Photo Policy

Photo Policy

The Museum encourages visitors to take photographs or videos in our galleries. To ensure an enjoyable museum experience for everyone, we enforce the following guidelines.


Hand-held, self-contained equipment is fine under all circumstances.
The use of additional equipment (tripods, lights, etc.) requires an appointment (see below).
The requesting party is responsible for all equipment, including power sources, extension cords, lamps, ladders, etc.  Museum staff are unable to assist in setup or takedown.


Photography for professional use, and photography using extra equipment, both require an appointment, made at least two weeks in advance.  Please contact our main office at 734-764-0480 or
Photo shoots using additional equipment will be scheduled after 3:00 pm on weekdays.
The Museum reserves the right to refuse any requests.


Photos for personal useSpecifics related to photos for personal use only

  • No permission required.
  • No appointment necessary.
  • Photos may not be used for commercial purposes. 
  • If posted in a public venue, use a non-commercial license (e.g. CC-BY-NC).
  • Please credit U-M Museum of Natural History.

Personal use includes:
• Sharing with family and friends
• Posting to personal web pages, blogs or other non-commercial websites
• Posting to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
• Sharing through creative commons (Wikimedia, Flickr, etc.)

Photos for Academic/Educational Use

  • No permission required.
  • School groups must schedule an appointment.
  • No licensing requirement, provided work is not shared publicly.
  • If your school’s policies require, credit U-M Museum of Natural History.

Educational use includes:
• Any student use in assignments or projects (provided they do not become portfolio pieces; see Professional Use below.
• Any instructional use in the classroom (lectures, handouts, presentations)
• Research (but not publication; see below)

Photos for Professional use

Permission of Museum required. Must schedule an appointment. License negotiated during the permission process. Credit required: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.

Professional use includes:
• Scientific / academic publications
• Any print media (newspaper, magazine, books, including textbooks, no matter how small the run)
• Any electronic media (TV, radio, film)
• Any commercial or for-profit website (including Flickr page of a professional photographer, etc.)
• Public display (advertisements, etc.)

Museum reserves the right to refuse permission, or to review photo before publication.
One high-resolution digital copy of the final images should be provided to the Museum with perpetual non-exclusive permission for use in accordance with its educational mission.

Any exceptions to these policies must be discussed with the Museum Director by appointment.  Please contact Amy Harris at (734) 763-4191 or