Photo Attorney

Dec 19, 2008

Photography Not Allowed - 18+ and 19

As an update to the "Photography Not Allowed - 18," Tony Kinard reports that he "witness[ed] a photographer get shut down on Ocean Drive [in Miami] before he barely got his equipment out of his vehicle." Fortunately, Tony has done a few commercial shoots there without incidence. He also provided the link to Miami Beach's Film and Print permit information. Note that the permits are required only:
"for individuals or businesses wishing to conduct commercial film, television, video, photography and all other media use projects taking place on public property, at residential locations, when city services are required or when productions may have an impact on traffic/residents/city services."

Most photographers don't fall under that description, although whether you "may have an impact" is subject to interpretation. Further, the rules about photographing in residential Miami Beach state and the Film and Print Guidelines are much more restrictive, stating that "Individuals or businesses wishing to conduct commercial film, television, video and photography projects must obtain a Film & print permit from the City of Miami Beach."

A representative of the City of Miami Beach - Film and Print Division who answered the phone defined "commercial" as "photography taken for the purpose of making money." She stated that if you look like a professional photographer, the police likely will ask you whether you have a permit.

Clearly, if your photography activities disrupt city operations, then a permit requirement seems appropriate. But if your photography activites do no more harm than those of the common snapshooter, then the permit obligation seems unjustified.

As reported by the Hartford Courant, a photographer and his assistant were arrested and charged with criminal liability to commit obscenity and criminal liability to commit public indecency after taking photos