Photography in the Arboretum

Policy & Registration Information

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS – All Professional (Commercial) photographers must register their proposed photoshoot and receive approval before the photoshoot. Registration is FREE, fast and simple. Registrations must be submitted at least three business days before the planned photoshoot. Registration for photography can be found here. Failure to register may result in the photographer and client(s) being asked to leave the premises by Gustavus Campus Security. The purpose of registration is to avoid conflicts between photographers and renters/visitors/users of the Arboretum.

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOGRAPHY – Whether you are a professional or an amateur, if you are planning to take wedding party photos or large group photos in the Arboretum, you MUST register ahead of time. This holds true regardless of where the wedding ceremony itself occurs. (For example, even if the ceremony is happening in the church down the street, AND it’s just Uncle Fred doing the photos). IF you want to pop out to the Arb for some photos after the ceremony, you MUST REGISTER your proposed photoshoot. Failure to register may result in the wedding party being escorted from the premises by Gustavus Campus Security. 

NON-COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS – Amateur photographers taking pictures for their own personal use and not for profit are allowed to take unlimited photos in the Arboretum, provided they follow all normal Arboretum rules and regulations. In most cases (landscapes, individual portraits, do-it-yourself grad portraits) no registration is needed. [EXCEPTION: Weddings and other large-group portraits DO require registration, regardless of the status of the photographer. Registration is FREE, fast and simple, and can be done through the Registration Link below or here.]

REMINDERS FOR ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS – Below are rules and regulations to be followed by ALL photographers while shooting photos anywhere at the Arboretum.

  • Priority to rental groups -- All photographers and wedding parties must remember that other parties who have booked and paid for private rental events may have exclusive rights to their reserved area, including the Interpretive Center.
  • Interpretive Center by reservation only -- The Interpretive Center building IS NOT available to photographers (or their clients) who have not reserved it. Information about reserving the Interpretive Center can be found here.
  • No implied endorsement -- The Arboretum does not endorse products or services. Photographs that imply endorsement are prohibited.
  • Stay near paths, but keep the pathways free -- All persons and equipment must stay near established pathways and mowed lawn areas. Avoid walking or gathering in planted gardens or habitat areas. Equipment should be kept to the side of trails to allow safe and easy passage for all visitors.
  • Benches, etc. -- If you move benches or picnic tables, please return them to their original locations.
  • Do not disturb plants -- No plants shall be picked, altered, tied up or modified in any manner with pins, tape, twine, etc. Do not move or change the position of potted plants, or remove signs/labels from planted areas.
  • No drones -- The use of drone aircraft (for any reason) is prohibited in accordance with College rules.