Any photographer, photography studio, production company, advertising/publicity firm or filming crew, hired by a client to create a product for profit, or a business owner or employee working on College property to create images for the purpose of sale are required to have a permit and a certificate of liability insurance naming Aquinas College as additional insured.

When is a permit required for photography?


  • Produced images are being sold or used as a for-profit gain to the photographer
  • Produced images will be used for commercial advertisement or marketing
  • Providing a service for which he/she will be paid for or receive compensation of value

Not Required:

  • Personal use and/or hobby photography
  • Special occasion photography taken within a rented and/or reserved area of campus, as coordinated in a rental contract with the Conferencing and Event Services Office
  • A student project produced only for a grade and not commercial use

Basic Photographer Permit

  • Includes use of approved campus grounds one hour or less, without the use of sets, props, or other items that are not a part of the location's existing or natural resources
  • A permit costs $25.00 per use or $100 per calendar year
  • Date and time of visit MUST be coordinated and approved with the Conferencing and Event Services department
  • Requires proof of liability insurance naming Aquinas College as additional insured
  • Photographer must be able to provide printed or digital proof of permit when on campus grounds
  • Does not reserve any area for exclusive use or allow indoor facility access for bathroom use, etc.

Reservation of Space

  • Photographers who wish to reserve a specific area or feature for exclusive use must follow the reservation process with the Conferencing and Event Services office, and pay the reservation fees associated with exclusive use of a space/facility on campus.
  • Activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities.

Applying for a Permit

Permit applications are located online at aquinas.edu or available through the Conferencing and Event Services Office by email: confer@aquinas.edu or phone: (616) 632-1047. You should submit a completed application as far in advance of your planned date as possible, but no later than 21 days prior to the date of the use.

Regulations for All Photographers

  • The Basic Photography Permit is nontransferable.
  • A registry of permit holders will be kept on file with the Conferencing and Event Services office.
  • The holder of the permit is liable for any damage to College property cause by you or the person(s) being photographed.
  • All camera equipment must be handheld or mounted on a person, monopod, or tripod. No aerial masts, drones, or other types of aerial photography are permitted without additional prior written permission.
  • No vehicles are permitted on grass, sidewalks or other park areas not designated as vehicle parking areas, unless authorized by the College in writing prior to the shoot.
  • Any misuse of College property or failure to comply with regulations will result in revocation of photography permit and expulsion from the property. Your permit may be revoked at any time by College staff if you have a significant negative impact on other users’ experience or if you are not sharing the space cordially with other visitors or photographers.
  • Large shades, backdrops, furniture, or other props that cannot be easily carried and quickly moved by one person are prohibited.
  • No signs, banners, directional arrows, distribution of printed material to the general public, or other forms of commercial advertising are permitted.
  • College guests and visitors are not to be prevented from using facilities, spaces, trails, bridges, amenities, etc., and College employees are not to be prevented from completing their work as a result of the shoot.
  • Photos must not include any identifiable College visitors, students, faculty, or staff without their prior permission.
  • Nothing in the final photo should imply a partnership between Aquinas College and your company. It should be clearly understood that Aquinas College in no way endorses any product or service connected with commercial photography.

Campus Photography Policy (PDF)