Portrait Services CUA

Overview

This CUA authorizes Portrait Services and may include photography, low-impact videography with handheld devices, painting, or other media within Yellowstone National Park. These services include, but are not limited to, the following: Engagement Photography, Wedding Photography, Family Portraits, School/Graduation Portraits, and Pet Portraits (must abide by park pet policy in thermal areas). Appropriate wedding permits (Weddings and Other Ceremonies) are required when photographing wedding ceremonies.

General Provisions

  1. Definitions
    • 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.
    • 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. This CUA is required for portraits of a wedding ceremony. If the wedding is taking place in the park, then a wedding permit must also be obtained by contacting the park’s Special Use Permit Office. Information on obtaining a wedding permit can be found at: Weddings and Other Ceremonies.
  3. Portrait services for a wedding ceremony are limited to the location and number of guests listed on the wedding permit.
  4. Wedding portraits may be taken at locations other than that listed on the wedding permit but are required to follow the location and group size limits described in this document.
  5. Portrait services in public, non-congested areas not listed under number 5 of this operating plan are limited to a maximum of 15 people, including photographers (or any other portrait subjects such as pets), unless otherwise stated on a special use permit.
  6. Group size for all portrait services is limited to 5 people, including the photographer, in areas of the Yellowstone Canyon between Silver Cord Cascade and Inspiration Point, between Chittenden Bridge and Upper Falls, and in any thermal area park-wide; travel in these areas is restricted to NPS designated trails and boardwalks.
  7. Portrait Services are prohibited in thermal areas and the aforementioned areas of the Yellowstone Canyon between the hours of 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., from May 15th to September 30th, to reduce visitor use conflicts in these congested areas.
  8. Portrait services are permitted in front country areas open to the public, on boardwalk areas, and on hiking trails within ½ mile of the road. Portrait services are prohibited at Boiling River.
  9. Visitors may not be asked to move and areas may not be closed to accommodate portrait services.
  10. Groups must utilize areas in a way that allows for the free flow of other traffic on roads, boardwalks, and trails. Clients participating in portrait sessions must not conflict with the public’s normal use of park areas.
  11. All individuals are required to comply as directed by NPS staff engaged in administering wildlife management operations or managing wildlife viewing opportunities.
  12. Equipment will be carried at all times, except for the use of tripods used to hold cameras. Portrait services within indoor areas that have been reserved in advance may accommodate additional equipment with prior approval from the Business and Commercial Services Office.
  13. Incidental props are authorized under this CUA. Incidental props are handheld objects, or items that a portrait subject may be carrying/wearing (e.g. a flower bouquet for a wedding portrait). 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.
  14. Non-low-impact filming is not authorized under this CUA. Filming and the use of models or props may require a commercial film permit. For Commercial Film Permit inquiries, please contact the Film Office at (307) 344-2722 or (307) 344- 2115.
  15. If you have any questions regarding your authorization, please contact the Concessions Management Office at 307-344-2320.

There are two CUA options available for offering portrait services in Yellowstone: a single-session permit and annual CUA.

 

Single-Session Portrait Services CUA

The Single Session Portrait Services CUA is a 1-day authorization to permit a single photo session within Yellowstone National Park. Each permit is $100. If you have obtained 3 or more permits (totaling $300 in application fees), you may request to be converted to an Annual Portrait Services CUA for the remainder of the calendar year. Please note there are additional financial reporting requirements and possible management fees if converting to an annual CUA.

To obtain a Single-Session Portrait Services CUA, please click here.

 

Annual Portrait Services CUA

This CUA authorizes portrait services and may include photography, low-impact videography with handheld devices, painting, or other media. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Wedding Ceremony Photography
  • Engagement Photography
  • Family Portraits and Photography
  • School/Graduation Portraits
  • Pet Portraits (must abide by park pet policy)
  1. Definitions
    • 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.
    • 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. This CUA is required for portraits of a wedding ceremony. If the wedding is taking place in the park, then awedding permit must also be obtained by contacting the park’s Special Use Permit Office. Information onobtaining a wedding permit can be found at Weddings and Other Ceremonies.
  3. Portrait services for a wedding ceremony is limited to the location and number of guests listed on the wedding permit.
  4. Wedding portraits may be taken at locations other than that listed on the wedding permit but are required tofollow the location and group size limits described in this document.
  5. Portrait services in public, non-congested areas not listed under number 5 of this operating plan are limited to a maximum of 15 people, including photographers (or any other portrait subjects such as pets),unless otherwise stated on a special use permit.
  6. Group size for all portrait services is limited to 5 people, including the photographer, in areas ofthe Yellowstone Canyon between Silver Cord Cascade and Inspiration Point, between Chittenden Bridge and Upper Falls, and in any thermal area park-wide; travel in these areas is restricted to NPS designated trails and boardwalks.
  7. Portrait Services are prohibited in thermal areas and the aforementioned areas of the Yellowstone Canyon between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., from May 15th to September 30th, to reduce visitor use conflicts in these congested areas.
  8. Portrait Services are permitted in front country areas open to the public, on boardwalk areas, and on hiking trails within½ mile of the road. Portrait Services are prohibited at Boiling River.
  9. Visitors may not be asked to move and areas may not be closed to accommodate portrait services.
  10. Groups must utilize areas in a way that allows for the free flow of other traffic on roads, boardwalks, and trails.Clients participating in portrait sessions must not conflict with the public’s normal use of park areas.
  11. All individuals are required to comply as directed by NPS staff engaged in administering wildlife management operations or managing wildlife viewing opportunities.
  12. Equipment will be carried at all times, except for the use of tripods used to hold cameras. Portrait services within indoor areas that have been reserved in advance may accommodate additional equipment with prior approval from the Business and Commercial Services Office.
  13. Incidental props are authorized under this CUA. Incidental props are handheld objects, or items that a portrait subject may be carrying/wearing (e.g. a flower bouquet for a wedding portrait). 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.
  14. Non-low-impact filming is not authorized under this CUA. Filming and the use of models or props may require a commercial film permit. For Commercial Film Permit inquiries, please contact the Film Office at (307) 344-2722 or (307) 344- 2115.
  15. If you have any questions regarding your authorization, please contact the Concessions Management Office at 307-344-2320.
 

How to apply for this CUA activity

  1. Complete CUA application packets should be submitted via email to yell_cua_admins@nps.gov.
  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 yell_cua_admins@nps.gov. 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.

Photography shoots using models, props, or filming do not qualify for a wedding or portrait photography CUA but may require a film permit. For more information on film permits, please visit Film, Photography, and Sound Recording Permits.

If you have any questions, please e-mail yell_cua_admins@nps.gov.

 

Last updated: November 16, 2022

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