Photographer's Guidelines

New Contributors | Regular Contributors

National Parks is an award-winning, quarterly magazine known nationwide for high-quality photography and reproduction, depending heavily on contributions from both professional and outstanding amateur photographers.

The magazine is published by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), a non-profit group dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the National Park System. While historically the magazine has covered more policy-oriented park issues, today’s editors have begun to include subjects that encompass travel, natural history, politics, conservation, and our country’s heritage and cultural diversity. The magazine presents all aspects of our National Park System, ranging from proposed new parks; threats to the park or park wildlife; new trends in park use; legislative issues; clean air and global warming; and endangered species relevant to the parks. While there will always be a need for pretty landscapes and wildlife, we’re trying hard to connect the human experience to these issues. We welcome portrait photographers who can provide a different view of the parks as we normally see them through diverse human subjects, intimate black-and-white photography, and stunning compositions that include people in the landscape.
We also expect photographers to practice the highest ethical standards, both in the field and the "dark room." Please see the International League of Conservation Photographers’ (ILCP) website for specifics.


Photographers who are new to National Parks may only submit digitally for an initial review—we prefer links to clean, easily-navigable and searchable websites, or lightboxes with well-captioned images.  We DO NOT accept and are not responsible for unsolicited prints or CDs.

The best way to break in is to send a brief, concise email message to Nicole Yin at Please include: 

  • a BRIEF description of your work (the parks you cover most, your specialties and strengths, what separates you from “the pack”)
  • a website address and contact information
  • a concise outline of a story idea (if applicable)

If there is potential for your work as magazine material, we’ll contact you.


- should, when possible, include a visible watermark or credit on the image, preferably with a full name or website
- must be submitted as quality, low-res, PC-compatible files: low-res = 72 dpi, 5”x7”
- Specify species, location, behavior; either in under “File Information” in Photoshop (PREFFERED) or in an attached contact sheet. Please do not send U.S. game farm photographs—we will not publish such photographs in National Parks.
- must have hi-res, 6MB or larger files available.

- Only acceptable if your submission includes 10 low-res images or less
- Direct editorial pitches to Nicole Yin (;

Rates are competitive with other national, nonprofit magazines of our circulation (300,000):


1/4 page or less

up to 756


1/3 page

up to 1008


Half page

up to 1512


3/4 page

up to 2268


Full page

up to 3024


1 1/3 page

up to 4032


1 2/3 page

up to 5040


Double-page spread

up to 6048





Aperture –3/4 page



Contents page – 1/2 page



Contents page – 1/8 page



Graphic reuse in illustration or design element


50. each

Web use

1st use
reuse of printed image

to be negotiated case-by-case

New contributors are required to complete a tax form and sign our terms of agreement before we can consider any submission. We send two copies of the magazine once it’s published. Invoice information will be sent then, and payment sent within 30 days of the issue’s publication.

We are often overwhelmed by the volume of submissions we receive. We wish we could use all of the quality photos that come in, but we can’t. If images or manuscripts are deemed suitable for publication, they may be held for future consideration. Holding such materials does not automatically constitute an acceptance of terms and conditions printed on delivery memos or similar correspondence.


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