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Photography/Videography Permit and Guidelines

Links to fill out permit application and pay online or to print permit application and send in fee are at the bottom of this page.
Photography/Videography Permit & Guidelines
The Nature Institute (TNI) facilities and grounds, which are privately owned by The Nature Institute, offer a beautiful backdrop for pictures/videos as well as a special place for many programs, events, and passive recreational activities. To maximize the enjoyment and use by all of our guests, our photography policy requires permission for all photography/videography conducted by a commercial photographer. The term Commercial Photographer” (Hereafter “Photographer”) is defined in the following manner: Any agent, employee, servant, independent contractor of, or owner of a photography or videography business, freelance, or photographer, who uses TNI grounds or facilities for portrait settings of individuals, groups, commercials, training films, movies, documentaries, or advertisements. Also, anyone who intends to use the images or videography in any manner in which they will be offered for sale is considered a commercial photographer. If you fit this definition, you will need to apply for a photography permit.  Permits are available for Day Pass $10.00, or an Annual Pass $75.00. Employees, agent, servants, and/or independent contractor hired by any media outlet are specifically excluded from the definition of “Commercial Photographer”, however, such employee, agent, servant, and/or independent contractor hired by any media outlet must receive permission from TNI for the filming or videography of news related events.  Photography sessions are not permitted during TNI special events.  A copy of the approved permit is to be with the permit holder during the photo/videography session, as staff may ask to review this at any time. All Photographers must adhere to the Rules and Regulations of TNI (below).  Anyone not following the rules and regulations will be asked to leave the premises immediately and their permit will be terminated.  Anyone who fits the definition of “Commercial Photographer” and does not obtain a permit prior to a photography/videography session will be considered a trespasser and will be asked to leave the premises of TNI immediately.
Use Rules & Regulations
  • The Nature Institute must be notified 24 hours in advance for all photo sessions. Please email info@thenatureinstitute.org with the date, time, and number of participants in your photography party.
  • All parking for TNI is in the designated parking areas only. There are two such areas. The first is our main lot which is immediately adjacent to the Talahi Lodge near the entrance of the Olin Nature Preserve. The second is our lot located at The Mississippi Sanctuary in front of the office. Vehicles are prohibited from entering the grounds or parking in any other area, unless prior arrangements have been made with the TNI staff. No parking is permitted along the roadways. No idling of vehicles is permitted.  On occasion, the main lot is closed for functions. No exceptions will be made for photographers or their clients during these functions.
  • Do not walk through any planted areas. STAY ON TRAILS.  Picking flowers is prohibited.  Flowerbeds or plant displays may not be entered or disturbed. Even though plantings are “wild” they are still planting beds and treated with care by our staff.
  • Plants, plant markers, rocks, water features, furniture and all property of TNI can be included in pictures but must not be moved.
  • Please be respectful of the property and other guests at all times.
  • Do not ask staff/volunteers to stop work or move equipment/tools.
  • All pathways must remain accessible to all visitors at all times.
  • The road to TNI and its driveway cannot be blocked at any time.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
  • No smoking anywhere on the grounds; this includes parking areas. If observed, the entire party will be asked to leave immediately.
  • No pets or animals of any kind.
  • No firearms.
  • No amplified music is permitted.
  • Preserve hours are subject to change. Summer 2020 hours are currently 8 am – 8 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, CLOSED MONDAYS. No one is allowed on the premises outside of these times.
  • Photos must not show unsafe or inappropriate behavior at TNI.
Our PRIVATELY owned property is open to the public for enjoyment.  Those not respecting the facilities, grounds, staff, and volunteers will be asked to leave the property.
TNI reserves the right to refuse any project and to refuse admittance for photographers and/or to change its Photo Policy without advance notice. The Nature Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization.
Click here to download The Nature Institute Photography Permit and mail with a check to TNI
Online payment and application form below

Photography Permit Application

  • i.e. Wedding, Senior Photos, Engagement, etc
  • Single Day Use Pass or Annual Pass
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
    If Annual Pass, please select date of first use
  • :
    If unsure, please give approximate time
  • :
    If unsure, please give approximate time
  • $0.00
  • By signing this application, you and your client(s) have agreed to follow all TNI photography/videography site use rules and regulations. Furthermore, you agree to compensate for damage, loss or expenses that occur, hold harmless and defend TNI, its officers, agents, employees, and volunteers from any and all claims resulting from injuries, damages and/or losses sustained by yourself or your client as a result of the use of The Nature Institute facility(s) and its adjoining property. I have read the policy and agree to be bound by it.
  • American Express