Photography & Film Guidelines

January 1, 2021

Mount Auburn is a beautiful landscape and the frequent subject of photographs, film, and art. If you are interested in photographing at the Cemetery, please read through the photography guidelines outlined below.

As an active cemetery, Mount Auburn continues to perform burials almost daily. We ask that all photographers be respectful of those around them. The privacy and comfort of mourners and those seeking solace on our grounds are paramount to Mount Auburn. Photographing funerals is prohibited. 

Personal / Recreational Photography

Personal and recreational photography is candid and spontaneous and captured with a small handheld camera or your cell phone. It serves as a souvenir of your trip to the Cemetery. Mount Auburn does not require permission for personal photography. However, we ask that all visitors taking personal photographs be respectful of the landscape and observe our rules and guidelines.

Fine Art / Nature Photography

Photographers are welcome to capture Mount Auburn’s landscape for artistic purposes or to document the Cemetery’s flora and fauna. Use of any special equipment (beyond a standard camera and tripod) requires advanced approval and may limit the locations available to you for your photography work. Please see our commercial photography guidelines below if you wish to publish or sell your Cemetery photographs. 

Please note that Mount Auburn explicitly prohibits posed photography in the landscape.

Commercial Photography

Commercial photography includes all photography shared with the public for commercial, professional, and educational purposes in print or digital format. If a photographer receives compensation for images of or taken at the Cemetery, it is commercial. Mount Auburn approves requests for commercial photography on a case-by-case basis. Site fees may apply. 

Any use of your images in print or digital form requires Cemetery approval. Artists wishing to sell fine art prints of their photographs should also contact Mount Auburn for permission.  Selling photographs of the Cemetery as digital downloads or stock images is strictly prohibited.


Mount Auburn accommodates filming requests for documentaries and other non-fiction film projects that speak to history, nature, and death and dying. The Cemetery does not allow filming that conflicts with our mission, vision, and values or uses our grounds simply as a scenic backdrop.

Contact us to discuss the details of your project. Please note that there may be fees associated with filming. Student film projects will also require written documentation from the teacher/professor assigning the project.

Mount Auburn severely limits filming in the months of May and October due to high visitation. Please contact us well in advance if your project depends on filming in one of these two months.

Filming and Photographing for Media Use

We welcome members of the press to share Mount Auburn’s many stories. Please note that media coverage of funerals is strictly prohibited unless authorized by the family. Please contact the Friends of Mount Auburn for further assistance. 

Photography Group & Class Visits 

If you are a photography instructor looking to bring your students to the Cemetery, please fill out our Group Tour Request Form as a self-guided group two weeks before your visit.

Additional Guidelines

Mount Auburn is a place of inspiration and consolation. Photography and filming should not diminish the experience of other visitors and mourners on our grounds. Please keep the following in mind:

Photographs of funerals are strictly prohibited. 

Photography and filming are subject to scheduled funeral activity. In the event of a scheduling conflict, the Cemetery will make all efforts to find a suitable alternate location or work with you to reschedule your photography for a date at your convenience.

Unless photographing the monument of someone who lived a public life, photographs with legible monument inscriptions will not be approved for public use. 

Businesses may not use images of the Cemetery to promote their brand, products, or services.

Posed photography, including fashion shoots, is not allowed.  

Nudity is strictly prohibited.

Staging and props are prohibited. 

Drones are not allowed at Mount Auburn except under the direction of the Cemetery for internal purposes. 

Our Visitor Rules must be observed at all times. Mount Auburn reserves the right to revoke the film/photo permit of any party disturbing the Cemetery’s tranquility or disturbing the experience of other visitors. 


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