Filming and Photography


“The service shall promote and regulate the use of national parks [its] purpose is to concern the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. (16 U.S.C. 1)

It is the policy of Steamtown National Historic Site to allow filming and photography when and where possible, while adhering to this mandate. Therefore, primary consideration will be given to potential resource damage and to anticipated disruption of normal public use.

The following guidelines are established by the Superintendent of Steamtown National Historic Site as they related to filming and photograph activities within the park.

Generally, permits are not required for:

  • Visitors using cameras and/or recording devices for their own personal use
  • Sound technicians and film or video news crews at breaking news events
  • National Park Service filing or photography, Department of the Interior Audiovisual Center filming, or filming/photography done pursuant to a cooperative agreement or contract.

A request for a Filming/Photography Permit may be denied if:

  • The activity requested represents a potential for harm or impact on the park’s natural, cultural, wilderness or recreational resource, may create health or safety risks, or disrupt visitor use and enjoyment.
  • It is determined that supervisory requirements for the proposed project will place unreasonable burdens on park staff, regardless of the applicant’s willingness to pay supervisory costs.
  • The Permittee fails to obtain insurance/bonding, or to agree to pay assessed cost recovery
  • The proposed filming or photography would conflict with the visitors normal use of the park
  • The request includes entry into areas closed to the general visiting public

A Filming/Photography Permit is required if:

  • *Commercial, non-profit, documentary, promotional, or educational films, including entertainment broadcasts and some student projects
  • Filming for stock footage REGARDLESS OF EQUIPMENT
  • Commercial still photography using models**, sets or props
  • Time-lapse photography if the final sequence will be used in a motion picture format for commercial purposes
  • Sound recording projects that require more than handheld equipment, more than one person or NPS oversight
  • Wedding/portrait photography/filming and for all weddings and wedding ceremonies
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant NPS oversight

*Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Under P.L. 106-206, all commercial filming requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery charges.

**Model means a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purposes of promoting sales or use of a product or service. Models include but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects such as vehicles, boats articles of clothing, and food and beverage products

To apply, please choose the one application which best describes your request:

The Filming/Photography short form should be used for basic filming/photography which require a scene summary and schedule by location of the filming activity.

The Filming/Photography long form should be used for larger projects in the filming/photography venue which involve long periods of time, a multitude of cast and crew, larger film sets, major equipment, props, special lighting, stunts, etc.

Application Fee: $50.00. The application fee is made payable to "National Park Service" and is due before your event can be reserved on our calendar. The fee is non-refundable but does not guarantee that you can have your event at Steamtown NHS.

Additional requirements: Insurance. For sample, please click here.

Last updated: March 6, 2018

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