Film, Photography and Video Requests

General Policy

Stanford is a private university. Stanford’s permission is required for any filming or photography on Stanford-owned lands – including the Redwood City campus and open space areas, such as The Dish walking trail – by:

  • News professionals
  • Professional or commercial photographers and filmmakers
  • Campus visitors taking pictures or filming for commercial purposes or using a commercial or professional photographer or filmmaker
  • Anyone taking wedding or portrait photography

Personal photos may be taken by students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and other campus visitors so long as: 1) they are used exclusively for personal non-commercial purposes; 2) the taking of such photos is consistent with this policy, including the wedding and portrait photography policy below; and 3) they do not interfere with the ongoing operations of the university.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the university reserves the right to prohibit any filming or photography on its lands for any reason, including if the filming or photography creates the potential for: 1) disruption of academic, research, business or student activities; 2) damage to or alteration of university property; 3) inappropriate use of the Stanford name, marks or image; 4) disruption of traffic, parking or pedestrian pathways; 5) other safety hazards; or 6) violations of the university’s privacy policies.

News-related filming and photography

Stanford University Communications accommodates reasonable requests for journalistic, news-related, non-commercial shooting, but reserves the right to deny permission when the request runs contrary to university policies – especially those that ensure student privacy. The subject of all news-related filming or photography must be directly related to the university.
More information on requesting news-related photography or filming

Non-news filming or photography

Commercial filming and photography related to the marketing of companies and organizations other than Stanford is prohibited on university-owned lands. Such activities are incompatible with the university’s non-profit status and long-standing policies prohibiting endorsement or the appearance of endorsement.
Stanford University Communications will consider film and photography requests involving programs featuring Stanford students, faculty or staff, or the creation of television shows, movies, documentaries or educational-related programs, providing the subject matter is related to Stanford.

More information on requesting non-news-related photography or filming

Sports event photography

Requests to film or photograph sporting events on Stanford’s campus should be directed to Stanford’s Athletic Communications and Media Relations Department.

More information on sports event photography

Wedding and portrait photography

Wedding photography and filming on Stanford lands is prohibited except for couples being married at Memorial Church. Members of the Stanford University community – alumni, students, faculty or staff members – may request permission to take wedding and portrait photographs on university property.

More information on wedding and portrait photography

Additional policies

  • Non-Stanford entities are prohibited from flying drones and other unmanned flying vehicles above or from within Stanford lands. Faculty, students, staff and approved vendors are required to obtain advance approval for such flights from a university committee. For more information and instructions on requesting review of a proposed flight, see the Policy on Operation of Unmanned Flying Vehicles.
  • Use of Stanford’s name, other trademarks and emblems, or images in connection with any photograph or film is prohibited without written permission by the university. For more information, see the web page describing Name use, seal or logo request.
  • Non-Stanford entities are prohibited from hosting media events on university property, or inviting media to the Stanford University campus.
  • Stanford University has an interest in ensuring that the privacy of all of its students, faculty and staff is respected and that no activities interfere with education, research or residential life. Therefore, filming in student residences, dining halls, libraries, classrooms and laboratories is prohibited without prior permission from University Communications.
  • Members of the media are prohibited in all residential areas of the university, including student residences and the surrounding faculty neighborhoods without prior permission from University Communications.
  • All professional filmmakers and photographers working on the Stanford campus must have prior permission from University Communications, carry credentials and have appropriate liability insurance.
  • Filming of b-roll of the Main Quadrangle, Memorial Church, The Oval and other iconic areas of the university, is prohibited for privacy reasons and to avoid disruption of university activities. Members of the media and others may request directions to download high-quality, university-produced b-roll of the Main Quadrangle and other iconic areas.
  • Stanford departments and organizations may film or photograph on the Main Quad and in Memorial Court providing 1) they have requested and received permission from University Communications and 2) the work is Stanford-related and does not interfere with university operations.
  • Filming or photography on Stanford property for academic purposes is limited only to Stanford University students, staff and faculty, as well as Stanford-sponsored programs and other programs that occur on Stanford’s campus for which filming/photography is part of the program. The resulting films and photographs may not be used or distributed for commercial, marketing or promotional purposes.
  • Members of the University Communications staff are not available to scout locations.

For more information, contact the Office of University Communications at 650-725-8396.

Last updated: June 26, 2018