Laguna Beach changes Non-Commercial photo permit rule after complaints of the public

Jun 22, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Laguna Beach changes Non-Commercial photo permit rule after complaints of the public

Jun 22, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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The news that LagunaBeach requires a permit for shooting in public places has caused a lot of stir. After strong reactions from the public, it turns out that the problem was – inaccurate choice of words.

Laguna Beach Assistant City Manager Christa Johnson told OCWeekly that the permit only applies who photographers and filmmakers who receive compensation for their work. So, the City Council simply changed the “Non-Commercial Photo Permit” to be “Professional Still Photo Permit.” You still need to pay if you want to shoot, but apparently – only if you are paid for photo or video work.

Johnson says to OCWeekly that the City Council established the system years ago: “It is my understanding that long ago the City Council created the second category of film permits at the request of members of the public who wanted a less expensive, more easily obtainable permit for less complicated photo shoots such as engagement photos.” But still, why would they call it “non-commercial” permits? Aren’t non-commercial photographers all those who take photos for their own pleasure, or without compensation?

Now, since they made it clear that only commercial photographers are obliged to pay for the permit, it makes a little more sense. Now there are no categories of “commercial” and “non-commercial” photographers, but more like two categories of commercial ones. But there’s one potential issue I still think about.

What happens with photographers who do “less complicated photo shoots such as engagement photos” without getting paid? For instance, what if I wanted to photograph my best friend and her fiance, just for fun? I would do it for free, but I would need my DSLR and at least one reflector. Would it mean I would have to apply for a permit even though I am not paid for my work? Would I get fined otherwise?

On the other hand, if people like me don’t have to pay for the permit, it again leaves space for manipulations. Then, even those who get paid for photography work can say they work for free and don’t need to pay a permit.

Either way, the permit for shooting in public places in Laguna Beach still exists. You’ll need to pay nearly $600 for the “more complex” commercial shoots and $100 for the “less complex” ones, the latter lasting maximum 2 hours. You can find the applications and more details on the City of Laguna Beach’s website.  In case you’re planning to take some shots for free and just for fun – I’d probably look for a different location if I were you. Just in case.

[via OCWeekly; cover image: Don Ramey Logan]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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8 responses to “Laguna Beach changes Non-Commercial photo permit rule after complaints of the public”

  1. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    1) ?????????????????
    2) fornicating morons
    3) so now there’s commercial commercial photographers and non-commercial commercial photographers and non-commercial non-commercial photographers?!? Huh??
    4) good luck enforcing this
    5) I shoot a pic and later on decide to sell prints of it, how you gonna handle that?
    6) like the author said, what if a commercial commercial photographer or a commercial non-commercial photographer (or was it non-commercial commercial photographer?) is saying he’s not getting paid for it and the “client” supports that story?
    7) law enforcers already don’t know or understand the law for photography in public places, do you think they’re gonna be able to handle this extra bit of law?

  2. Ivan Camilo Ospina Avatar
    Ivan Camilo Ospina

    that’s ridicoulous… don’t worry…there’s millions of more beautiful places on Earth…just for trying, nobody should go tehre now…sabotage them!

  3. Steven Naranjo Avatar
    Steven Naranjo

    Just another city trying to squeeze money out of its residents. Make it simple for commercial. If there’s more then 6 people you need a permit. That covers a family of four and the photographer and an assistant. How hard is that?

  4. lavallie Avatar
    lavallie

    Greedy little village dwellers. I’ve never been to Laguna Beach and it looks like I never will. Stupid. An invitation for every police officer there to stop you and ask if you have a permit and what you are going to do with the photo. And what about Photojournalists? Do I need a permit to photograph a fire, traffic accident, or arrest? I believe there are constitutional issues here.

  5. Lisa Davenock Avatar
    Lisa Davenock

    Nothing but a money grab, now made incomprehensible. How about just cracking down on the weekend warriors operating without business licenses or collecting taxes instead?

  6. James Wallace Avatar
    James Wallace

    Nice to see Laguna back down a bit. Now they are not alone. The Navajo Nation requires a permit and royalties of any photos taken on the reservation and are sold, even by amateurs. You have to apply in person 7 days before you intend to shoot any pictures, in person. Burning Man requires all cameras used for any photos, even portfolio work, to be registered with Media Mecca and may have to pay compensation to the ORG, registration and approval needs to be 6 months in advance of the event. No pictures may be sold of the event, even taken by private individuals (amateurs), who decide at a later date to sell the photo. Yes, so everybody tries to squeeze everybody for something. Laguna is still run by pompous fools and arrogant, self possessed imbeciles. Why I don’t live there anymore.

  7. Rick Avatar
    Rick

    For all those bashing the city for going after every available revenue stream, it costs money to keep a city up. And if they didn’t keep it up, you wouldn’t want to be taking photos there now would you….

  8. Tim Bambam Avatar
    Tim Bambam

    If this were taken all the way to the Supreme Court if it ever had to go that far it would be thrown out. Otherwise, every city in America could do the same thing. I dont believe these laws would hold up in Laguna Beach or the Navajo Nation or anywere else they would try to enforce such rules.