Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

Photo Policy              

Photographs are a wonderful way to remember your visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens. We encourage visitors to take casual photographs of their visit for their own personal use. But, if you are coming to the gardens for the purpose of taking posed photos of people - then you need a photo permit.

The Photography Guidelines outlined here are intended for all guests, but a permit is necessary for those who wish to use the Gardens setting as the background for posed photography. This would include wedding, family, engagement, graduation, prom, senior photos or the like. The permit is needed regardless of whether the photographer is a family member, professional, etc...

Photo Permit is for a one hour session. Photography Permit Application (PDF)  Please submit the Photo Permit Application with the fee to the Olbrich Rental Coordinator at least one week in advance.   $30 plus tax = $31.65  fee payable by cash or check only - NO credit cards accepted.

Wedding ceremonies, receptions or other special occasions scheduled at the Gardens are welcome to take their photographs during their rental time at no additional fee. As always, the General Photography Guidelines apply.


PROM photos are handled differently due to the unique circumstance.  Please note that photos are allowed outdoors only and groups must follow the guidelines shown on the website - anyone not following the rules will be asked to leave.  If it is bad weather, we don't have an indoor area for photos.  Fee is $5 per couple/2 people (if an odd number of people in the group, then the extra person would pay $3) and is CASH ONLY collected at the door.  The fee is for the students only - the adults and other family members aren't paying a fee.  There are some restrictions of available photo times due to other events taking place at the Gardens.  Below is the schedule of allowed times for 2018.  You don't need to register.

         April 7        3 - 8pm

         April 14      3 - 8pm

         April 21      3 - 8pm

         April 28      3 - 8pm

         May 5         3 - 8pm   (MANY Proms this day)

         May 12       4 - 8pm  (limited parking due to our Plant Sale)

         May 19       3 - 8pm

For information on room rentals, posed, promotional or stock photography at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, please contact:

Patti Jorenby, Rental Coordinator

(608) 246-4733



General Photography Guidelines

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is Madison's public garden, and your adherence to these guidelines is required. Posed photographs may be taken in the outdoor gardens only. The Foyer, Bolz Conservatory, and other interior areas of the Botanical Complex are not available for use for posed photography sites.


  • Call ahead to schedule. More than one session may be scheduled for the same time frame. In the event of rain, you may reschedule your session.
  • No smoking.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • Remain on the pathways and grassy turf at all times. Do not stand on fountain or pool borders. Do not stand in fountains or pools.
  • Do not disturb or remove plants, plant labels or containers.
  • Do not block access to the entrance, pathways, or garden areas for use by others.
  • To keep pathways in the Conservatory accessible and safe for all, camera tripods are not allowed in the Conservatory. Monopods are allowed.
  • Tripods may not be set up in a position that blocks the designated pathways of the GLEAM exhibit route in the outdoor gardens. (Pathways are noted on the GLEAM visitor's guide.)
  • Photography at Olbrich Botanical Gardens cannot be orchestrated or used to imply endorsement by Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
  • Guests should come dressed and prepared for their photo session.  There are no changing areas available  and we don't allow using the bathrooms for that purpose.

Formal, Posed Photography

Definition: Posed photography would include wedding, family, engagement, prom, graduation, senior photos or the like.  The photographer may be a professional, a family member, friend, etc...

Location: Posed photographs may be taken in the outdoor gardens only. The Foyer, Bolz Conservatory or other interior areas of the Botanical Center are not available for use as photography sites.

Fees: A $30 plus tax = $31.65 scheduling fee will be assessed for each one-hour session. Any request to waive this fee, based on hardship, must be submitted in writing to the Director at least two weeks prior to the event.

There are NO REFUNDS for the cancellation of a photography session at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. In the event of rain, you may reschedule your session.

Scheduling: Your posed photography session will be scheduled around those that have rented the Gardens as the site for their wedding or other special occasion. In all cases, the photography session must be scheduled a minimum of one week in advance and begin and end within the allotted time. In the event of rain, you may reschedule your session. Either the subject or the photographer may make the reservation. General Photography Guidelines apply.

*Failure to comply with the General Photography Guidelines will result in the loss of user privileges.


Promotional Photography

Photographers taking photographs which will be used to promote Olbrich Botanical Gardens, for instance in travel publications or the like, will not be assessed a fee. Arrangements must be made in advance.


Stock Photography

Photos taken as stock photography for publications, greeting cards, calendars, resume development or the like are in this category. Photographers in this category are asked to pay a one-time, lifetime fee of $50 + tax.    Arrangements must be made in advance.


Commercial Photography / Filming

Catalog shoots, product commercials, films for distribution (large or small), professional videos and the like must be approved by the Superintendent of Parks or his/her designee. Full details of the project must be submitted in writing, in advance of the project - we recommend at least two weeks for staff to review project details. The Superintendent of Parks or his/her designee reserves the right to refuse any project. Fees are charged for Commercial Photography/Filming.

Please submit full project details to:


Olbrich Botanical Gardens

3330 Atwood Avenue

Madison, WI 53704

Still Photography Rates: Film/Video Rates:

Full Day $300

Full Day $600

Half Day $150

Half Day $350

For all Promotional, Stock and Commercial Photography - General Photography Guidelines apply. Location approval and tripod approval required.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719