Guided Painting and Photography Workshops CUA



This CUA authorizes road-based photography and painting workshops which include photography and/or painting instruction or facilitation. Stops at visitor facilities, services, walks on trails less than a ½ mile from trailheads or roadways, and on boardwalks/developed areas are authorized under this CUA.

General Provisions

  1. Definitions
    1. Photography Workshops: An organized group using an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold as a guided photography instructional session. Photography Workshops embrace the scenic, cultural, and/or natural resources of Yellowstone National Park to create a facilitated or instructional experience designed to provide a photography opportunity and/or improve a photographer’s skills and/or photography techniques.
    2. Painting Workshops: An organized group using an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold as a guided painting instruction session. During these sessions, visitors are provided painting and related art instruction and/or facilitated opportunities that embrace the scenic, cultural, and/or natural resources of Yellowstone National Park.
    3. Props: Sets and props means items constructed or placed on agency lands to facilitate commercial filming or still photography including, but not limited to, backdrops, generators, microphones, stages, lighting banks, camera tracks, vehicles specifically designed to accommodate camera or recording equipment, rope and pulley systems, and rigging for climbers and structures. Sets and props also include trained animals and inanimate objects, such as camping equipment, campfires, wagons, and so forth, when used to stage a specific scene. The use of a camera on a tripod, without the use of any other equipment, is not considered a prop.
    4. Models: Model means a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purpose of promoting the sale 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, placed on agency lands so that they may be filmed or photographed to promote the sale or use of a product or service. For the purposes of this part, tour participants are not considered models, if the image will not be used to promote or sell a product or service.
  2. Group size is limited to 15 participants including guides/instructors. Multiple groups must be dispersed and may not congregate at a destination.
  3. Incidental props are authorized under this CUA. Incidental props are handheld objects, or items that a person may be carrying/wearing (e.g. binoculars, photo equipment).
  4. The use of models, non-incidental props, sets, lighting, and other specialized equipment are not allowed under this authorization. Photography and videography equipment allowed in this authorization is limited to hand-held equipment and tripods (e.g. slr cameras, micro 4/3rd cameras, action cameras, point-and-shoot cameras, etc.) Holders wishing to utilize models, non-incidental props, sets, lighting, and other specialized equipment in association with this CUA may need to obtain a special use permit if their activity includes non-low-impact filming or photography. For more information please visit Film, Photography, and Sound Recording Permits.
  5. Guides and clients may not ask other visitors to move and areas may not be closed to accommodate painting and photography workshops.
  6. Impeding traffic or causing unnecessary delays in traffic is prohibited. Vehicles may not stop in the roadway to
    allow clients to take pictures or load and unload passengers.
  7. Permitted groups are sharing visitor facilities with the general public. This permit does not convey any priority use of any park areas including park trails, roadside pullouts, parking areas, picnic areas, etc. Permittees are responsible for the conduct of their clients.
  8. The use of tripods or any multi-legged stabilization device is authorized but may not interfere with the general visiting public or with the free flow of traffic on roads, boardwalks, and trails.
  9. For nighttime photography, illuminating park features and landscapes in any way for the purpose of photography is not authorized.
  10. Specific to Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley there is a 2-hour maximum use requirement for the utilization of any one pull-out or parking area. Parking spaces in pull-outs are available on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be blocked or saved.
  11. All individuals are required to comply as directed by NPS staff engaged in administering wildlife management operations or managing wildlife viewing opportunities.
  12. All guides and/or drivers are required to follow speed limits and all state traffic laws.
  13. All guides are required to hold a current CPR and first aid certification.
  14. Tours with incidental photography are more appropriate for the environmental education or road-based tour CUA. Instruction for video filming is not allowed under this permit.

How to apply for this CUA activity

  1. Complete CUA application packets should be submitted via email to
  2. Complete application packets include the documents listed below (click on the blue links below to download each document):
  3. If your application is missing any components listed above, we will inform you via the email address or phone number listed on the application. Any incomplete applications will be placed on hold until all required documentation is received.
  4. Once your application packet has been reviewed and approved, we will send the CUA, NPS Form 10-115, via the email address listed on the application.
  5. The CUA holder will then sign and return the CUA form(s) to The CUA is not final until the signed form(s) are received by our office.
  6. Submit a guide card request for any guides/employees that will be entering the park under this CUA at least two weeks prior to their first trip in the park.
  7. Complete and submit Annual Report Forms—Due by January 31st following the operating year.

Last updated: November 9, 2022

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park , WY 82190-0168



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