Taking flash photos in museums is a little bit naughty, and 100% against the rules.
And while some rules are fun to break, e.g., “no sneaking in licorice in your satchel”, the flash photography one is important to follow: the camera flash can degrade paintings, and hundreds of thousands of flashes over decades can ruin the art altogether. So, we don’t use flash at the museum.
But we do take a lot of photos….
How We Use Instax Instant Photos on Renegade Tours
Museum Hack leads dozens of different tours, for a variety of audiences. And even once you’ve decided on your tour type, the tour itself is created on the fly – it’s truly one-of-a-kind. But whether you are on a VIP tour of the Met, a Bachelorette Party at the National Gallery of Art, or a company team building tour, you can expect a few consistent tour elements:
- Scandalous stories about the art and juicy gossip about the museum;
- Games and activities in the galleries;
- There is sometimes wine; and
- You will go home with a Fujifilm Instax instant photo of you in the museum.
Our usual setup for the photos is simple. We lead the tour into a gallery, and ask guests to pose with the art. We then print these photos on a Instax SHARE Smartphone Printer and give the photos to the guest as a tour memento.
Disclosure: Fujifilm sent us a batch of their new Instax Mini 70 cameras and film. In exchange we experimented with these tools on tour and are writing this review. Let’s get to it…
Study: Can Instax Mini 70 Cameras Boost Tour Engagement?
We love experimenting with new activities on tour, and integrating the Instax Mini 70 was the perfect challenge. The camera does have a flash, so we couldn’t take direct photos of the art (though we also took it to a party and it was kind of perfect). We devised a series of games that had our guests discovering the museum architecture and its secret nooks and crannies.
Extra info: these tours had a range of guests, including a family of five with three adult children, and a group of friends and colleagues. The age range was 18 to 60+.
Here’s how it worked…
Activity 1: Secret Selfie
We split the group into two teams and gave them instructions:
- Your team captain must be in the photo with at least one other team member;
- The photo must be taken in the camera’s selfie mode;
- Whichever team gets the most photos wins.
Our guests loved that the Instax Mini 70 has a one switch selfie mode, and a mirror so they could orient the photo. Throughout the tour the guests raced around the museum, snapping shots of some of the unpredictable things you see at the Met: a ray of sunlight, a couch in visible storage, and the oldest stairwell. There was technically a winning team, but when everyone goes home with snapshots it’s pretty win-win.
Activity 2: Tableau Vivant Relay
Heard of tableau vivant? It’s another staple of the Museum Hack tour, where guests pose in front of paintings and mimic the figures in the art. Here’s an example:
To match up the Instax Mini 70 camera with our love of tableau vivant, we challenged guests to do a competitive relay. The Team Captain would hold the camera in a Safe Zone, and their team would explore a gallery to find the perfect tableau vivant opportunity. The team would then return to the Safe Zone and strike a pose while the captain took a photo. Once the photo developed, the first captain to rush into the gallery and find the matching painting won. It’s a silly game, but the groups loved it.
Activity #3: The Tiny Hippo Hunt
As a business, Museum Hack has a unique set of challenges. For example:
- How do we continue to raise the bar on tour innovation?;
- Which museum will we hack next?; and
- What do we do with our extra William the Hippo prizes?
Our third activity, The Tiny Hippo Hunt, was created as another fun way to use the Instax Mini 70 at the museum, and as a solution to our excess hippo problem.
The rules are simple. Before the tour, your renegade guide hides tiny hippos throughout the museum. The guests are split into teams of Hippo Finders, and must seek out these hippos and take a photo of them in their natural habitat. The team that finds the most hippos wins.
The Consensus? Instax Mini 70 is F***ing Awesome!
We asked one of our renegade guides for the inside scoop on how our guests REALLY felt about the Instax cameras. Here’s what she said:
“The cameras brought a tangible element to the tour that guests don’t usually have. I also noticed guests experiencing the museum with a heightened awareness – they knew they had a task and their eyes were peeled. The cameras brought a level of exclusivity to the tour – they were in on something no one else in the museum knew about.”
Check out the Instax Mini 70 on Fujifilm’s site.
Here are some more photos…
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