The Tetons and the Snake River; photograph by Ansel Adams

Dream Job: Apply Now To Be The Next Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams roamed the Great American West photographing the country’s treasured natural areas and inspiring countless photographers in his wake. Now it could be your chance to follow in his footsteps.


Sound interesting? Well the federal government has a job for you:  Photographer, GS-1060-11/12 (1564575), Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

While the job title shrouds the potential awesomeness in cloud of bureaucracy, the position is right in line with a piece of Adam’s career. In September 1941, he contracted with the Department of the Interior to photograph National Parks, Indian reservations, and other locations for use as mural-size prints in the Department’s new building.

The duties?

“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.”

Photographing the nation’s most striking landscapes sounds like a dream for the right person. Qualified candidates need experience in large format, black and white photography, and they must be willing to travel around the country documenting lush valleys, high mountain passes, and waterfalls.

The Tetons and the Snake River; photograph by Ansel Adams
The Tetons and the Snake River; photograph by Ansel Adams

Sound like your dream job? There’s one catch… you will have to live in Washington D.C. Travel makes up 25% of the job.

Here are the requirements:

  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of large format, black and white photography.
  • Knowledge of published standards and guidelines for architectural, engineering and landscape documentation.
  • Knowledge of film and digital photographic processes and techniques.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with others.

The pay: $63,722 — $99,296 a year. Not bad for following in the footsteps of an American Icon.

Apply for the position here. But hurry, the opening closes on Dec. 15!

Eric Lemke

Eric is a contributing writer based in Bozeman, MT. An avid climber, mountain biker, backpacker, and snowboarder, he earned his degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. When not living the GearJunkie life, he can be found exploring the Montana backcountry.