Photo by Don Graham. Licensed under CC 2.0

The city of Laguna Beach has cleared up some confusion about its photography permit policy. A broad interpretation of one of its two photography permits created a minor uproar recently, as many people took it to mean that the city was requiring a $100 permit for anyone taking photos. It seems now that this wasn't the intention.

As it stands, the city has two permits for two different types of photography: commercial and 'non-commercial'; the latter has a $50/hr rate with a minimum of two hours required. This meant, as the policy was interpreted, that anyone taking photos – including personal photos – in Laguna Beach were required to buy a $100 permit.

The non-commercial permit category's vague description resulted in quite a bit of public complaint, and the city has chosen to rename it as a result, leaving only talk about true commercial photography on its website's related permit page. The category was never intended to cover casual personal photography, according to a city official speaking to OC Weekly. Rather, the 'non-commercial' permit category was created as a cheaper alternative to the primary commercial permit, giving photographers an option for 'less complicated photo shoots such as engagement photos.'

The city's website still specifies two different photography permits, but one with a new name: commercial and 'professional still photo.' The latter carries the same $100/2hr minimum as the former 'non-commercial' category, explaining that this option is for 'single camera shoots such as engagement photos, wedding photos, family portraits, holiday cards, etc.' Nothing about the permit policy except the 'non-commercial' verbiage has changed. However, it is now clear that personal, non-compensated photography doesn't require a permit.

Via: OC Weekly