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 restrict any photography site locations at any given time with or without notice. Some sites may not be available on 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. 

General Guidelines & Restrictions

  • All photography must take place during Garden hours.  This means photo shoots must start after 9:00 am and end by 4:00 pm. 
  • Drones and segways are not permitted at any time.
  • No dressing or changing clothes is permitted in the Garden or in the restrooms.
  • Given the public nature of the Garden, All photo sessions activities shall be deemed appropriate and free from obscene content
  • Do not bring recreational equipment as part of your photo session.  Recreational and sports activities are not allowed in the Garden.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the Garden and is not allowed as part of your photo session.
  • Given the public atmosphere of the Garden, all photo session activities shall be deemed appropriate and free from obscene content.
  • 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. Agree to not remove or move plant signage
  • No professional photography or published is permitted in SOAR
  • LACMA sculptures, Installations, and Exhibitions are not permitted to be photographed including video/filming for publishing on any platform. This applies to non-commercial and commercial photography/ filming permits. Only for personal use. 
  • Photo and/or video will not be used for commercial purposes
  • Photo and/or video will not be used for student filming
  • Agree to not bring in glitter, confetti, balloons, or any damaging material that may be harmful to the grounds and wildlife
  • Agree with an actual wedding or elopement (whether legal or not legal in the state of CA) will not take place

Garden Policies and Etiquette

  • We ask that photographers and clients be courteous to Garden guests and their employment of the Garden at all times. Activities that may disturb the guest’s experience, such as music or games, are prohibited 
  • 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.
  • Picnics are allowed in designated locations depending on availability 
  • 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. Permits and fees may apply*
  • Only certified service animals are allowed in the garden and must check in with visitor services. 
  • If you are fully vaccinated, facial coverings are optional. The CDC advises individuals who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing facial coverings


  • Free onsite parking is open to all attending the session. All vehicles may not load and unload passengers near the entrance ramp or near fire lanes. 
  • No vehicles may be parked or left unattended in non-designated areas 
  • Large buses and/limos must park in a proper parking spot for the duration of the session booked.


  • Photography Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable (Rain contingency -Sessions can be rescheduled up to 48 hours from the date on the permit depending on availability). 
  • Photo pass permit payment/s may not apply towards admission or membership.

Photographer/s agrees to indemnify, defend and save harmless the County of Los Angeles and SCBGF their agents, officers, and employees from and against any and all liability, expense, including defense coast 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 event’s operations, or its services hereunder, including any workers compensation suits, liability or expense arising from, or its services hereunder, including any workers compensation suits, liability or expense arising from, or in connection with, service performed on behalf of the lessee or any person pursuant to this contract.