Vancouver photographer campaigns to end $400 park shoot permit

Jun 2, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Vancouver photographer campaigns to end $400 park shoot permit

Jun 2, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Vancouver photographer campaigns to end $400 park shoot permit

Starting in 2025, photographers will have to purchase a $400 permit to be able to shoot commercially in any Metro Vancouver Regional Park. The new rules will cover over 50 square miles across 23 different parks in the district. The region is allegedly introducing the permits in a bid to protect wildlife.

Professional photographer Jas Gill has launched an online petition to fight against what she calls unfair rules imposed by the Vancouver Regional District, Canada.

Jeremy Plotkin, supervisor of visitor services for Metro Vancouver parks, says the new permitting system is an important step to protect the environment. “Staff have observed some photographers … going off trails, harassing wildlife, disturbing the public with their props, blocking some of the trails,” Plotkin said.

The region have already implemented a trial scheme in Campbell Valley Regional Park. The permits are currently free, however, photographers will be required to pay from 2024. Several reports have noted photographers installing semi-permanent structures and using the park as a sort of substitute studio. The park is a popular location for wedding and portrait shoots.

Any photographer making money from their shoots will be required to obtain a permit, according to the rules. That includes wedding photography, portraiture and even stock photography.

Gill is calling the new permits “unfair,” largely because the photographer will assume responsibility for their clients under the permits. Any damage done by the client will be placed at the responsibility of the photographer, she claims. “If my customer decides to do something that might damage the park it ends up on me, and that shouldn’t be my responsibility.”

One could argue that it should indeed be the responsibility of the photographer if shooting in public places, and actually we should all have valid public liability insurance. It is unclear what the penalties would be, however and under what exact circustances.

The move to introduce permits for commercial shoots in parks is becoming more common. Last year the US National Park Service introduced somewhat baffling and draconian rules on shooting commercial video within park limits. The rules go as far as including private videos shot on cell phones which could later be uploaded and monetized on YouTube.

If you’re shooting anywhere on public land, it’s always a good idea to educate yourself on the rules and whether you need to apply for a permit or not.

[Via CBC News]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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2 responses to “Vancouver photographer campaigns to end $400 park shoot permit”

  1. Tunes Firwood Avatar
    Tunes Firwood

    TL;DR: photographer wants all of the benefits, and none of the responsibility.

  2. Rick Avatar
    Rick

    I find this to be a 100% cash grab. Tell me “how” this permit will stop people from going “off trail” into sensitive ecological areas. What would make more sense is to have park Wardens patrolling & issuing fines for those not obeying park signs, if it is truly about protecting wildlife.