Filming and Still Photography

General Information

Effective October 28, 2022, the National Park Service rescinded interim guidance that was in place during litigation regarding commercial filming and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks. Questions and answers about filming and photography are provided below.

Who Needs a Permit?

A special use permit is required for any individual, business, or organization (including nonprofit groups and educational institutions) filming for a market audience or receiving compensation associated with footage or recordings made in the park. Some examples include:


  • Commercial advertisements, influencer content promoting a product or service, feature films, entertainment broadcasts, documentaries, promotional or educational films (including non-profit and student projects)
  • Filming for stock footage (regardless of equipment or crew size)
  • Time-lapse photography if the final sequence will be used in a motion picture format for commercial purposes
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff

Still Photography

  • Still photography using models, props, sets, lighting, or other specialized equipment
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff

Still Photography Workshops

  • A still photography permit is required for all organized photography workshops.

I’m a social media influencer, do I need a permit?

Federal law requires a permit for all commercial filming, no matter the size of the crew or the type of equipment. This includes individuals or small groups that don’t use much equipment, but generate revenue by posting footage on websites, such as YouTube, TikTok, and other social media channels.

If you are unsure if your event will need a special park use permit, please contact the Park Use Coordinator: Lake Mead National Recreation Area Special Park Use Office 601 Nevada Way Boulder City, NV 89005 (702) 293-8931 e-mail

Permitting Guidance

Applications may take up to 45 business days (excluding weekends and holidays) to process. Every effort will be made to accommodate the permit application sooner. As a condition of your permit, you may be required to present proof of liability insurance in an amount set by the park.
Submitting an application with the fee does not guarantee the issuance of a permit or that the date you requested will be approved. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance. You will be notified within five business days that we have received your application. Approval or denial of the application can range from days to weeks.
All permit applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Some activities may go through a full environmental and compliance review.

Commercial Film & Still Photography Fees

All permit applications require an application fee of $150, which is non-refundable even if the application is denied.

  • The permit office accepts payment by credit card only and will not accept personal or business checks.

  • Applications will be reviewed after confirmation of payment.

All commericial filming and still photography permits are subject to cost recovery and a location fee per 54 USC §103104 and 54 USC § 100905 and may require proof of liability insurance naming the United States of America as also insured.

The NPS may recover from the permittee all agency costs incurred in processing the application and monitoring the permitted activity if the request is approved. Applicants may be responsible for reimbursing the park for all costs incurred by the park in processing the application (even if the application is denied) and monitoring the permitted activity and subsequent site restoration if necessary.

The location fee is calculated per day and must be based on the following schedule and is determined by the type of activity and the number of people on park lands associated with the permitted activity. There is no deviation from the schedule.

Commercial Filming Location Fees -

*Not required for non-commercial filming permits*

  • 1-2 people, camera & tripod only - $0/day
  • 1-10 people - $150/day
  • 11-30 people - $250/day
  • 31-49 people - $500/day
  • More than 50 people - $750/day

Still Photography Location Fees

  • 1-10 people - $50/day
  • 11-30 people - $150/day
  • More than 30 people - $250/day

How to Apply

Step #1: Complete applicable application form:
Commercial Filming and Still Photography

Step #2: Follow the directions found on the application.

Step #3: Email the completed form to:

Or mail to:

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Special Park Use Office
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005




Frequently Asked Questions


Last updated: February 28, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005


702 293-8990
Call 911 For All Emergencies (24 hours). Call 988 for Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (24 Hours). Call 702-293-8990 for Visitor and Recreation Information (Visitor Center open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7 days a week, excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day). Call 702-293-8906 for Park Business and Administration (Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday, excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day).

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