Wedding Photography Permitting Plan for Grand Teton National Park Put on Hold

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Well, that’s a relief.

Wedding photographers initially thought that Grand Teton National Park would start requiring permits this season but, given the logistical effort needed to make that happen, it’s not moving forward at this time.

green pine trees near mountain under white clouds during daytime
Photo by Joe Pohle

But what about looking ahead?

That’s another matter entirely although both sides pledge to work together in the future to achieve mutual goals.

The park wanted to implement a permitting system to help control crowds yet that’s not all there is to this story; photographers required to get a permit for “portrait services” in the park would have to remit 3% of their earnings back to the park in what some are calling illegal and unconstitutional according to Alicia Calzada.

Calzada told JH News and Guide, concerning the National Park Service that they “shall not require a permit or assess a fee for still photography … if the photography takes place where members of the public are generally allowed” and that requiring such “appears [to be] disregarding Congress’ direct instruction on the matter.”

Other provisions, such as limiting the size of wedding parties permitted on the grounds of Grand Teton National Park, are more workable. JH News and Guide note that some 4 million visitors grace the park annually and, when this fact is juxtaposed against calls for “common sense” solutions, it becomes somewhat apparent why things are as fraught as they are, change or not. Everyone agrees that something should be done, but no one is quite sure what.

As we’ve reported in the past, this seems to be a common theme with photography in national parks.

What’s your opinion of permitting processes at major sites like Grand Teton National Park? Necessary or just another hurdle for photographers to navigate? Let us know in the comments.

Check out some of our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[JH News and Guide]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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