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Photography for personal enjoyment is encouraged at the Mission. Visitors are allowed to take informal vacation-style snapshots and nature and architecture photos. Still scenic photography is permitted for private, noncommercial use only. Posed portrait photography requires an advanced reservation. View photography packages and pricing below.

Photographs may not be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or used commercially in any manner. The use of flash photography is permitted unless otherwise stated.

Mission San Juan Capistrano reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises or to reproduce photographs of objects in its Collections. Policies have been outlined to provide further information on how to gain necessary approvals for various photography needs.

Photography Packages for You and Your Photographer

Wedding Package – Photography and Videography
: 2 Hours
Guest(s): 1-10 Cost: $300
Guests: 11-25 guests Cost: $500
This package allows you to bring in your own photographer and videographer for two hours. If your head count is over 25 guests, please contact the group booking department at (949) 234-1306 for approval and pricing. Photography members receive a $25.00 discount on the package price.

*Please note: If you do not have a videographer, please see the Portrait Package below.

Engagement or First Look Package – Photography and Videography
: 1.5 Hours
Guests: 2
Cost: $200
This package allows you to bring in your own photographer and videographer for 1.5 hours. It is designed specifically for an engagement or wedding couple and allows a maximum of two guests in the session. Photography members receive a $25.00 discount on the package price.

*Please note: If you do not have a videographer, please see the Portrait Package below.

Quinceanera Package – Photography and Videography
: 2 Hours
Guest(s): 1-10
Cost: $300

This package allows you to bring in your own photographer and videographer for two hours. You may bring up to 10 guests with this photo session. Photography members receive a $25.00 discount on the package price.

*Please note: If you do not have a videographer, please see the Portrait Package below.

Portrait Package – PHOTOGRAPHY ONLY
Wedding, Engagement, Quinceanera, Family, Maternity, Graduation, Headshots, etc.
: 1 Hour session. Additional hours can be added based on the pricing below.
Guests: 1-5 (or every 5)
Cost: $100 – Monday
Cost: $80 – Tuesday through Sunday

This versatile package allows you to bring in your own photographer for a minimum of one hour. Pricing is based on the number of guests in the photo and the number of hours requested. This package is a great option for Weddings, Engagements and Quinceanera’s that do not include video. The reduced rate for photography members is $50.00 per session seven days a week.

The Mission San Juan Capistrano photography packages DO NOT include a photographer.

Are you in need of a photographer? Book your session with a Mission Preservation Society Photography Member! View list of Photography Members.

The “guest count” is referring to the guests to be photographed (not the photographers/videographers/assistants.) Clothing changes are permitted under the Wedding, Engagement and Pre-Wedding, and Quinceanera Packages or when 2 hours are booked under the Portrait Package.

All payments are non-refundable, however, we would be happy to reschedule a photography reservation without penalty should the photographer or client not be able to arrive as scheduled, even the day of the shoot.

See What Visitors are Saying…

“Beautiful grounds and stunning location for engagement and wedding portraits. I was able to reserve a weekday to take engagement photos last summer. It was conveniently closed to the public on the day we did our shoot. Meghann from the mission was wonderful to communicate with when we were figuring out dates and times of our reservations. Don’t let the hourly rate for the photography permit deter you. It is SO worth it and you get to support a historical chapel and landmark. Win!” – Margarita G.

High School Formal Dance

Formal dances can be some of the most memorable milestone events that one gets to attend. As such, high school students can capture the magic of their special night with pre-dance photography at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano.

We ask for respect and cooperation in following our guidelines, Mission San Juan Capistrano is a non-profit with limited resources working to welcome all guests safely and positively into the 18th century setting. 

If students would like to book the Mission for pre-dance photos, please have the designated group representative for the event/school reach out to our Bookings Department at 949-234-1306 to schedule this session. 

We are happy to check our availability and schedule your pre-dance photos subject to availability and resources. Once confirmed, students/student groups will be provided with details on how to purchase their discounted pre-dance photo entry tickets.  

Photography Guidelines

Mission San Juan Capistrano welcomes visitors, professional and commercial photographers as well as members of the media on our grounds according to the policies and procedures outlined below.

“Vacation-style” or impromptu photography/videography is permitted throughout the grounds without a reservation.

• No flash photography or selfie sticks in buildings.  

• Guests are not allowed to use tripods or monopods. These items may be used by a photographer with a permit and liability insurance on file with the Mission. 

• Additional photographic equipment such as lights, reflectors, props, costumes, models are prohibited, except under permit or commercial contract.

• Drones are not permitted.

• No climbing on the walls, arcades, ruins, or any physical and historic structure that makes up the Mission.

• No wedding officiants or ceremony’s permitted onsite.

All posed photography, both commercial and non-commercial, require a permit in advance. Walk-ins are not permitted.

• Non-commercial, posed, photography includes, but is not limited to: maternity and family portraits, wedding and engagement photography, graduation and prom portraits, quinceañeras and company team photos.

• Permit fees and insurance are required in advance. To apply for a photography permit and reserve a session time, book online or contact the Group Bookings Department at or (949) 234-1306.

• Commercial filming and photography are permitted by appointment only. Location fees, permits, and insurance are required, certain restrictions may apply. Learn more or contact the Group Bookings Department at or (949) 234-1306.

Protecting the Mission as a Landmark
The Mission is a place of spiritual and historical meaning. Our guests come from around the world,  as a place of peace and inspiration it deserves behavior on site that is in keeping with providing the best possible guest experience. Any issues or concerns my be directed to the Executive Director.

Reservation slots are limited, therefore, please call in advance to check availability. Additionally, please be aware that Mission preservation projects or special event days may not allow for photography or may exclude access to a particular area on site at any given time.

Mission San Juan Capistrano may photograph, film, or videotape visitors for educational and promotional purposes. Use of a ticket is implied consent for the use of the holder’s likeness, voice, or video image for marketing purposes.

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Museum Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 9AM - 5PM

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Closed for Annual Gala on September 13, 2024.
Closed early on Good Friday.
Hours subject to change


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26801 Old Mission Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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