Photography Policies

    To protect the objects being photographed and the safety of other visitors, there are certain guidelines that must be followed when photographing at the Museum.

    General Visitors

    • Photography must be conducted without disruption to Museum operations or limitation to the accessibility of exhibitions, entrances/exits, doorways, and high traffic areas.
    • To help us preserve the outdoor sculptures, entering, climbing, or standing on any water features or fountains is prohibited; do not climb, lean or sit on any artworks. Do not place props or equipment on the sculptures.
    • Flash photography, tripods, and other photographic equipment are not permitted in the galleries, Lilly House or Miller House.
    • Photography is permitted for private, noncommercial use only. Photographs may not be published, sold, reproduced, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner.
    • Unless otherwise noted, photography of temporary exhibitions or borrowed works of art is not permitted.

    Photography and Video Shoots

    All locations, including The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens, and Miller House and Garden, require a permit for all photography and video shoots. In order to obtain a permit, available as a one year or single day pass, photographers must submit a completed application to the Rights and Reproductions Department, 317-923-1331 ext. 171 or 251 or permissions@imamuseum.org, at least two weeks prior to their arrival.

    The IMA must restrict photography and video shoots to protect works of art in the collection and avoid any possible infringement of copyright laws. It is important that all groups planning a shoot at the Museum adhere to the following guidelines to ensure the safety of our collection and the experience of future visitors:

    • All photography and video shoots with clients, professional or amateur, that utilize professional equipment require a pass.
    • All shoots require that the photographer(s) visibly display their pass while on any part of the Museum campus.
    • Access is limited to the date approved based upon submitted permit application.
    • Payment of fees is due with permit application.
    • One year pass fee of $400 will cover two named photographers from one company. More than two passes for one company will be charged a fee of $100 per additional photographer.
    • Submission of a head shot (JPG file preferred) is required when applying for a one year pass.
    • Students may obtain a single day pass for free for completion of class assignments with a copy of their student identification.
    • Original artworks and sculptures on the grounds of the IMA are protected by copyright and may not be photographed for the purposes of reproduction, publication, or copying in any way.
    • Shoots must be conducted without disruption to Museum operations or limitation to the accessibility of exhibitions, entrances/exits, doorways, and high traffic areas. The flow of visitors along drives and pathways must not be blocked at any time.
    • Guests and photographers are not permitted to walk in plant beds or to move, rearrange, or handle any plants or planted containers in any way.
    • To help us preserve the outdoor sculptures, entering, climbing, or standing on any water features or fountains is prohibited; do not climb, lean or sit on any artworks. Do not place props or equipment on the sculptures.
    • Shoots involving nudity are not permitted.
    • Shoots are not permitted inside the galleries or Oldfields–Lilly House.
    • Wedding photography is not permitted on the grounds on Saturdays between 4 and 7 pm.
    • Any groups requiring changing facilities must attain permission at least three weeks in advance for special accommodations. Additional fees may apply.

    The IMA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to shoot on its premises or to reproduce photographs of objects in its collections. IMA staff has the authority to approach anyone suspected of conducting a photography or video shoot and to enforce these rules. Failure to comply may result in removal from the premises. Please follow any verbal instructions you are given.

    Photo Shoot Application (PDF)

    Miller House and Garden Photo Policy

    The Indianapolis Museum of Art welcomes proposals for licensing and location shoots at Miller House and Garden. The Rights and Reproductions Department will work with your team to assess applications, plan logistics, and oversee on-site production.

    Media Photography Policy

    Members of the media may photograph or film within designated areas of the IMA for the purpose of news coverage. All members of the media must make arrangements with the Public Affairs Department prior to their arrival.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why did the IMA institute this policy?
    The photography policy was created to protect the grounds and the artwork, both inside the museum and outdoors. Additionally, the policy allows the museum to control the number of photography and video shoots on the grounds at one time to lessen the disruptions to scheduled events.

    How many photographers does the one year pass fee cover?
    One year pass fee of $400 will cover two named photographers from one company. More than two passes for one company will be charged a fee of $100 per additional photographer.

    I am applying for a one year pass. Why do I have to submit a headshot?
    One year passes include an image of the photographer to aid in identification by IMA staff. By sending us a head shot with the application, the pass can be prepared in a more timely manner.

    What is considered professional photography equipment?
    The use of a tripod, monopod, lights, umbrellas, diffusers, detachable flash, multiple lenses, large photography bags, etc.

    I have a one year pass, why do I have to notify you every time I want to come out to shoot?
    As much as you know of shoots in advance, we ask that you let us know so we can add you to the calendar and notify you of other events on the grounds on a particular day that might alter your plans.

    What if I purchase a single day pass and it rains?
    Contact the Rights & Reproductions Department to reschedule your shoot. A replacement will be issued to you.

    I want to use a video camera on the grounds. Do I need a pass?
    Yes, video shoots are handled in the same manner. Please purchase a pass for your shoot.

    Can I photograph my class assignment on the grounds?
    Yes! Students may obtain a single day pass for free with a copy of their student identification.

    I’m just a visitor to the IMA. Can I upload my personal pictures to social media sites?
    Yes! The IMA encourages you to share the images from your visit, as long as they are not available for someone to purchase or are being used to market a business in any way.

    I’m just a visitor to the IMA, but I own a SLR or DSLR “professional” camera. Can I bring this camera to photograph while visiting the museum with my family?
    Yes. As long as you only have the camera. The addition of multiple lenses, large photography bag, tripod, etc. will give the impression you are here for a shoot and not just visiting the museum.

    We are a group/club of photography enthusiasts wanting to shoot on the grounds. Do we need passes?
    Yes, photography groups/clubs should notify the Rights & Reproductions Department of their intended outing. Documentation from the organizing club/business should be provided and fees, if applicable, for use of the grounds for the shoot will be decided on an individual basis.