Photography Policies

Individuals are welcomed to photograph Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Commercial/professional photography/filming/videotaping is welcomed, with conditions listed below.

The following policies and fee schedule apply to all commercial photography sessions.

Any professional photographer or artist intending to use images of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden for commercial purposes must submit a request to RSABG at least two weeks prior to the photography shoot. This policy is enforced for the preservation of the collection and the safety of our visitors.

Contact the Facilities Rentals Coordinator at (909) 625-8767 ext. 226, for more information regarding RSABG's photography policies.


  • Courtesy to Garden visitors must be observed by all photographers and other artists at all times.
  • Obstruction of Garden paths and intrusion on exhibits is strictly prohibited. No photographer, artist or equipment will be allowed in plant beds at any time.
  • Requests for still photography, film or videotaping must state the location within the Garden for the proposed session, the number of people expected, and the anticipated time of the session.
  • Admission fees will be waived for photographers or artists who visit the Garden to scout the premises for an upcoming photo session.
  • Admission fees will be waived for photographers and reporters (magazine/newspapers) who visit the Garden for the purpose of providing free publicity to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
  • Vehicles are not allowed beyond the Garden’s parking lot.
  • The Communications Office must approve any props intended for use in the photoshoot.
  • The Garden will not accept deliveries or be responsible for any personal property belonging to photographer or photographer’s client(s). If equipment delivery, set-up, tear-down or pickup is necessary for the photo shoot, the desired area must be rented under provisions of the Garden’s private event policies. Due to the number of persons involved or the duration of the photo shoot, the photographer may desire the services of a caterer. If this is the case, a separate private event agreement covering the caterer’s activities is required. The private event policies and fee schedules will be provided upon request
  • The Garden reserves the right to monitor part or all of a photo shoot to ensure compliance with these policies.
  • Dressing rooms are not available at the Garden. Photography client(s) must make other arrangements prior to the photo shoot. Please be considerate of public use of restrooms and keep them available for other visitors.
  • All aspects of a photo shoot must occur on areas intended for foot traffic. No person may walk, pose or set up photography equipment except on such areas unless pre-approved by visitor services office and accompanied by Garden staff. Unsupervised climbing of trees and walking into shrubbery or plant communities is forbidden. It is the sole discretion of the visitor services office to approve or deny special access to Garden areas other than designated pathways. No plant may be removed or permanently modified in any manner under any circumstances. Tieback of foliage may be requested and, if permissible, accomplished only by Garden personnel. Under no circumstances is photographer authorized to make this determination.
  • No decorations, temporary fixtures, or other objects may be affixed to plants, trees, woodwork, buildings or any architectural feature unless specifically approved by the facilities use office.
  • Balloons are not allowed in the Garden.
  • Animals may not be brought into the Garden, except designated service animals.
  • 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. Candles must be in nonflammable, semi-closed containers and be hand-held or placed upon a nonflammable surface.
  • Nude photography or its near equivalent is prohibited.
  • Excessive noise or other objectionable behavior that hinders other visitors’ enjoyment of the Garden is prohibited. 

Non-commercial Photography

Portrait shoots, such as wedding and family photography, are permitted during the Garden’s general operating hours. Arrangements should be made at least one week in advance. All members of the party, including the photographer and assistants, are required to pay standard Garden admission fees.

Amateur photographers and artists may not use their representations of the Garden for any public purpose unless approved by the office of the executive director or designee. Any questions can be directed to the Garden's Communications Office.

Non-profit agencies, civic groups, and other groups as determined may be exempt from paying fees. However, these groups are still obligated to apply for approval. A formal request to waive fees on organizational letterhead is required two weeks prior to any photo session. Photo credit identifying Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will be required.

Commercial Photography

Commercial use refers to any photography for public distribution and/or sale. It includes but is not limited to: advertising agencies, public relations firms, marketing groups, corporate communications offices, commercial photographers, and other professional groups shooting photography for use in display advertising, television and electronic commercials, feature films, brochures, product literature, annual reports, collateral publications, training videos, other industrial/promotions or advertising projects. RSABG reserves the right to allow filming/videotaping on a case-by-case basis and under such terms and conditions as determined at the sole discretion of the Garden excutive director or designee.


The photographer shall provide a certificate of insurance at least five business days before the scheduled shoot. The certificate shall name Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden as an additional insured for the duration of use of the Garden facilities, and shall include broad form property damage and personal injury coverage with a combined single limit of not less than $500,000 per occurrence. Such insurance shall be primary to, and not contributing with, any other insurance maintained by the Garden.

Photographer agrees to indemnify, defend and save harmless Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, its agents, officers and employees from and against any and all liability, expense, including defense costs and legal fees, and claims for damages of any nature whatsoever, including but not limited to, bodily injury, death, personal injury or property damage arising from, or in connection with, the photoshoot or services performed on behalf of photographer or any person pursuant to this agreement. Photographer further agrees to hold Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden harmless from any workers’ compensation suits, liability or expense arising from or in connection with the photo shoot or services performed on behalf of photographer or any person pursuant to this agreement.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is not responsible for lost, mislaid, or stolen property.

Students photographing in the Garden for school projects must provide current proof of enrollment.

The photographer must agree in writing to these policies at least five working days prior to the date of the intended photo shoot.

Specific venues are subject to availability. High use areas, as determined by the department of visitor services, will be available for photo sessions only if such use does not interfere with normal public access and Garden safety rules.

Upon receipt of a signed agreement, together with proof of insurance and student status if applicable as required herein, a photo passport will be issued in the name of the client/photographer. The passport must be in possession of the photographer while on Garden premises. Upon arrival at the Garden, the photographer must check in at the admissions kiosk at the main parking lot and present the passport.

One-day insurance certificates are available for purchase through the Garden's insurance broker if you do not have your own.  


Violation of the terms of this agreement may result in cancellation of the photo passport, in which case fees will not be refunded.

Particularly egregious violations may result in the denial of future photography privileges.


In the event of rain, the photographer may choose to reschedule or cancel the shoot. In the event of cancellation due to weather, all fees will be refunded.
In its sole discretion, RSABG reserves the right to cancel any photoshoot reservation in case of emergency or Garden operational situation, as determined by the facilities use office. In such case, all fees will be refunded.

The Garden is available only during normal operation hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, and December 25, or other days that conflict with scheduled Garden activities, which may include tram tours and private events.

The Garden closes at 5 p.m. All participants must exit the Garden by 5 p.m. Arrangements can be made for a session 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 Communications Office.


Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden reserves the right to refuse permission to any photographer or artist.


Fee schedule for commercial still photography or filming sessions involving:

1-10 people (including photographer) $50 per hour, 2 hour minimum

11-20 people (including photographer) $100 per hour, 2 hour minimum

21-30 people (including photographer) $150 per hour, 2 hour minimum

30+ people (including photographer) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • If a photoshoot exceeds the allotted time slot set forth in the contract, lessee agrees to pay an additional rental fee of $100 per hour, prorated at the rate of $25 per quarter hour.
  • A photoshoot may be scheduled to occur on multiple days, successive or otherwise. In this case, Photographer need not complete a separate Agreement for each day. The applicable fee shall be 80 percent of the base fee unless otherwise assessed by the Visitor Services office.
  • Location fees applicable to professional filming or video taping for commercial use are subject to negotiation and approval by the executive director or designee.
Optional amenities and fees:
  • Rooms may be available as "green rooms", rented per the Garden's Facility Rental rates and policies
  • As personal vehicles may not be driven on the grounds beyond the parking lot, tram service may be scheduled at a rate of $25 per hour. Tram service is subject to availability and must be arranged at least one week in advance. 


Courtesy discounts available to members, volunteers, trustees, overseers, staff, RSABG botany students, and others as determined by Garden executive director or designee.