Photography Policy for Hidden Lake Gardens

Note: Professional photography is not permitted in the Conservatory, Visitors Center, and all other buildings.

We welcome and encourage the popularity of Hidden Lake Gardens as a destination for photographic events and memories. The following guidelines are presented to ensure the safety of our guests, visitors, and staff, as well as the protection of our facilities, gardens, and plant collections.

Photography activities such as family portraits and senior, engagement, and wedding photos are permitted at Hidden Lake Gardens (HLG). At this time, there is no fee for professional photography; however, photographers are expected to become a member of the Friends of Hidden Lake Gardens at the Sponsor level ($100). For information on memberships, please visit our Memberships page. The Sponsor level of membership does provide free admission to the photographer and up to six additional clients or guests for one full year. The membership is renewable annually.

The use of drones (unmanned aerial systems) on Hidden Lake Gardens property for photography, videography, or any other purpose is prohibited per Michigan State University policy and Ordinance 9.01 and 9.02.

All photography must take place during Hidden Lake Gardens open public hours. All public areas of HLG are available to photographers; however, all visitors must also be granted admission to all public spaces and should not be denied access due to photographic activity. Photographers and their clients are asked to please comply with the following:

  • Photographers and their clients must check in at the Gatehouse or Visitors Center.
  • Neither photographers nor subjects are permitted to enter into garden beds, seasonal decorations, or plant display areas.
  • Plants, containers, chairs, benches, signs, labels, and decorations shall not be moved to accommodate photographic activity.
  • Use of glitter, confetti, paper streamers, balloons, food, alcohol, firearms, or any other prop is prohibited in any part of Hidden Lake Gardens - both indoors and outdoors.
  • Photographers and their clients are expected to comply with any directives given by HLG staff or be subject to dismissal from HLG.

Please call 517-431-2060 if you have questions or need more information.