The National Park Service Is Currently Offering a Potential Photography Dream Job

If you're skilled in a wide variety of photographic processes, this could be an awesome opportunity

National Park Service Photography Job
From the Department of Interior Facebook Page. "Glacier National Park's phenomenal landscape was sculpted by glaciers. These massive ice flows carved valleys and shaped mountains. In 1850, there were 150 glaciers. Today, only 25 remain large enough (at least 25 acres in area) to be considered functional glaciers. Grinnell Glacier is a prime example of glacier recession. These images clearly show its retreat."

Full-time jobs in the photography industry can be hard to come by in 2015, but there’s currently a job listing going around for what sounds like a seriously sweet gig. The National Park Service is looking for a photographic specialist to handle a wide range of photography duties with a pay range of $63,722.00 to $99,296.00 per year.

Here’s the job description from the listing:

“Produces large-format photographic documentation to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the HABS/HAER/HALS permanent collection at the Library of Congress. Develops photographic guidelines and standards for traditional and born-digital photographic processes and products.  Produces exhibition quality prints for exhibition, publication, or other visual purposes.  Evaluates submissions and provides advice and assistance concerning production of photographic documentation for donations to the collection or for mitigation purposes.  Makes presentations about the collection or the programs to various public and private groups.”

There are some interesting tidbits in there. For one, they require the photographer to be able to use large format gear to shoot black-and-white images. Applicants also have to be comfortable working in a lab with photographic chemistry. Those aren't the most common skills for photographers in 2015.

This sounds like a truly awesome opportunity, but I think some folks on the internet are getting a touch carried away in romanticizing a government position. While there will probably be some Ansel Adams-like adventures to be had, there will also almost certainly be quite a bit of tedious work as well. I'm curious about the ratio of time spent cleaning tanks and maintaining gear to venturing into pristine landscapes with a large format camera slung over one shoulder. So, if you’re envisioning an endless film budget and freedom to roam the country nurturing your creative soul, you might want to be a little more realistic about it.

Anyone out there with the required skills thinking about applying? Here's the official job posting.