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Thread: photography permits?

  1. #1

    photography permits?

    hey guys, i see a LOT of mers getting gorgeous photoshoots on public lands (such as beaches, lagoons, and national parks) and haven't heard any discussion of needing photography permits. most of the public land i can get to that would be good for a mermaid photoshoot is considered part of a national park since i'm living in nocal, and national parks require permit fees (with insurance?!?) to let you photograph on their land or risk being fined by a ranger. i had never heard of this before and assumed you could take pictures unless you were impeding flow of traffic for a movie or something (like closing a road to film) but apparently if you have a model, props, are a professional, or intend to sell, monetize, advertise, or profit off of the photos / videos in any way you need a permit. the worst part is this apparently includes portfolios!

    here is a link to the rules, which are alarmingly vague and seem to apply to most of us (most of us would be considered a model with props, lots of mers have monetized web pages / youtube channels and / or are already professional models themselves, etc).

    do any of you have experience with this? i know pro mers don't show every moment of a shoot in their vlogs but i haven't heard mention of needing photo permits to go onto a public beach - i had no idea this was a thing myself. it doesn't seem like anyone else does it, i haven't seen professional youtubers talking about monetized film permits, but mers are much more recognizable as models.

    if anyone has experience with this i'd love to hear more about it - do you get permits for shoots or just show up and hope you don't get stopped by staff?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    There's no link!

    But yes some places do require permits - usually only though if it's commercial use. Personal photos are often fine.

    I obtained permits for filming for my documentary while in Florida, and locally when I do shoots for TV they obtain permits for the places we go. But for our own personal images we often do not require anything in Canada. Permits aren't usually expensive if they cost anything at all.

    It seems ginnie springs for instance is a place that enforces permits.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod swordwhale's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmmmm I think most of us fall into the weirdly dressed tourist category, rather than professional needing permit. If you are going pro, it's a step up and you should research those permits. Calling the park office is often useful, or visitor's centers.

  4. #4
    thank you raina and swordwhale for getting back to me! i've been spending the past few days trying to research more about it but keep going in circles... some are saying this applies to vloggers or those with monetized accounts (like a youtube channel) or to those whose business involves the photos they're taking as advertisement or portfolio pieces... still others say this only applies to someone shooting a literal COMMERCIAL and that the definition of "commercial photography" doesn't apply to generalized content creators. i worried it applied to me / most of us because of this sentence:
    "Note that recording video for YouTube and other social media outlets that result in financial gain, and photography that will be used in a professional portfolio (whether for the photographer or the model/subject), is deemed commercial photography."

    sorry for forgetting the link the first time, i swear i posted it...! here it is from the CA parks department. https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30091

    all i know are wedding photographers are VERY riled up about this and that's where most of the info keeps coming from... some permit locations require up to $800 total for a shoot after all the fees have processed, and these guys are only getting around $2k a shoot!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    it's going to vary based on the place. good to contact each place individually!

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