Call for Photographs

We’re looking for your photos of the Common, Garden, and Mall

photogarden - 1Does the Public Garden hold a special place in your heart? Do you enjoy people-watching on the Boston Common? Do you stroll the long promenade under the leafy canopy of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall? Are you capturing these moments and vistas with your camera? If so, we need your help creating our new visual experience online!

The Friends of the Public is completely redesigning this website, and we’re looking for unique photographs of our three parks in Boston: the Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The Friends would like to highlight the people and activities that illustrate the best of Boston’s three historic parks, so send us your creative, silly, bucolic, inspiring photos!

Photo styles and subjects

The three parks the Friends maintain and protect — the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall – are filled with trees, sculpture, turf, flowers, wildlife, and people! Therefore, we are looking for a wide variety of styles: landscapes, genre, wildlife, street-style, night and long exposure, aerial, macro, and shallow depth of field images. But please, no selfies.

Please submit your best photos! Some suggested content is below:

  • Beautiful and breathtaking ‘beauty shots’ of each park (the phrase magnificent vista should come to mind)
  • Commonwealth Avenue Mall photographs, all season
  • Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common (it’s full of people, food trucks, and music!)
  • Fall foliage with the George Washington sculpture in the Public Garden
  • Macro images of tree leaves, tree blossoms, and bark
  • George Robert White Memorial fountain and surrounding landscaping (did you know we brought the water back?)
  • Aerial images of the three parks
  • Creative images of the turf (Yes, we want pictures of the grass)

Please Note: Photos capturing activities not allowed in the parks cannot be used. Feeding the ducks at the lagoon may be a popular and cute activity, but is contrary to posted rules and regulations. Others include: bike riding (in the bike lane on Commonwealth Avenue is fine), dogs off leash (except in designated areas on Boston Common), tree climbing and people in trees, and feeding any animals (sorry, squirrels and ducks!). For any questions on suitable activities, please refer to posted signs at the entrances of the parks or Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Even if one of these activities is not the subject of your image, if it appears in your image, we cannot use it.

Digital photo criteria

Images should be JPegs and the largest files possible (a long edge minimum of 2,400px and 300 ppi is ideal). For example, a banner photo will be the ratio of 1,200px by 650px. But don’t worry about cropping your photo to that size; we’ll take care of it. Horizontal shots are preferred, but larger vertical files may be suitable with cropping, or as feature photos throughout the site.

For ease, we encourage you to send smaller versions of your JPegs or pdfs for review. After review, if your photos are then selected, we’ll contact you and have you send the larger files.

Submitting your photos

Submit your digital photos via email to and include the following

Requested information in the body of the email:

  • your first and last name
  • email address
  • appropriate website url or other link (such as your Instagram feed) for photo credit
  • list the files you are submitting with the following information:
    Digital file name* (capture date, location) i.e.,
    1: janesmith1.jpg (1/1/2017, Public Garden)
    2: janesmith2.jpg (3/1/2017, Commonwealth Avenue Mall)
    3: janesmith3.jpg (5/1/2017, Boston Common)
    *Submitted files must be named with your first and last name, i.e., janesmith1.jpg

Attaching your photos:

  • Please attach your submitted photos to your email. You are welcome to send your images as smaller JPegs, in a pdf, or via a file-sharing service such as DropBox.
  • Remember to name your submitted files with your first and last name, i.e., janesmith1.jpg

We may follow up with additional questions if your photographs are selected.

By submitting a photo, you are agreeing that you have the right and permission necessary to post the photo (e.g., that you own the copyright in the photo and that you have everyone’s permission in the photo to post it). You agree that the Friends may publish the photo on our website, social media pages, or in other media and that you will hold the Friends harmless from any and all claims and expenses (including legal expenses) arising from use of the photo and/or your failure to comply with the rules set out in this disclaimer.


How many photos may I submit?
We will accept up to ten photographs per person, but if you have more you’d like to share, please let us know.

Do the photos have to be new, as in just captured this month?
No, we are looking any-weather, any-season images. Dig into your archives and submit that photo you loved at first shutter-click. These three parks are timeless, and some things really don’t change in them (sculpture, tropicals plantings, tulips) and some things do (sculpture and fountain restoration, additions to the skyline, new trees gained and old trees lost).

May I submit photos captured by a smartphone?
Yes, you may! The files may be large enough to use, so please do send photos taken on your smartphones. Just be sure they are the biggest files possible.

My photo is too large to email. How can I get it to you?
DropBox or other file-sharing service are great ways to send large files to people when email restricts you. Just be sure to email us the share link in the body of your email with your other information instead of attaching the files to your email.

Is there a deadline for sending photos?
We’d love for people to send us photos by August 31, 2017 to be part of the website launch this summer, but if you take an amazing photo after that date, please send it. We’re always looking for current photos of the parks.

Will I receive any compensation for the use of my photograph?
All photographers who contribute photographs for use on our website will be listed on the Photo Credits page (with appropriate url) and thanked for the donated use of their work.

I have other questions. Who should I contact?
Please email with any questions you have.


Photography Policy

Visitors may be filmed, videotaped, and/or photographed by an employee or contract photographer at any event sponsored by the Friends of the Public Garden. Admission to the event serves as permission for the use of images of visitors by the Friends of the Public Garden and its constituents. The Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are public places and as such photos of our guests are permitted as they would be in any public space, such as a park, trail, or roadway. However, visitors may ask – either the photographer or a Friends of the Public Garden staff member – not to be photographed. The Friends asks all photographers to respect the wishes of Friends of the Public Garden’s guests. Harassment of any visitor or infringement on their personal space is prohibited. Please contact us at if you would like your picture removed from one of our online platforms.