If you are planning your couples, engagement, or elopement photos at the Valley Of Fire In Las Vegas CONGRATS! It’s one of my absolute favorite places to capture love stories at and one of the most unique state parks to elope at in the United States. Keep reading to make it easy for you to apply for a commercial photography permit at The Valley Of Fire.
I mean look at how gorgeous this place is! Surrounded by red rocks that are 2,000 years old in the Valley Of Fire. First, when I take photos here it feels like you aren’t even on planet earth. Plus the energy this place brings to your photos is insane. Paired with the right style and extra special touches to meet the vibes you imagine it will take your photos to the next level. Think burnt orange suits and vintage cars. *Chefs kiss*
Valley of Fire is a state park and is very strict about photographers coming in to use the land for commercial purposes. Regardless if you are not getting paid for the session, any kind of modeling and professional photography is prohibited without a permit. Again, without a permit, a park ranger will report the illegal photography and you could possibly get fined and kicked out of the park.
Even though getting a commercial photography permit at Valley Of Fire might be a bit of a process. Now that I’ve been through the process twice it’s actually pretty easy. The practice of going through the process has made it easier for me to go through the permit process for all other national and state parks! I know it’s daunting and feels intimidating to apply for a photography permit. I promise you’ll get the hang of it.
Most parks you can do a google search like “commercial photography permit in *insert park here*” and you’ll be able to find a link pretty easily!
The good news is, I already have all the info for you here for Valley of Fire!
Step 1: Download the application. You can find the application here http://parks.nv.gov/uploads/documents/2021_VOF_Photo__Filming_Application.pdf
Step 2: Fill out the application and follow the instructions carefully. When you want to apply for just a one time use permit, give yourself at least 40 days before the shoot to apply for the permit. If you want a one time use permit it is $50/day. If you want an annual permit which allows you to go in and shoot in the park anytime it is $500/year and it will work for all Nevada State Parks, not just Valley of Fire.
I highly recommend this option if you’re doing a lot of shoots in the park. It saves on a lot of hassle from going through this process over and over and might even save you money overall if you’re doing more than 10 shoots/year.
Step 3: You must have liability insurance with Valley of Fire listed as additional insured. I use Full Frame Insurance and it was pretty easy to go to my insurance website to find my policy and add an additional insured. I have to do this with every park that I obtain a permit with so you’ll find this process really easy once you do it a few times. The permit application will give you step by step instructions on exactly what to put on your liability insurance. Just make sure to follow the application.
Step 4: Email your permit application to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your liability insurance. You must pay a $25 application processing fee and in order to do that you have to call the park. The fee can be paid over the phone on Monday-Friday from 9AM-4PM with Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, or at the site location appointment. If calling, press “4” from the main message, and then “1” to speak to park staff.
Step 5: The person responding to your email will schedule a site to locate an appointment with you. Which means you’ll have to go to the park office behind the visitor center to meet with a park ranger. They will go over all the rules and regulations and you will pay for the permit in person.
Step 6: You’re done! Finally, they’ll give you a piece of paper to keep on you at all times when shooting in the park. More likely than not, they will pull you over during your session to ask to see your permit and they will be very thankful that you have one. In reality so many photographers are shooting in VOF without a permit and getting kicked out.
For the most part the rangers are incredibly nice and friendly when you have a permit! Lastly, they go above and beyond for you and will let you continue on with your session once they see your permit. Furthermore I’ve been asked multiple times for my permit, so I know they’re usually on top of it. For the most updated information regarding this permit, just email the park. They will give you step-by-step guidance on the updated guidelines for obtaining a permit.
Are you ready to start planning your own magical Valley Of Fire Elopement with a photographer who knows the in’s and out’s of Valley Of Fire? Let’s chat and bring your dream elopement in Nevada to life!
Find more inspiration from past elopements I’ve had the honor of capturing here!