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Photography and Filming at The Garden

South Coast Botanic Garden Photography Policy
Effective 6/1/2014


South Coast Botanic Garden is a beautiful setting for photos and capturing those special memories. We welcome commercial and non-commercial photography and filming according to the policies and procedures below:

Non-commercial Candid Photography

Guests are welcome to take informal, candid photography for personal use without a fee or special permission. However, additional photography equipment is prohibited (lights, reflectors, props, etc.) without a permit. This type of photography is restricted to the flora and fauna of the Garden.  Costume changes and/or models are only allowed with a commercial contract. Amateur photographers may not use their representations of the Garden for any public or commercial purpose unless approved by the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation. Please contact the Guest Services Center at (310) 544-1948 for more information.

Fees for Non-commercial Candid Photography

  •             Admission only


Non-commercial Portrait Photography

All formal, posed photography and filming at the South Coast Botanic Garden require a location permit. A formal, posed session includes weddings, engagements, family portraits, graduation, proms, quinceaneras, as well as senior portraits or photos taken for portfolios, even if the photographer is not a professional. Costume changes and/or models are only allowed with a commercial contract.  Reservations are required to ensure that a location permit is available for the date and time you desire. All props must be pre-approved by the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation. Please contact the Guest Services Center at (310) 544-1948 to make your reservation.

Fees for non-commercial Portrait Photography

  • $50 Location Fee in addition to regular admission (Allows for a maximum of three hours within the hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and cannot be prorated for less time.)  Payments may be made by cash, check, or credit card. 
  • $200 Damage Deposit for groups of five or more. (Damage Deposit will be refunded after evaluation by South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation staff. Refund takes approximately three to four weeks to process.)  Damage deposit payments may be made by check or credit card only.  We are unable to accept cash for the Damage Deposit. 

Commercial Filming and Photography

South Coast Botanic Garden welcomes commercial filming and photography. Reservations and permits are required. Please contact Yuri Oda at (310) 544-1948 x300 or for rates, procedures, and policies.

Student Filming and Photography

Student projects are permitted. Commercial filming/photography fees will apply. Please contact Yuri Oda at (310) 544-1948 x300 or for rates, procedures, and policies.


The South Coast Botanic Garden reserves the right to refuse admittance for photography/filming and/or change its photo policy without advanced notice. The South Coast Botanic Garden reserves the right to all photography site locations at any given time with or without notice. Some sites may not be available the day of your reservation due to unforeseen circumstances. Please note that any party that has booked private events in a particular location has an exclusive right to that reserved area.

  • All photography must take place during Garden hours.  This means photo shoots must start after 9:00 am and end by 4:00 pm.
  • Do not walk in any planted, mulched, or wooded area for any reason.  Always stay on designated paths and turf areas. 
  • Leave flowers and plants for everyone to enjoy. Do not collect or remove seeds, flowers, fruits, or vegetables, plant labels, etc.  Do not climb the trees. 
  • Do not damage, deface, or remove fences, walls, boulders, garden features, or site furniture for any reason.
  • No dressing or changing clothes is permitted in the Garden or in the restrooms.
  • Pets are not allowed inside the Garden. Service animals are permitted with proper I.D.
  • Do not bring recreational equipment as part of your photo session.  Recreational and sports activities are not allowed in the Garden. 
  • Picnics are only allowed on special occasions.  Please do not bring outside food into the Garden.  Picnic areas are located on the lawn at the South end of the Parking Lot.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the Garden except by permit and is not allowed as part of your photo session.
  • The Garden is a nicotine-free environment. Cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, chewable tobacco and similar products are not allowed on Garden property including all grounds, buildings, and restrooms.
  • Given the public atmosphere of the Garden, all photo session activities shall be deemed appropriate and free from obscene content.
  • Every courtesy will be extended to those wishing to use the Garden for Photo Sessions as long as usage does not impede public use.  Any and all pertinent state laws, county ordinances or department policies shall be fully observed.   

For additional information, please contact the Guest Services Center at (310) 544-1948.



The many gardens and natural areas at South Coast Botanic Garden provide an ideal landscape for film and TV productions, commercials and print photography. 

Some of the more popular areas for filming and photography are:

  • Banyan Grove
  • Arizona Crossing
  • Hawk’s Meadow
  • Memorial Meadow
  • Rose Garden
  • Upper and Lower Meadows with Gazebos
  • Children’s Garden
  • Lake

For additional information, please contact the Special Events Office at (310) 544-1948 ext. 302 or email