Park Authority

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
703-324-8700 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Jai Cole
Executive Director

Department Resources

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Commercial Photography in the Parks


All photographers conducting business on Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) property or in FCPA facilities must obtain a photography permit. The permit is issued to an individual and is good for one year from the date of purchase. The $25 permit can be purchased online by credit card.  

Where Can I Shoot Commercial Photography?

The annual Commercial Photography Permit covers commercial photography at over 400 parks without additional fees or reservations.

Reservations and additional fees apply only at the following sites: Green Spring Gardens, Colvin Run Mill, Sully Historic Site and Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, as follows:

Green Spring Gardens has specific criteria regarding photography at their site. For more information, Please visit their Guidelines information sheet.

  • For small-group photo sessions (total of 11 people or fewer, including photography staff) within a 2-hour period, no additional fee or site Photo Session Reservations are necessary.
  • For groups of 12-19 people (including photography staff) within a 2-hour period, a Photo Session Reservation (with additional fee) is required. The fee is $25 per hour with a two-hour minimum.
  • For large groups of 20-74 (including photography staff) within a 2-hour period, the fee is $100 for each two-hour photo session and an additional $50 per hour thereafter.
  • Reservations for 12 or more people are confirmed when the fee is paid.

The two-hour minimum was established to ensure photographers have sufficient time to prepare, conduct and pack equipment after the session. Photo Session Reservations and fees are processed by the individual sites, on a space-available basis.

The commercial photography permit does not give the holder permission to conduct classes on Park Authority property. This requires a Business Activity License. For more information, please visit the Park Use Permit page.


You must have a Parktakes Online account to make online purchases. If you have previously taken a program with the Park Authority or receive Parktakes magazine in the mail, you already have an account.

For information on how to create an account or recover your existing account, please visit Parktakes Online FAQs or call 703-222-4664, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's FREE!

Purchase Permit Online

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY PERMIT: You will need a Parktakes account to make online purchases. Log in to Parktakes, when you click "Buy Online" you will see Commercial Photography Permit in the Listing of Memberships. Buy Online

The receipt from your online transaction will serve as a temporary permit. You will receive your annual permit and plastic holder in the mail. Please carry the permit with you when conducting commercial shoots in the parks.

photography permit


Additional Information

Photography sessions must take place during normal site operation hours. FCPA does not provide staff to assist with or monitor photography sessions.

If an FCPA venue is rented for an event, then photographer permit for that event is not required.

Permit holders will automatically become part of the Photographer's Ambassador's Club which will include periodic Snapshots newsletters and information about Park Authority sites that are perfect for photo shoots, as well as opportunities to participate in photography shows, and to learn about classes and other activities related to photography. Those who wish to participate in the creation of Ambassador's Club activities and materials are asked to contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Other park use permits for shelters, business activity licenses, and more may be obtained at Park Use Permits.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us at:

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