Rice University


Every year, nearly a thousand bridal and other portrait sessions are scheduled on the Rice University campus. So that we may continue to accommodate these requests without disrupting the university’s primary mission of education and research, professional photographers are requested to help assure compliance with the university's portrait photography guidelines.

Photographer Registration

Photographers who wish to photograph clients at Rice University must complete the online photographer registration on this website and submit a $50 registration fee via credit card or electronic check. This annual fee allows registered photographers and photo studios to request campus portrait session reservations for their clients for a period of one year from their registration date.

Once their registration fee has been processed, photographers will receive an email confirmation and may then login to their on-line photography account and search for available reservation times, set up appointments for clients, and cancel appointments if necessary. There is an additional $50 reservation fee required for each confirmed photo shoot reservation.

Scheduling Photography Appointments

Reservations for photo sessions may only be made by registered photographers using the online registration system on this website. Bridal and portrait photography is permitted on campus during the following times with a confirmed reservation:

Weekdays: 4 p.m. to dusk
Weekends: dawn to dusk
University Holidays: dawn to dusk

Photoshoot reservations are for one-hour time blocks, beginning on the hour (e.g., 9 a.m., not 9:30 a.m.). Reservations of two or more consecutive blocks of time are not permitted. Only one photography session is permitted per hour. If you find you need to change a photo shoot reservation, please send details via email to welcome@rice.edu; please do not telephone the Rice Welcome Center with questions and requests related to campus photography--they are unable to assist.

To ensure proper oversight of Rice’s bridal and portrait photography guidelines, a list of confirmed reservations is sent to the Rice University Police Department every Friday; therefore, all reservations for each Saturday through Friday reservation week must be made by noon the previous Friday. Reservations may be made up to 90 days before the desired photography appointment date.

Reservation Confirmation

Photographers will receive a reservation confirmation via email detailing the appointment date and time upon scheduling a photo session. Photographers should print this email and bring it to the photo shoot. It will serve as an on-campus permit for the duration of the photography session. If asked by campus police officers, please be prepared to show this confirmation email.

Although every attempt is always made to honor photography reservations, granting of a confirmed reservation in no way diminishes Rice University's right to use its property for its own purposes, and on rare occasions, photographers may be asked to terminate, relocate, or reschedule their shoots to accommodate university activities; in that event, Rice University assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage claimed by photo studios or their clients.


Bridal and portrait photography is only permitted in the following approved locations: the exterior cloisters of Lovett Hall, Sewall Hall, and Herzstein Hall; the Academic Quadrangle lawn (currently fenced for reconstruction); Founder's Court; and the walking paths immediately adjacent to the Entrance 1 road. Requests for other campus locations must be separately approved by the Rice University Welcome Center. For an online map of Rice University, please visit www.rice.edu/maps

Photography is prohibited in the following areas: James Turrell's “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace and campus residences.

Photographers, their clients, and their equipment may not block campus roads, building entrances, or walkways. Neither photography nor staging of photo shoot materials or personnel are permitted inside university buildings.


Regrettably, we cannot allow the use of University restrooms for dressing and other portrait preparation. Changing in the hallways, classrooms, and offices of campus buildings or outside on lawns or walkways is likewise prohibited; therefore, clients must be fully dressed and prepared for their portrait session before they arrive at the campus.


Parking is available in the Founder's Court Visitor Lot southeast of Lovett and Sewall Hall. A major credit card is required to enter and exit this lot. Upon exiting, your card will be charged a rate of $1 for each 10 minutes with a $12 per day maximum fee. Additional parking information may be found at www.rice.edu/parking


All photographic equipment must have rubber contact points to prevent brick and stone walkway damage. No equipment or backdrops may be attached to any campus building or landscaping in any manner whatsoever.


The use of confetti, streamers, and petals is prohibited. 

Nothing should be taped, stapled, tied, or hung onto campus buildings or plantings, including via coat hangers.

Photography in or around the James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace. In addition, photography in residential areas is prohibited. 


By making a reservation for portrait photography at Rice, you and your client agree to indemnify Rice University and its students and employees from and hold them harmless against, any claims, losses, or damages, including injury to persons or property, which may occur in connection with your photo shoot, including those caused by the negligence of any individual or institution.

Registered photo studios are responsible for assuring that their photographers and clients act in accordance with portrait photography guidelines and the instructions of Rice University officials while on Rice property. Failure to do so may result in summary termination of scheduled photo sessions, loss of campus photographic privileges for one year, and forfeiture of registration and reservation fees.