Requesting permission to shoot on private property
Once you know your rights as a photographer, where you can and where you can’t shoot, you are pretty much almost there! Keep in mind you can shoot on public property unless there are certain permits required – always do a quick google search for your predetermined location – some places are instituting a photography fee.
Spending a few minutes to search or ask for permission can avoid any fines, penalties, and embarrassment in front of clients by being kicked off a property.
See also information on Shooting Public Places!
But if you find a location that is private, you MUST have it – do your research and professional due diligence. Just like anything else in business, it is important that all responsibilities and liability are outlined in written agreements. Approaching a private property owner can be daunting, especially if not equipped with a script or written agreement. Here are some legal tips to reduce that anxiety and achieve use of the property you desire!
So read on!
So what do I even say?
Deciding to solicit someone can be scary, especially if you’re an introvert, but here are some tips to help you out:
Identify who you are – Let them know you’re a registered business (offer to show documentation).
Marketing materials – Take marketing materials with you to show what you do.
Lay out your goal – Explain your expected use of the property.
Request permission – Of course! That’s what this is all about. ASK them if you can use it! Worst they can do is say no!
Offer compensation – If they are wary, then offer them some compensation.
Follow up – Send a thank you note!
What types of things should my agreement include?
- Property description & address
- Length of agreement
- Care of premises
- Release of liability
- Ownership of photograph
How do I pick a location?
Just remember, locations aren’t always the most beautiful – get creative!
Owner name: The county/city has public records that you can request at the appropriate government buildings (County Clerk or County Recorder’s office). Some places do require a nominal fee in order to secure this information but may we well worth it.
Contract: We’ve got you covered here! Snag the attorney-written Property Use Agreement from the shop.