Photography and Art Policy

We encourage visitors to take casual photographs for their own personal use. Photos must be taken with hand-held cameras or cameras on a permitted tripod (see permit information below). The use of external flash equipment or bulky accessory equipment is not permitted.

We do not allow visitors to do photoshoots or videoshoots at the Garden. Commercial use of all photographs is prohibited. All photography is at the discretion of the USBG.

Photographic or filming activities can in no way affect the public's enjoyment of, or access to, our exhibits. Other rules for photography activity at the U.S. Botanic Garden include:

  • Professional or otherwise paid photography is not allowed.
  • Posed photography sessions are not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, wedding, fashion/beauty, pregnancy, graduation, engagement, prom, and family photography.
  • Videos and photographs must be for personal, non-commercial use.
  • Portfolio photography for aspiring models and photographers is not permitted.
  • Visitors taking photos must stay on pathways and not block access or passage of other visitors. Walking in planted areas; sitting on curbs, railings, plants, or floors; or placing anything in planted areas is prohibited.
  • Plants may not be moved, cut, or rearranged.
  • Original artwork, sculpture, or other creations on exhibit are protected by artists' copyrights and may not be photographed for the purposes of reproduction or copying in any way.


Use of a tripod or easel requires a permit, which should be displayed during use. These permits are obtained onsite at the visitor desk in the Conservatory. Walk-up permits may be available at the discretion of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Advance permits should be requested no fewer than 7 days before a planned date of visit. For visits less than 7 days in advance, please see the visitor desk upon arrival. For advance permission to use tripods, use easels, or for an organized class, please contact Elizabeth Barton at

Most art supplies may be used by individuals without special permission, as long as no easel is required. Permissible art supplies are pencil, charcoal, pastels, watercolor, and acrylic paint. Oil paints may not be used at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

To ensure the public's enjoyment of and access to exhibits and displays, use of tripods, use of easels, and organized classes are not allowed during periods of peak visitation.


For all media requests and requests to film or photograph for educational radio or television stories about the Garden, please contact Devin Dotson, Public Affairs and Exhibits Specialist. The Garden is not available for photoshoots of topics not related to the Garden. Learn more on the News Media Information page.

Thank you for abiding by the rules and for helping to create an enjoyable experience for all our visitors.