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Commercial photography permits

**At the present time (June 2022), no commercial photography or film permits are being issued by the Navajo Nation due to COVID-19. When the Navajo Nation reopens at 100% we will update this page accordingly.**  

The quick definition of commercial is that you plan to sell the photo or film footage. You can be a professional photographer and shoot Antelope Canyon with no intention of selling the photographs.

Here’s an excerpt from the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation page:

Requests for commercial filming and photography in areas under the authority of the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department are received regularly.  The purpose of these Commercial Filming and Photography Policy and Procedures is to establish guidelines to be followed in the application for, review, approval/disapproval, of commercial filming and photography permits.

Navajo Parks and Recreation Department shall allow commercial filming and photography in tribal parks, recreation areas, and monument only in a manner consistent with these policies and procedures.

Navajo Parks and Recreation Department, has the authority to issue filming permits in tribal park areas pursuant to Government Services Committee resolution GSCJY-18-04, Section IV. J.

These policies and procedures apply within tribal parks, recreation areas, monuments, and other areas under the authority and supervision of the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department.  The policy and procedures also apply specifically to filming and photography undertaken for commercial purposes, i.e. for financial gain or public display and exhibition.

The following processing and monitoring fees will be assessed upon approval of your application: 

  • $100 Processing Fee for All Applications that have all the required information for one (1) person/entity. ($25 additional Processing Fee that involves requests for additional documentation or revisions.)
  • $200 Processing Fee for Weddings, Film companies or Photography workshops that involve four (4) or more people.
  • $500 Processing Fee for all “After-the-Fact” requests for photography permits. (Permits should be acquired before photo is taken).
  • $250 Land Usage Fee for all areas. (NN Code, §17.)
  • Staff/Monitoring Fees:
    1-3 days: $50/day/staff/on-site
    4+ days:  $100/day/staff/on-site
  • Other fees for vehicles, backcountry site use, and a security deposit may apply.

Interested parties should fill out this Official Application for Filming/Special Use Permit or Application for Commercial Photography Permit and submit it to the Navajo Nation Department of Parks & Recreation for final approval.  

37 Responses

  1. I will be at Monument Valley on one day and Antelope Canyon on another taking still pictures. Don’t plan on selling anything but to be safe, I would like to purchase a permit. At monument valley I am staying at the motel and driving through and taking landscape shots, however at Antelope Canyon I am on a photo tour. My question is this: So that I get it right on the first submission, do I need a vehicle permit for Monument Valley or will my standard park entrance fee be enough, and for antelope canyon it is my understanding that my entrance fee was paid with my reservation so is my only fee for there the $50 fee. So, would I be correct in assuming to take just still photos, the $50 for each location is the correct fee? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Bill,
      First off, we do not recommend driving your own vehicle in Monument Valley, especially if it’s a rental car. The 17-mile scenic loop road is unpaved, and constitutes off-road driving. If you sustain any damage in a rental car, your insurance policy will be voided, and you will be on the hook for the repair bills. Splurging for a guided tour, while it may be more expensive, will definitely be safer, and will get you to areas of Monument Valley that would be off-limits to you otherwise! Click here for a complete list of Monument Valley Tour Guides licensed by the Navajo Tribal Park authority
      Regarding commercial photography permits, per the Navajo Parks & Rec website, a $50 Processing Fee for applications that have all the required information for one person. $25 additional Processing Fee that involves photocopying for more than one person or requests for additional documentation or revisions. Additional fees apply depending on what kind of vehicle you’re driving may apply as well. For complete information on this, click on the Navajo Parks & Recreation Department’s Commercial Photography Permit Application.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. Hi my name is Andy, i just wanted to know if we are allowed to bring a small foldable Selfie Stick to take pictures with your celphone for souveneir shots. Do i need to have a permit just to take pictures.

    1. Hi Andy,
      At the moment, mono-pods and selfie sticks are allowed on general sightseeing tours of Antelope Canyon. Tripods are only allowed on tours designated as photography tours. If your photos are just going to be circulated amongst family and friends on social media and e-mail, and not sold to media outlets or art galleries for profit, then you do not need a commercial photography permit. Your tour reservation is your “permit.”
      Hope that clears things up sufficiently.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  3. I am planning to go on a tour of upper and lower antelope canyon, In the information it says no bags of any kind. can I carry my camera and trekking pole?

    1. Hi Lori,
      Camera, yes (around your neck), trekking pole, no. In Antelope Canyon, you shouldn’t need a trekking pole anyway.
      Have fun,
      Alley 🙂

  4. My husband is a professional photographer and we want to take our own kids Senior Pictures in the Canyon. We will bring photography equipment like a professional shoot but since we are not selling the images (as they are our own kids) what kind of permit and processing fees do we need to submit?

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      You will need to contact the individual tour companies to ascertain what they will require for a photo shoot of this nature.
      For Lower Antelope Canyon, the tour companies are:
      Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours (928) 606-2168 and Dixie Ellis’ Antelope Lower Canyon Tours (928) 640-1761
      For Upper Antelope Canyon, contact:
      Chief Tsosie’s Antelope Slot Canyon Tours – 928-65-5594
      Roger Ekis’ Antelope Canyon Tours – 928-645-9102
      Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours – 928-380-1874
      Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours – 928-698-3384
      Good luck and congratulations on your kids’ graduation!
      Alley 🙂

  5. Hi, I am planning to visit the upper antelope canyon during the end of this june and I was wondering if we are able to use our cellphone cameras to take pictures with no intention of selling the pictures or anything. Everything is kind of confusing and I would like to make sure we can get on with our plan or make a new one. thank you!

    1. Hi Sindy,
      You are perfectly fine to take pictures in Antelope Canyon with your cellphone camera! Your tour guide can even provide tips on how to get the best shots.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  6. I recently toured Antelope Canyon with a tour group and captured a photo with my cellphone camera, can I copyright it, or do I need permission and pay a fee?

    1. Hi Lori,
      You would only need permission to do so if you plan to sell the photo or use it commercially in any way.
      Hope that helps.
      Alley 🙂

  7. Hi
    So I assume it is OK if I want to enter my photograph in a contest where if I win, I win a prize. So I am not selling the photo of the canyon.

  8. Hi.

    I would like to ask a fellow photographers how it is with selling occasional prints or stock photo of Antelope Canyon. Does a person need the same permit as for example wedding photo shoot / images for advertisement purposes ?

  9. Hi Ryan, I’m keen on dancing and I like to take videos of my dance at every place I visit as memories. They are all for myself not for commercial, and usually are about a minute. Can I also do it in antelope canyon and do I need to fill the form as well? Thank you so much and best regards. Raffaella

    1. Dear Rafaella,
      Wow, that’s a good question! For a definitive answer, I would recommend asking the tour company you plan to use to go into Antelope Canyon directly. This may or may not be in conflict with their religious or other beliefs in regards to Antelope Canyon.
      Good luck,
      Alley 🙂

  10. So if I am just a hobbiest, and never plan on selling any images, am I still required to fill out an application for a permit. Also does this apply for Horseshoe bend as well? And I can only assume if it does apply for both locations I’d have to process an application for each location.

    1. Hi Myke,
      If you plan on taking photos for your own personal use, i.e., e-mailing to friends, sharing on Facebook and so on, you would not be required to file for a permit but as a photographer, you might want to spend the extra money to take the photography tour.
      The same goes for Horseshoe Bend: unless you’re planning to do a photo shoot for a wedding or other special function, or take photos for the purpose of making money, you are not required to apply for a permit.
      However, since Antelope Canyon is manged by the Navajo Tribe and Horseshoe Bend by the National Park Service respectively, if you were to file for commercial photography/special use permits, you would have to get two separate ones.
      Hope that helps,
      Alley 🙂

      1. hello, I am planning on going to do a pre-wedding photoshoot next week. the crew would be 5 people. and i know that id have to fill out the form. is it the form that on the bottom of this website?

        for the group of 5 how much do I have to pay in total?
        Do I just email back the form and pay it upfront/get the permit before i enter the park?

        thank you.

        1. Dear Sasha,
          Thank you for your visit and your inquiry. This is a privately owned website for informational purposes only. Because Antelope Canyon itself is under the jurisdiction of the Navajo Indian Tribe, any and all inquiries about the particulars of commercial photography permits should be directed to them. The phone number for the main office in Window Rock is (928) 871-6647. You might also try Navajo Antelope Canyon Tours at (928) 310-9458.
          Sorry we could not be of more help to you.
          Alley 🙂

      2. Hi.
        I have a folow up question 🙂 . I am too just a hobbiest, but what interests me is how it is with selling prints / or stock photos? Does photographer need for this the same permit as for example wedding photo shoot or images for advertising purposes ?

        There is a lot of confusion about this and I would like to hear some opinions 🙂 Thank you

        1. Hey Paul,
          The rule of thumb, to our knowledge, is that if you want to make money from the photographs, you need to have a Commercial Use Permit. Since Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Indian Tribal Land, you would need to get this from the Navajo Tribe. For more information, visit Navajo Nation Parks Commercial Film & Photography Permits, or phone 928-871-6647.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

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