Professional Photography Policy

The UT Gardens in Knoxville are proud to provide an attractive venue and colorful setting that has become a popular location for all types of photography in the East Tennessee region. Considerable materials and labor are required to maintain the Gardens to the high standard that has attracted so many professional photographers to use the Gardens in their work.

As a result, the UT Gardens has implemented the following Professional Photography policy. ‘Professional Photographer’ being defined as one who charges a fee for their services.

Professional photographers who wish to take advantage of the UT Gardens’ as part of their commercial work are asked to become Friends of the UT Gardens at the $100 level or above. These funds will directly support the maintenance and upkeep of the UT Gardens. Please refer to the information on the Membership page.

Photographers who do not wish to become Friends of the UT Gardens at this level may schedule photo shoots on the grounds for a fee of $35 per hour. Non-member (commercial) photographers who bring clients to the UT Gardens without scheduling in advance, or without paying the sitting fee, may be asked to leave the grounds.

All professional photography sessions at the UT Gardens shall be scheduled no less than 48 hours in advance of the desired session. UT Gardens reserves the right to deny access to the grounds for photography purposes if a photo shoot conflicts with educational or other events. Advance scheduling is for everyone’s safety, helps prevent more than one group attempting to use an area at the same time, and allows staff to schedule irrigation times so that they don’t conflict with photography appointments. Please contact Derrick Stowell to schedule appointments at or 865-974-7151.

Photographers working with brides, bridal parties, and other guests who rent the UT Gardens for a function may coordinate a photo shoot with the renters, if desired, in advance of the event. Renters of the UT Gardens may use the photographer of their choice for the duration of the rental period specified in their rental contract.

Both photographers and subjects must stay on walkways or on grass at all times. Please do not pose, walk on, or cut through our planting beds. This includes any area covered with pine straw, even if no plants are visible at the time. Also, do not step on or move any plant labels. Photographers and subjects are also asked to respect all UT property by not climbing onto fences, trees, or other structures for photo poses or any other reason including the old truck in the power plant garden.

The attention that photographers and their clients bring to the UT Gardens is appreciated. However, substantial funds and efforts are used to ensure that the UT Gardens are an attractive, educational venue for UT faculty and students and the entire community. In order to maintain our standards and provide access to all users, it is crucial that photographers adhere to this policy.