Portrait 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 below to provide further information on how to gain necessary approvals for various photography needs. We define Professional Photography as: 1) receiving compensation for taking pictures (money or barter), 2) taking images for promotional purposes, 3) portrait or posed photos, 4) professional photography equipment present such as tripods, lights, reflector shields, etc.

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.

Portrait Photography Fees (with reservation):

All payments are nonrefundable. Additional nonrefundable fees may be assessed based on reserved time slot and party size, beyond a regular session.

Photography Reservation Procedures:

Reservations are required at least one week in advance. However, due to limited, timed slots, we can book up in advance and we recommend booking more than one week out. The Mission limits photo sessions to 4 per hour and treats all session reservations for the specific time reserved.

A regular photography session is one hour and allows for five (5) people photographed. Additional fees apply for reservations for larger groups or more than one hour. Reservations are for specific time slots. Late arrivals forfeit their slot time and their payment. Rescheduling of reservations must be done at least 2 working days in advance.

Walk up photo sessions are prohibited unless photography members in the Mission Preservation Society and meet all criteria in place. Member walk ups will be charged the higher rates and are subject to availability regardless of membership status.

  • Step 1. REQUIRED – Photographer’s certificate of liability (proof of $1,000,000 ($1 million) liability insurance policy ) must be submitted via email to bookings@missionsjc.com prior to completing any reservation.
  • Step 2. After the certificate has been submitted, the reservation details must be given via phone at 949-234-1306 or email, to the Group Bookings Department. Details include
    • requested date
    • requested time slot
    • complete party size for the photography session
    • the name and email of the client
    • the name and email of the photographer with certificate of liability as an attachment
  • Step 3. Full payment is required by credit card, via phone at least one week in advance, in order to complete the reservation. Upon completion, a confirmation will be emailed.
  • Step 4. Entire party, including photographer, must arrive 5-10 minutes prior to reserved time slot and check in with guest services staff by calling the reservation number provided in the confirmation email.  Photographer will receive a photography badge upon check in.
  • Step 5. Photographer to keep photography badge in site for duration of shoot and party must check out at the front gate with guest services at the end of reserved time slot. Badge to be returned and any outstanding balance to be paid at check out.

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.

Reservation slots are limited and special events days may not allow for photography. Please call in advance for availability.