Guidelines and Procedures

Personal Photography Wedding PhotographyAdvanced Notice | Written Request
Contact | Commercial Use | Credit and Acknowledgements  | Visitor-Related Restrictions
Conservation Restrictions | Electrical Power | Equipment | Copies | Legal Restrictions

These Guidelines and Procedures are only for professional non-wedding photography and videography of University Chapel.  For the policy on personal photography allowed in University Chapel, please click Personal Photography. For wedding photography protocols and agreement, please click Wedding Photography.

Advanced Notice:

Professional videography, recording or professional photography at the University Chapel & Museum is permitted only with advance written approval from the Associate Director. The Museum requires at least two weeks written notice for such requests.

Written Request:

To request approval, the individual or company must submit the following written information to the Associate Director, in addition to the attached Permission Request/ Agreement:

  • A detailed description of the project
  • The sponsor and/or producer for the project
  • The treatment concept and/or script for the project
  • The date of the desired on-site visit to the University Chapel & Museum
  • A description of the extent of the proposed photography or videography, including anticipated equipment
  • The names of individuals not associated with the University who will be interviewed at the University Chapel
  • Company's certificate of insurance


All requests for professional photography and for the rights to use existing images of the collections in the University Chapel & Chapel Galleries must be made to:

Museums at W&L
Lexington, Virginia 24450-2116
Telephone: 540-458-8700

Commercial Use:

As a general policy, the University does not permit its name or any images of the University Chapel, its grounds or collections to be used for commercial purposes or to promote a product or service.

Credit and Acknowledgement:

The University respectfully suggests the following acknowledgement for books and videos.

______________________ acknowledges the assistance of Washington and Lee University, which owns and operates the University Chapel & Museum.

For professional photographs of the University Chapel, please provide identification using the following words: "Courtesy of Washington and Lee University."

For existing images of the collections, a credit line will be provided by the Collections Coordinator.

Visitor-Related Restrictions:

It is the University's policy that any approved videography not disturb the visiting public's experience while at the University Chapel & Museum.

Conservation Restrictions:

  • Food, drink, and smoking are not permitted.
  • Photographers and film crews will be monitored by a staff member from the University Chapel Museum, Reeves Center, and/or the University's Communications Office at all times.
  • Objects can be touched or moved only by the Museums staff member designated by the University curator. Objects must never be used for sitting or holding equipment, this includes the antique podium. Requests to rearrange or move furnishings and other objects must be made in advance, and evaluations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • All equipment, such a tripods or tacks, must use rubber tips or pads to prevent damage to floors. Tripod legs must be closed when moving from one location to another. Equipment must be set up a reasonable distance from objects, walls, doors and other interior architectural elements. The Associate Director will relocate or remove any objects which he or she deems to be in too close proximity to lights and other equipment.
  • Because strong lights emit heat that can be damaging to objects, those required for photography should be turned off when not in use. Ultraviolet light generated by some lighting devices can cause fading or darkening of textiles, works of art on paper, and other organic materials, and therefore, must not be aimed directly at these types of objects.
  • Objects on loan to Washington and Lee University from other institutions or from private lenders may not be available for videography or photography.
  • Objects on display in the Museum must be photographed as installed inside their exhibition cases. Due to environmental considerations, cases cannot be opened. Filming of artifacts on exhibition must be done by the University videographers and associated fees will apply.
  • Locations for filming objects in storage will be determined by the University curator, depending on the availability of appropriate space. Due to access restrictions on storage areas, requests of this nature must be made in advance.

Electrical Power:

Electrical power is available in the museum. Please inquire about available amperage and location of electrical circuits, if needed. Lights cannot be used if not prearranged.


Photographers and technicians are to take full responsibility of all their equipment and bear all risk of damage or loss of equipment used and/or brought on site.  W&L will not be liable for any equipment damage or loss of equipment.


Washington and Lee University requests two copies of the completed project for the museum and archives.

Legal Restrictions:

The University reserves the right to remove any and all organization representatives, professional individual(s) conducting the videography or photography, and any and all crew accompanying them on site, if they fail to comply with all of the above guidelines, procedures, directives of museum staff and/or other University officials, and/or all provisions of the Permission Request/Agreement.

The organization or professional individual conducting the filming, recording or photography must agree, in writing, to hold the University harmless against any claims or expenses, of whatever nature, that result from their work at the University Chapel & Museum. In addition, they must agree to assume financial responsibility for any damage to University property caused by them or their agents. Prior to the visit, the organization must submit a certificate of insurance in the amount required by the Permission Request/Agreement to: Mr. Steve McAllister, Vice President for Finance, Washington Hall, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450-2116.

The organization or individual professional must agree, in writing, not to use the video, still photograph or recording made at the University Chapel & Museum at Washington and Lee University for any purpose except that described at the time approval is sought. If other use is later contemplated, it will be permitted only with written approval from the University.

The University will provide a standard agreement that outlines these legal restrictions. This signed agreement must be returned before approval for any project can be given. The University requires at least two weeks prior to the desired project date to process this paperwork.