Scott Dressel-Martin
Melissa Locker

The National Park Service is looking to pay a full-time photographer close to $100,000 a year to help take portraits of the nation’s parks. The photographer would also contribute photos to the Library of Congress’s collection of historic buildings and engineering. 

There’s no doubt that the subjects would be fascinating and varied. Photos in the Library of Congress’s HABS/HAER/HALS collection include such diverse images as Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, the Pueblo of Acoma, the nation’s remaining one-room schools, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Successful applicants for the job, which was posted recently to USAJOBS, will be able to create “large-format photographic documentation of historic American buildings and landscapes] for permanent collection at the Library of Congress.” The photographer will also produce “exhibition quality prints for exhibition, publication, or other visual purposes,” which means that someday a student could put your photo on a dorm room wall. The starting salary for a gig like this ranges from $63,722 to $99,296 a year.

The job posting warns that the job requires "physical exertion such as long periods of standing; walking over rough or rocky surfaces” as well as “recurring lifting of moderately heavy equipment and materials.” In other words, be prepared to hike through national parks with all your photo equipment in tow—an activity that many people include in their vacation plans. Apply away, but be warned: Ansel Adams is a hard act to follow. 

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