If you were looking for "perfect" studio for old chinese+victorian style location, "Rumah peranakan" would be your best bet to accomplished all this. Located near to Jetty (around 5 minutes drive from Jetty), its pretty near but its kinda easy to miss out by majority of us as it blend to other herritage building located near by.
This building is actually build during 19th century and own by Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee. For more historical information, feel free to visit their official website.
Warning: This location doesn't allow commercial photography without notice. Please check their main website for more info. For casual shooting or hobbist, its still acceptable.
In order to help me to explain, I have draw an illustration for the layout of the location. As you can see from the image, I have split the path in to few areas like main building, kitchen, dining area and temple. Let me go through over the uniqueness over each location further down in my article.
This is an excellent place for photo-shooting but indoor is still indoor. There are some great shooting area that will be overcast by shadow. I would recommended bring your flash and reflector. Yes... reflector.
In the middle section of the house, you will find that its have direct sunlight into the house which can be used as your main source of lighting. Personally I have not try to shoot indoor during afternoon period but I believe it should be great as you can "borrow" the power of the sunlight via reflector to your model.
Over here, you might need to becareful over "high tech" equipment that they have put in place to make the visit a pleasant one like air conditioner. Other than that, this place is flawless. They have large collection of antiques and everything suit the whole environment nicely. As this building build during dynasty era, you will be please to know that lot of tradional chinese and colonial equipment. As the place is well maintain, the place is overall very clean and doesn't have unpleasant smell.
The wet kitchen area is nicely restore with antique kitchenware and some nice wall paiting. With open roof, the sunlight easily shine over the whole area. By shooting in this area alone, you can bring back the old 60s-70s feel and look. Please do take note that there are some antique british cookware in here. Their quantity is not a lot but you might wan to becareful if you are planning over old tradisional shot.
If you enter the dining area, you will be in for a big suprise. Totally different feel and era! The whole place is decorated with chinese painting and victorian style dining ware. IT feel so majestic and grand. There is one water fountain (but its not working when we was there). I believe it would be a great location for someone to wearing victorian style clothing. The best part is that we can actually sit over the big chair which is mean for guest but we are not allow to sit over those dining table (too bad).
There are nothing that is out of place except for a fan that keep us cool while inside this location. You can see air-condition over the top edge but its not a show stopper. The place is huge and and put around 10-20 people at one time. I didn't try 200mm lense over here but I believe it should be able to cover the model nicely. Just becareful while you were there as there are lot of nice antique lying around waiting for you to break it.
Suggestion over theme
It would be great if you can bring a model who is focus on herritage or old fashion style to suit back to the mansion design.
RM 10 per person without time limit or extra changes over the camera
How to get there?
The fastest way to get to here would be by driving. The nearest and easier access would be Jetty. Its just few street away from jetty terminal (Penang island). If you plan to walk, its would a good alternative.
Taxi is all over the Jetty terminal and it cost around RM10-20 max to reach that destination.