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Photographing on Public Lands - PPA Today

Photographing on Public Lands

Lough_Jr_Rodney_1161-3.jpgThe weather's warmer and your outdoor sessions are probably increasing. But are you as prepared as you think? When it comes to shooting on location at different public places, you might be fined if you don't have a permit. That's why PPA's Member Value and Experience department is sharing the webinar "Do You Have a Permit for That?: Photographing on Public Lands" (May 26th at 4pm Eastern), which offers information on when and how to get one.

Maria Matthews, PPA's Copyright and Government Affairs Manager, often hears about the problems photographers have with permits. "Most of what we hear from members relates to federal park land," she explains. "In these cases, it's a photographer and their clients being caught by a park ranger or other park official while in the middle of the shoot. Rangers will typically ask the photographer to produce a permit. If you aren't able to do so, they may fine you. And in the case of national park land, you're talking about a federal fine."

But that's not all. Officials might even confiscate your camera and/or film if you shoot "sensitive subject matter" (or in restricted areas) without a permit. Matthews notes that this includes protected wildlife areas and even bridges, mass transit stations, or private buildings that can be seen from highways or other public access ways. As you might imagine, many of these particular issues are due to post-9/11 security concerns.

"Our best piece of advice--and something we'll say often during the webinar--is to plan ahead and check the photography rules at the location you plan to use," adds Matthews. "Best-case scenario: you find there are no restrictions. Worst-case scenario: you find you'll need to spend a little money upfront to avoid a huge fine later on."

Get even more prepared by tuning in to "Do You Have a Permit for That? Photographing on Public Lands" (May 26th at 4pm). A little prep now can save you a lot in the end!

Image "A Moment of Reflection" © Rodney Lough, Jr., 2009 PPA Loan Collection

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on May 25, 2010 2:45 PM.

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