Professional Photography Program Definitions and Guidelines
NATURAL RESOURCE PHOTOGRAPHY: For the purpose of this permit system, natural resource photography or art is defined as "work that has as its subject, aspects of the natural scene, such as plants, animals or scenery." Photos that focus on people, man-made objects, or human activity, do not qualify.
SPECIAL TRAVEL PERMIT: For this system, a special travel permit allows travel with a private vehicle on the Denali Park road for a maximum of 12 days per year. Photographers or artists are limited to one additional person in his/her vehicle while using a special travel permit (total of two people in the vehicle). The permit is valid for one entry onto the restricted portion of the Denali Park road for each day authorized. Any additional terms and conditions contained in the permit must be strictly followed.
APPLICATION PERIOD: Mid-December to February 3. Applications received after February 3 will be returned.
LOTTERY DRAWING: To help resolve scheduling conflicts for high demand days, a lottery drawing is held. All eligible photographer/artist applications are entered into the lottery drawing. After March 12, any available dates will be on a first-come, first-served basis through the park Photogaphy Permits Office to those that were approved and have paid the applicable fees. A waiting list is not maintained.
OVERSIZED VEHICLE: "Oversized vehicle" is defined as a vehicle over 8 feet wide, (excluding mirrors), or over 22 feet long (including bumpers). Oversized vehicles are not allowed on the restricted portion of the Park Road under a special travel permit issued under this program.
CODE OF ETHICS: All qualifying photographers/artists will read the Code Of Ethics and must sign at the bottom of the Calendar Page in the application, agreeing to abide by those rules. This signature is required and must be submitted with the application in order for the application to be processed. Compliance with the Code of Ethics is mandatory, and violators may have their permit suspended or revoked and may face legal action.
INITIAL APPLICATION FEE: In order to help administer the Professional Photographer Program, a non-refundable $100 initial application fee must be submitted at the time of application. This fee is charged for those initially submitting proofs to qualify and for those who are renewing their qualification status every three years. U.S. funds in the form of a personal check, cashier's check/money order, or credit card will be accepted. Make checks payable to the "National Park Service". Do not send cash. Foreign currency will not be accepted. The park is not able to take online payments. If the fee is not received in full, the application will be returned.
ANNUAL APPLICATION FEE: This $50 fee applies to those who submitted proofs and were approved within the past two years. Those who qualify do not need to submit proofs.
**The bottom right corner of the Qualification and Change of Dates letters that you received the previous season has a reminder for when a renewal will be required.
PERMIT FEE: If selected for a permit, there is a required $150 fee to cover administrative costs. Payment is due upon notification of selection and must be received no later than April 13. Follow the same payment criteria as above.
If sending any fees by US Postal Service, it is recommended that you send the application and fee as "Certified Mail".
The professional photographer/artist special travel permit program is designed for professional nature photographers or professional artists who derive a significant portion of their income from this profession, and for whom access to the park by private vehicle is critical to their work. It is not for hobbyists or other individuals who sell photographs or paintings on the side.
Must sell, publish, or otherwise have viewed by the public, 24 natural resource photographs during the previous calendar year. At least 5 of the 24 must be sold or printed in a publication(s) with a circulation over 250,000. Examples of qualifying publications are magazines, newspapers, books, calendars, postcards, posters, catalogs, sketchbooks, note cards, etc. Slide presentations/lectures and special exhibits for the public can also be listed for consideration. Photos sold to individuals will not be considered unless these photos are on display. Qualifying publications for the 250,000+ criteria (in the United States) will be listed in the most recent edition of Photographers' Market published by Writer's Digest Books. Those wishing to use publications for the 250,000+ criteria not listed in Photographers' Market must provide independent proof of circulation.
Work is primarily in natural resources. Must sell, produce or otherwise have viewed by public at least 30 minutes of marketed footage per year. Uses equipment that requires private vehicle access along the Denali Park road. Must submit at least five samples of previous work.
The artist must work primarily in natural resources. The artwork must be for public display through shows, exhibits, publications, etc. The artist must derive a significant part of his/her income through the medium of natural resource subject art. Eligible artists are issued permits for the purpose of photographing subject matter that will later be produced in another art medium, or for the purpose of painting, drawing, sketching, etc, in the field.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION:
STILL PHOTOGRAPHER: Proof of publication or sale of still photographs is the responsibility of the applicant and must be included with the application. * Photographers must list a minimum of 24 samples published within the last calendar year. Included in these samples must be the five (5) photos sold or printed in publications with 250,000+ circulation. Please submit copies of the five (5) photos labeled with the date and name of publication. Internet websites, proof of stills used in other media or digital images will also be considered. Other proof is acceptance letters or copies of correspondence specifically relating to the sale or publication of photographs.
PROFESSIONAL ARTIST: The professional artist must submit proof of sale, display, exhibit, etc. of at least six (6) slides or photographs of work produced during the previous year.
VIDEOGRAPHER: The professional videographer must submit proof of sale, display or exhibit of at least 30 minutes of marketed footage produced during the previous year. Must submit at least five samples of previous work.
RETURNING SUBMISSIONS: Indicate on the application if you would like us to return your submissions.
* For those supplying proofs, this is a three-year permit. You need not submit proofs if you submitted proofs and were approved within the past two seasons. Those who secured permits based on contract are only eligible for one year.
If you are not approved or do not wish to apply for a permit, personal vehicles can be driven within the first fifteen miles of the Park Road without a permit. Beyond that, the park's bus system can be used.
Did You Know?
Warmer average temperatures over several decades have resulted in expansion of woody vegetation. If this warming trend continues, it will change Alaska's ecosystems and drastically alter the physical appearance of Denali's landscape, as treeline marches higher up the mountains.