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Photography and Video Policies

Download Photography/Videography Policies and Photography/Videography Agreement

Visitors are permitted to capture still photos or video of the Gardens to remember their visit as long as the Photo credit: E. Shelnut Photographyimages are solely for their personal enjoyment and not for commercial or organizational purposes. We request that visitors and professional photographers alike adhere to the following guidelines:  

Please….  
  • Do not enter or disturb landscaped, floral displays to capture still photographs or video of flowers or people. Do not place tripods inside flowering displays.
  • When staging photographs/video, please do not block or interfere with visitor access to trails, bridges or venue entrances/exits.
  • Do not leave photography equipment in the path of visitors, which could cause falls or injuries.
  • Do not place children among the flowers for the “perfect” photo, unless an area has been designated specifically for that purpose by GWG staff. 
  • Feel free to explore the Gardens for unusual photos or video; however, we do caution guests to watch where they walk.  Garvan Woodland Gardens is a wooded, natural area inhabited by all types of creeping, crawling creatures and a few poisonous vines.  

Bridal and Wedding Photography  

GWG Brides who have reserved a Gardens venue for their ceremony receive a complimentary photo session prior to the wedding date, as well as on the day of the event. Advance reservations are required at least two weeks prior to the preferred photo session date. The bride and her photographer must sign a photography agreement at the GardenShop and receive a photo pass. Photographers must wear the GWG Photo Pass where it is visible to GWG staff at all times. Photo sessions are limited to two hours with a maximum of four people admitted at no additional charge, which includes the bride, a bride’s attendant, the photographer, and a photographer’s assistant. Additional guests accompanying the group must pay the regular admission fee for that day. At the conclusion of the session, the photographer shall return the GWG Photo Pass to the GardenShop.

Non-GWG Brides who are marrying at another venue may schedule their wedding photographs at the Gardens for a fee of $60 plus tax per session. This includes photos taken by non-professional photographers, such as a family member. Photo sessions are limited to two hours with a maximum of four people admitted at no additional charge, which includes the bride, a bride’s attendant, the photographer, and a photographer’s assistant. Additional guests accompanying the group must pay the regular admission fee for that day. Advance reservations are required at least two weeks prior to the preferred photo session date. The photographer must sign a photography agreement at the GardenShop and receive a Photo Pass. Photographers must wear the GWG Photo Pass where it is visible to GWG staff at all times. At the conclusion of the session, the photographer shall return the GWG Photo Pass to the GardenShop.

In the case of inclement weather on the day of the scheduled session, please call the Gardens’ Wedding Department to reschedule.  Note:  The two-week advance scheduling requirement does not apply in cases of weather-generated cancellations.  Your photo session will be rescheduled as soon as possible, even the next day if available.

Garvan Woodland Gardens reserves the right to deny wedding photo sessions during certain days and hours of the week, depending on the seasons and projected times of heavy visitation, such as Holiday Lights.  

Photo sessions are allowed between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. February through mid-November and between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. from mid-November through December 31. The Gardens is closed the month of January. 

Engagement Photography

All engagement photographs are subject to a photo session fee of $60 plus tax per session. This includes photos taken by non-professional photographers, such as a family member. Photo sessions are limited to two hours with a maximum of four people admitted at no additional charge, which includes the bride, the groom, the photographer, and a photographer’s assistant. Additional guests accompanying the group must pay the regular admission fee for that day. Advance reservations are required at least two weeks prior to the preferred photo session date. The photographer must sign a photography agreement at the GardenShop and receive a photo pass. Photographers must wear the GWG Photo Pass where it is visible to GWG staff at all times. At the conclusion of the session, the photographer shall return the GWG Photo Pass to the GardenShop.  

Commercial Photographers and Videographers  

Professional photographers and videographers who wish to capture still images and video of the Gardens for use by private entities shall only be permitted through written agreement with fees, approval, and insurance requirements based on the nature of the proposed use. This applies to family portraits, bridal/engagement photographs, group photos, etc. Photo sessions may be booked for a fee for various time periods (see below).

The photographer/videographer must sign a photography agreement at the GardenShop and receive a photo pass. Photographers must wear the GWG Photo Pass where it is visible to GWG staff at all times. At the conclusion of the session, the photographer shall return the GWG Photo Pass to the GardenShop.

A signed photo/video contract is required prior to each scheduled photo/video session OR an Annual Pass may be purchased. If the Annual Pass is purchased, this will include admission for the photographer and photographer’s assistant only. Additional guests for each and every photo/video session must pay the regular Gardens admission fee for that day.

Photo/Video Session Fee Schedule 

(prices do not include sales tax)
Bridal/Engagement/Wedding Commercial Photography (non-GWG Brides) $60.00/2 hours


Non-wedding Commercial Photography $75.00/4 hours

$125.00/8 hours


Non-wedding Commercial Videography $125.00/4 hours

$175.00/8 hours


Annual Commercial Photography/Videography Pass $225.00 per year
(Annual Pass allows unlimited number of photo/video shoots for one year, beginning the date the pass is issued. Includes admission for photographer and photographer's assisstant ONLY at all shoots. Additional guests for each and every photo/video session must pay the regular Gardens admission fee for that day.)

Garvan Woodland Gardens shall not be responsible for any personal injury (including death) or personal or property damage or loss during any photo/video session. Photographer/videographer and/or user group shall be responsible for any damage to the Gardens’ indoor facilities or outdoor premises caused by the photographer/videographer or user group, as applicable.

Restrictions on Use of Photos or Video  

Photos and video footage shall not be used for advertisements for private entities or individuals whether commercial or non-profit unless prior WRITTEN permission has been obtained in a Photo Release from Garvan Woodland Gardens, or unless the photo(s)/video(s) have been submitted by GWG personnel with a request to use such materials in promotions (such as Arkansas Parks and Tourism).

Photos or video footage or use of the name or any identifiable structures, features, symbols, or signage of the Gardens (including, but not limited to, the Anthony Chapel, Evans Children’s Adventure Garden, bridges, and distinctive rock and water features such as waterfalls) (“GWG Marks”) is prohibited without express WRITTEN permission. The GWG Marks are the exclusive property of the University of Arkansas. Likewise, any use of photos or video of the Gardens in a manner that may associate the Gardens with any private organization or entity is prohibited without express WRITTEN permission. Use of photos or video in a prohibited manner may result in the denial of future requests to take photographs or shoot video footage or other actions to protect the rights of Garvan Woodland Gardens/University of Arkansas.

Movies and Documentaries

Requests to shoot footage for movies or documentaries will be considered on an individual basis.  The minimum fee for a full day of shooting (up to eight hours) is $5,000 plus any additional expenses, i.e., staff labor, use of Garden equipment, etc.  Depending on the number of days, locations/venues filmed and hours, fees could increase to $7,500 per day.  

A University of Arkansas Location License Agreement must be signed and accepted prior to the scheduled filming date.  

At least one week prior to the scheduled shoot, the film company must provide commercial general liability insurance and automobile liability insurance in an amount satisfactory to the University of Arkansas, and to provide a certificate of insurance naming the University as an additional insured.  In addition, the film company must maintain workers compensation coverage as required by the State of Arkansas.  

The following statement shall be included in the roll credits: “Shot on location at Garvan Woodland Gardens, a department of the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture, in Hot Springs, Arkansas.”  

Members of the News Media/Press  

All freelance journalists and active members of the news media/press are requested to notify GWG prior to entering the Gardens to obtain still photographs or video footage. Photos/video fee may be waived for working members of the news media covering Garvan Woodland Gardens sponsored events and activities, such as the annual Bridal Fair, but prior permission must be obtained from authorized GWG staff.

While in the Gardens, official media/press credentials must be visible to GWG staff at all times. If a news media member is not wearing official media/press credentials, a Photo Pass must be obtained at the GardenShop, located in the Pratt Welcome Center. Photo Pass must be worn and visible to GWG staff at all times while on Gardens grounds.

Please refer calls and questions to Garvan Woodland Gardens office 501-262-9300/800-366-4664 during regular operating hours. Before or after hours, or in the case of an emergency, contact University Relations at 479-575-5555.

Golf Cart Transportation for Photo/Video Events

Golf carts may be available as transportation to/from various locations within the Gardens. Cost is $75 per hour for use of a golf cart, and cart must be driven by a trained GWG staff member or volunteer. Carts are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance. The Gardens’ first priority is to accommodate visitors with physical challenges.