General Photography/Videography Guidelines
We are delighted that you are considering the Chicago Botanic Garden as the location for your photos and videos. To ensure a positive experience for you, while maintaining a pleasant experience for our many visitors, please be aware of the rules and guidelines that follow.
Please be courteous and do not block pathways or other access areas in any way. Remember that the Garden is a public place where visitors are welcome in all public areas, and that regular business continues during normal operating hours. Some festivals and special events draw exceptionally large crowds. A listing of events is posted online at www.chicagobotanic.org/calendar.
Formal photography/videography guidelines
Please note that the Garden does not accept reservations for wedding and portrait photo sessions.
The general photography/videography guidelines outlined here are intended for all guests, but in addition to observing the photo restrictions, photographers must obtain a permit if they wish to use the Garden's setting as the background for formal, posed photography/videography. This category includes weddings, family, portraits, graduations, engagements, quinceañera celebrations and bar and bat mitzvahs, or similar.
Those celebrating wedding ceremonies, receptions, or other special occasions scheduled at the Garden are welcome to take photographs or videos during their rental time at no additional fee. Please visit Corporate and Private Events at www.chicagobotanic.org/events for information on hosting special events at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Media photography, commercial photography, video and film shoots must be arranged at least one week in advance of the shoot. Contact Public Relations for more information on policies and fees.
When You Arrive
Permit Fee: If you need to obtain a permit, a photography/videography permit fee of $125 will be charged. The permit is valid only on the date it is issued, and can be paid for with Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. Cash and checks made out to the Chicago Botanic Garden will also be accepted. Permits are available at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center.
Parking: Regular parking fees will apply for each vehicle within the party. Vehicles may load and unload passengers at the drop-off area within parking lot 1. NO VEHICLES MAY PULL IN FRONT OF THE VISITOR CENTER.
To avoid congestion in the Visitor Center, please meet and collect your party either outside in front of the Visitor Center (weather permitting) or inside the Garden View Room (across from the Information Desk) if it is unoccupied. Please do not congregate in front of the Information Desk.
For your convenience, public restrooms may be used for clothing changes.
Some Friendly Reminders
We encourage you to visit the Garden in advance at your leisure to scout locations for your photography/videography session. Parking fees apply. Parking fees are waived for Garden members.
Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/events for information on having a wedding reception or other private event at the Garden.
Please remember that any party that has booked a private event in a particular location of the Garden has exclusive right to that reserved area.
The Garden reserves the right to refuse admittance for photography/videography and/or to change its photo policy without advance notice.
During your visit you may be filmed, videotaped, and/or photographed by a Garden employee or contract photographer. Your attendance serves as permission for the use of your image by the Garden and its constituents.
Thank you for choosing the Garden for your wedding, family, and individual portraits!