Photography and Art Policy

The U.S. Botanic Garden is a living 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:

  • Posed photography of any kind is not permitted. This includes wedding, engagement, or professional family photography.
  • Films or photographs must be for personal, non-profit use.
  • Photographers and their equipment must not impede access and must stay on pathways at all times. Walking in planted areas beds, behind planting beds or placing equipment in beds is prohibited.
  • The use of flash equipment and other special photo lighting devices or other bulky accessory equipment is not permitted.
  • Plants may not be moved, cut, rearranged or handled in any way.
  • Flow of visitors along walkways must not be impeded. Visitors are asked to be aware that narrow pathways and intersections may become bottlenecks during periods of increased visitation.
  • 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.
  • The U.S. Botanic Garden does not provide any equipment or staff assistance.

Tripod Permits

While personal 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, other equipment or art supplies requires a permit. To ensure the public's enjoyment of and access to exhibits and displays the use of tripod, equipment, or easels and organized classes are not allowed during periods of peak visitation. For advance permission to use of tripods, equipment, easels or art material containing solvents during the week, please contact Laura Anthony at 202.226.7674. Approved permits are obtained onsite at the Visitor Information Services desk in the Conservatory.

Tripods may be used Monday - Friday only during Orchid Spectrum exhibit February 23 - April 8, 2018.


For all media requests and requests to film or photograph for publication, distribution, exhibition or film production, please contact Devin Dotson, Public Affairs and Exhibits Specialist, phone: 202-226-4145. If permission is granted, the location credit should be shown as "U.S. Botanic Garden."

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