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). It is best to avoid clothing changes. If necessary, be mindful of those visiting the garden when using restrooms. Anyone abusing these locations will be asked to leave. Rolling racks, stands and excessive or non-hand held props are prohibited . 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.  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. 

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.

Drone photography is treated as commercial photography and requires an application and payment. It is prohibited on Garden grounds unless arranged with the Communications Division. 

B. Wedding and Bridal Photography

A reservation and fee is required for all wedding photos regardless of party size. You do not need to be a member of the garden to make the reservation. It can be made by any member/family member of the wedding party or the group’s photographer. The fee is $225 for up to 25 guests and must be paid in advance when making the reservation. Reservations are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with the last entry at 3 p.m. Photo sessions must be complete by 4 p.m. Reservations are not accepted during Signature events.  Please contact us to make a reservation. Reservations should be made at least 14 days in advance. Refunds are only issued in the form of a Garden gift card. 

Contributor  level and above members of the Garden may take wedding photos without the additional fee. However, a reservation is still required and the party is limited to 10 guests. All other guests should pay applicable admission fees. 

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. Reservations must be made in advance. 

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.


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.

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.

C. Prom/Formal Photography

The Garden is only able to accommodate groups of students taking photographs prior to events such as proms and homecomings if booked following the procedures of Wedding and Bridal Photography. The fee is $225 for up to 25 guests and must be paid in advance when making the reservation. All prom parties regardless of size require a reservation and payment. Reservations are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with the last entry at 3 p.m. Photo sessions must be complete by 4 p.m. Reservations are not accepted during Signature events. Please contact us to make a reservation. Reservations should be made at least 14 days in advance. No refunds. 

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. Drone photography is treated as commercial photography and requires an application and payment. It is prohibited on Garden grounds unless arranged with the Communications Division. 

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 314-577-0286.

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 ($125-300 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 Garden's main entrance. 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

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.