Film, Photography and Video Requests

General Policy

Stanford is a private university. Stanford’s express permission is required for any filming or photography on Stanford-owned lands 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 (i) they are used exclusively for personal non-commercial purposes, (ii) the taking of such photos is consistent with this policy, including the wedding and portrait photography policy below and (iii) 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: (i) disruption of academic, research, business or student activities; (ii) damage to or alteration of university property; (iii) inappropriate use of the Stanford name, marks or image; (iv) disruption of traffic, parking or pedestrian pathways; (v) other safety hazards; or (vi) violations of the university’s privacy policies.


News-related filming and photography

Stanford News Service 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

Stanford prohibits the use of its land and buildings for commercial and marketing-related photography and filming. However, Stanford University Communications will consider requests involving, for instance, photography accompanying articles or the creation of television shows, movies, documentaries or educational-related projects, 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 and portrait photography on Stanford lands is prohibited except for couples being married at Memorial Church. People with a Stanford connection—meaning the bride or groom is an alumnus, student, faculty or staff—may request an exception to the policy in order to take wedding or portrait photography on campus.

More information on wedding and portrait photography


Additional policies

  • The use of drones for filming or photography is prohibited without prior approval and proof of FAA certification.
  • 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.
  • Indoor shooting at Stanford is prohibited without permission by the university as described above and, in addition, permission by the university official or faculty member with responsibility for the space. Filming in the residence halls, dining halls and classroom buildings is prohibited. Indoor shooting is considered inherently disruptive of the functions of the university.
  • Photography or filming in the Main Quad, Oval or Memorial Court, except by Stanford departments and organizations that have been granted permission by University Communications, is expressly prohibited. Stanford departments and organizations may film or do photography on the Main Quad and in Memorial Court providing 1) they have requested and received permission and 2) the work is Stanford related and does not interfere with university operations. See the policies on the use of the Main Quad and Oval.
  • Filming or photography on Stanford lands for academic purposes is limited only to Stanford University students, staff and faculty and others attending Stanford academic programs, Stanford sponsored programs and other programs which occur on Stanford’s campus and for which photography is part of the program. The resulting films and photographs may not be used for commercial purposes.
  • All professional filmmakers and photographers working on the Stanford campus are expected to carry appropriate insurance.
  • Filming of B-roll, especially of the Main Quadrangle and other iconic areas of the university, is prohibited at Stanford for privacy reasons. Members of the media and other may request directions to download high-quality, university-produced B-roll of the Main Quadrangle and other iconic areas.
  • 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.