Film, Photography & Video Requests

General Policy

Stanford is a private university and its campus is private property. Filming and photography on Stanford-owned lands, including the Redwood City campus and open space areas such as The Dish walking trail, are restricted. Most filming and photography require advance permission. The university reserves the right to refuse or revoke permission to film or photograph on Stanford-owned lands for any reason.

Stanford policy allows personal photography by individuals on campus so long as:

  • Lights, tripods, and other standing equipment are not used
  • The images are used exclusively for personal non-commercial purposes
  • They do not interfere with the operations of the university, the privacy of individuals on campus, and the taking of such photos is consistent with University policies.
  • For information on wedding and portrait photography by Stanford affiliates, see below.

Stanford will consider requests from:

  • News media professionals
  •  Stanford units for Stanford-related activities: Stanford units may request permission to film or photograph on campus providing 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 current 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.
  • Requests for entertainment filming on campus are seldom approved due to disruption on a busy campus. Contact

Stanford policy prohibits:

  • Filming and photography on campus for commercial purposes
  • Professional photographers or filmmakers on campus without an executed location agreement and appropriate liability insurance
  • Filming and photography on campus about subjects not directly related to Stanford University
  • Filming and photography outside of normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm, and when university offices are closed.
  • Drone and unmanned flying vehicles by campus visitors
  • Filming in student residences, dining halls, libraries, classrooms and laboratories is prohibited without prior permission from University Communications
  • Wedding and portrait photography by members of the public who are not Stanford University affiliates (i.e.: students, faculty, staff, alumni)
  • Filming of b-roll on campus, including the Main Quadrangle, Memorial Church, Memorial Court, Hoover Tower, The Oval, Palm Drive and other iconic areas of the university.

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:

  • Disruption of academic, research, business or student activities
  • Damage to or alteration of university property
  • Inappropriate use of the Stanford name, marks or image
  • Disruption of traffic, parking or pedestrian pathways or other safety hazards
  • Violations of the university’s privacy policies.

Related policies

In addition to Stanford’s filming and photography policies, here are related policies:

  • Drones: Non-Stanford entities and campus guests 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 campus images by third parties is prohibited without written permission by the university. See Stanford’s Name Use Guidelines.
  • Non-Stanford entities are prohibited from hosting events on university property or inviting media to the Stanford University campus. Events on campus must be sponsored by a Stanford unit. See Stanford University Events Policy.
  • 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. See Privacy Policy.

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

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 protect student privacy. The subject of all news-related filming or photography must be directly related to the university. Profiles of individuals using Stanford as a backdrop location are not allowed.

Learn more about news media filming, photography and resources

Non-news filming or photography

Commercial filming and photography related to the marketing and promotion of companies and organizations other than Stanford is prohibited on university-owned lands. These activities are incompatible with the university’s non-profit status and policies prohibiting endorsement or the appearance of endorsement.

Non-commercial educational filming about Stanford:

Stanford University Communications will consider film and photography requests for non-commercial educational purposes if the subject matter is directly related to Stanford. Filming and photography of individual members of the Stanford community, including for profiles or documentaries, is not allowed on campus. Programs unrelated or peripherally related to Stanford University are not allowed. Stanford campus may not be used as a backdrop for third-party filming.

Learn more about non-news filming and photography

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.

Learn more about sports event photography

Wedding and portraits

Wedding and portrait photography on Stanford lands is restricted. Couples being married at Memorial Church may work with the Office of Religious Life for permission to take photos and film on the day of their ceremony.

The general public is prohibited from taking wedding and portrait photography and video on campus.

Learn more about wedding and portrait photography for Stanford affiliates
(faculty, staff, post docs, students, alumni only)


Last updated: May 20, 2019