The South Bay Photography Meetup Group Message Board › photo permits for california public places

photo permits for california public places

rich c.
San Jose, CA
Post #: 33
I am planning an outdoor shoot with a model, and possibly an assistant and she has recommended several county and regional parks as possible locations.

I remember recently reading about the need for permits in certain areas... since I am shooting with a model, will be bringing some basic lighting equipment, and possibly an assistant, I want to make sure I am aware of the rules/laws/guidelines.

Anyone know of a comprehensive resource for this sort of stuff? I am looking for information on what areas require permits, how to obtain them, and how much they cost (if anything). I know this is going to vary depending on what location I choose, so if not a comprehensive resource, how does one go about researching individual locations?

Sam L.
user 2677370
San Jose, CA
Post #: 29

Just go online, or call the parks, and recreation department for the city, county, state your thinking about using. I know one time a group from here went to the The Garden in San Jose, and we were talked my friend into modeling for us, and the park rangers were on top of us asking if were professionals, and telling us we needed a permit.

A former member
Post #: 137
If you are thinking of places in San Jose, I think there's a law here that you need a permit to shoot in any public park if you are a professional. Of course, that does not stop large wedding parties from stopping by, shooting quickly and then leaving. I'm not sure if they have permits or not and I'm not sure how heavily enforced it is, but always better to make sure you're in the clear before a shoot gets ruined.
rich c.
San Jose, CA
Post #: 34
Thanks, Sam and Reese.
I guess there's no one-stop-shop for this kind of information. Bummer.
I'll be sure and try to contact the proper authorities before attempting a shoot.
Maybe if I get enough information, I will assemble my own informational directory.

A former member
Post #: 18
yo rich, YES you need a permit to shoot anywhere in santa clara. I've been kicked out of numerous places numerous time. Best to call the place ahead 35$ is usually the going price for a day permit, someplaces are even free. Still need to ask permission
A former member
Post #: 1
Check out the local film commission for the area you want to shoot. I found a page on the city of San Jose's website that goes over some of the things they want for a full out film crew (think movies.) I hope they aren't as stringent with still photography in parks. There's a bunch of name and numbers at the bottom of the page for various cities within Santa Clara County.
user 5562241
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 64
i dunno if you've already done this rich... but if not, i'd be happy to forewarn you about the conservatory of flowers in SF's golden gate park... they have a ticket booth right outside, and usually a security guard close by. they WILL approach you and ask your purpose for shooting. they will likely ask if you have a permit (all of this is based on you having semi-pro/ LARGE equipment, ANY tripod, or especially ANY lighting). they're nice about it, but pretty hard to shoot an engagement session there 'guerilla'.

i've done permit tv shoots there though, and if you have permits, they are really kewl and will even help w/ crowd control and such. otoh, if you're not interested in paying, i've not ever been hassled in the botanical gardens (strybing arboreteum) just around the corner. and i've set up three strobes and a boom w/ reflectors... even hauled a step ladder in for one shoot right past some of the gardeners! LOL :)

best of luck. enjoy. cheers.
~ david
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