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Formal Photography

Lincoln Park Zoo’s unique gardens, animal habitats, and historic features create an ideal setting for photographers who want to memorialize their special day.

While the zoo encourages visitors to take photos for personal use, location permits are required when using the zoo’s unique assets as a backdrop for formal posed photography—including for weddings, prom, graduation, professional family photo shoots, and similar events.


The zoo charges $125 per session for formal photography permits. This payment is considered a tax-deductible donation and helps keep Lincoln Park Zoo free and open 365 days a year.


Visitors who have rented space at Lincoln Park Zoo for a wedding ceremony, wedding reception, or other special occasion can take photographs or videos during their rental time at no additional fee.

Rules & Regulations

  • Payments are accepted by credit card, cashier’s check, and money order. Personal checks are not accepted.
  • All payments must be made payable to “Lincoln Park Zoo.”
  • For weekend photo shoots, signed authorization forms and payment must be received by the preceding Friday.
  • Photography taking place outside regular zoo hours may incur additional fees.
  • Shoots will be cancelled if they cause damage to zoo property or plants, injury to a zoo animal, or unreasonable disruption to other zoo guests.
  • Guests cannot bring animals, plants, or balloons into the zoo.