Photography at RTPI

Photography at RTPI

Throughout the Southern Tier, there are few places that rival RTPI for art, architecture and nature. Photography is encouraged at RTPI, inside the museum and outdoors in our 27-acre preserve. We would love for you to share your photos using #DiscoverRTPI.

To protect the artworks, building and grounds – and as a courtesy for other guests – the guidelines below must be followed when photographing at RTPI.

Photo Guidelines for all Photographers

In the museum:

  • No flash photography
  • No tripods, monopods or selfie sticks are permitted
  • No props, furniture, luggage, or clothing changes are permitted
  • No artwork, furniture or any other museum item may be moved, adjusted or rearranged
  • Please be considerate of your fellow guests who are welcome in all public areas of the museum during regular business hours
  • Museum days/hours are posted on RTPI’s website:


  • No props, furniture, luggage, or clothing changes are permitted
  • No furniture or other museum item may be moved, adjusted or rearranged
  • Do not climb, stand or sit on building railings or walls
  • Do not enter flower beds, except along established pathways
  • Do not pick flowers, disturb any plants or adjust or rearrange plant containers and signage
  • Drone photography is not allowed at RTPI
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted
  • Please be considerate of your fellow guests who are welcome throughout the preserve

Guidelines for Commercial Photographers/Videographers

Commercial photographers/videographers – those who charge for their services – must obtain a permit in advance if they wish to use RTPI as the background for formal, posed photography/videography. This includes weddings, family portraits, engagements, graduations, quinceañeras, etc.

With rare exceptions, commercial photo/video shoots are limited to outdoor locations only. The fee for indoor permits will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Commercial photo/video shoots must be scheduled and permitted at least ten days in advance of the shoot to avoid conflicts with museum operations and other scheduled events.

Permits are $25 per photo/video shoot. Photographers who wish to use RTPI as a regular backdrop may purchase a yearly permit, which includes priority scheduling. For information about yearly permits, please contact: David Niles at

All other Guidelines for all Photographers apply.

For more information, to purchase a permit or schedule a shoot, please contact David Niles at

Guidelines for the General Public (Amateur Photographers/Videographers)

Individuals are welcome to snap photographs indoors and outdoors at RTPI for their personal use and enjoyment. Images may be posted to individuals’ social media. (Please tag us, #DiscoverRTPI.) However, no commercial use is allowed, and no compensation may be received for any images taken at RTPI.

Those who wish to take their own family portraits, etc. – without hiring the services of a professional photography – may do so outdoors, free of charge. Groups of 10 more must schedule their shoot 10 days in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts. To schedule a group photo shoot, please contact David Niles at

Guidelines for Student Projects

Students are welcome to use RTPI as a backdrop for photography/videography. No commercial use is allowed and no compensation may be received for images taken at RTPI. Please check in with one of Visitor Experience Associates at the time of your visit.

Guidelines for Media

Media may photograph or film within designated areas of RTPI for the purpose of news coverage. All members of the media must make arrangements with Jill Bornand, Development and Communications Director, prior to their arrival. Call 716-665-2473 ext. 226 or email

Guidelines for Photography Clubs

Photography clubs are welcome at RTPI, provided any images taken must be for personal, non-commercial use only. Club visits must be scheduled at least ten days in advance of the visit. To schedule a club visit, please contact David Niles at 716-665-2473 ext. 231 or email


RTPI reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to shoot on its premises. RTPI staff has the authority to approach anyone suspected of conducting a photography or video shoot and to enforce these rules. Failure to comply may result in removal from the premises. Please follow any verbal instructions you are given.


Why did RTPI institute this policy?
The photography policy was created to protect the artwork, building and grounds; to minimize disruptions for other visitors; and to avoid conflicts with scheduled events.

Where do I check-in for my shoot at RTPI?
During regular museum hours, all photographers and their clients should check at the front desk in the museum.

Where should I park for my shoot?
Parking is restricted to the parking lot at RTPI. Parking is NOT allowed anywhere else, including the driveway, the circle drive in front of the building, or anywhere on the lawn.

What is considered a photography shoot requiring the purchase of a pass?
If you are charging someone a fee to take photos at RTPI, it is a commercial shoot.

What happens if it rains on the day of my scheduled shoot?
We’ll reschedule at no charge. To reschedule, please contact David Niles at 716-665-2473 ext. 231 or email

Can I upload my personal, smartphone pictures taken at RTPI to social media sites?
Yes, please. We encourage you to share the images from your visit (#DiscoverRTPI), as long as they are not available for someone to purchase or are being used to market a business in any way.

I own a SLR or DSLR “professional” camera – can I use this camera to photograph while visiting RTPI?
Yes, as long as you only have only a camera. The use of multiple lenses, large photography bag, tripod, etc. tends to be disruptive for other visitors. As a reminder, no flash photography is permitted.