Filming and Photography FAQs

Q: Why does Stanford regulate photography and filming on campus?

A: Stanford places a high priority on the privacy and safety of its students, faculty and staff and on protecting campus activities that support its teaching and research mission. Stanford receives a high volume of requests to film or photograph on campus. The policy helps to manage these many requests without infringing on the privacy of its students or disrupting campus operations. Stanford’s filming and photography policy also helps to prevent commercial use of Stanford campus images.


Q: Why does Stanford limit filming on campus by third parties?

A: Stanford is a non-profit institution and its campus may not be used by other organizations for promotional purposes. Accordingly,  filming and photography related to the marketing of companies and organizations other than Stanford is prohibited on university-owned lands. Such activities are also incompatible with the university’s policies prohibiting its endorsement or the appearance of endorsement of commercial entities.


Q: If I am a Stanford alum, can my wedding/portrait photographs be taken on campus?

A: Yes, Stanford affiliates, including alumni, faculty, students, postdocs and staff members, are allowed to take wedding and portrait photos in designated locations on campus as long as they follow policy. Wedding or portrait photographs can only be taken on weekends. University policy prohibits wedding and portrait photography in the Main Quadrangle, Memorial Court and The Oval, unless the wedding has taken place in Memorial Church. See Wedding and Portrait Photography at Stanford University


Q: Why do film crews and photographers need insurance?

A: The university is self-insured. Any vendor doing business on campus, including professional filmmakers and photographers, must carry appropriate insurance and be prepared to provide the university with a certificate of liability insurance.


Q: Why are tourists treated differently than professional film crews and photographers?

A: The university allows limited photography and filming for non-commercial, personal use, providing it does not disrupt or impede the normal, ongoing operations of the university, or infringe on the privacy of students, faculty and staff.


Q: Is drone filming by visitors allowed on campus?

A: No. Organizations and individuals not affiliated with Stanford are prohibited from flying unmanned flying vehicles (UFVs) on or above Stanford land. Use of UVFs by Stanford units is highly restricted and requires advance written permission from the University in accordance with its policies.


Q: Does the university allow movies to be filmed on campus?

A: Because of year-round campus activity and disruption to campus, approvals are very limited. To make a request, send the request details and script to: [email protected]


Q: Where should film crews and professional photographers park?

A: Filmmakers and photographers conducting short-term authorized visits to campus may purchase day-use parking permits through the Office of Parking and Transportation or park in a visitor parking spot. All campus visitors should be aware that parking on campus is limited.


Q: Can Stanford students take photographs and do filming in the Main Quadrangle and on the Oval for class projects?

A: Students may request and receive written approval in advance from University Communications for class projects. Community service officers patrol the Main Quadrangle and Oval areas. Students with approval documents make their jobs easier.

Return to Film, Photography and Video Requests policy

Last updated: May 20, 2019