All visitors who aren’t members must buy a general admission ticket.

9am-7pm daily

Photography & Filming

Permits, Reservations, & Guidelines

Descanso Gardens welcomes artists and photographers to capture our natural beauty. Families, couples, commercial photographers, and members of the media are welcome to take photographs on our grounds according to the policies and procedures outlined below. All posed photography, both commercial and non-commercial, requires a reservation and fee.

Please review and sign our photography agreement prior to reserving a permit

Review & sign

Here’s when you’ll need a permit

  • Large group photography
  • Any professional photography
  • Professional portrait and special event photography – defined as, but not limited to: quinceañeras, engagements, family groups, graduations, weddings, maternity, etc.
  • Photography that requires additional equipment such as lights, reflectors, props, etc. is considered commercial photography.

For commercial photography inquiries, please contact the Special Events Office at or 818.949.4291.

Permit process and guidelines

  • Each permit is good on the date of issue anytime between 9am–2pm.
  • All permit holders must check in at the Visitor Center and sign the photography agreement.
  • Photography reservations can be made online by clicking on your group size below.
  • Photo booking can also be made via email at or by calling 818.949.4200.
  • Same-day photography bookings can be made on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • There are NO refunds for Photography Permits. Sessions can be rescheduled up to 48 hours from the date on the permit.

Group sizes and pricing

To reserve a permit, click on the size of your group:

GROUP SIZE 1-5 – $300
GROUP SIZE 6-10 – $400
GROUP SIZE 11-15 – $600
GROUP SIZE 16-20 – $700

For groups of 21 people or more, contact Special Events at or 818.949.4291.

Need more info?

  • Questions about photo permits – Email or call 818.949.4200.
  • Commercial photography and filming inquiries – Contact the Special Events Office at or 818.949.4291.
  • Press and social media influencer inquiries – Please make arrangements prior to visiting through the Public Relations department at 818.949.7984 or

Filming at Descanso

Week after week, Descanso Gardens stands in for locations around the globe. The varied landscapes of the Gardens provide locations for film and TV productions, commercials, and print photography.

Popular Descanso locations

The 25-acre California Live Oak Forest – with its towering 150-year-old oaks.

The Japanese Tea House and Minka – situated in the midst of a tranquil Japanese garden and linked by a traditional moon bridge over a softly flowing stream filled with iridescent koi. Azaleas, camellias, and a traditional rock garden surround this graceful, open-air structure with blue tile roof and adjacent Minka, which replicates a traditional Japanese farmhouse.

The Boddy House – once the residence of newspaper publisher E. Manchester Boddy, founder of Descanso Gardens, this 12,000-square-foot, 22-room, Regency-style mansion built in 1939 is still a showstopper. The terrace has a dramatic 180-degree view of the San Gabriel Mountains through a canopy of coast live oaks.

The 5-acre Rose Garden contains more than 3,000 roses from around the world. The informal landscape features meandering grass and earthen paths through various landscape displays. Trees, perennials, and companion plantings highlight the roses and ensure that there’s always something in bloom. In the center is the Rose Pavilion — a 3,500-square-foot, open-air, Craftsman-style structure.

The Camellia Collection the heart of Descanso Gardens. This collection is world famous, containing 34,000 camellia shrubs growing under a canopy of coast live oaks.

The Main Lawn a 1.5-acre sweep of natural open space.

The Van de Kamp Hall complex located near the main entrance to Descanso Gardens, with a Craftsman-style building and adjoining classrooms that are fully enclosed and have a separate entrance.

The Oak Woodland and the Boddy Lodge a lake-side structure with the look of a camp cabin.

The Promenade a 450-foot-long walkway flanked by a wide bed filled with seasonal horticultural displays.

The California Garden – a 9-acre home to trees and plants that are native to Southern California.

Mulberry Pond –  a sparkling hillside pond with a waterfall and colorful koi.

Parking & more info

Parking is available in the landscaped main lot and an auxiliary lot.

For further information, please contact the Special Events Office at 818.949.4291 or Special Events Office hours are Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday by appointment.

Did you Know?

In the last year, Descanso Gardens has been featured on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Voice,” and “Comedians in Cars;” as well as ads for Honda, Target, and Direct TV; and photographs in Vogue and People magazines.

Map of the gardens

See our current map for a birdseye view of Descanso and its fantastic filming location options