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04-10-2013, 06:35 AM   #1
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Park Usage Permit Fees for Pros

St Louis County, Missouri (not St Louis City) implemented a park usage fee for commercial photographers.
"It required commercial photographers to pay a permit fee of $50 a day or $200 a year and to provide proof of $1 million in liability insurance."

The county is backing down, for now, after an outcry on Facebook by pro photographers, and I assume others.
I'm not a pro, but curious if park usage fees are charged in other parts of the country, or world.

Link to article.

One sign was put, then taken down.
With an effective date of April 1, many thought it was a joke.



04-10-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by robtcorl Quote
St Louis County, Missouri (not St Louis City) implemented a park usage fee for commercial photographers.
"It required commercial photographers to pay a permit fee of $50 a day or $200 a year and to provide proof of $1 million in liability insurance."

The county is backing down, for now, after an outcry on Facebook by pro photographers, and I assume others.
I'm not a pro, but curious if park usage fees are charged in other parts of the country, or world.

Link to article.

One sign was put, then taken down.
With an effective date of April 1, many thought it was a joke.
Amusing timing on their part. Stupid rule though, and how would they enforce it, the honor system? Even someone shooting wedding photos could just be a family member or friend.
04-10-2013, 07:13 AM   #3
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Bad economy brings out the revenue agents. That seems to be happening in lots of ways. Locally we've had LOTS more speed traps then ever before as one example.

Also, just FYI, the Parks Directors answer is a bit disingenuous because he says he regulation is in line with US Parks fees and permits requirements. Here is a quote from the National parks regarding permits for still photography:

Still photographers require a permit when
1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
3. Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

Last edited by Docrwm; 04-10-2013 at 07:22 AM.
04-10-2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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Yes this practice can be found in local, state, and national instances. It is not very common, but I've read about usage fees for some venues. I believe the original intention behind permitting was to offset the civic support costs and hassle if a large commercial shoot (especially for major ad campaigns or commercial filming) required the park to shut down or limit visitor use.

This seems more like a cash squeeze. The legal definition of professional would be an interesting scene to watch tested in a courtroom.

M

04-10-2013, 09:46 AM   #5
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I've run into this sort of thing elsewhere in the world and the short answer has always been to go to another venue.

I'm also aware that some big name blockbuster movies, when scouting crews are looking for locations, they have run into this thing. Their answer was to duly switch countries, so the original country has lost out completely on all the hidden publicity benefits that the movie would have brought to them.
04-10-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
I've run into this sort of thing elsewhere in the world and the short answer has always been to go to another venue.

I'm also aware that some big name blockbuster movies, when scouting crews are looking for locations, they have run into this thing. Their answer was to duly switch countries, so the original country has lost out completely on all the hidden publicity benefits that the movie would have brought to them.
I just wonder how many commercial photographers have descended on the parks of St. Louis County and how many folks have been prevented from playing Frisbee by those evil Commercial photographers?
04-10-2013, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I knew @monochrome was a menace to society
04-10-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
i knew @monochrome was a menace to society
roflmao!

04-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
prevented from playing Frisbee by those evil Commercial photographers?
Your so right with this.
04-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I knew @monochrome was a menace to society
Must have been the 2 Q's hanging from his neck.
04-10-2013, 10:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by robtcorl Quote
Must have been the 2 Q's hanging from his neck.
No its that much more advanced K-01 in all its glory!
04-16-2013, 04:34 AM   #12
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In Pittsburgh I don't have any issues photographing a bride and groom in most parks outside, but some of the county run museums and the botanical garden require a picture fee that is completely cost prohibitive. Also, the university of Pittsburgh at greensburg has a $200 fee unless the bride and groom is an alumni and you do their paperwork 4 weeks in advance.

I really like the sign. Not only is that rule stupid, but those signs are expensive.
04-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #13
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I know of several locations here in Alberta that charge a daily rate for photography. There is one in particular that many people believe is 100% free, but I know for a fact that they actually charge $100 a day. I have never heard of anyone getting caught for it though, so I'm not sure how strictly it's enforced.

It's also necessary for pros to purchase a permit to shoot in our National Parks, and each park requires it's own permit. That is, Banff and Jasper charge separate fees. I believe this covers wildlife and landscape photogs who intend to sell their images, not just wedding and portrait shooters. The park permit doesn't necessarily cover townsites within the park boundaries either.
04-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #14
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This is common in many of the local and county parks in our area.
It is typically imposed for wedding shoots, Quinceaneras etc.
Daily rates are reasonable and for pros the cost should be included in the price of the shoot to the client.
I don't see it as an issue.
As a taxpayer if I am footing the bill for the maintenance of the park I would want others to pay for the privilege to shoot there and make money off of it.
Signs similar to the one in the OP are posted, and enforcement is via park staff.
They will direct you to the office to make the payment. Or you and your models can leave.
04-17-2013, 05:08 AM   #15
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And what if I am in the park shooting photos of a model for my or her portfolio on a trade basis? No money being made and I'm not doing anything different from any other non-professional visitor. If uncle Bob can take photos of his nieces and nephews why can't I take photos of models? Point of fact, my models are generally much better behaved and less likely to damage park property than your average 13 year old, so I could argue that my shoot will put less stress on the park than uncle Bob.

p.s. Does Dominos Pizza have to pay a fee to deliver a pizza to a family picnicking in the park? They are a professional company potentially making money using the park too.
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