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Photo Policy

Whether you are a visitor or journalist, please view the photo policy of the Basilica before your visit.

Policy Regarding Photography and Artistic Renderings

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, including both the building and grounds, (hereinafter referred to as “Basilica”) is a Roman Catholic Church established by the Bishops of America and built through the generosity of millions of Catholics across the country as our Nation’s patronal church. The Basilica is owned and operated by a not-for-profit Corporation with the same name, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (hereinafter referred to as the “Corporation”). Thus, both the building and grounds of the Basilica are private property, which is owned by the Corporation.

Furthermore, the works of art adorning the exterior (such as the Great Dome) and interior of this church and the surrounding grounds are protected by copyright.

In that regard, the Corporation reserves all rights to the reproduction, public distribution, public display, and usage, in any medium, of representations of the Basilica, including but not limited to photography, filming or video-recording with any device, and artistic renderings of any type.

Any publication or public display of any such images of the Basilica, whether in whole or in part, must be done in agreement with the Corporation and have prior written approval of the Corporation.

The Corporation reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises or to reproduce photographs taken on the grounds of the Basilica.


Both still photography and video-recording are permitted for private non-commercial use only in the Basilica spaces devoted to touring.

Photographs and/or video-recordings of the Basilica may not be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner.

Still photography and video-recording of worship services or events in the Basilica are not permitted.

Tripods and/or freestanding lighting equipment are not permitted in the Basilica without explicit approval and special arrangements (see below).

Press/News Media

For members of the press and news media, who wish to photograph, televise, video record and/or audio-record events and services in the Basilica, permission must be obtained in advance from the Director of Communications of the Corporation ([email protected]).

Tripods, freestanding lights, and/or other equipment might create a safety hazard or impede the efficient flow of traffic. Accordingly, the use and placement of any such equipment by the news media will be subject to restrictions and limitations at the sole discretion of the Corporation. Accordingly, if any equipment other than a hand-held camera and a hand-held light are to be used, permission for such use, and arrangements for such placement, must be made in advance by the Director of Communications of the Corporation.

All freelance assignments shall be coordinated through the Director of Communications ([email protected]). Unless otherwise approved by the Corporation, the copyright ownership for images created during such assignments at the Basilica remains with the Corporation.

Other Requests

Posed photographs on the premises for events not directly associated with the Basilica itself, including wedding parties, family reunions, etc. are STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.

For all other requests, please contact the Director of Communications at least two weeks in advance.


Permission to use images of and/or in the Basilica in any publication (journals, magazines, articles, books, internet/blog usage, etc.), and the related terms of such use, must be approved in advance and in writing by the Corporation. Accordingly, requests for such permission should be directed in writing to the Archivist-Curator of the Corporation: [email protected].

Contact Information

Members of the press/news media should contact the Director of Communications of the Corporation: [email protected] or 202-281-0615.

All other requests for usage in any medium of representations of the Basilica, including but not limited to photography, filming and video with any device, and artistic renderings of any type or usage of archival photographs or film footage, in publications (including books, journals, magazines, newsletters, articles, and internet/blog usage, etc) should be directed to the Archivist-Curator of the Corporation: [email protected] or 202-526-8300.