High School Formal Dance Photography

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.

The operation or use of any drones, unmanned aircraft/flying systems, and remotely-controlled or radio-controlled flying machines (whether or not motorized) of all types, shapes, and sizes at any time in the vicinity of or on Mission property is prohibited.

Please wear appropriate clothing for Mission grounds. Clothes that are revealing or inappropriate are not permitted on church property.

General Fees and Requirements:

  • Formal Dance Photos are allowed without an appointment between the hours of 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • $3.50 per person, including parents and dates. Photos must be taken on the same day as the formal dance to be eligible for this highly discounted rate.
  • Formal Dance photo groups that come in before 4:00 p.m. are subject to a rate of $9.00 per person; this includes parents not appearing in the photo shoot. (It is recommended that shoots prior to 4:00 p.m. also be scheduled through the Group Bookings Department by calling (949) 234-1306.)
  • It must be apparent that everyone in the group is intending to participate in either the taking of the photos or in being photographed.
  • Members of the Mission Preservation Society do not receive any formal dance photo shoot discounts or benefits associated with their membership.
  • Photos may only be taken at the bell wall and Central Courtyard. Photos in the Sacred Garden, Great Stone Church, Serra Chapel, standing on fountain, or sitting in windows are not permitted.
  • A badge will be given to the group leader and depending on group size, and a Guest Services staff member may accompany the group. Groups or shoot leaders are asked to return their photo badge and check out when ready to leave.

Rules for behavior and attire for Formal Dance Photo Shoots:

  • Thigh-high hem level dresses are not permitted.
  • Women not wearing undergarments (that are noticeably not doing so) are not permitted.
  • Plunging necklines to belly level or lower rib cage are not permitted.
  • Clothing should be respectful keeping in mind the importance and significance of the Mission. Anything that is highly questionable will be brought to the guest’s attention and a refund may be offered.
  • No provocative behavior, yelling, or gyrating. We encourage respect for the Landmark portrayed in photos.
  • Bell ringing and alcohol are not permitted.
  • Groups that attract negative attention to themselves or the shoot will be asked by security to leave without a refund.
  • Parents displaying aggressive behavior directed toward Mission staff wanting a free photo shoot will not be tolerated. Any bullying behavior will be redirected and law enforcement will be contacted if not resolved immediately.

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.


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.