Photography permits come in all different prices and it can be really confusing for clients to understand if it is necessary or even a reasonable price. If you are planning your engagement session and considering a photography permit for the location you want photographs taken, this is the blog for you.


Most photography permits are around $50-100 an hour for local spots or flower farms. This is a huge difference in price from a larger owned permit office like the DC monuments, Ladew Gardens, Peabody Library, or Rawlings Conservatory.

Locations that are operated as businesses to tourists tend to be more expensive in the $150-350 range. I believe this is for a few reasons. The larger businesses don’t need photographers there for additional income and they probably don’t want tons of them there on any given day interrupting experiences for tourists.

So is it worth it?

So back to the initial question, is it worth it to buy a photography permit? I believe it gives you an entirely different experience. You are able to have your session in a place that is unique or sentimental to you. Plus most couples prefer not to pay an additional fee so you get a spot that much fewer locally engaged couples will have. I would only spend more than $200 on a photography permit if the location had good variety. For example, it was my first time at Ladew Gardens this week and my couple and I walked around for the entire hour taking photos at multiple spots. I would definitely recommend Ladew over and over again being that it was such a large area to get lost in.

What do I think?

As a photographer, I see tons of locations, and usually the ones that require a photography permit are worth the price. There is a reason they want you to pay, whether it is to limit the crowds, or grounds upkeep. I say go for it but choose wisely! If you have any questions about locations or permits feel free to reach out.

I have included a few photographs of places that required a permit below. Ladew Gardens was a $200 permit fee and the flower field below is Wildflower Overlook in PA which was $60 for a private field rental or $10 Cash for public fields.

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May 27, 2023

Flower Field Engagement Session Couple Sessi

Should I pay for a photography permit?

Katie Fanelli


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