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Photo Policy          

photo permits are generally available during outdoor garden public hours.  there may be some time restrictions due to rentals and other special events.  completed form and fee due together and should be submitted at least one week prior to the requested photo date.

Photo permits are for outdoor only - no photos allowed in conservatory.

**  Tripods may not be used on any paths - may only be set up on regular turf grass areas.  Thanks for your cooperation.

Drones are not allowed in Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

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.  Photo Permit allows for Photographer and 2 people only.

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, maternity, 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 and for outdoors only. Photography Permit Application (PDF)  Please submit the Photo Permit Application with the fee to the Olbrich Rental Coordinator at least one week in advance.  $37.91 plus tax = $40  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 (photo permit included in rental fee). As always, the General Photography Guidelines apply.

Feel free to call 608-246-4733 to check availability of your preferred date and time before submitting the form and fee. 



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.


  • Wedding ceremonies are only done as a rental.  You are not able to get married here with only an approved photo permit.
  • Permit is for photographer and two (2) other people.   We may be able to make exceptions for larger groups on weekdays when Gardens are not as busy.
  • Submit form and fee at least one week in advance.
  • There may be more than one approved photo permit at any given time.
  • Props, furniture, luggage, etc are not permitted
  • No smoking.  No alcoholic beverages.
  • No drones allowed onsite (indoor or outdoor)
  • 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. (Photo Permit is not valid in Conservatory - photos of plants only in Conservatory)
  • Tripods are not allowed during GLEAM hours.
  • 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 public restrooms are not to be used to change clothes.  You may inquire about availability of a room rental if a changing area is needed..

Formal, Posed Photography

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

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

Fees: A $37.91 fee plus tax = $40 scheduling fee will be assessed for each one-hour session.

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