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Become An Email Ninja — 6 Tips For Cutting Through the Noise

chasejarvis_how to becomeAnEmailNinja

Hey everybody, Kate here from Chase’s Production crew. Just like many of you, I use email as a daily communication tool in my job. A flood of incoming emails to address and a long list of outgoing messagesis usually on my daily list of “to dos”. Wrangling this beast of inbound and outbound communication is a necessary evil. As such, I have been working hard at becoming an Email Ninja.

I especially love this article from Tim Ferriss’ blog: 10 Steps to Become an Email Ninja. The art of being an Ninja is a great model — highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. These tips are excellent for helping manage the fire hose of INBOUND messages headed for your inbox. But it is not enough to stop there. Developing your ninja skills for the outbound messages – throwing “ninja stars” [emails] as I call them – will help you be more efficient in your work day. No matter what your profession.

As everyone becomes more and more savvy with regards to managing their inboxes and better at saying no, you must find ways to cut through the noise and get your message across and get them to say yes. It is harder and harder to cut through the chatter, so be disciplined. Simplify if you wish to be heard. Fight fire with fire…

6 Tips for Throwing Ninja Stars with Accuracy:

_use descriptive subject lines. Help the reader quickly identify the purpose of your email. And think ahead, think like a ninja: make it easy to search for your email later.

_what’s the purpose? If it is not totally clear from your subject line, make sure that you make your point and make it fast. Really busy people often decide if an email is important/relevant from the preview window.

_keep it short + concise: People do not have time to sort through a long email. It likely won’t happen. Respect their time and they will have more respect for you. Check out these tips. While this is presented as a way to save time as you triage your inbox, it is also a smart technique to challenge yourself to be concise.

_do you need action? Don’t bury your request. Make it clear what the reader of the email needs to do.

_help them help you. Other ninjas process quickly, so don’t make them work too hard to get you what you need. Do you need a meeting? Propose 3 possible times so they can just pick one and be done. Do you need a form signed? Attach the form. Are you sharing information? Format the email so that it is easy to read and organized so they can find and reference the information they need.

_be nice, polite and grateful. This is just because you should. And you’ll be surprised how often this gets missed. It really goes a long, long way to spend the extra ten seconds to include some short + sweet social graces. Ps + Qs!

Remember – the email ninja is: highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. Oh, and polite.

____________
As a bonus, and since we all love ninjas, here’s a video of a photo shoot we did a few years back featuring…you guessed it: Email Ninjas.

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 8 Mission Critical Tips for being on the Road [Part 4 of 4]

Chasejarvis_Ballet_travel tips

So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 4 of 4: You’ve made it! So now what? Let’s dance!

Part 4: 8 Mission Critical Tips for Being on the Road

1. Kick Jet Lag’s Ass. If you are traveling a long way, start sleeping at the right times for your destination during your flight. If you can land late afternoon or evening, that will help you stay up until bedtime. If you land early, getting some fresh air and exercise during the day really helps. There are over the counter, naturopathic remedies that help with the adjustment or your doctor may prescribe something.

2 $$$$$$. Make sure to have some cash with you in the LOCAL currency and know how, where and when to get more. Know the exchange rate. Keep in mind that your credit card company may charge a transaction fee for each and every international charge – there are cards that do not charge international fees that may be worth it for your trip. Plan ahead if you will need to pay contractors.

3.Be smart + be aware. Tourists and people with gear can be targets for crime. Travel low profile.  Avoid opening up all of your gear in public. Take official taxis. Don’t carry too much cash on you. Don’t leave your bags unattended. 

4. Contacts. Keep phone numbers of local contacts and important numbers with you.

5. Keep your receipts and make more notes than usual. When you return, your credit card statement will list your charges in your home currency and may be in a different language. This can be very difficult to reconcile with your statement later – trust me!!! There are websites that allow you to compute historical exchange rates that can help with this process as well. On our last trip, I used this site: www.oanda.com/currency/converter

6. Valuables. Lock essentials in the security boxes in your hotel.

7. Be a good ambassador. Remember that when you are traveling, you are a representative of your country and a guest in the country where you are visitor. Be kind and respectful, hire locally, buy a souvenir from a local artist, give back whenever you have the opportunity and make attempts to speak the local language (even a few words like please and thank you go a long way).

8. HAVE FUN! Sometimes travel can be tiring and even stressful, but what an amazing opportunity… Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Baie dankie and happy trails, Kate
___
Check out the last three posts in this series:
10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel – getting there
12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production – tips BEFORE traveling
12 Tips for Travel Packing – tips on what to take

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 12 Mission Critical Tips for Travel Packing

Pack it up!


So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 3 of 4 on how to pack like a boss. Check out the last two posts in this series:

10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel – getting there
12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production – tips BEFORE traveling

Now it is time to hit the road… to bring or not to bring? That is the question. More is certainly not better, but you have to have everything you need… so where is the magic line?

12 Tips for Travel Packing

1. Make sure you have your ID and all necessary documents!

2.Pack early. This will give you time to think about what you may have forgotten and purchase anything needed. Keep a packing list by your stuff so you can keep adding to it and check off packed items.

3. Limit what you bring. Bring the essentials and backups of those essentials. Leave those fancy shoes and other not-so-useful stuff at home.

4. Carry on ALL mission critical items. No exceptions. When you pack a bag to check, pretend you may never see it again. You should have a working photography kit to get you through in a pinch as well as one spare outfit, your technology, any medications, extra pair of prescription glasses/contacts lenses and anything. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes while you travel… just make sure they are easy to remove for airport checkpoints.

5. Follow the rules when you are flying. Check with your airline and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for packing your baggage. You don’t want to be stuck with extra charges or overweight bags. Carry-ons have lots of limitations including pocket knives and liquids (3-ounce bottles only in a quart size zip top bag).

6. Clothing essentials. Pack appropriately for the local weather and bring layers. Some essential items to consider are wrinkle-resistant, comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, versatile pieces that can cover a range – totally caj~ to fancy, and a coat.

7. Your gear. Check out this video all about packing photography gear:

8. Carnet for your gear? If you are traveling internationally with lots of gear, you may need to go through an expeditor and get a carnet (passport for your gear – try www.atacarnet.com).

9. Bring backups for critical gear items. You may have to leave your underwear to bring an extra battery charger.

10. Charge everything before you leave. That means your computer, your phone, your camera batteries. Confirm you have all of your chargers and extra batteries for when you arrive.

11. Electrical. If you are traveling internationally, bring the correct power adapter. Each country has its own unique plug configuration, so be sure to read the label for a list of where the power adapter will work. Apple makes a World Traveler Adapter Kit for an Apple products, which is convenient. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B/apple-world-travel-adapter-kit
Secret tip: we like to bring a power strip that we can plug into a transformer with the local plug so you can have many open outlets… this can save on space.
CAUTION: Be VERY careful about voltage so you don’t fry your gear or your self. Read the small print on power strips to make sure they can handle the voltage.

12. Take a production kit with you. There are some essentials that can be a pain to try to track down. Depending on where you go and what you are doing the kit varies, but here are some of my favorite go-to items:
_Mobile Wi-Fi. I fell in love on our latest trip to Cape Town! Up to 5 devices can remotely connect the internet?!?! Heaven: http://bit.ly/JZVID4
_a local phone + number
_cash… yes, people still use it. and it can often unlock doors or “make it rain” when in a pinch.
_a tiny printer + ink http://bit.ly/Ogv3Bj
_a tiny scanner http://bit.ly/LBkacJ
_hard copies of your lists, call sheets, paperwork, etc in a production notebook
_sharpies and pens
_sunscreen
_talent releases
_some way of organizing your receipts
_travel book/language guide
_power strip

I’d love to know what goes in your location production kit or in your bags! Leave your ideas below.

In the next post of this series, I’ll have some tips for your arrival. Stay tuned.
Best, Kate

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production


So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 2 of 4 on how to make it happen. In my last post, I shared 10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel, which focused on getting you there. Now it’s time to dive in to your production.

12 tips for your Destination Production

1. Plan early! I am a firm believer that, with time, you can solve most production challenges. So, do yourself an enormous favor and allow yourself as much time as possible. Here are some of your very first to do items when you pull the trigger on traveling.

2. Do your homework. Educate yourself about where you are going. The more you know, the better off you will be. Read, talk to people, get recommendations, look at maps. Cast the net wide and gather information about the city, getting around, the lay of the land, time change, phone and internet, the kinds of electrical plugs needed, language, currency, local customs.
Great sources of info:
_US Department of State Travel Site: http://1.usa.gov/d3pk4n
_local film commission where you are headed. They promote and regulate filming in their area and can provide info on services, permit process, locations.
_www.productionhub.com a production directory & guide

3.Budget to Build in some Contingency Funds. Whether you are working for a client or doing personal travel or work, you should make a budget and try to stick to it BUT also allow for a buffer. When you are on the road, opportunities come up, problems need to be solved and things will change. It’s best to plan on it and know how much wiggle room you have.

4. Get in with the locals. Local production companies are the bomb!!! A local production company can give you access to knowledge and resources that would take literally years to accumulate. These folks are solid GOLD and can help you create amazing work and save tons of money and work!!! Two of my favorite international production companies with which I’ve had the pleasure to work are:
_One League in South Africa. Celeste and Marli are the best! www.oneleague.co.za
_The Search in New Zealand. Phil rocks! www.thesearch.co.nz

5. Production Details. Whether you are working with a local production company or you are on your own, there are a number of shoot logistics to consider early on. If it is possible, a scouting trip in advance is a great way to recon a new city. You can meet people in person, start building relationships, check out locations and really dig into the local specifics. Here are some to do items that you or the production company may be tackling:
_visas
_crew bookings
_casting
_talent bookings
_location sourcing
_film office communications
_permits
_dining/catering
_daily schedules
_ground transportation

6. Keep your options open. If our team has a hard decisionchoices on any matter, for example 2 different locations or 2 different talent, I always try to reserve or hold both and cancel one later. It’s a much smarter option than being stuck with no options. Sometimes, to keep an option, you may need to pay a ‘kill fee’ or cancellation fee to be able to hold the dates as you get closer to the shoot. Balance that benefit against your budget.

7. Make up your mind. This is the polar opposite to the above, but when you can, don’t waste your time, money and energy. Just make sure that you have buy off from the client to lock in the details.

8. Be a stickler for the details. When filling out any official forms, spend the extra time up to do it correctly the first time (it may be your only chance!). The most common reasons for delays on location permits, visas and other official paperwork have to do with missing information or lack of organization. Read and reread ALL directions. Call and ask questions. Browse the website for additional information. Proofread your application. Have someone else proofread it too.

9. Make sure people know how to reach you. An auto responder for your email and/or a custom voice mail while you are gone are both great ways to keep people informed. When you are not available, it is best to be able to provide a backup contact. Let people know the preferred way to reach you while you are gone: email, call, text, hotel.

10. Phone/Internet. Talk to your provider to see about plans that will cover international travel for calling, texting and data. You may even want to buy a local rechargeable phone/sim card and even a mobile wifi device like this one: http://bit.ly/JZVID4.

11. Back yourself up… just in case.
_Leave copies of your itinerary, passport and visas with family or friends.
_Locate the closest gear rental company and retailer before you travel.

12. Be flexible. As you are scheduling your activities, allow enough space in your plans to allow for organic opportunities to emerge.

In the next post of this series, I’ll have some packing specific tips for packing, for yourself and for your gear. Stay tuned. Until then, be well! Kate

Traveling for Photo + Video Shoots [10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo + Video Travel]

Photo: Erik Hecht

So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. I’ve been thinking a lot about shooting (for work or play) on the road. Whether you are traveling 100 miles or 10,000 miles, whether on a budget or with a budget, here are some tips I’ve learned over the past 10 years producing photo shoots away from home. This is part 1 of a 4 part series on Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots: Booking your Travel.

10 tips for booking your photo/video travel.
Everything can seem important when you decide that you are headed out on a trip, but nothing is more important than making sure you can actually get to where you are need to go. These tips will get you headed in the right direction:

1. Confirm that all travel docs are valid. Whether you’re traveling abroad or just to the next state over, certain docs are likely required… ID, driver’s license, passport, carnet (passport for gear) or other required documents. Make sure yours are up to snuff.

2. Research your destination. You can dive deep later, but initially you need to find out the essentials: how to get there, requirements for entry, vaccinations, and special considerations. A great source of info for traveling abroad is the US Department of State Travel Site.

3. Decide who will travel and how will you get there. If you’re a one-man or one-woman show, the ‘who’ is easy. But, if you have a small team traveling with you, make the call on who will travel, when, and if these people are available during your prospective travel window. For the how – weighing the pros and cons with respect to cost and efficiency will help you determine the best way to get to your location.

4. Apply for visas. If a visa is required, START THIS ASAP!

  • Gather information. how long will it take, where do you apply, what is required?
  • Gather the assets needed. the application, passport photos, letter of invitation if needed, travelers’ information.
  • Apply. To apply on your own, work directly with the embassy or consulate. If budget allows, you can explore two options for support:

-expeditors such as www.cibt.com can take care of the process for you.
-local production company where you will be traveling can help you gather documents if they are needed. (I’ll discuss more in part 2 of this series)

5. Get vaccinations and medications. If either of these are required, take care of that early. Some times there can be a wait period before they are effective. The CDC has helpful information: http://1.usa.gov/mg0vvE

6. Gather travelers’ information. For all travelers, you will likely need the names of each passenger, exactly as it appear on their travel ID (driver’s license, passports), ID number, date of birth, gender and mileage account information.

7. Book flights/trains/cars. If you are traveling by either plane or train, you can save tons by booking early, BUT make sure you know the penalties for changes or cancellations before booking. You’ll need to balance your savings with possible fees.

8. Book accommodations. You can often save money by booking early and paying a large deposit at the time of booking… this goes for small hotels, vacation rental sites, and longer term housing. Just be careful because these places usually come with hefty cancellation and change fees. Whenever I feel like the dates are likely to shift, I book through large hotel chains that have very flexible cancellation/changes policies. Some — like the Hiltons, Hyatts, Marriotts, Westins– will allow changes without penalty as late as the day of your scheduled arrival.

9. Book ground transportation. Even if you are traveling by plane or train, you will need to think about getting to and from the airport or train station. A ride from a friend, taxi, subway, booked car… all work, just make sure you allow enough space for the gear you’ll need to bring.

10. Research your Insurance Coverage. Think about what you will be doing and ask questions if you have new elements. For both your business and medical insurance, work with your provider to find out what is NOT covered. There can be lots of exclusions, such as, limited liability coverage for international travel. You can up your coverage for the duration of the trip or buy additional insurance. www.imglobal.com provides a ton of additional medical coverage for a great price.

Once you’ve checked these items off your to do list, you’ll know WHERE you will be, WHEN you will be there and WHO will be with you… the basic skeleton. That’s when I always feel like I can relax a tiny bit. But stay tuned for the next post of this series, I’ll have some production specific tips (ie – for shooting and making the arrangements to get your shots) at your destination. Until then, safe travels! Kate

10 Tips to Help Photographers & Creatives [that's YOU] with Contracts

ARGH...  Contracts!!!!

ARGH... Contracts!!!!

Are you a photographer, filmmaker or creative type and find yourself bogged down by contracts and legal documents? No where to turn? Do contracts make you want to scream? Well hello friends. It’s me Kate, Executive Producer over here at Chase Jarvis Inc. One of my roles as EP is to deal with all of the legal schmegal that comes through our shop and –while I have an excellent lawyer that I always consult– I feel your pain. Over the years I’ve learned a fair bit and now try to do as much of the legwork as I can reasonably do to keep legal costs as low as possible. You may want to consider this approach – it has saved us thousands of dollars.

I will start by stating very overtly that I am NOT a lawyer and can’t give you legal advice. This post is not said advice.  I do, however, think that–by example–it could be really helpful if I were to break down one common contract that photographers often get asked to sign before a project – the Non Disclosure Agreement (the “NDA”) AND THEN outline some generally helpful tips regarding contracts in general. This won’t give you all the details, but it will give you an important foundation, an approach, on which to build. That’s the point of this post – here goes:

Example:  The Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

The NDA is a contract that is also commonly known as a confidentiality agreement or secrecy agreement.  It is a legal contract between at least two parties that protects the discloser (person sharing the info) and the confidential information when they share information with a recipient (person receiving the information) for a specific purpose.  You may be asked to sign one any time an individual or company feels that they are sharing confidential information with you.  This is certainly smart business practice for sharing sensitive information… IN FACT, you may even want to have your own NDA to protect your own confidential information if you’re in a positon to share such info with contractors, etc.

My Top 10 Checklist for NDAs
Below you will find ten things to consider as you review any NDA.  And again, you should definitely consult a lawyer, but this is a great starting point:

  1. Is there a “Purpose” or “Project” clearly defined?  This will limit your confidentiality requirements to the specific project on which you are working.
  2. Do the disclosure terms favor the party sharing the most information?  It is designed to protect the discloser.
  3. Does the agreement need to be mutual or not?   You might be sharing confidential information on the project too.  If you are, you may want to use an MNDA (Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement).
  4. What is included in the definition of “Confidential Information?” Is this reasonable?
  5. Is there a “Feedback” clause?  This explains what rights the discloser will have to any of YOUR feedback.  For example, it may say that your suggestions or recommendations belong to the discloser.  You should decide if this is ok for you.
  6. Review the “Term” (period of time for the contract) and “Termination” (how the contract may be ended).  Both of these elements should be appropriate to the project.
  7. Is there a “Survival” clause?  This states that should you end the contract, certain parts of the contract may always be valid.  Know and understand what these elements are, so you are sure to be in compliance.
  8.  Read the “Boilerplate” (that means the standard sections) even though it may seem boring.
  9.  State of law.  If troubles develop down the line and legal action is required, where would the proceedings would take place.  You may not be able to change this one, but it is good to know.
  10. Look for the standard exceptions to confidentiality.  These favor YOU, the recipient, and state when and if information is NOT considered confidential or when it may be shared.  In NON-legal jargon, these are examples:
  1. You knew the information before it was disclosed to you AND YOU CAN PROVE/DOCUMENT IT.
  2. The information is or becomes publicly available (in a legal way and not through breach of any contract.)
  3. The information becomes LAWFULLY available from a third party (that means NOT through your company or the disclosing company).  And again, it must be legal, without any violation of confidentiality obligations.
  4. You independently develop what is protected by the confidentiality WITHOUT the use of the confidential information.  Be VERY careful with this one.
  5. You are legally required to disclose the information.  Just make sure you really are legally required to do so before you do.  Also, you would want to determine with your lawyer if you are required to or should notify the company.

Some companies have developed really excellent NDAs that are perfectly good to sign in their original state.  Others may just have a stock NDA that is quite broad and may even feel that it doesn’t make sense for your situation.  You are looking to make sure that whatever you sign works for your company and the purpose of your project.  I have the impression that many recipients believe that they MUST sign the NDA AS-IS in order to even be considered for the project.  While that MAY be the case, in my experience, I have found that companies have been very open to suggestions IF the following is true:

  • they are reasonable requests and
  • I make it easy for them.  They do NOT want more work, so I always send the client two things when I’m requesting changes:
  1. a “Red Line” version of their own NDA, which shows the changes I and/or my lawyer have made within the document, and
  2. a SIGNED, clean copy for them.  That way, if they agree to our changes, they already have what they need. (This is often a magical technique that demonstrates efficiency and understandingl

If the company is not open to making any changes, it’s up to you to decide with your lawyer if you are willing to sign the contract with a real understanding of what your risks are.

Finally, Some General Contract Thoughts.
In this post, we looked at one specific kind of contract, but there are so many more… JOY!   As you go forth, with your pen poised to sign away, stop first and consider the following before you sign anything [and did I mention that I am NOT a lawyer??  So, please take these thoughts with a grain of salt.  These are just my thoughts after working in this capacity with Chase for so many years.]

  1. ALWAYS read and understand what your are signing.
  2. Seek advice. I know that legal advice can be very expensive, but know that getting into a bad agreement can be far worse.  Sometimes it can be more economical to belong to professional organizations to get access to legal support, discounted legal advice or even documents.  Try ASMP.org for resources around legal documents.
  3. Stay positive in you negotiations around contracts.  It is GREAT NEWS that a client wants to work with you!! Contracts are just one of the steps to the end goal of a fantastic job.  You may not get everything that you ask for, but through the process you will understand what your are signing up for and make sure to avoid any ‘deal breakers.’
  4. Always keeps copies of the agreement that are signed by both parties.
  5. Note any requirements from the agreement you may have to follow through with later.

Best of luck to you in your legal endeavors!  Until next time, Kate

Zen & the Art of Production: 12 Tips for a Smooth Photoshoot

Hi friends.  Kate here again.  I’ve been reading your questions lately, I’ve noticed that many are about production. It’s no doubt that shooting days can be stressful:  you have a set of objectives that need to be accomplished, time is limited, the client is present, weather, travel, lodging and permits may be a factor, you’re coordinating people and there are always little surprises that crop up.  Plain and simple, there are just lots of moving parts to a shoot. It follows that the more you can reduce your unknowns and possible stressors, the smoother your day will run. So, whether you are running the show yourself or you hire a producer, here are a few simple tips that may help you run a smoother production.

  • Have a plan. And a backup plan.  Production is all about planning.  The more organized you are ahead of time, the better and more smoothly your shoot will run.  A great production is very front-loaded to allow time on set for you to focus on the shoot and deal with any surprises.  Do your homework:  think hard ahead time, anticipate possible challenges, run through the day in your head and preempt problems before stepping on set.
  • Prioritize. Work to get the most bang for you buck.  After you’ve made your to-do list, prioritize the most impactful tasks and the most time sensitive items.
  • Clearly set expectations. Good communication with everyone involved is essential.  Schedule a pre production meeting early on to get everyone on the same page.  Follow up in an email for clarity.  We all remember different parts of conversations that affect us.  Summarizing is a great way to make sure that nothing is omitted.
  • [for 9 more tips, hit continue reading below...] Continue Reading →

Tax Prep for Photographers & Filmmakers

Kate stepping in here to give you a bit of info from the business side of photography & filmmaking, this time about taxes.

Yes, it is that time of year again. If you’re in the ol’ USA and didn’t already know it, the due date for 2010 US Federal taxes has been extended to April 18, 2011.  That may be really great news to anyone scurrying around to finish up taxes at the last minute.  Now, you’ll have all weekend to wrap them up.

As you finalize your return, make sure that you’ve taken advantage of all possible tax deductible expenses, especially those that are a bit esoteric.  Since I am no tax professional, please do not consider this tax advice and check with a tax professional to learn about specific rules and exceptions that will affect your eligibility. However, this list may be a good way to start that conversation:

Tax deductible expenses specific to photographers and filmmakers:

Some deductions are very standard for all small businesses, including business insurance, office supplies, software costs, and even tax preparation fees.  In the world of photography and filmmaking, there are some expenses that are more specific to the industry.  To name a few…. Continue Reading →

You’d Better Have Permission To Shoot

One of the most consistent requests I get from readers is for info about all the paperwork and business side of the photo & cinema industries. Given that our Executive Producer, Kate, handles all that, I’ve talked her into doing a series of posts that get down to the brass tacks. This post is about that ever-important piece of paper that few photographers obtain–or even know how to obtain the location PERMIT. So here’s Kate to give you all the important info you’ll need…
——-

Hello everybody. Kate here. One of the most overlooked parts of making your location-based photo shoot “legit” in terms of being within the law and being “professional” is obtaining a shooting permit. A location shooting permit is a document that gives you permission (usually from local, city, or federal governments) to be shooting in public places. I know that the process can seem a little intimidating (ok, totally sucky) if you have never applied for a permit before, but once you know the basics, the process is rather easy, and is actually quite similar from agency to agency, location to location. In this post, I’ll cover when you need a permit, who to contact, how to apply, and then show a specific example.

When do you need a permit?
If you are just walking around with your camera and shooting casually, you generally don’t need a permit. You will, however, need a permit if you are shooing on public property OR if your shooting will impact others and/or the environment. The threshold varies from location to location, but generally, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this a commercial shoot?
  • Will your filming disturb traffic or pedestrians?
  • Will you need to use tripods, dollys, wires, a generator or other equipment on sidewalks or streets?
  • Are you using the public space in a special/different way than it is intended?

If you answer yes to ANY of these questions, you likely need a permit. This is Continue Reading →

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