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Brookside Gardens: A Hidden Gem in the DMV

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor photoshoot location in the DMV, Brookside Gardens is it. With gorgeous nature settings, beautifully maintained gardens and green spaces, year-round openings, and a variety of floral backdrops to indulge yourself, there are few places better than Brookside Gardens.


photo of walking path at brookside gardens. path is lined with green, leafy trees and leads to a small walking bridge


About Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is located in Wheaton, MD. The outdoor space is typically open from sunrise to sunset, but the visitor center building hours are usually 10am-4:30pm. Entrance to the gardens is free, so is parking. For photography sessions, a permit is required. Permits typically cost $50 for groups of up to 7 people.


What Makes Brookside Gardens Special

small cherry blossoms at brookside gardens
  • There are so many backdrops to work with at Brookside Gardens. They have flower gardens, a children’s outdoor learning area that’s great for candid family shots, a stunning lake that reflects the sun beautifully at sunset, stone steps leading to a wooden gazebo, wide open fields, a walking bridge, and so much more. I recommend visiting before your shoot to experience it for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed.

  • The gardens are consistently quiet and serene. You’ll feel totally relaxed when you arrive. Even when it’s busy, the space is so vast that it still feels you have a little corner of the world to yourself.

  • Permitting is easy and so reasonably priced. They start at $50 and you can quickly apply online and get approved. If you know the DC area, you know that many of the gardens charge a premium for photography permits and take a long time to secure.

Planning a Successful Photoshoot at Brookside Gardens

young latinx woman posing for photo in brookside gardens wearing all white and waving a light purple scarf in front of the camera to hide her face slightly
  • Arrive early to scout the location. The outdoor area is wide and the options can feel overwhelming on the day of a shoot.

  • If you know you’re going to need a restroom or private area to change, plan your shoot during visitor center hours. The only restrooms available are in the visitor center.

  • Get a meal in ahead of time as no food or drink is allowed on the grounds.

  • Pets are not allowed either!

  • Keep your props to a minimum. The gardens only allow handheld props to minimize disturbance to the environment. For that same reason, they don’t allow things like balloons or confetti. These rules keep the area pristine, making it one of the best gardens for photography in the DC area.

  • The gardens are handicap accessible, but can be a little challenging to navigate if you’re not prepared to do some walking (1/4 mile or more). There are plenty of places to sit down, but bring comfortable shoes.

Ready to plan your dreamy outdoor photoshoot at Brookside Gardens? Click here to schedule your creative consultation!


Past Photo Shoots at Brookside Gardens


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Hi there, I'm Chloe

Black woman photographer, mom to an applesauce-obsessed toddler, and cheerleader for every woman who's decided to love herself unconditionally.

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