely out of the way in the other photos. 

Bring accessories

A final fun tip? Don’t forget a pair of fun sunglasses or a hat. I have seen some amazing photos with star-shaped or heart-shaped sunglasses. A floppy hat is always a fun option as well! These items will add a little pizzazz to your photos and give you an easy prop you can swap out at any time.

Getting the perfect picture 

If you decide to leave the camera lens at home and go to the museum with your phone, there are so many easy tips to help you get the perfect picture. 

Use the grid lines

One of my favorite phone photography tips is to enable the grid lines on your phone. You can find this option in your camera settings and is a way to make sure your lines are straight. 

Mix it up

Another awesome tip is to mix up and pay attention to your compositions. You do not want all of your photos to look the same. Make sure you are shooting some close-ups, wide shots, flatlays, etc. 

Make space

Finally, remember to check your memory card or storage on your phone. You do not want to be in the middle of a photo when your phone or camera says “out of memory.” Although, I know it doesn’t happen much with phones anymore, it is always good to make sure you have the space. Trust me, I have learned the hard way before! 

Looking for more photography tips and tricks? 

Head over to our blog to read some other helpful photography tips and tricks I have learned throughout my career. Plus, you’ve got to read about my first adventures in The Color Factory and The Museum of Ice Cream.

If you really want to improve your photography skills, you can also check out my Slay the Flatlay course. It can help you understand:

📸 shoot planning
📸 backgrounds
📸 location scouting
📸 camera gear
📸 camera settings
📸 lighting
📸 styling & compositions
📸 styling hacks
📸… and so much more

Want to uplevel your photography, lighting styling and stop-motion skills? Get access to Slay the Flatlay here.

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