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The Botanic Garden of Smith College
Lyman Conservatory Photography Policy

Effective January 1, 2004

About the Conservatory

Some of the glasshouses of the Conservatory of Smith College 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.

Fees for Photography

There are no fees for “casual” amateur photography. However, 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 not permitted to photograph without paying a fee.

Should a professional photographer want to photograph the collections in the Conservatory, the following fee scale applies:

Fee: $60.00 per hour with any portion of an hour counting as a whole hour.

Availability of the Facilities

Unless the Director gives specific permission, the photo session must be scheduled before or after “regular” hours as not to interfere with the normal use of the facility for students, faculty, staff, or organized groups. This would require photography being completed before 8 a.m. or beginning after 4 p.m. The Conservatory is open seven days a week with the exception certain holidays.

Credit and Recognition

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


We 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

Damage to the Plant Collection:

Should a photographer damage plants he or she must pay replacement cost 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.

Please note that the Director reserves the right to deny any photography request.

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Last updated on Thursday, May 12, 2005.