My Dream Job Combines Three Loves - Photography, Camping, & Oregon

Heceta Head State Park on the Oregon CoastI'm an avid amateur photographer who enjoys the outdoors and exploring Oregon's natural beauty when I have time.  So when I learned that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) was looking for volunteers to photograph Oregon's State Parks and campsites, I quickly submitted my interest and credentials.

Sllver Falls State Park, OregonThe OPRD Web Photography Project strives to provide online customers with photos of the 55 reservable State Parks and campsites to view when reserving sites on the Active Network Outdoor Recreation Management System.

Campers will be able to see a picture of the site they wish to reserve, rather than a small icon on a loop map.  Campers will also see photographs highlighting some of the park's most attractive features.

Cove Pallisades State Park, OregonOregon has more than 6,000 campsites in its State Park system.  My wife, father, and I have camped at several of the State Parks on the Coast and in Central Oregon.  We've slept in tents, a travel trailer, and even a yurt and rustic cabin.  We're looking forward to sleeping in a teepee at two of the State Parks in eastern Oregon, but haven't made it there yet.

Sunset Bay State Park, OregonFor several days I anxiously awaited news from OPRD on whether they would accept me as one of their volunteer Park photographers.  For me, it's an opportunity to pursue a hobby that I'm passionate about, camp in beautiful places for free, and encourage others to enjoy camping in and exploring Oregon's State Parks.  My dream "job" became a reality when Jimmy Childs with OPRD e-mailed back with details on the program and forms that I needed to complete and sign.

This is a long-term project, and I'll be one of several photographers involved.  My wife, father, and I are already planning where we'll be camping in Oregon next year.  Have camera, will travel!


Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest.  He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.

To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook.  You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.


Comment balloon 4 commentsRetired from ActiveRain • October 28 2012 06:02PM


Sounds like great fun and a terrific adventure. Enjoy. Maybe you will get real lucky and the phone won't work there so you can relax also!

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) over 7 years ago

Please keep us up to date with those beautiful photos.

Posted by Carolyn Crispin, Crispin Team Sells Branson Homes Land & Commercial (Keller Williams Tri-Lakes) over 7 years ago

Hey Rick, So thrilled for you and can't wait to see your photos.  Are they going to end up in a book?  a calendar, or online? 

Posted by Karen Deis, When In-house training is not enough! ( over 7 years ago

Bill: Many State Parks have cell phone coverage and I believe that a few even have wireless service.  I won't be using either when I'm there.  Parks are for getting away and enjoying what natures offers.

Carolyn: I'll be writing about, and including photos, of Oregon's State Parks and other beautiful places in the coming months.

Karen: These photos will be online to help campers learn more about what reservable Parks offer and what the campsites look like.  I'll also use the photos for some other projects that I have in mind.

Posted by Retired from ActiveRain over 7 years ago