Artefact and exhibition photography

The author photographing an ancient egyptian amulet

Photography for:

  • Exhibition catalogues and souvenir books
  • Bespoke gift shop items
  • Exhibition panels and signage
  • Highlighting small objects and details
  • Objects too fragile to display
  • Social media posts

Alongside dinosaurs, ancient Egyptian exhibitions are the UK’s most popular with museum visitors.

It’s undeniable that the aesthetics of this fascinating civilisation plays a huge part in this love. And, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you’re exhibiting ancient Egyptian artefacts, whether in a permanent gallery or on a temporary basis, your imagery is vital to your story.

You need great images on your information panels and signage to engage your audience.

You might want to highlight interesting details or small objects that are easy to miss in their display cases. Perhaps you have artefacts that are too delicate to put on display, but which would be an important part of your exhibition.

You may want to offer your visitors some bespoke items in your gift shop to make their visit to your museum really memorable.

In all these cases, it can be good to move away from the functional collections-database photography and delve into something a little more artistic. My expert photography and knowledge of Egyptology will help you tell your story.

If you’re looking for a photographer who knows what they’re dealing with when it comes to your Egyptology collection, I’d love to chat.

What do you get when we work together?

A curator’s time is precious. When I work with curators to photograph ancient Egyptian artefacts, I know what I’m dealing with, from the tiniest amulet through to oversized coffins and statues, and I’m used to handling artefacts.

This means you can leave me to it with a list of items or details you need photographed. I’ll know what I’m doing. I can also make suggestions for interesting or important details I think should be captured. It wasn’t until I spent time carefully picking details out of a page from the Book of the Dead at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, that I discovered a previously unseen palimpsest in the middle of a set of hieroglyphs. Leave me with your boxes of amulets, and I’m as happy as a pig in mud.

You won’t need lots of equipment or a photography suite for me. I have all my own equipment, which packs down into one suitcase and one bag. I travel light and don’t take up much space at all.

All your images will come back with each artefact’s accession number, provenance and description embedded in the metadata. This means that you can hand photos to your social media or website manager, and they’ll have the information they need for getting your artefacts online.

See also:

Behind-the-scenes and outreach photography

In these days of the fast-moving pace of social media, you need plenty of engaging photos to share with your followers.

Not only do you want photos of artefacts, you need to promote events and have a few behind-the-scenes photos to show your audience. People love to see how things work behind the scenes, to gain insight into the workings of a museum.

You might want to document a day in the life of a curator, photograph some particularly interesting conservation, or show how an exhibition’s put together. And, not only are these photos essential for sharing with your audience, they’re also great for putting in your annual report or to keep in your own archives for future historians.

You might have work you want documenting on a single day, for a week, or even over a matter of months.

If you don’t have an in-house photographer, or you have more work than they can manage by themselves, I’d love to have a chat and see if I can help out.

A girl sitting and drawing, with an elderly man in the background, reading a book

Photography for:

  • Social media posts
  • Promoting events
  • Behind-the-scenes photos to engage your online audience
  • Annual reports
  • Keeping a record of your events for future historians

What do you get when we work together?

If you need life at your museum documenting, you’ll get a photographer who’s happy to be left to their own devices at an event or behind the scenes, working with the people being documented. But, if you have specifics, you can also hand over a list of subjects to include, and you know you’ll get what you need.

You’ll get a photographer comfortable working with anyone from museum professionals through to your youngest visitors.

You’ll get a ‘ninja’ photographer, who understands events are for the visitor, not the photographer. (One year at the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival I was dubbed ‘the ninja photographer’ because of my ability to photograph a quiet, thougthful event without being noticed or getting in the way.)

All photos come back to you only lightly edited (unless you request otherwise), so you can then add your own ‘look’ if you need. All photos will have details of the event they contain embedded within the metadata, making them easy to hand over to website or social media managers with all the information they need.

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