C’mon, get snap happy! Grab your camera (any camera) and Pixel Party with us on Sunday

Oh yes, photographers, it’s that time once again. Time to dust off ye olde DSLR, point-and-shoot, or even that fingerprint-smudged smartphone — and pony up to a photo party at your favorite science museum after hours.

In case you haven’t heard by now, our Pixel Party is the next generation of photography soirees from HMNS, where photographers of all cameras can set up shop in our latest and greatest exhibits — and get a crowd-free glimpse of the goods.

This month, we’re lifting the veil off three (!!!) major titans for your photographic pursuits: the stunning new Hall of Ancient Egypt, the intriguing Scenes from the Stone Age: the Cave Paintings of Lascaux exhibition, and the timeless Hall of the Americas (where photography is traditionally prohibited — until now).


In order to get the opportunity to snap those masterful exhibits, we ask that you meet three simple requirements:

(1) Register for the Pixel Party

Yup, register. It’s totally free, but we’ve gotta know you’re coming. You can do that registration thing if you point your little mouse right here and click. After you register, you’ll receive an email confirmation that your registration is good to go.

Oh, and you might wanna take note of the deadline, because there is one. Registration must be received by 5 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 21. We won’t accept registrations after that, no matter how hard you beg or how many barrels of cupcakes you promise to bring. Sorry. Them’s the breaks.

(2) Bring a camera

Maybe that goes without saying, since this is a photography party and all, but hey, we’re saying it anyway. This means that everyone in attendance must have a camera in hand. We actually don’t care what kind of camera — smartphone, fancy camera, credit card-sized camera, and the like — but whatever you’ve got has to be capable of taking photos.

But this also means no +1. It means no family, no friends, and no one without a click-click-clicker in hand. Just photographers.

(Now if your loved ones take photos, too, that’s another story. So, um, psst. Make ‘em register.)


(3) Have an active photo sharing profile on the Interwebs

You know, we wanna check out the spectacular photos you take of our exhibits. Let’s face it: you make us look good. And maybe we’re a little vain, too. But we wanna see ourselves in the glow of your adoring gaze. So, indulge us.

To that end, you must have an active Flickr, Instagram, 500px, or other photo sharing account; a dedicated Facebook Fan Page for your photography; or an active photography portfolio online.

We have to make sure that you are who you say you are — a photographer. Because why show up to a picture party if you don’t really like to take them?

That’s it. Capisce?

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and you can chill in the Grand Hall until the event begins at 6 p.m. We’ll have kibbles for you on our front patio from The Hungry Lumberjack (so bring cash), and, of course, the chance of a lifetime to explore three fabulous exhibits after hours.

Think you can hang with some snap-happy folks at the Museum? Then register, why dontcha?

Because Instagram is everything: A self(ie) guided tour of HMNS

I’m sure you, like many people who visit HMNS, are a selfie connoisseur. But sometimes it can be difficult to come up with new concepts. I mean, your Instagram followers need variety. Who wants to see the same old pic over and over again on their feed? Sure, you take them in front of different backgrounds, change the filter, etc., but where’s the art in that? You’re a selfie artiste – you need drama. A motive. You want to tell a story!

Lucky for you, HMNS is one of the best places in Houston to explore the art of the selfie. Here are some good jumping off points:

#LionPhotoBomb #HMNSelfie
The Hall of African Wildlife is located on the second floor. If you squat or sit down in front of the lion case you can position yourself so that it looks as if a lion is photobombing you.

HMNSelfie 3

Pro tip: Why stop with the lion?! The animals in the exhibit have been positioned in such a way that they look as if they could run/pounce/gallop at any moment — almost as if they’re getting ready to jump into your picture…


#SwimmingWithTheFishes #HMNSelfie

Right as you enter the Museum, there’s a staircase to the left with a mural of a whale and a squid. If you go to the top of the stairs, to the mezzanine, you can position yourself perfectly to make it look as if you’re underwater.

HMNSelfie 1

Pro tip: There’s another staircase on the other side of Glassell Hall with an underwater mural as well (this one featuring marlins). And now, with a new installation of marlins, dolphins and schools of fish hanging in Glassell, you’ve got so many great ways to add variety to your selfie.


#WalkLikeAnEgyptian #HMNSelfie
Located on the third floor of the museum, the Hall of Ancient Egypt can be a tricky place to take pictures because of the dim lighting – but I’m sure that won’t deter you. Just find a spotlight, jump in, and “walk like an Egyptian.”

HMNSelfie 4

#Pro tip: If you’re posing in front of a light source, have a friend use their phone to light your face out of the frame as you take the pic. That way you won’t become just a silhouette.


#ButterflyKisses #HMNSelfie
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is one of the most popular parts of the Museum and we’re always releasing new butterflies into the happy habitat.

HMNSelfie 5

Pro tip: Be patient – butterflies can be flighty, but it’s worth it to get a shot with one of them. If you know you’re going to the Butterfly Center, wear bright colors to attract the butterflies to you.


#Petrified #HMNSelfie
The Morian Hall of Paleontology has some really exquisite petrified wood specimens. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed a good double entendre, so why not look PETRIFIED while in front of petrified wood?!

HMNSelfie 6

Pro tip: This hall is another great place to explore the “specimen as photobomber” concept discussed above.


#MagnaCarta800 #HMNSelfie
Our Magna Carta exhibit just opened, so you should really come see it — and be a selfie pioneer in this hall! The Magna Carta itself is about to turn 800 years old, and this is the only place in America where you can see it. So you might as well have something to remember it by.

HMNSelfie 2

Pro tip: The exhibit for Magna Carta also shows you the ins and outs of medieval life, so it’s rife with picture opportunities.

I hope you’ll try out some of these ideas and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and use the hashtag #HMNSelfie!

It’s a Pixel Party: Get snap happy with us at Faberge: A Brilliant Vision on Sunday evening!

Photographers, get snap happy at this Sunday's Pixel Party!What, what, what are we doing?

We’re hosting a Pixel Party —  the next generation of photography soirees from HMNS. When? THIS Sunday, Feb. 10, in our utterly photogenic new exhibit Faberge: A Brilliant Vision.

Pixel Parties work like this: All Photographers are welcome to bring their cameras — even the ones housed in their smartphones — and check out our new Fabergé exhibit in a crowd-free, after-hours environment.

Post your masterpieces online in our Flickr group, on Instagram, on Twitter, or wherever you choose to share your work, and one of your shots might be featured in our weekly newsletter!

Bring your camera this Sunday and see Fabergé with the Pixel Party!

Photogs must have one of the following to participate:

(1) An active Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account

(2) A dedicated Facebook Fan Page for your photography

(3) An active photography portfolio online

Bring your camera this Sunday and see Fabergé with the Pixel Party!

All photographers must register by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 8 to participate. No late registrations will be accepted. Email webeditor@hmns.org with your name and a link to your online photo-sharing accounts, and you’ll receive an email confirmation giving you the go-ahead to attend.

Pixel Party is from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free to attend. Gourmet grilled cheese from Golden Grill will also be on-hand on the patio, but you guys have to pay for that.


Get snap happy: Bring your camera — any camera! — to our Pixel Party photo event

Remember those Flickr meetups we used to have, back in the days of yore? Where photographers could set up shop in some of our newest exhibits and get a crowd-free glimpse of the goods?

Well that was then, and this is now. And we want to invite you to bring your camera — any camera — for a new-and-improved snap happy, party after-hours.

Enter the Pixel Party: the next generation of photography soirees from HMNS.

Doing our thing...Doing our thing, by Pixeltopia

The Pixel Party won’t be all that different from what you’ve come to know as the HMNS Flickr Group Meetups — bring your camera, see some new exhibits, and post your masterpieces online. Except this time, any kind of camera — including the kind housed in your smart phone — is welcome.

Our first Pixel Party is scheduled for Sunday, October 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the new Gems of the Medici exhibit. Yup, you get to see it right after it opens — no crowds, no lines, no fees. And, as a bonus (since it’s been so long and we’re cool like that), we’re keeping our new Morian Hall of Paleontology open for you, too.

You must have one of the following to participate:

(1) An active Flickr or Instagram account
(2) A dedicated Facebook Fan Page for your photography
(3) An active photography portfolio online

During the Pixel Party, registered photographers will have access to photograph the exhibits. Which means you must register to par-tay.

To register, please send an email webeditor@hmns.org with your name and a link to one of the following:

(1) Your Flickr or Instagram account
(2) A link to your Facebook Fan Page
(3) A link to your online portfolio where photos will be displayed

We won’t be taking registrations any other way, so follow the rules, why dontcha? You’ll receive an email confirmation of your registration when we get your info.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email or post a comment here. Registration must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.

No matter whether you’re a Nikon nerd or an iPhoneographer (or anywhere in between) we want to see you at this shindig. Tripods are welcome, but remember: we’re all here for the photography, so plan to play nice!

We hope to see you on Oct. 28! Don’t forget: Email us to register at webeditor@hmns.org.