London’s Madame Tussauds is a museum along Marylebone Road full of life-size wax figures of famous celebrities, along with hordes of tourists taking photos of the “celebs” but often with the waxworks facing in the wrong direction. Let me explain. When a “real” human person is having their photo taken they tend to look directly down the camera lens. Something that many people choose not to replicate when taking photo of their preferred celebrity. Now this isn’t easy. A waxwork figure can’t look at the camera for you so it’s a case of having to position yourself up and down, left and right until the celeb appears to be looking right at the camera on your camera phone.
So what types of photos can you take?
- The “solo close-up” photo
One of our best close-ups was of Bruce Willis. Having seen him in person Bruce Willis looked pretty realistic – so much so you think he might move as part of a “prank” TV show. But then if you’re not in the photo too it might as well be Bruce Willis, or a magazine photo of Bruce Willis. Either way this waxwork looked pretty spot on! Yippee ki-yay!
- The “close up with you in it too” photo
A few steps away from Bruce was fellow Hollywood legend Whoopi Goldberg from her ‘Sister Act’ days. Now out of all the photos this one was one of our best as it looks like she’s looking right down the camera lens and we were actually in it too … which is important.
- The “height measurement” photo
Now we always hear that a lot of celebrities are a bit on the small size. Kylie is 5’ 0”, Michael J Fox is 5’ 5” and Tom Cruise is 5’ 7”. Now that’s my height so I had a ‘face-to-face’ stand-off with him (we couldn’t go ‘back-to-back’ as he had a pillar behind him). I called this one a draw.
- The “iconic setting” photo
Now for some exhibits you don’t have to be too worried about “lining anything up”. That’s because the scene of the photo is the lasting imagery. The ET backdrop is one of those and if we’d taken the photo a little bit lower we could have got less of the floor in and more of the moon. Nothing a bit of cropping can’t sort out though. It’s also important to make sure you don’t get other people “in shot” as that kind of ruins things.
- The “it would have been nice to have chatted to them in a bar” photo
Now some characters sadly become more popular if they’ve met their end just a few weeks earlier. That’s why having a “chat” with Robin Williams allowed me to momentarily think “what if” and how great it would have been to have actually met him in the flesh.
- The “famous pose” photo
Now you can be spoilt for choice here, especially in the sport section where sports stars tend to have a distinctive pose, a memorable stance while competing or an iconic pose from winning a particular event. From Usain Bolt’s pointing to the sky, Mo Farah’s “Mobot” to Johnny Wilkinson preparing to kick a penalty.
- The “inappropriate” photo
Now if Johan Lomu is going to stand there focussing on his outstretched hand, or if Alfred Hitchcock is going to have his hands reaching in front of him as if he’s testing the ripeness of watermelons then somebody is going to place their boobs in the way while looking shocked at the same time! Or alternatively you could look down a female celebrity’s top.
- The “you have just met them on set” photo
Samuel L Jackson was casually standing in a stairwell which made for a more candid/believable photo as he didn’t have a particularly striking background and wasn’t illuminated by any spotlights. You could almost pass this one off as real … almost.
- The “part of the movie scene” photo
Every once in a while Madame Tussauds have an exhibition and while we were there it was Star Wars’ turn. What could be better than chilling out with Han Solo in the Mos Eisley Cantina?
- The “childhood dream” photo
Finally there’s the “money shot” photo where you can capture a classic movie scene that you’ve seen countless times in films on the TV. So the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of the Millennium Falcon muttering the immortal Han Solo line of “Chewie, get us out of here!” and then going into hyperdrive … before standing up to let the next visitor have a go!
More information of course at https://www.madametussauds.com/ 🙂