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06-01-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
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Photography Business and the public space...need permit?


So I have always had this question in mind. Since one day i want to have a business, i wonder about taking pictures of clients and models in public space. When do i need a permit for these events, and where do i read up on them?

Take these scenarios :
- Wedding photographer, with an assistant, maybe umbrella or reflector, the couple, their friends and maybe parents, going about the public streets taking pictures and basically taking up a whole sidewalk. What do you do?
- Glamour photography, same situation, but now you have a model or a client in high class see through catwalk kind of clothing in the middle of a street...also, there are bystanders that are getting into the pictures. What do you do?
- Bikini/beach models/clients. Now you have a model wearing what maybe more revealing than your typical bikini, posing in what maybe offensive to some beach goers, who are also in your shots. What do you do? Do you need a permit?

Do you look for secluded areas, streets, abandoned buildings?
Do you go charge so much so you can fly yourself and the model to the Caribbeans or paris? Do you then still need permit there?

If anyone can answer this based on experience or have any resource to help me out, would be great

What about taking pictures of your models / clients? Do you need a permit for basically, being in the streets with umbrella, clients, assistants, lights, etc? How about being in the beaches with bikini models, or parks with fashion models? How about bystanders that gets in the shot?
Where do these photographers take their pictures? Do they need permit? Can anyone shed a light on this?

06-01-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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I want to know this too.
06-01-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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It depends on the locale. In my small town you don't have to get permits for photography unless it's a large production - and then it's not a permit, but more of you notifying the town and local law enforcement in case people call or in case they need to redirect traffic, etc.

In other places, such as in NYC, you are strongly encouraged to register and request a permit, even if you're taking photos for yourself and by yourself. It's a matter of security - you don't want to get tackled by law enforcement while you're composing your shot.

Basically, wherever you go or are planning on going, you need to research the rules of the land as they will vary from one place to the next.
06-02-2010, 06:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response.
Is there a specific city department type i should be contacting to get these clarifications in regards to the specific areas?

06-02-2010, 09:51 AM   #5
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Here's one I'm familiar with - it's for NYC: - Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting - Permits

You will not find too many cities with this level of specificity though. If necessary, best bet is to call a town or village's city hall and ask.
06-03-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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Ah very cool. Thanks, it looks like unless I am a large size production company I would not need a permit as long as my equipments are all hand held, and I dont assert ownership of a public space at the moment of usage.
If anyone has samples of how this is different in other cities, i would be interested to know
06-03-2010, 07:28 AM   #7
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talk to city hall and see if there are any weird things like tripod permits or such crap. just in case...

06-03-2010, 09:02 AM   #8
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You normally will need a permit to do any commercial business.
06-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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Also, Iwould say that in general, you need to use a fair amount of discretion if you are publicly shooting models in a attire that could be considered indecent by a mom and her kids that happen to walk by. Legal or not, that just not something that you want to deal with, and when shooting anything that borders adult and mature content, it's your job to be sensitive to your surroundings.

To add to this, it's usually best to just shoot in location without other people around. Because even aside from legality or moral issues, shoots just go better if there's no bystanders or observers. There are only so many times that you want to be asked: Are you a professional? Who are you shooting for? Is this going to be in a magazine? Is she a model? D you want to take my picture? I'm a photographer too, want to talk about gear or look at my work? Being left alone is usually best, is is most easily accomplished by not being around other people.
06-10-2010, 07:53 AM   #10
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If you are shooting photos such as you mention in National Parks in the U.S. you need permits from the Park Police... officially...
06-10-2010, 10:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
If you are shooting photos such as you mention in National Parks in the U.S. you need permits from the Park Police... officially...
It's a bummer, but that is correct.
06-15-2010, 01:07 PM   #12
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check this thread

it may interest you, but in my opinion, any time you are in a public place but the activity will disrupt the public you need a permit/local approval, as a minimum.

There may also be depending on the venu, trademark or other impacts as well depending on the likeness of skyline etc.

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