Photography Policy

The U.S. Botanic Garden is a plant museum. Public exhibits are located in the Conservatory, the National Garden and in Bartholdi Park. Visitors are permitted to take photographs of the public areas at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Such photographs may only be made for personal use and must be taken with hand-held cameras. Commercial use of such photographs is strictly prohibited. The use of flash equipment and other special photo lighting devices or other bulky accessory equipment is not permitted.

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:

  • No weddings, engagement photos or wedding or professional family pictures are permitted.
  • Films or photographs must be for non-profit use.
  • Photographic activity must be done during public hours of operation, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
  • The U.S. Botanic Garden does not provide any equipment or staff assistance.
  • Photographers and their equipment must stay on pathways-walking in beds or behind beds or placing equipment in beds is prohibited.
  • Plants may not be moved, cut, rearranged or handled in any way.
  • Flow of visitors along walkways must not be impeded. Photographers are asked to be aware that narrow pathways and intersections may become bottlenecks during periods of increased visitation.
  • To receive permission to film or photograph for publication, distribution, exhibition or film production, please contact Ray Mims at 202-409-1659. If permission is granted, the location credit should be shown as "U.S. Botanic Garden."
  • Original artwork, sculpture, or other creations that are on exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden are protected by artist's copyright and may not be photographed for the purposes of reproduction or copying in any way.


While hand-held camera or video equipment may be used without special permission in the Conservatory and on the grounds of the U.S. Botanic Garden, the use of a tripod requires a permit. However, to ensure the public's enjoyment of and access to Orchid Symphony, the use of tripod permits or easels is not allowed on weekends or during other periods of peak visitation between February 22 and April 27. For permission to use of tripods, easels or art material containing solvents during the week, please reserve a permit in advance. Contact Laura Anthony. Reserved permits are obtained onsite at the Visitor Information Services desk in the Conservatory


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