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KillerBlackbird
After waiting in my truck for the police officer to run my license after tonight's quick photo shoot, I got to thinking - how many of you wait until after hours or the weekend to shoot at a location without permission and how many of you legally ask first?

Usually the cop is cool, like tonight it turns out the cop likes to take photos so he talked to us for about 20 minutes about cameras and shooting lol. I've only had a 24 hour temporary no trespass issued once. Any horror stories from you guys?
Jacob Photo
I actually tried to secure a permit once for a group photo shoot. After multiple calls to multiple government offices (and lots of wasted time on hold), I was informed that I could download a form off the internet and fax it in. I sent it in and waited 2 days but didn't hear a response. Follow up, and nobody could find the form I sent in. "Someone must have taken it off the fax machine". Permit was never issued.

Despite having all the paperwork on us showing that we had applied for the permit + had the required insurance, I went to the location the day before the event to do some planning and was told that unless I had the issued permit, I couldn't shoot there. Oh, and it was 4pm (on a Friday, shoot was for Saturday), and no permits get issued after 3pm, aka I was out of luck.

Thankfully, the rent-a-cop gave me a map of the area and gave me 4 or 5 suggestions of places I could shoot without a permit. None were as cool as the original location, but I was determined to never deal with permits again unless I have a client who is willing to jump thru the hoops for me. I wasted several hours on the phone and got nowhere.
Nike SB'd
Depends on the client. If there's budget for locations, obviously do it legit. If it's for my own portfolio I'll usually go for it, but only in locations that I don't think will care. If I get kicked out oh well. If it's somewhere I know I'll get kicked out or busted for IP shit I'll shoot the location w/ out the car and then shop the car in later. If you're selling photos of a specifically identifiable building I don't think it's worth the risk though as they can sue the client and it ends up making you look really bad. I heard a horror story from a friend of mine who shoots for Toyota about a guy a few years ago that shot a location and Toyota ended up getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars... dude obviously hasn't gotten a gig from Toyota since. Food for thought.
Carter N
I had a gun pulled on me by a security guard of an office park where I was shooting after dark. He rolled up on us with a flashlight and told us we had to leave. My car was directly behind him and when he told us to leave I started to walk towards it/him. He then drew his weapon and told me to not approach him. I explained that I'd stand there all night but if he wanted me to leave I'd have to walk past him to my car (the only one in the parking lot besides the one I was shooting).
Daz
Bloody hell chaps.

Worst I've had is to be stop and searched by Met Police for taking some photo's of the Docklands in London. They were pretty cool and liked the photo's.

It was amusing seeing 2 police cars and a police van coming at you with blue lights flashing lol.
OHirtenfelder
I tend to do the 'official thing' 99% of the time. Sometimes when it's for a quick feature on a car and all that is needed is 1 front3/4 and 1 rear 3/4 and some details, then I'll just drive and shoot when I see the opportunity.
But if it's a proper shoot, and I have to get a result, I won't chance it with a 'sneak shoot'. Simply because I'm too worried that half way through my shoot I get chased out and have to stop and it fucks up my whole shoot.
KillerBlackbird
Good to hear Im not the only one haha.

Some spots you obviously cant just drive in like you own the place, others you can. It makes it hard to focus on what you're doing sometimes if you're constantly looking for the security guard/cop that will ruin your day.

Nike SB'd: That is some crazy shit lol. That would suck to get Toyota in a lawsuit over photos. I guess if I had a large client like you said, I'd take the extra step.
VisualEchos
I live in nowhereville USA, I do what I want, when I want. Perks of living in a small town.
Nike SB'd
QUOTE(VisualEchos @ Apr 17 2012, 03:01 PM) *
I live in nowhereville USA, I do what I want, when I want. Perks of living in a small town.


As long as doing what you want doesn't involve a beach, a huge city backdrop, state of the art architecture, mountains or a racetrack wink.gif tongue.gif
GFWilliams
Depends....
James Dean
If location is budgeted for, always ask.

Otherwise, if it has a gate, I ask, if it doesn't, I don't.
Blue Devil
so far all my shoots have been without... so it has happened that I get kicked out... the m3 shoot was done in the same parking garage than a lexus commercial you guys have probably seen. I just got lucky and was able to shoot for a few hours before getting kicked out.
Martin
In my town theres usually a gate that can't be passed if its not legit to be there. As goes for racetracks I always ask for permission and they are usually supportive.
gentleNeill
It still blows my mind that I shoot without a permit for the magazine. So far I have been in a handful of situations with cops, cameras and expensive cars.

The first was a simple downtown skyline time-lapse. A pair of cops rolled up and while still in their car asked to see a permit. Without thinking I asked to see their license and registration. They started laughing and just drove away.

Another instance a cop drove up on us and before he could say anything I started telling them how cool it would be if their cop car looked like the one I was shooting. At that point I mentioned it was a friend of mine and they moved along.

For TV shows we've always used LA grid permits which allows tripods to be used on most Los Angeles city streets. However Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and beaches have their own permits. And location agreements, which in most cases are better because you can come to an affordable agreement with the owner of property.

Again I wish our budget could afford location and city permits because it would make everything so much easier. If you live in the LA area filmla.com is a great resource.


P.S. I shoot video.
rob200sx
I think it depends on the country and whatever laws also govern such things.

I've only had one issue where security asked what I was doing, they were a bit jittery but allowed me to continue. Other than that, I've asked other places for permission and never heard back, I kind of expect that now (although no doubt I'd hear back in a flash if I said I'd like to shoot at your location and I'll pay you £XXXX) so I move on and find alternates.

I'm not sure what the laws over trespass are like in the US/RoW but in the UK it's a Civil matter, so all those "Trespassers will be Prosecuted" signs, unless it's MOD or other Government property, they can't prosecute you since a prosecution is a criminal matter. That's not to say they'll try and get you on something else (since persistence could be construed as harassment), but it'd be pretty shitty of them to do so.

In the UK we don't have to worry about Security Guards with guns either, just plenty of good locations with locked gates sad.gif

As far as shots with well known buildings in the background, with the exception of Trafalgar & Parliament square, any public space is fair game and private property can be photographed if taken from a public space.
Daz
Reading that Rob, we do have it pretty lucky over here really don't we smile.gif.
Costas
Never shot with a permit and generally get kicked out.. especially on weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays there tends to be less security working and I can usually get away with it.
Easton
I wing it
joker69
i shoot every summer in LA. i hever had a permit but i got busted several times.

1) They catched me down in the LA river. I had to delete my photos and leave the spot
2) They catched me on a beach. I had to leave
3) they catched me in the malibu canyons. They wanted to charge 500 bucks for being in the park after sunset and shooting w/o permission. After a long chat they let me roll

;-)
OHirtenfelder
^WTF!!!
The cops can charge you money for shooting somewhere? That's a load of bullshit.

The worst thing here is you get told to piss off, or someone shoots you, but that's a different story altogether shifty.gif
Jacob Photo
QUOTE(joker69 @ Apr 24 2012, 07:27 AM) *
1) They catched me down in the LA river. I had to delete my photos and leave the spot


you HAD to delete your photos? Or you told them that you deleted the photos?
Pendulum
I tried the whole "legal" way and tried to get permits. Screw it. I've actually had people from the city and state tell me "Just go during this time or on this day, and nobody will say anything." I even had a guy tell me "Just do it. If the sheriff gives you any issues, tell him I said it's ok. Here's my cell number. You can have him call me any time; day or night." The 2nd bit of advice was from a rather high up state employee.

I did get kicked out of a parking garage by a very rude and hostile Scottsdale PD officer once, though.
DonJuanMair
i heard LA was crazy, my boss right now from LA says about how nice it is here in Vegas not having to get clearance every two minutes, We usually always go through PR but sometimes theyre a pain in the ass. They have no imagination.
Daz
QUOTE(joker69 @ Apr 24 2012, 03:27 PM) *
1) They catched me down in the LA river. I had to delete my photos and leave the spot

Not sure what the law is in the states but over here in the UK the only way you can be forced to delete your pictures is if a court order is given, which never happens.
joker69
yes the copper told me to delete or i'll get a fin. so i deleted it and went to samy's camera for a restore ;-)
Pendulum
QUOTE(DonJuanMair @ Apr 24 2012, 07:00 PM) *
i heard LA was crazy, my boss right now from LA says about how nice it is here in Vegas not having to get clearance every two minutes, We usually always go through PR but sometimes theyre a pain in the ass. They have no imagination.


Yeah LA is crazy. I got booted out of a location myself, and it was public property and NOBODY was around. It was weird, actually. Here in AZ the only time I've had an issue was on private property.

QUOTE(joker69 @ Apr 25 2012, 07:31 AM) *
yes the copper told me to delete or i'll get a fin. so i deleted it and went to samy's camera for a restore ;-)



US law says that nobody can tell you to delete anything or take your memory cards without a court order. However, there are times when it's in your best interest to comply. Looks like you got the last laugh that day wink.gif
VisualEchos
QUOTE(Nike SB'd @ Apr 17 2012, 04:17 PM) *
As long as doing what you want doesn't involve a beach, a huge city backdrop, state of the art architecture, mountains or a racetrack wink.gif tongue.gif


I prefer the countryside anyway.
mopho
QUOTE(Nike SB'd @ Apr 17 2012, 12:05 AM) *
Depends on the client. If there's budget for locations, obviously do it legit. If it's for my own portfolio I'll usually go for it, but only in locations that I don't think will care. If I get kicked out oh well. If it's somewhere I know I'll get kicked out or busted for IP shit I'll shoot the location w/ out the car and then shop the car in later. If you're selling photos of a specifically identifiable building I don't think it's worth the risk though as they can sue the client and it ends up making you look really bad. I heard a horror story from a friend of mine who shoots for Toyota about a guy a few years ago that shot a location and Toyota ended up getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars... dude obviously hasn't gotten a gig from Toyota since. Food for thought.



QUOTE
I heard a horror story from a friend of mine who shoots for Toyota about a guy a few years ago that shot a location and Toyota ended up getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars... dude obviously hasn't gotten a gig from Toyota since. Food for thought.





Without knowing the specifics on this, I have to call BS to some degree. While there may have been a lawsuit that cost Toyota some money to fight off, there is no legal precedent to allow for a copyright violation or invasion of privacy violation for property. There can be a trademark violation of a property but the company would have to prove that they use the shape or style of said property as their trademark and it would have to consistently appear in all their letter heads, logos, etc..
You may recall a few years ago that the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame tried to sue a photographer over the use of their building in his posters and lost to the photographer.

That said, you can get in trouble for trespassing and it's best to get signed permission to use the property to protect your clients against fighting off potential frivolous lawsuits.


I suggest you get a book The Professional Photographers Legal Handbook by Nancy Wolff


.
franknbeans
If on private property, and you get permission from the owner... do any of you have signed documentation for this?

Being a DJ for my career, I always have contracts and was thinking about drafting up a agreement of shoot location if it is private property. (owners consent)
Nike SB'd
QUOTE(mopho @ May 2 2012, 10:11 AM) *
Without knowing the specifics on this, I have to call BS to some degree. While there may have been a lawsuit that cost Toyota some money to fight off, there is no legal precedent to allow for a copyright violation or invasion of privacy violation for property. There can be a trademark violation of a property but the company would have to prove that they use the shape or style of said property as their trademark and it would have to consistently appear in all their letter heads, logos, etc..
You may recall a few years ago that the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame tried to sue a photographer over the use of their building in his posters and lost to the photographer.

That said, you can get in trouble for trespassing and it's best to get signed permission to use the property to protect your clients against fighting off potential frivolous lawsuits.


I suggest you get a book The Professional Photographers Legal Handbook by Nancy Wolff


.


To the best of my knowledge in this particular scenario the building itself was a registered trade mark as it was high end architecture. Regardless I've been told numerous times by PR people at Toyota, Lexus and Scion to never photograph cars in front of clearly identifiable buildings because they have lost law suits in the past. I don't know why something that didn't happen would become a company wide policy. Furthermore it wasn't the photographer who got sued. Of course it's legal to take photographs of anything that can be seen from a public space. It was the client who got sued, because they were generating revenue using an IP that they didn't own. I'm sure if the property owners went after the photographer little, if anything, would have been done.

Think of it like drug paraphernalia. It's not illegal to sell someone a bong or a crack pipe, it's just illegal to smoke drugs out of them. It's the usage that infringes the law.
mopho
QUOTE(Nike SB'd @ May 10 2012, 09:37 AM) *
To the best of my knowledge in this particular scenario the building itself was a registered trade mark as it was high end architecture. Regardless I've been told numerous times by PR people at Toyota, Lexus and Scion to never photograph cars in front of clearly identifiable buildings because they have lost law suits in the past. I don't know why something that didn't happen would become a company wide policy. Furthermore it wasn't the photographer who got sued. Of course it's legal to take photographs of anything that can be seen from a public space. It was the client who got sued, because they were generating revenue using an IP that they didn't own. I'm sure if the property owners went after the photographer little, if anything, would have been done.

Think of it like drug paraphernalia. It's not illegal to sell someone a bong or a crack pipe, it's just illegal to smoke drugs out of them. It's the usage that infringes the law.



I recently spoke with a stock agency that provides background plates for cgi images with one of their biggest clients being Mercedes and I was told that 95% of their images don't have a release and they don't need one.
As I understand it, it has less to do with the usage than as to whether the building is trademarked and apparently there are only 100 or so buildings actually trademarked in the US

Copyright Tutorial: Photos Of Public Buildings - http://asmp.org/tutorials/photos-public-buildings.html

See Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. v. Gentile Productions - http://law.wustl.edu/journal/2/p517spence.pdf

As I mentioned, fighting off even a frivolous lawsuit can be expensive, which is why many companies want to have some sort of release, it's better to be safe than sorry.


.
KillerBlackbird
QUOTE(franknbeans @ May 10 2012, 11:48 AM) *
If on private property, and you get permission from the owner... do any of you have signed documentation for this?

Being a DJ for my career, I always have contracts and was thinking about drafting up a agreement of shoot location if it is private property. (owners consent)


That actually might not be a bad idea.
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