Colorado State Parks have special rules regarding professional photographers shooting portrait sessions inside the parks.

Which parks are Colorado State Parks?  Find Out Here!

While I did not inquire about the possible enforcement and penalties you would have to pay if you don’t have the required permit, I can tell you some of the particulars of shooting there.

  1. First and foremost, you will need to fill out the special activity permit form.
  2. Email the form to the appropriate State Park Director.  You will need to contact the park to find out the contact information of the park director.
  3. Applications can take 30-90 days to be approved, so plan ahead.
  4. Once approved, you must pay a fee (currently $20 for 2010)
  5. You must also allow for 7% of your GROSS income from the session going to the park. Thus, if you charge $100 for the session, you will need to remit $7.00 additional.
  6. You must pay the park entrance fee of $6.00 per vehicle.
  7. You must allow for 7% of any print sales from that session to go back to the park.

Above, you will find seven reasons that we don’t often shoot in the Colorado State Parks.  It is simply way to much work and risk.  Imagine if we schedule a date, get the approval and then it rains.

Personally, we like to stick to the Denver Mountain Parks who have no restrictions on Professional Photographers.