Shedding Some (Natural) Light on Our New No-Flash Policy

Can you take great pictures without a flash? With the advent of our new “no-flash policy,” our guides and volunteers decided to find out. Check out these amazing shots, and decide for yourself!

About the Change

Why change our policy? We’ve always discouraged the use of camera flash in certain areas, but with the upcoming opening of our  ”Tentacles” special exhibition that will feature extremely light-sensitive animals, we’re applying this rule to the entire Aquarium.

And so, we ask that you turn off your flash when taking photographs inside. You’ll get better photos—and our animals and other visitors will thank you!

No-Flash Tips

While cameras have different ways of turning off the flash feature, it’s important to know how to operate yours. You’ll know you’ve turned off the flash when you see the universal symbol of a lightning bolt with a diagonal slash through it.

If your camera model uses a “focusing light”, please don’t use your camera inside.

Use your camera’s settings to “compensate” for low light where needed. Learn more.  

Favorite areas for family photos are on our decks (with good light and the bay in the background) or in front of our Aquarium logo at the main entrance. It’s okay to use flash in these areas if you need to.

Consider downloading the Monterey Bay Aquarium app on your iPhone. You can download and share excellent professional photos of your favorite Aquarium animals and exhibits. 

Photos are also available for purchase in our Gift & Bookstore.

And so, we’ll finish with your favorite double entendre, displayed prominently next to one of our most popular exhibits: “Please, don’t flash the octopus!”

Thanks to these staff and volunteers! Emily Simpson, Amy Jo, Katie Johnston and Doris Nishimoto


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About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.