Photography in Rutgers Gardens
Everyone is welcome to take photographs of the picturesque landscapes, flowers, and wildlife at Rutgers Gardens. In fact, we encourage visitors to take casual photographs for their own personal, non-commercial use. Personal photos of family and friends in casual clothes and not involving a special photographer or a tripod does not require a permit.
However, if you are planning to take posed photographs of people, whether amateur or professional, a preordered photo permit is required (see link below). Additionally, any photography of people where a separate photographer is present or a tripod is used to photograph people requires a permit. This also includes posed photos of people in special event attire and photography related to any wedding, engagement, prom, graduation, maternity photos, ceremony, modeling, etc. Photography for product promotion is not permitted without a university permit. Video blogging (vlogging) also requires a permit.
Note, Rutgers students, staff, and faculty who want to photograph people in the Gardens for official Rutgers-related projects and university classes should contact the Gardens office for scheduling and to receive a no-cost permit.
If you are coming to the Gardens for a ceremony (wedding, proposal, etc.) a ceremony permit is required. Please see our Ceremony Permit webpage for more information.
Photo Permit Details
- Photo permits are available year-round.
- Photo permits should be requested with at least 48 hours notice (Monday-Friday).
- Photo permits are scheduled for a 2-hour increment. The latest possible end time is 4:30pm from November-March or 6:30pm from April-October. The Gardens close at 5pm November-March and 7pm April-October.
- The fee is $150 for 1-5 people or $200 for 6-15 people (photographers included in the count).
- We cannot accommodate groups of more than 15 people.
- Guaranteed parking for up to 3 cars can be arranged in advance, if requested.
Permit fees help support the planting, upkeep, and maintenance of the grounds, to keep Rutgers Gardens looking beautiful for all visitors to use and enjoy.
Photo Permit Rules
- You must have a copy of your permit with you during your photo session. Gardens employees will check that you are registered.
- Permits are only valid for the time period scheduled.
- Passengers may be dropped off near the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden prior to parking.
- All vehicles must be parked in the designated parking lots. If you request guaranteed parking, you will be directed upon arrival. If you have additional cars, they must be parked in the designated lots. If lots are full, additional cars will not be able to stay. Plan accordingly.
- Please be considerate of other garden visitors, as well as ceremonies and other photo sessions that may be taking place.
- All of the public display gardens are available for photo sessions. Do not enter staff-only areas. The Evergreen Garden, Rhododendron Garden, Bamboo Grove, Rain Garden, Small Tree Collection, Dogwoods and Display Garden provide dramatic, colorful vistas throughout the year.
- The Log Cabin and Pavilion area is not to be used for photography permits
- Walking through garden beds, standing in plantings, and climbing trees, etc. are prohibited.
- Any props or materials you bring must be taken away after your event. Any trash or debris must be taken away and disposed of properly. Help keep the Gardens looking good for everyone.
- Alcohol is prohibited in Rutgers Gardens.
- If anyone from your group does not follow the required rules and restrictions, they, or possibly your whole group, will be asked to leave the Gardens. Enforcement of rules is taken very seriously so that we can continue to provide permits and keep the Gardens open for all to enjoy!
- As the permit holder, you will be responsible for the actions and behavior of everyone in your group. You may want to share these rules with everyone in your group to make sure they understand in advance.
- Permit may be cancelled at any time by Rutgers Gardens due to changes in COVID-19 restrictions issued by the State of New Jersey or Rutgers University, in which case Rutgers Gardens will provide a full refund.
- Photo permits are non-refundable, but in the event of bad weather, customers may request to reschedule within two weeks of the original permit date. Customers must contact us prior to the scheduled date.
To request a photo permit, please fill out and submit our photo permit request form.
If you have questions or need more information, please email us.
Guidelines for videography and drones
Videos filmed at Rutgers Gardens—including filming for electronic media, videos, motion pictures, documentaries, television shows or commercials—must adhere to Rutgers University policies. For restrictions, fees, how to request permission, and other information about filming, visit the Rutgers Filming and Photography on Campus page. Drones are not permitted in the Gardens without prior approval. For information, please email us.