The problem with words…

Recently, I learned that the Isle of Palms (IOP) in South Carolina has made it illegal for photographers to take commercial photography onto the public beaches.  The specific phraseology of a recently posted page for IOP states that:

“Commercial activity, including photograpy, is prohibited on the Isle of Palms beach.  Unless a special exemption is granted by City Council, photographers who take portraits or photographs on the Isle of Palms beach as part of a commercial transaction are in violation of City ordinances.”

For now I will ignore the part where they mis-spelled photography as ‘photograpy’ (because it’s probably just a typo).  Instead I would like to take a moment to discuss the larger implication of making photography illegal.  It is noted further down that commercial photographers can “obtain an exemption” but this is far different from the traditional practice of “requiring a permit”.  This is basically making photography illegal.  You can be granted an exemption from legal enforcement if you request it from City Council, but that is entirely different than requiring a professional photographer to pay for a permit at City Hall.

IOP Laws on Commercial Photography

View the full page here

Keep in mind that coastal beaches are publicly owned and maintained by the state, and thus public access is required.  While restricting the nature of access is fine, the verbiage here presents serious problems and implications for photographers.  So, the burning questions in my mind are:

  • Can IOP do this?
  • Is this an acceptable practice?
  • Does the ASMP know about this?  If so, why aren’t they taking appropriate actions?

Why has no one come forward to challenge the legality of this law, because on prima facia grounds, it seems to run in direction contradiction with traditional practices toward permitting and banning of commercial activities.  Typically, commercial activity requires simply paying a fee at the local municipality, obtaining the permit to continue, and then continuing.  That is not the case here – they are requiring an exemption to be granted by the entire City Council!  Lastly, I also cannot help but wonder where organizations like the ASMP haven’t gotten involved or taken exception to this.

I understand what SC is trying to do, and don’t necessarily have a problem with the intent – what does appear to be problematic though…are the words.  Worded correctly, there would be absolutely no issue with this, but as it currently stands, there is a definite problem with the words!  What do you think?  Vote in the poll or sound off in the comments…

When do you prefer to capture your images?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Lightroom 3 Contest Winner!

stephen_ludgate

After much deliberation over the fantastic compilation of images for the July contest, I’ve finally had to just make probably one of the toughest judging decisions I’ve had to make thus far in the history of the contest series.  However, in light of the theme of the contest (Slick), and the creativity that went into the image itself, I have to give the nod to Stephen Ludgate for his submission: Read more

Shooting From the Hip

Making Pills of Ginger

While recently taking a reality break and visiting family in my old stomping grounds, I had a chance to tour the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, NY.  Viewing museums like these is a lot of fun for both kids and adults – kids because of the activities, and adults because I think as you get older, you can start to appreciate with more awareness just how tough things were (or how easy they are now). Read more