Are you a professional or amateur photographer interested in taking photos at Historic Oak View County Park?

We thank you for your interest in choosing Historic Oak View County Park as the site of your photography session. Historic Oak View's beginnings date back to the 1830s. Today Oak View is a park for all, where everyone is welcome. Our mission is to create a park that honors the lives and labor of all those who worked on this land, telling the full history of the enslaved individuals, sharecroppers, and tenant farmers. As you conduct your photography session, we ask that you please keep in mind the complex history of the site.

Due to increasing use of the property for photo shoots we have revised our photography guidelines and procedures. All photographers conducting client-based photography must register online and obtain a permit reserving a date and time before starting their photo shoot. Registration is free.

With the start of this new policy on Sept. 1, 2018, the old paper lanyards will no longer be valid and all registration must be done online.

Through the online registration process you must agree to abide by all park rules. A copy of the rules will be available for you to review online, and you can also find them listed below. Once you register and obtain your permit, please print your permit or save it on your phone and keep it with you when you come to the park. While you will not need to check in with staff, you might be asked by park staff to show proof of permit. Failure to furnish a permit will result in being asked to end the photo shoot.


Please respect all the park rules, as well as this list of rules that we ask photographers and their clients to follow. Please review our Photography/Film Policy, which includes the following critical information: 

  • Photographer and clients/subjects will stay out of all restricted areas (including animal pens, interior of any buildings, trees). Please do not block, obstruct, or close any building entrances or doors.
  • Photographer and clients will conduct themselves in a proper and professional manner.
    • Lewd or lascivious behavior including language or photographs is prohibited.
    • Park staff has the authority to expel photographers and/or their clients from the park if the actions of the photographers and/or clients are deemed improper by park staff.
  • Photographer and clients will not impede normal park operations and programming. Programming occurs most weekdays between 10 a.m. and noon.
    • The party is not allowed to disrupt park visitors or staff.
    • No associated equipment for a photo shoot is permitted in any indoor buildings or allowed to block visitor entrances or pathways.
  • No special consideration shall be given (golf carts, security, use of park equipment, etc.)
    • No power or electrical power will be provided by Wake County Parks for the purposes of film, video, or photography projects.
  • Photographer and clients will only use the park during regular park hours.
  • Photographer and clients will not disturb any natural or man-made park features, for example:
    • Vegetation and wildlife will not be disturbed or removed. This includes the food for our goats or straw bales in the barn.
    • Decorations used must have prior approval by park management.
    • Signage will not be used.
    • Glitter or confetti must not be brought to the park as they are a possible hazard to nature and wildlife. Additionally, no helium balloon releases are allowed.
  • Photographer is responsible for familiarizing themselves and informing their clients of all park rules and regulations.
  • Wake County reserves the right to prohibit any projects which are not in the best interest of the County.


Though there is no set fee structure for general photography, donations are welcome and encouraged to continue maintenance of park facilities. Donations can be made online.

Questions? Check out our Photo Permit FAQs:

Q: How do I create my Customer Account?

A: Before registering for a permit, you must establish a Customer Account with a Login Name and Password. This is how you create an online registration account:

  1. Navigate to and click on the "Create an Account" button in the top righthand corner of the page
  2. Fill out the form for "New Account Request" completely, including all required fields, and click submit. Please submit your request only once.
  3. You will automatically receive an email after submitting your request for an account. Your account will be activated only after you have responded by clicking on the link provided in the email.

After you create your account, you will log into that account any time you wish to secure additional photo permits. Your email address is your login. Please be advised that your login is case sensitive.

Q: How do I reserve a photo permit?

A: You can reserve a photo permit designating a date and time for your photo shoot through our online reservation system.

Navigate to the park’s reservation page, which can be found here.

Make sure you are logged into your customer account (click "Sign In" in the upper right-hand corner). Details for how to create an account are listed above.

  1. You will need to first check if the date and time you desire are available. To do that, at the top of the page select the desired date, time, and number of attendees. Then click "Check Availability." After the page refreshes, scroll so you can see the 5 camera icons at the bottom of the map. If the icon is green, that means the permit is available for you to reserve. If the icon is red or black, that means there are no available permits, or the park is closed to photography. If that is the case, you will need to select a different date or time for your photo shoot.
  2. To reserve your permit, you will then need to click the green camera icon. A small window will pop up over the map called "Reservation Summary." It will ask you to name your permit (your company or client’s name is sufficient) and you will want to review the details to make sure the date, time, and attendee number is correct. If so, then click "reserve."

*Note that if you have not logged into your customer account the system will now prompt you to log in. However, be advised that once you are logged in you will have to repeat the process of checking availability and reserving your permit, so it is much easier if you begin the process already logged in.

Q: What are the rules for the new permit system?

A: The system establishes some new rules and procedures for photographers. They include:

  1. Permits are available to reserve from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., but be advised reservations must adhere to park operating hours, 8 a.m.–sundown (which varies depending on the time of year)
  2. Permit times are a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 3 hours, along with a maximum of 2 permits per photographer per day (a maximum of 6 hours total)
  3. There is a maximum of 30 attendees per reservation
  4. There is a maximum of 5 available permits per time slot. Permit times may overlap between different photographers, but that means there will only be 5 permitted photographers on park grounds at any given point in time. So, if you are having trouble securing your desired time, try shifting the time by 30 minutes to an hour to check for availability.
  5. Permits are available up to 60 days in advance
  6. Photographers must comply with the scheduled date and time of their permit. If you conduct a photo shoot outside of the designated date and/or times on your permit you will be asked by staff to end your photo shoot immediately.
  7. You must also agree to abide by all park rules to secure your permit. Park rules can be found here and our Photography/Film policy can be found here.  

Q: Who is required to have a photo permit? Does this replace the old lanyard system?

A: Anyone using the park as a backdrop for a photo shoot must have a photo permit designating a date and time for your photo shoot. This new online reservation system replaces the old lanyard system, so the old registration process is no longer valid.

Failure to furnish proof of permit (either print or digital) or failure to conform to the scheduled date and time of the permit will result in being asked to end the photo shoot immediately.

Q: How can I view a comprehensive list of my permits?

A: The "My Account" feature allows you to view a list of your upcoming permits.

  1. Sign into your account and click on the "My Account" link.
  2. Under the "Account Activity" heading, click "Historical Transaction List."
  3. A list of all your reservations and permit will come up. To view a specific permit, click the permit number.

Q: How do I change the date or time of my permit?

A: Permits cannot be edited. You would first cancel your existing permit (by contacting Oak View) and then you will need to reserve a new permit with the updated date and/or time you desire.

Q: How do I cancel my permit?

A: Contact us at 919-250-1013 or to cancel your permit.

This ensures that if you no longer need to use your permit that spot can be freed up to another photographer.


If you have any issues that these FAQs do not resolve you can contact the park at or 919-250-1013.