Photography Policy

Updated May 2023

Anyone can take still photos or video in the museum lobby and galleries for their own personal use. Visitors may not take photos in the Omnitheater while a show is in progress, but are welcome to take photos in this area before or after the show.

Any inquiry from news media, a commercial, amateur or student photographer regarding taking pictures or video in or around the museum should always be referred to the public relations department, or Museum Public Safety (MPS) if the public relations department is not available. 

No one is allowed to set up tripods or lights without prior approval from the public relations department or MPS.

Video and still photography for commercial purposes is prohibited. 

Media photography: 

Subject to prior approval from the public relations department, members of the media may photograph or film within designated areas of the museum for the purpose of editorial coverage that includes the Science Museum of Minnesota as the subject.

In order to minimize disruption to visitors, these activities should be arranged in advance and all photographers must be escorted by a representative from the public relations department. 

On location photography: 

The Science Museum of Minnesota charges site fees for all filming and photography projects that are not considered personal snapshots or editorial coverage by the press. Site fees vary depending on the size of the project. Four weeks advance written notice of intended projects is preferred. 

Because the Science Museum is open to the public most days of the year, no special arrangements can be made to isolate areas from normal visitor traffic. All filming and photography must be conducted without disruption to museum operations and without limiting access to exhibitions, stairwells, entrances/exits, high traffic areas, or other locations of interest to museum visitors. 

Photographers are not allowed to set up lights, loose cords, or other trip hazards that may compromise the safety of museum visitors. If cords are necessary, photographers must supply their own tape and secure cords to the floor. No food or drink is permitted in museum galleries. 

Please note that we will do our best to make the filming area quiet if requested, but cannot guarantee pristine and ongoing quiet. We have many open areas, machines, and employees that could interfere with an audio person’s idea of studio-like, uninterrupted sound. 

For filming and photography scheduled to occur outside of normal business hours, the rates below will apply. Rates are set to cover expenses for after-hour operations and staff time. Fees may increase or decrease to accommodate special requests and circumstances. 

The following are general fee guidelines: 

  • Commercial rates: before and after hours only

    • $1,000 for up to 4 hours, Monday-Thursday |  $1,500 for up to 4 hours, Friday-Sunday

  • Non-profit rates: before and after hours only

    • $500 for up to 4 hours, Monday-Thursday |  $750 for up to 4 hours, Friday-Sunday

For film projects, production companies must be able to provide proof of general liability insurance and workers compensation coverage. 

The Science Museum of Minnesota reserves the right to decline any request for any reason. Any project that could reflect negatively upon the museum and its reputation as a scientific institution will be declined.