New Guidelines for Commercial Filming and Photography

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Date: May 7, 2015
Contact: Mike Bremer, 219-395-1644

With the warming of the weather and time for weddings and graduations drawing near, many people wish to use the spectacular backdrop of the national lakeshore as a setting for commercially produced films and still photographs. The National Park Service would like to remind everyone that Public Law 106-206 requires us to manage these activities as a commercial business operating on public property. Persons conducting any type of business on park property are required to have a written permit. The rules associated with commercial filming and photography may be viewed on the park website: 

All commercial filming/video, no matter the purpose, requires a permit and the payment of a location fee. To protect park resources from damage, the company must also pay the costs of a ranger to monitor the activity. Still photographs of weddings and graduates, as long as the equipment is limited to a camera and tripod, do not ordinarily require a permit. However, if the photographer wishes to use more elaborate equipment or brings items to use as staging, or the photos are used to promote a product or business, a permit is required.

“Sometimes the details associated with these shoots can get pretty complicated and it’s difficult for photographers to tell if they need a permit.” said Chief Ranger Mike Bremer. “We want to help folks out and try to find ways to accommodate as much as we can. We advise all professional photographers planning shoots in the park to look at the information on the website and then give us a call before coming out to the park.”

For more information please refer to the park website or call the Chief Ranger’s Office at 219-395-1644.

 Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help protect our nation’s most valuable resources for this and future generations. Learn more at

Last updated: May 7, 2015

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1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


(219) 395-1882
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