Photography Policy

About the Lyman Conservatory

Some of the glasshouses were erected over a hundred years ago. Their purpose has always been for the education and research of students, faculty, and visiting groups. The plant collection is recognized as a diverse group of plants valuable both from a scientific and aesthetic standpoint. In as much as we do not want to deter anyone from capturing its beauty on film, we cannot allow photographers to distract from the main purpose of the collection or interfere with those using the collection for scholarly purposes.

Bulb & Mum Show Photography

Please be respectful of other visitors when photographing the show. No tripods, monopods or other equipment that impedes visitors are allowed during regular Bulb & Mum Show hours. Members of the Friends of the Botanic Garden are permitted to photograph with tripods during members-only hours, 9:00–10:00 am each day. (Membership information).

The Botanic Garden Flickr Group

We have an official Flickr group, where the public can view and post images they have taken at the Botanic Garden. We welcome all photographers, amateur and professional, to join and share their images. 

Fees for Photography

  • There are no fees for “casual” amateur photography.
  • Photographers taking images with the intent to profit, e.g. sell images to the public, publish images in texts, build a portfolio, sell images on the Internet, etc., are required to pay a fee. 
  • Professional photographers fee: $60.00 per hour, with any portion of an hour counting as a whole hour. Advance reservations are required.


We strongly encourage reservations to be made at least three weeks in advance, although it may be possible to schedule on shorter notice. Call 413-585-2742 or email us. Please note that the Director reserves the right to deny any photography request.

Availability of the Facilities

The Lyman Conservatory is open seven days a week with the exception certain holidays. Photo sessions will be scheduled so as not to interfere with the normal use of the facility for students, faculty, staff, or scheduled groups.

Please note: The Lyman Plant House and Conservatory is NOT an available location for wedding or other commercial photography. Contact the Events Management Office, 413-585-2179, to arrange a wedding and/or wedding photography at Smith College.


Tripods are allowed on the walkways and paths only, but cannot impede the work of staff or access for visitors. Electrical or large equipment such as lights and reflectors are not allowed.

Credit and Recognition

The Botanic Garden of Smith College must receive recognition for all images appearing in press or on the Internet.

Damage to the Plant Collection

Photographers may not remove plant labels.
Photographers must pay the replacement cost of damaged plants if the director determines that the damage significantly alters the value of the specimen. At the photographer’s request, a third part, will determine the value.


The Botanic Garden is not responsible for any damages done to photographer’s equipment. Many greenhouses are equipped with intermittent fogging systems that can affect photograph quality and moisten equipment. Upon request, these systems can be turned off for up to three hours, for no additional fee. In addition, plants may deposit sticky residues if touched.