Photography at the Gardens

Visitors taking pictures of plants are welcome anytime at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The use of tripods, and other equipment beyond your hand-held camera, however, is not allowed in the Conservatory during high traffic times (Saturdays, Sundays, and during tours & events) and drones for photography or any other use are not allowed on University of Michigan property.

Amateur or professional photographers at Matthaei taking pictures of people using the outdoor gardens or indoor conservatory for photo shoots will be charged according to the schedule below. Just stop at the front desk to pay the fee and pick up your Photo Pass.

  • Senior Photos and individual portraits: $35 for each individual
  • Engagement and couples portraits: $50 for each couple
  • Family group portraits (with up to 16 people): $100 for each family group
  • Wedding Party group portraitsMust be scheduled in advance; $100 per 30 minutes. Call 734-647-7808

There are also fees for amateur or professional photographers taking pictures of products for commercial or other uses. Arrangements must be made through our rental coordinator,

There is no charge for amateur or professional photographers in Nichols Arboretum to take pictures of people in our natural areas. For larger-scale projects such as TV or magazine/internet commercials, or for film or video projects, we ask that you check in first before proceeding. Contact our marketing coordinator:


Please note

We reserve the right to limit the use of our facilities for photography based on events, rental arrangements and high traffic in the Conservatory and grounds. We can not guarantee availability for photography.

Photographer at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Photography classes, clubs or groups are asked to call ahead so that we can put you on the schedule and let you know of any events that may limit your activities. Donations are appreciated

Professional photographers We want your clients to have positive memories of their photos at the Gardens – but the Gardens are maintained for University and general public use. We reserve the right to limit use of the facilities by professionals based on Garden events and previous rental arrangements. We ask that professional photographers not advertise our Gardens as a photo shoot location without permission from us. Professional photographers using our facilities for business purposes are asked to pay the fees listed above if they apply – in other cases, please make a donation to Matthaei/Nichols or help support us by becoming a member.

Consent to be photographed or recorded  Visitors to our events and programs may be photographed by one of our volunteers or a professional photographer. If our faculty or staff judge that education or research may benefit from the use of the photographs and/or recordings, the University may publish or sell (not for profit) them for academic purposes, or use them in any other professional manner that the University believes is proper, including, but not limited to: print publications, video streaming on U-M websites, podcasting, and broadcast media.