Until recently, I thought “no-photo” policies were a given in best practice museum standards. I would never have second-guessed our current “no-photography policy” in my day-to-day duties. However, it wasn’t until recently that I developed an uncertainty about this policy. Is this common museum practice becoming outdated and unfounded?
It was these few lines in Nina Simon’s book that sparked my investigation into TO PHOTO OR NOT TO PHOTO?
“In museums, the most frequent way that visitors share objects with each other is through photographs. – When people share pictures with each other, either directly via email or in a more distributed fashion via social networks, it’s a way to express themselves, their affinity for certain institutions or objects and simply to say, “I was here.” – When museums prevent visitors from taking photo, the institutional message is, “you can’t share your experience with your own tools here. – Photo policies are not easy to change, especially when it comes to institutions that rely heavily on loans or traveling exhibitions.”
(The Participatory Museum, Simon, 176-7.)