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Archive 2012 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness
  
 
teebat
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


There is a beach in Newport CA that I used to shoot at a lot. The permit costs $149.00,
I called the guy who I always got the permit from and left a message. He called me back and told me that after 30+ years he had been removed from his position, there is a lot of back story and it seems to be political.

Anyway, I called the person who is now in charge and she told the cost has gone up. The permit for a simple engagement session or any other photo session with less than 4 people is over $800.00 now. I had her send me the documents so I could show it to my client.

I explained to her that there are a lot of photographers that shoot on this beach with out a permit and I have lost business in the past because I have always tried to do the right thing and potential clients that I have lost have told me the such and such photog does not charge the permit fee.

The woman I spoke to told me that if they see them they will be shut down and fined. I asked her how much the fine was, she didn't like the question.

So, I was told be a "person" that was connected to Newport Beach that only the life would turn you in and if I mentioned a certain something they would not hassle me as they are not happy with the city either.

So what would you do in this situation?

Sorry for being so cryptic I am trying to protect some people.



Mar 18, 2012 at 08:09 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Sounds like $50 might solve your problem.


Mar 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Sounds like $50 might solve your problem.


Mar 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


If there is a fine, someone should be able to tell you what that fine is. But in CA there are other costs connected to fines, so if the book rate for the fine is $250 they will add on costs to 2x or 4x the total...
Be sure that she is not confusing the permit for portraits / engagements with one for commercial photography or film.
Maybe get chatty with a lifeguard and see what they say...



Mar 18, 2012 at 08:33 PM
teebat
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Micky Bill wrote:
If there is a fine, someone should be able to tell you what that fine is. But in CA there are other costs connected to fines, so if the book rate for the fine is $250 they will add on costs to 2x or 4x the total...
Be sure that she is not confusing the permit for portraits / engagements with one for commercial photography or film.
Maybe get chatty with a lifeguard and see what they say...


No I was explicit with her and she considers an engagement session to be commercial. About 7 years ago the area the permit is for was flooded with photographers, some even building sets and they were rude to the local residents and they were tromping through the tide pools. This is what the permit system they have was created to prevent.

The are photographers who have never pulled a permit and offer sessions at this beach
( little Corona Del Mar beach ) There is a nice big sign that you can't miss at the only entrance to this area. I am wondering if anyone has ever been fined. According to the person who used to give out the permits the reason for the large increase byt the city is greed.

Now you can go a few miles down the road to Crystal Cove and the permit is $65.00, it takes longer to get because you have to go through the CA parks & recreation and the CA film commision. The bad thing is you have to be off the beach at 5:00, so during the spring or summer when the weather is nice you will not be able to get a sunset shot.

I did a session at Crystal Cove in December and we got lucky with nice weather and a sunset . But there is a ranger in a truck that checked our permit 3 times that day even though is was a weekday and there was no one else on the beach.



Mar 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Wow, what a pain. I do commercial work and have found the state easier to deal with than film la when it comes to permitting. There usually is ten people or less price and a ten or more price....
On one hand due to budget cuts there are less rangers out there to check your permit but the permits are also higher in cost in order to have less photographers out there, as it can get out of hand.
$800 is absurd for a beach permit.



Mar 19, 2012 at 01:34 AM
chez
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Just the cost of doing business. Either cough up the cash and spread it over all the clients you will shoot throughout the year or find another venue. I don't see your dilemma.



Mar 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


chez wrote:
Just the cost of doing business. Either cough up the cash and spread it over all the clients you will shoot throughout the year or find another venue. I don't see your dilemma.


I don't know if the permit was yearly, or for each time you shoot there. I have only heard of one time permits, if this is a yearly thing that's different. Still high priced but might be workable.



Mar 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
teebat
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


chez wrote:
Just the cost of doing business. Either cough up the cash and spread it over all the clients you will shoot throughout the year or find another venue. I don't see your dilemma.


The dilema is most couples do not have $800.00 for a couple of hours of shooting time, this is not a yearly permit, it is for each individual shoot.



Mar 19, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Is there a way for you and some other photographers meet up with the city to see if there is a compromise? They may just want to eliminate your kind of photos being shot in their town but allowing the more lucrative commercial shoots.


Mar 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
 

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alohadave
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


If they are charging that much for permits, it's because they are getting complaints and consider it a nuisance, and want to discourage use.

Either it's worth the cost and effort, or it's not. If it's worth it, you'll need to sell it to your customers. If not, find another location.

Or, you could raise your package prices by $800 and keep shooting there with the permits.



Mar 19, 2012 at 05:07 PM
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


In my experience Laguna Beach is much easier to deal with in all things photo related than Newport Beach. Especially in the off season when the beaches are pretty empty.


Mar 19, 2012 at 07:56 PM
teebat
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


gonenorth wrote:
In my experience Laguna Beach is much easier to deal with in all things photo related than Newport Beach. Especially in the off season when the beaches are pretty empty.


Thanks I will give them a try.



Mar 19, 2012 at 09:30 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


I don't live in CA but find it hard to believe the lifeguard is the one watching for illegal photo shoots. In my area that would be the park police. I would not shoot without a permit. How could you even concentrate on what you are doing knowing a big fine could be walking up behind you. Your client is not going to pay. Totally your problem and you could end up hurting your business. I know in my area if someone shows up with a real camera they start asking for permits and the fines are big.I had a friend in the area who would shoot at the same location I got permits for and never get a permit. Difference is he had nothing to lose. No business license, does not have a tax id etc...almost a fly by night.


Mar 19, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


The Ca State Parks system is really easy to work with and the permits are very affordable. Anywhere else in Southern Ca. it's hit or miss. It all depends on what the authority is for that area, and since it's Southern Ca., they often assume every shoot is a commercial film shoot where $800 isn't even pocket change. We've had great luck shooting in county parks and recreation areas, but they are not the beach.

The bottom line is, that if you do get kicked out for shooting without a permit, they will probably just make you leave, but it's a huge professional embarrassment to you and it's a waste of time for everyone, your clients included.

One of the worst beaches for unpermitted shoots and one of the best beaches to shoot at is El Matador State Beach north of Malibu. I shot there permitted about a year ago and there must have been ten different wedding photographers there shooting the sunset. The advantage of having the permit is that, not only are you legal, you also have the legal right to ask non permitted parties to move if you need that spot.



Mar 19, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


In my experience the life guards (part of the LAFD) check the permits. Don't know about the OC.
There is a ranger with the Santa Monica district who used to work in the film biz. He gives no one a break. iI he catches you without a permit, fines will be paid. Many will just tell you to leave.



Mar 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM
chez
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Peter Figen wrote:
The Ca State Parks system is really easy to work with and the permits are very affordable. Anywhere else in Southern Ca. it's hit or miss. It all depends on what the authority is for that area, and since it's Southern Ca., they often assume every shoot is a commercial film shoot where $800 isn't even pocket change. We've had great luck shooting in county parks and recreation areas, but they are not the beach.

The bottom line is, that if you do get kicked out for shooting without a permit, they will probably just make you leave, but
...Show more

Let's put it this way. You are NOT a professional if you try circumvent paying the fees. This is just the cost of doing business. You either can afford this cost or you need to find a different venue.



Mar 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM
teebat
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


chez wrote:
Let's put it this way. You are NOT a professional if you try circumvent paying the fees. This is just the cost of doing business. You either can afford this cost or you need to find a different venue.


Thank you captain obvious.



Mar 20, 2012 at 01:13 AM
teebat
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Peter Figen wrote:
The Ca State Parks system is really easy to work with and the permits are very affordable. Anywhere else in Southern Ca. it's hit or miss. It all depends on what the authority is for that area, and since it's Southern Ca., they often assume every shoot is a commercial film shoot where $800 isn't even pocket change. We've had great luck shooting in county parks and recreation areas, but they are not the beach.

The bottom line is, that if you do get kicked out for shooting without a permit, they will probably just make you leave, but
...Show more

Yes I agree with you and I have always played by the rules. I guess as one person here said it sounds like the amount they are asking in punitive and they just don't want people using their beaches. Thank you for El Matador, I will look it up.

I just bummed that such a nice location is now lost, I will not ask a couple to pay that high of a fee for a couple of hours on the beach.



Mar 20, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Is it better to get permission or ask for forgiveness


Chez - I'm not advocating that people don't get a permit, only reporting what I see. Hmmm. Salmon Arm BC. I bet it's really beautiful up there, but I also bet there's little if any bureaucracy up there. The sad fact is that in many areas of Southern California there is no distinction made between small still photography shoots and major motion pictures, with the fee structures always going toward the film industry. Some state parks and some county parks are reasonable with fees of around a hundred dollars a shoot, but some aren't, and that's why a lot of people never bother with a permit. I shoot a lot in Montana and most of the time you just shoot, but even when I've had to get permits from the state, it's about ten times easier than here in L.A. Just sayin'.


Mar 20, 2012 at 02:00 AM
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