Photo Policy

Photography and Videography
I. Non-Commercial Shoots
                    A. Visitor, Individual or Family Photography
                    B. Wedding or Bridal Photography
                    D. Prom/Formal Photography
                    D. Media
II. Commercial Shoots
III. Student and Non-Profit Shoots
IV. Photography Classes


Commercial Photography/Videography Shoot Application  

 I: Non-Commercial Shoots  

A. Visitor, Individual or Family Photography

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a beautiful location for photography. We welcome visitor snapshots; individual, family, engagement and senior class portraits; and other photography or portraiture intended for personal use only (i.e., not for commercial use). Please note that props, stands, luggage, rolling racks and clothing changes are not permitted. Regular Garden admission applies for all individuals. (Please note: Wedding and bridal photo shoots are subject to additional guidelines; see Section II: Wedding or Bridal Photography.) Photography classes or instructors, see also Section IV: Photography Classes.

We highly value our visitors and want to ensure a pleasant experience for them. Please review and abide by our etiquette guidelines. Visitors are welcome in all public areas. Photographers are not allowed to block pathways or visitor access to any area of the Garden. Those violating this restriction will be asked to cease or leave the premises. Please contact the Security officer on duty at (314) 577-0212 or in person at the front desk with any issues regarding blocked access due to photography. Flowerbeds of other plant displays may not be entered or disturbed. Plant labels and other signs may not be changed or removed.

Visitor, individual or family photographs may be taken in any of our public areas, both indoors and outdoors (except in specific exhibits where photography is not permitted). However, we highly encourage all shoots to be done outdoors; it is extremely difficult to work inside our conservatories and buildings without blocking pathways or access for our other visitors (see above). Tripod and monopod use is not permitted inside any buildings or conservatories (including, but not limited to, the Ridgway Visitor Center, Tower Grove House, Climatron®, Shoenberg Temperate House and Linnean House); tripods, monopods and hand-held reflectors only are allowed for outdoor use, permitting they are not blocking access for other visitors. Absolutely no props, stands, luggage, rolling racks or clothing changes. Photographers are liable for any damage to Garden property. The Garden and its employees are not responsible for any loss or damages that may occur. Tripod and monopod use is permitted only during scheduled after-hour photography events. For a list of events see the Garden’s calendar or email

Photography with a handheld camera only (no flash) is permitted inside Tower Grove House. Portraiture, videography and flash are not permitted as their use may disturb others or cause damage to the collections.

If a visitor is asked by another person not to take pictures of that person or others accompanying that person, the request must be honored to protect personal rights of privacy. If a picture has already been taken, it must be deleted upon request.

Please refer to our Image Usage Policy for additional information regarding non-commercial and commercial usage of photographs taken at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Photos and videos are not to be sold or used for any commercial purposes without advance project review and authorization; projects will be approved on a case-by-case basis and will occasion fees.

B. Wedding and Bridal Photography

For those considering the Missouri Botanical Garden as the location for wedding or bridal photography, please review the following rules and guidelines in advance of your photo shoot. We regret that the volume of requests for photography is such that this policy must be enforced.

Membership and Admission Fees

The bride, groom, or his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) must be a Festival Level member or above to have your wedding or bridal photography session held at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is an exclusive benefit of membership at the Festival Level and higher. A Festival Level membership is $195 per year. Visit for a complete list of benefits. Purchase in person at the Garden’s Membership Desk, online or by calling (314) 577-5118.

The required Festival Level membership allows up to 6 individuals to enter the Garden for free; all other individuals entering the Garden must pay applicable admission rates for that day. Visit for admission information.

Photographers and photography studios cannot extend their membership benefit to a client, no exceptions. If you are in the wedding party, but are not the bride, groom or his/her parent or guardian, you cannot extend your membership benefit to others for the photo session.

There is a limit of one wedding or bridal photo session per your 12-month membership term. After this member benefit has been used, Festival Level members and above hold an additional wedding or bridal photo session at the cost of $100 each; Visa, MasterCard and cash are accepted at the ticket counter.

The membership must be current as of the date of the session; expired or lapsed memberships are not valid.

Hours and Availability

You must arrive between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to be admitted to shoot wedding or bridal photography. We cannot accommodate any arrivals after 3 p.m. Photo sessions must be completed and wedding/bridal groups departed by 4 p.m., no exceptions. We do not take reservations.

The Missouri Botanical Garden hosts a number of signature events and exhibitions throughout the year. These activity-filled events draw exceptionally large crowds, and for your satisfaction, we do not permit wedding and bridal photography during signature events. Wedding and bridal photography is not allowed during evening public events, including the Whitaker Music Festival and Garden Glow evenings; see entry and departure times above.

Check-in and Entry

The Festival Level member or above must present their valid Garden membership card, along with a photo I.D., upon arrival. All session participants must be present and enter as a group; we cannot accommodate late or individual arrivals. To avoid congestion in the lobby, please meet your group or photographer outside the Ridgway Visitor Center (main entrance building) prior to entry; please do not congregate in front of the inside ticket counter. Photographers must sign in and register the photo session in the Garden’s ledger.


Wedding and bridal photography is permitted only in the outdoor, public areas of the Garden. Wedding and bridal photography is not permitted inside any buildings or conservatories (including the Climatron®, Linnean House, Shoenberg Temperate House, Ridgway Visitor Center or Tower Grove House). Photography is not permitted on any of the islands in the Japanese Garden. Please do not block pathways or visitor access to any area of the Garden. Flowerbeds of other plant displays may not be entered or disturbed. Plant labels and other signs may not be changed or removed.

Free, on-site parking may be available; additional free parking is located two blocks west at the intersection of Shaw and Vandeventer. Vehicles should load and unload passengers in the upper west parking lot, immediately adjacent to the entrance. Vehicles may load and unload senior citizens and guests who require special assistance in front of the Ridgway Visitor Center, but vehicles may not park here or be left unattended. Absolutely no idling of vehicles is permitted on the Garden's campus. Drivers will be asked to turn off their engines or leave the premises.


The Garden is a tobacco-free campus; smoking and tobacco products and devices are not allowed inside the Garden grounds or in the parking lots. Alcoholic beverages and coolers are not permitted. Please review the Garden’s etiquette guidelines in advance.


We do not offer a shuttle service or carts for rent. Tram service is available on our regular narrated public tram tour route on a first come, first served basis for $4 per person during regular tram operating hours.

Advance Scouting

We encourage you to visit the Garden in advance at your leisure to scout locations for your photography session. View our hours and admission rates.


Weddings and Private Events

Wedding ceremonies, receptions or other private events at the Missouri Botanical Garden must be booked in advance through Catering St. Louis, (314) 577-0200 or Absolutely no wedding ceremonies may be performed at the Garden without advance reservation. Parties not in compliance will be asked to leave immediately. Please remember that any party who has booked a private event in a particular location of the Garden has exclusive right to that area.

If you are photographing a wedding or reception booked at the Garden, please have the bride or groom contact their Catering St. Louis representative directly for photography guidelines.

For questions related wedding and bridal photography, call (314) 577-5101. Individuals, groups and photographers not abiding by any portion of this policy will be asked to leave the Garden’s campus. The Garden reserves the right to refuse admittance for wedding or bridal photography and/or to change the photo policy without advance notice.

C. Prom/Formal Photography

The Garden is unable to accommodate groups of students in groups larger than six (6) wishing to take photographs prior to events including but not limited to proms, formals or other dances. You must arrive between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to be admitted to shoot prom or formal photography.

D. Media

Media organizations must contact the Public Relations Department before photographing or filming of any kind at the Garden. Crews will be escorted. No fees will be charged to photographers with appropriate news credentials. View the online Media Room for contact information and other helpful information. Media displaying the appropriate credentials are permitted to use monopods and tripods both inside and outdoors when covering Garden news and events.


II: Commercial Shoots

Commercial photography or video includes, but is not limited to, images for use in/as: display advertising, television commercials, feature films, music videos, retail products, brochures, product literature, annual reports, training videos, award presentations, instructional videos, business websites, non-macro stock photography for sale, model portfolios and other industrial, promotional or advertising projects.

Ad agencies, public relations firms, marketing groups, corporate communications offices, commercial photographers, location scouts and others wishing to shoot commercial photography or video at the Missouri Botanical Garden should contact the Public Relations Division at or by calling 314-577-0254.

Application and Documentation

A commercial shoot application must be completed prior to the shoot. Once shoot approval has been granted, a Certificate of Insurance indicating liability coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 against damage to persons, grounds, buildings or plant life, and naming the Garden as additional insured, must be presented no later than two business days before photography/filming is to take place.


Commercial shoots are subject to a base location fee ($100-300 per hour) depending on the time and nature of the shoot. The Garden reserves the right to reduce fees for non-profit groups.


All desired shoot locations and Garden areas must be discussed and approved in advance, so as not to conflict with any work or private events being held on the grounds. The Garden reserves the right to limit photography of recognizable Garden features.

Load-In, Parking and Transportation

Free, on-site parking is available. Vehicles may load and unload in front of the Ridgway Visitor Center (main entrance building). Depending on the nature of the shoot, we may be able to utilize alternative points of entry into the Garden for shorter transport of equipment. Logistics must be arranged in advance.


The Garden reserves the right to cancel shoots due to poor weather. Rescheduling is contingent upon availability of Garden grounds.

Food and Beverages

Approved crews are welcome to bring their own water or other non-alcoholic beverages into the Garden. You may not bring in food from catered or other outside sources. Sassafras café serves a full lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. To order boxed lunches from Catering St. Louis, call (314) 577-0200 in advance. Boxed lunches may be enjoyed inside the Sassafras café or outside on the terrace; seating is available first-come, first-served. Dining or picnicking is not allowed on the Garden grounds.


The Garden may, at its discretion, require the following credit line: “Photographed (Filmed/Videotaped) on location at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri.” (Add “USA” if distributed outside the United States.)

III: Student and Non-Profit Shoots

Individual student (high school, college or university) photographers/videographers and non-profit organizations are subject to the same guidelines that apply to commercial projects (see Section II: Commercial Shoots.) Organizations must contact the Public Relations Department in advance for project authorization. Projects will be approved on a case-by-case basis. A reduced fee is offered for these shoots.

Students wishing to cover Missouri Botanical Garden news for a student-run media outlet or for a media or journalism class should refer to the Media portion of Section I: Non-Commercial Shoots. Shoots and interviews will be granted based on staff availability.

IV: Photography Classes

Non-school based photography or videography classes led by an instructor not affiliated with the Missouri Botanical Garden are not permitted. This applies to both for-profit and not-for-profit classes. Call (314) 577-9473 x6565 for more information.

All school-based groups (including colleges and universities) wishing to hold either a Garden-led or self-guided photography or videography class must register with the Garden in advance of their visit by calling (314) 577-5140. To ensure a quality experience for all visitors, we have established a maximum number of group admissions per hour per day. Early registration will help us reserve your preferred arrival time. All individuals in the class must abide by the directives in Section I: Non-Commercial Shoots; commercial usage of photos and video is not permitted


For questions regarding any portion of the Missouri Botanical Garden Photography and Videography Policy, email or call (314) 577-0254 or (314) 577-0286. Direct correspondence to: 

Missouri Botanical Garden
Public Relations Department
P. O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299

For questions regarding Wedding or Bridal Photography, call (314) 577-5101.

Download Photography and Video Policy (pdf)

Photography at Garden Glow

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our visitors, please leave your monopods and tripods at home when you attend Garden Glow. We appreciate your cooperation.

For an exceptional opportunity to photograph Garden Glow, including the use of monopods or tripods, we encourage you to register for one of our special Garden Glow photographer-only evenings (limited capacity available; registration required; view a list of available dates on our online class catalog).

Image Purchasing and Licensing

Please review our Image Purchasing and Licensing Policy for information using images owned by the Missouri Botanical Garden.