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Photography and Video Policies

Visitors are permitted to capture still photos or video of Garvan Woodland Gardens (GWG) to remember their visit as long as the images are solely for their personal enjoyment and not for commercial or organizational purposes.

Photography Rules and Guidelines

  • Photography is permitted only during normal operating hours. All photo sessions must conclude by 6 p.m., no exceptions. Sessions during Holiday Lights must conclude by 4 p.m.
  • Clients/models should arrive fully prepared, including attire, hair, makeup and styling. Changing in the Gardens public restrooms is not advised, as it is a public place. If a private changing area is desired, a space can be reserved and rented ahead of time.
  • Clients/models must be fully and appropriately clothed (i.e., no nudity, swim wear or lingerie).
  • Photography sessions should not disrupt visitor access or enjoyment of the Gardens, employee access or performance of duties, special events or pedestrian flow.
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens property may not be moved or disturbed. This includes, but is not limited to, standing/walking through flower beds, water features or displays; picking/cutting plant material; moving benches, containers or signs. Trees, walls, and fences are not to be climbed. Children should not be placed among the flowers for any reason and should not be encouraged to touch and handle the flowers.
  • Tripods are not allowed in flowering displays or flower beds.
  • Photography equipment should not be left in the path of visitors, which could cause fall or injuries.
  • GWG assumes no responsibility for loss, theft, or damage to any equipment or belongings of the photography party.
  • GWG reserves the right to halt any photography session deemed to be disruptive or destructive. 
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens reserves the right to deny personal photo sessions during certain days and hours of the week, depending on the season and projected times of heavy visitation, such as Holiday Lights.

Bridal/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 five 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.

Non-GWG Brides who are marrying at another venue may schedule their wedding photographs at the Gardens for a fee of $125.00 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 five people admitted at no additional charge, which includes the bride, a bride’s attendant, the photographer, and a photographer’s assistant. If the photography session participants are GWG Members, they may use their membership benefit for admission for the session. A Photography Location Fee of $65.00 will apply. 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.

In the case of inclement weather on the day of the scheduled photo session, please call the Gardens’ Wedding Department to reschedule. The two week advance scheduling requirement does not apply in cases of weather-generated cancellations/delays. The 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 season and projected times of heavy visitation, such as Holiday Lights.

Photo sessions are allowed between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. February through mid-November, and between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. from mid-November through December 31. The Gardens is closed the month of January.

Engagement & Portrait Photography

All engagement and portrait photography is subject to a photo session fee of $125.00 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 five people admitted at no additional charge, which includes the bride, the groom, the photographer, and a photographer’s assistant. If the photography session participants are GWG Members, they may use their membership benefit for admission for the session. A Photography Location Fee of $65.00 will apply. 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.

Commercial Photographers & Videography

Photography/videography within GWG to promote or sell a product or service (including promoting the photographer) falls under GWG commercial photography policies. Photographers/videographers shooting still or video footage for inclusion in a newspaper, book, magazine, catalog, model portfolio, television commercial, social media, blog, music video, etc., are charged a location fee and must be scheduled in advance. Drone photography is allowed on a limited basis and must be scheduled in advance and pay the commercial photography fee. Drones can only be flown by a properly licensed person according to FAA rules and regulations.

Contact the Marketing Department at 501-262-9606 for pricing information or to schedule a promotional or commercial shoot. Commercial filming and photography is by appointment only. Restrictions apply to hours available and type of equipment allowed in the Gardens during regular operating hours.

Fees include the photography crew only. Models and talent are $15 each. All commercial shoots require a Gardens escort for the time spent on GWG property.

Photo/Video Session Fee Schedule 

Photography Location Fee (for GWG Members photo session only) $65.00/2 hours


Bridal/Wedding (non GWG Brides/Engagement/Portrait Photography $125.00/2 hours


Commercial Photography & Videography $150.00/4 hours

$300.00/8 hours


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 $100 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.