A tour guide’s burden has been lifted! As of July 1, 2015, visitors taking a tour of the White House can bring their cameras along on tour. Check out the First Lady’s announcement on Instagram here. Joining the age of social media, the White House encourages visitors to hashtag photos with #WhiteHouseTour.  I’m just elated I no longer have to carry a bag full of cameras waiting for my group to come out of the White House!

There are some limitations on the kinds of cameras one can bring, of course.  Basically they have to be small cameras (no SLR’s with lenses more than 3 inches) and no videography is allowed. Please consult the White House website for more details.

Selfies are allowed, but selfie-sticks are not, unless, of course, you're the President.

Selfies are allowed, but selfie-sticks are not, unless of course, you’re the President.

The biggest limitation of all is getting a tour reservation.  Requests for tours of the White House be made through one’s members of congress. Requests must me made at least three weeks in advance and can be submitted up to six months in advance.  It’s first come, first served, so request sooner rather than later.  Yes, three months in advance is considered short notice.

If you’re having trouble navigating the process, Custom Tours of DC is happy to help.  We also can arrange a private tour customized to enhance the White House tour that was so hard to secure in the first place. If you were unable to secure a tour reservation, I encourage you to look at the virtual White House tour created by the Google Cultural Institute by clicking on this link.  You will be able to see much more of the house and linger far longer than if you took the actual tour.