Permits for Filming and Photography

 

Who needs a permit?

Most filming and still photography activities require a permit. The exceptions are for news coverage and the average park visitor recording their trip — these activities do not require a permit.

Things to know

  • Special use requests for still photography are used to manage congestion in iconic areas and reduce conflicts with park operations in historic zones.

  • All special use requests will be placed on a calendar with one group in a location at a time. On the permit application you will need to designate the specific park areas you are requesting to use. This reduces unreasonable interference with park visitors and conflicts between special park use groups.

  • Permits issued for commercial filming and photography (advertising) may not imply or state endorsement by the National Park Service. Identifiable NPS equipment, uniforms, signs, buildings or insignia may not be portrayed in any way that would imply NPS endorsement.

When will filming not be permitted?

  • Damage to natural, cultural, and/or recreational resources, which cannot be mitigated, is expected.

  • Other activities are planned or expected to occur at the same time and place.

  • The request involves access to areas normally closed for reasons of resource protection or visitor safety.

  • The level of activity within the park is already so high that staff would be unavailable to work with or monitor the film crew.

  • The project includes a portrayal of activities that are not permitted within a national park.

How to apply for a permit?

Depending on the complexity of your photo shoot or filming plan, you will need to choose between two forms, the Short Filming/Photography Form and the Long Filming/Photography Form.

The Short Filming/Photography Form is acceptable for most uses.

The Long Filming/Photography Form should be used in cases where a large infrastructure is required (major motion picture filming, etc.)

What does it cost to get a permit?

Commercial filming permit applications require a $75 fee paid by check or money order made out to the National Park Service. Additional location and cost recovery fees may apply. Contact lisa_waterman@nps.gov for details.

Last updated: October 31, 2022

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