Advanced reservation and paid permits are required for all photo sessions on our premises.* This includes all photo shoots in which pictures of another person or props are being taken on our property. Photos of the plants at the Garden are allowed for personal use. All unauthorized photo shoots will be subject to fines.
Interested in having your photoshoot in the Garden? Begin by completing a photography session request. All requests will be responded to within 2 weeks.
Photo sessions must take place after Garden hours and need to be made at least two weeks in advance. No walk-up requests will be granted. Requests made less than 2 weeks in advance are subject to a $35 rush fee.
Fees for amateur and professional photographers wishing to use the Ruth Bancroft Garden as a location for family, special occasion, wedding or other portrait sessions:
- 1 Hour: Members: $300/Non-member $350
- 2 Hour: Member: $400/Non- Member $450
Spring & Summer (March-October) shoots start at 4:00pm Tuesday-Thursday. and 5:00pm Friday- Sunday.
Fall & Winter (November-February) shoots start Tuesday-Sunday at 4:00 pm.
No 45 min sessions. Max 2 families per hour session.
Non-Members: must pay our Garden entry free of $10, ($8 senior & Military, and kids under 12 are free).
Members: Entry fees dependent on your membership status (i.e.- Individual Membership holders have free admission for themself only. Friends or family members have to pay the entry fee).
Commercial use refers to any photography for public distribution and/or sale. It includes but is not limited to: catalog shoots, advertising agencies, social media groups, public relations firms, marketing groups, and other amateur and professional groups shooting photography for use in display advertising, television and electronic commercials, brochures, product literature, etc. RBG reserves the right to approve on a case-by-case basis and under such terms and conditions as determined at the sole discretion of the RBG Private Events Manager.
Full details of the request must be submitted using our Photography Request Form. Once approved, you will be issued a photo pass via email for a pre-payment. Refer to fees outlined below:
Fashion/ Product/ Photo Shoots – Flat fee of $1,000 (Please inquire for specific rental hours).
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Are tripods allowed in the Garden once the photo request is approved? Yes, tripods are allowed in the Garden as long as they are set up on the paths and not in the beds.
- What if a family member is my photographer? As a family member, you are still obligated to pay for a photo shoot after hours. As a nonprofit organization, the photography fee helps with the maintenance of the Garden as well as the preservation of Ruth Bancroft’s mission.
- What if I am taking pictures for school? If you are taking pictures of the plants in the Garden you only have to pay an admission fee. However, if you are taking pictures of people or products, which must be done after hours, you must fill out a private inquiry form to pay a separate fee.
- Why does the photo shoot have to be after hours? Due to the blockage of our narrow Garden paths, photo shoots during operating hours inhibit our Garden visitor experience. A staff member must be present during photo shoots to ensure the safety of the plants, guests, and Garden.
- Can we bring props or decorations? All props must be approved on a case-by-case basis.
*Our premises include: The Garden, Nursery, plaza, parking lot, and plant beds outside our front entrance.
The Ruth Bancroft Garden (RBG) is delighted that you are considering our location for your photos. To ensure a positive experience for you, while maintaining a pleasant experience for our many visitors, please be aware of the rules and guidelines outlined below. We are a nonprofit educational Garden and photography fees go to support our programs.
- Courtesy to Garden visitors must be observed by all photographers and their clients at all times.
- All aspects of a photo shoot must remain on the pathways at all times. No person may walk, pose or set up photography equipment except on such areas.
- Obstruction of Garden paths should be as limited as possible to allow for visitors to pass through. If obstruction is unavoidable limit the timeframe to 15 minutes.
- No photographer, clients or equipment will be allowed in plant beds at any time.
- Admission fees may be waived for photographers who visit the Garden to scout the premises for an upcoming photo session. Prior notice of the visit is required.
- The Garden will not accept deliveries or be responsible for any personal property belonging to photographer or photographer’s client(s).
- The Garden reserves the right to monitor a photo shoot to ensure compliance with these policies.
- Dressing rooms are not available at the Garden. Restrooms should not be used as a dressing room. A one-person pop up tent dressing room is available on request. Please note this on the permit form.
- Do not stand at the pond borders or in the pond.
- Climbing of trees and walking into shrubbery or plant communities is forbidden.
- No plant may be removed or permanently modified in any manner under any circumstances.
- Tieback of foliage must be approved and done by an RBG gardener. Under no circumstances are guest allowed to alter plant foliage.
- No decorations, temporary fixtures, or other objects may be affixed to plants, trees, woodwork, buildings or any architectural feature unless specifically approved in advance by the Event Coordinator.
- Smoking is not allowed in the Garden under any circumstances.
- Recreational consumption of alcohol associated with the photo shoot is prohibited.
- Fireworks of any kind or any open flame devices are prohibited.
- Nude photography or its near equivalent is prohibited.
- Excessive noise or other objectionable behavior that hinders other visitors’ enjoyment of the Garden is prohibited.
- RBG is not responsible for lost, mislaid or stolen property.
- All guest/participants must exit the Garden by 4 p.m.
- Violation of the terms of this agreement may result in cancellation of the photo session, in which case fees will not be refunded. Significant violations may result in the denial of future photography privileges.
- Arrangements can be made for sessions to begin before opening hours or after the Garden closes. Any special arrangements must be made and approved two weeks in advance by the Garden Executive Director. Additional after hour fees will be applied. See “Fee” section of this document.
Full details of the request must be provided using the below Photography Session Request Form. All form submissions will be reviewed by our Event Coordinator. Once received and approved, you will be issued a photo pass via email. Upon arrival, you must check in at the admissions kiosk and present the photo pass using your mobile phone or a printed copy. Refer to fees outlined below.
In the event of rain, the photographer may choose to reschedule or cancel the shoot. If cancelled due to weather all fees will be refunded. RBG reserves the right to cancel any photoshoot reservation in case of emergency or Garden operational situation, as determined by the Event Coordinator. In such case, all fees will be refunded.
General Photography refers to visitors taking amateur photos. They can be individual pictures or quick very small group photographs. These types of photos are permitted during the Garden’s operating hours. All members of the party, including the photographer, are required to pay standard Garden admission fees and must be off the premises by closing time. Amateur photographers and artists may not use their Garden photos for any commercial use unless approved by the RBG executive director and we ask that you credit RBG.
Professional Photography refers to a photo session with a professional Photographer for a special occasion such as a wedding, engagement or formal family photo. Requests for formal photo shoots must be submitted at least 2 weeks in advance. No walk-up requests will be granted. Full details of the request must be provided in writing by using our Photography Request Form below.
Commercial use refers to any photography for public distribution and/or sale. It includes but is not limited to: catalog shoots, advertising agencies, social media groups, public relations firms, marketing groups, and other professional groups shooting photography for use in display advertising, television and electronic commercials, brochures, product literature, etc. RBG reserves the right to approve on a case-by-case basis and under such terms and conditions as determined at the sole discretion of the RBG Executive Director. Full details of the request must be provided in writing by using our Photography Request Form below.
Garden Admissions $10 general/ $8 Senior, Student, or Active Military.
Family/ Engagement/ Wedding/ Maternity. Every person entering the Garden will pay the appropriate admission fee, plus a $50 per hour Garden photography fee. Garden fee must be paid in advance, if shoot runs over, you are responsible to pay the additional charge at departure.
Professional photographers wishing to use the Ruth Bancroft Garden as a location for family, special occasion, wedding or other portrait sessions can also purchase an annual $125 Photographer’s Membership. This membership is good for one year from purchase date and will waive the $50 per hour photography fee. Regular admission rates still apply for each client the day of your shoot. The membership comes with two free guest passes which you can use for clients or save for friends and family.
To book the Garden for an after-hours portrait session, the fee is $200 for 2 hours for those with a Photographer’s Membership and $250 for 2 hours for those without a Photographer’s Membership.
Excludes Mondays. Click here to see our regular hours.
Commercial Styled Shoot
Fashion/ Product/ Photo Shoots – can only be booked after hours or when the Garden is closed and includes supervision by RBG staff. Flat fee of $1,000 for four hours, $200 for every hour after that.
Banner photo by Kim J Martin