Photography Policy

Updated April 2016

Download the Old Salem Photo Policy (PDF)

Old Salem Museum and Gardens (“Museum”) staff may restrict the time, manner, and location of photography on Museum property at any time without advance notice.

Photographers and their subjects are responsible for their own safety and the Museum assumes no responsibility for their actions.

Rules for Museum photography  are presented below. For the purposes of this policy, “photography” applies to digital, film, and video cameras

To request a copy of a Museum photograph of a site or object on file, please contact Gary Albert at 336-721-7344. Fees are applicable.

broom cornAll photographers must comply with the following rules:

  1. Photographers must respect the rights of private property owners. The Old Salem Historic District is comprised of property owned by Old Salem Museums & Gardens (“Old Salem”), Salem Academy & College, the Moravian Church and its affiliates, the City of Winston-Salem, and private residents. Do not disturb the property of the private residents of Old Salem. Explicit permission is required from the owner to photograph on any private property.
  2. Do not interfere with Museum’s guests’ experience or access to Museum buildings/grounds. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. blocking Museum building doorways, steps, porches, pathways, or yards with people or equipment
    2. monopolizing time at hands-on objects or places, such as the water pumps, preventing our guests from enjoying the experience
    3. using unusual and/or non-historic props that distract from the ambiance of the Museum.
  3. Sidewalks and streets are the property of the City of Winston-Salem, NC. Do not obstruct sidewalks or streets. This includes:
    1. preventing a pedestrian from traveling along the sidewalk without leaving the sidewalk and walking on adjacent property or onto the street
    2. preventing or hindering free passage of pedestrian or vehicle traffic on the sidewalks or streets
    3. preventing access to or from any place of business – see City of Winston-Salem Code of Ordinances, Part III, Section 74-17.
  4. Do not situate equipment or people in a dangerous manner. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. positioning equipment/people on walls, fences, railings, and roofs (and/or other built features)
    2. in trees, bushes, and/or other dangerous landscape features
    3. in the direct path of vehicular or pedestrian traffic
  5. Do not move or alter Museum grounds or property in any way (fences, benches, signs, ropes, plants, barrels, etc.).
  6. Use of large props for staging photographs, including chairs, benches, stages, backdrops, etc. is strictly prohibited.
  7. Do not enter or situate equipment/people in restricted areas or locked or closed Museum grounds, including Museum gardens.
  8. For the purposes of this policy, “photography” applies to digital, film, and video cameras.
  9. All pets must be kept on leashes, even during photo shoots.
  10. Museum restrooms (and all other interior Museum facilities) are not available for changing clothes or otherwise; there are no electrical outlets provided.
  11. Photography of people without their permission, especially those under the age of 13, may be regulated by law.

Professional/Commercial Photography

Tavern_Meadow_weddingOutdoor photography for professional or commercial purposes is not allowed during regular museum operating hours without explicit approval and a permit from the Museum.

  • To request approval and acquire a permit, please contact Tyler Cox at 336-721-7364.
  • A Museum commercial photo pass is $100, which is valid for the calendar year purchased through December 31. If you purchase after July 1, the cost is reduced to $75 (and is valid through December 31).
  • Professional and Commercial photography includes all photography performed by a business or individual for a fee or photography to be marketed and sold.

Commercial or professional photography is not allowed inside Museum buildings without explicit approval from the Museum.

  • To request approval to photograph inside a Museum building, please contact Tyler Cox at 336-721-7364.

Film and Video Production

Certain Museum premises may be utilized for TV commercials, shows and films.  We encourage this work to be done on Mondays, when we are closed for tours.  We review all requests and, before approving them and signing contracts, must weigh the impact of each request on the guests’ experience and our neighbors: City of Winston-Salem, Salem Academy & College, Home Moravian Church, the Salem Congregation, and residents in the historic district.  Location fees are negotiated individually.  All commercial film crews must provide all executed contracts and a Certificate of Insurance before filming begins, and we reserve the right to reject any proposals.  Location scouts and producers can contact Tyler Cox, 336-721-7364 or tcox@oldsalem.org for more information.

Media Photography

Outdoor photography for media purposes is allowed with prior notification and approval from Tyler Cox at 336-721-7364.

Photography for Personal Use

wayne_dodsonOutdoor photography for personal use is permitted on Museum’s grounds during regular museum operating hours by ticketed museum visitors.

  • Large group photography (family portraits, proms, weddings) for personal use is discouraged during regular museum operating hours.
  • Do not unlock or unlatch gates or climb over locked fences.
  • Do not move furniture or Museum property (plant material, wood, etc).

Photography for personal use is permitted inside most Museum buildings.

  • Flash photography is prohibited inside Museum buildings
  • Tripods and other photography accessories are not permitted in Museum buildings
  • Do not videotape Museum costumed staff during their interpretation.

Drones are not allowed on any Old Salem Museums & Gardens property.

Violation of the above rules may result in fines from the City of Winston-Salem and/or misdemeanor arrest.