Guest post: writer Laura Burgess on starring in a Museums at Night photoshoot

We really appreciate all the museums, galleries and heritage sites who have shared pictures of people exploring their venues at night: many of these are now part of our Press Image Library. However, more iconic photos were needed to publicise the Museums at Night campaign, so Culture24 worked with PR coordinator Pandora George and top photographer Pal Hansen to set up professional photoshoots. We’re also very grateful to the Horniman Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum for letting us take photos in their fantastic buildings!

In this guest post, writer Laura Burgess describes her experience modelling in one of the photoshoots.

A photo of a man and a woman dancing surrounded by sculptures

Dancing in the Victoria and Albert Museum at night, surrounded by sculptures

It’s just before six pm when my boyfriend Andy, my friend Jenny and I arrive at the entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum. We’re greeted by photographer Pal Hansen, his assistant Louise and press officers Ellie and Pandora. At this point I’m still not sure what I’ve agreed to – this is no typical Tuesday evening.

Alongside being a journalist intern at Culture24 I was asked to help out with the promotion of the Museums at Night campaign. This makes a huge change: I’m usually behind the lens of a camera, not in front!

With the museum officially closing and the last of the visitors leaving, we help Pal carry his equipment to our location – and the adrenaline of being photographed by someone who shot Keira Knightley merely a few days earlier kicks in.

A photo of two women drinking wine at a table in a sculpture gallery

Drinks and dinner in a museum at night

As we’re led into a vast room, we three models are awed by the huge sculptures surrounding us. The first sequence of photographs involve us sitting at a small table, placed symmetrically in the middle of a huge row of sculptures on either side of us that can only be described at huge chess pieces.

Having posed with wine glasses – which helped with the nerves – we move into a courtyard area where Andy and I dance next to statues of men fighting. The brightness of my emerald-coloured dress is noticeable as Andy twirls me around. We were supposed to be acting amorously, and the atmosphere was unexpectedly romantic as we giggled and swayed.

A photo of two girls drinking wine in a sculpture gallery

Sharing secrets in the sculpture gallery

Finally, Jenny and I sit by a fountain with beautiful lighting and the image of a young, angelic-like figure looking over us. By this point we’re relaxed and having fun, after finishing almost a whole bottle of wine and getting used to being snapped. There’s a feeling of sadness when the security guards usher us off the set as our time ends. I feel delighted and privileged with the photos, and can’t wait till Museums at Night!


Laura Burgess is working for Culture24 on a three-month internship and writes a variety of articles and features for the site – from news stories to reviews. A recent graduate of the NCTJ magazine journalism course at City College in Brighton, she has previous experience working on Film and Photography magazines and has a BA in English Literature and Communication Studies from Bath Spa University. Laura has undertaken work on all areas of the site and has a particular interest in features and reviewing.


Don’t forget, if you have high-resolution photos of people enjoying themselves in your venue at night, your pictures can also be part of our image library for the press to use! Simply send the photos, along with any copyright info and the photographer’s credit, to our PR coordinator Pandora George on

One response to “Guest post: writer Laura Burgess on starring in a Museums at Night photoshoot

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