F-stops and Fabergé: Getting snap happy at HMNS Pixel Parties

After-hours at the Museum on November 2, we had another one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). This time around, we gave our photographers access to our newly re-opened Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg exhibit.

And here’s a sampling of what they gave us in return:


Photo by Kirsten Tucker.



Photo by Eddie Abbott Imagery




Photo by Dwayne Fortier


Photo by James Woody



Photo by Allison Buchtien



Photo by Reed’s Photography



To see more photos from around the museum, please visit our HNNS Flickr Group page.


And stay tuned! We’ll be announcing our next Pixel Party date just after the new year.

It’s the Pixel Party paparazzi: Getting snap happy with the striking Bulgari exhibit

After-hours at the Museum on May 11, we had another one of our awesome Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits exclusively to photographers (both amateur and professional). This time around, we gave our photographers access to special exhibition Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces.

And here’s what they gave us in return.


Photo by Barry Tse

 Photo by Barry Tse

Photo by Barry Tse

 Photo by Kinjo Yonemoto

Photo by Kinjo Yonemoto

 Photo by Ivan Moreno

Photo by Ivan Moreno

 Photo by Randall Pugh

Photo by Randall Pugh

 Photo by Robbin Merritt

Photo by Robbin Merritt

 Photo by Barry Tse

Photo by Barry Tse

 To find more pretty Pixel Party pictures, head over to our Flickr photo pool.

Wanna participate in a future Pixel Party? Bookmark this page and keep your eyes peeled!

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!