Ottawa Country Requires Photographer Permits

Ottawa County Parks Require Photography Permits

Commercial Photographers need permits starting fall 2018

Yesterday I was interviewed by WZZM regarding the new policy to take effect in the fall of 2018 requiring commercial photographers to have a permit to use the parks for their businesses.  Link here

Since 1987, according to the Ottawa County, the use of the parks for commercial purposes, so unbeknownst to me and many others, we were violating that law which hadn’t been enforced.  Due to overzealous photographers taking advantage and the risk of liability, the parks system will be now requiring permits for paid work.

When I first heard of this on Monday, I called Ottawa County and spoke with them about the rules

Then on Wednesday, June 6,2 018, I was approached by WZZM to do an interview with them about my thoughts.  I didn’t realize that my thoughts that it was a nominal fee and I didn’t mind the permit was in the minority.

I use the parks often for personal and business use and will purchase a permit as soon as it’s implemented.  Many say that they already pay for the parks in their taxes.  This is true.  You pay for the parks for personal use.  When you use the parks for commercial purposes, I can see that it reasonable to 1.  have a permit   2. have insurance.  The insurance, in my opinion, is required regardless of whether you’re at a county park.

For those that say they are already paying taxes, let me put it to you this way:  You sell photos to clients for personal use.  Are you ok with them selling them to a stock photography site to make money off of them?  It’s a very similar concept.  The taxes we pay for the parks are for personal use.  If you want to make money off the well-kept parks, be legit and have insurance and a permit.

I hope this helps.  I will continue to use the parks because they are gorgeous!

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