Say cheese, Suzy

The photography website PetaPixel is poking fun at Nevada’s heavily bureaucratic permitting process for taking pictures in state parks.

It may come as a surprise that there is a permitting process for photographers in state parks. It applies only to commercial photographers, though thet definition is disputed. The website ran a 1,224-word article by retired photographer/author Roger Talley describing the process as it would apply to a notional photographer:

“Randy has a problem. His girlfriend is ‘a model.’ Worse, she thinks she is a ‘professional model’ and so does the Park system. Neither one of them knows what ‘professional model’ means, but never mind that. Randy is there with Suzy, so he needs a ‘commercial photography’ permit. That his pictures are only destined for social media, not for sale or for advertising, means nothing. That he has no chance of ever being a professional photographer doesn’t matter. That he has never made a dime from selling pictures and never will don’t matter. That what he is doing does not meet the definition in the law for “commercial photography” doesn’t matter. He is there with Suzy, taking pictures of Suzy, and so he needs a permit. For Randy to take pictures of Suzy, all he has to do is get $300,000 in liability insurance policy, make sure the park is a “named insured,” file an application with a $50 fee, do a survey of the park without Suzy in the car, and then make an appointment with a park ranger, get the places he wants to take pictures of her approved, and he is all set to tour the park with Suzy the next day.”

The article describes other time-consuming ins and outs as well. A copy of Talley’s article was sent to the Nevada Parks Division, but the agency offered no comment. Readers were not so restrained, posting messages like, “Simpleminded, ridiculous requirements like this are what make scofflaws of us all, and undermine the rule of law. “