Thomas E. Schmuki Photography

Phone: (954)439-1999 Email:

You need a permit for most photo shoot venues

Tom Schmuki1 Comment

I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to a venue with a model and my professional photography gear, began shooting and then being approached by a venue official stating we cannot shoot there WITHOUT a permit.  Here are just a few of the places I have been asked to STOP shooting:

  • Mid Town Miami
  • South Beach
  • Boca Town Centre
  • Bayside Marketplace
  • Hollywood Boardwalk and Beach
  • Haulover Park

Photographer Takes Photos of Town Hall, Is Arrested Under Anti-Terror Laws

A few simple rules of thumb on a very complex subject.

  • If you are shooting in a “Public Place” like parks, streets, museums, etc., your finished photos must not include any “distinguishable” individuals who have not previously signed a photo release.
  • Do I need a permit to shoot in public?  Maybe….. Contact your local government or municipalities to find out what process and requirements are as well as any fees you may be charged.  I have listed some of the local municipalities contacts at the end of this document.
  • If you are shooting on Private property:
    • You should receive written permission to photograph on the property.  The official document is normally called “Photography Property Release”.

Here are some helpful links for my photography and model friends: (Professional Photographers Association) has many sample release documents you can use as your starting point.

How to obtain an official photography/filming permit.

Each location and venue is different, but I would give the following general guidelines:

  •  At least 1 week to get permit approved
  • Costs vary, but expect for MINIMAL shoots at least $150, and the more the shoot feels like a production the MORE it will cost for permit
  • You MUST have professional liability insurance and normally provide the venue with a copy of that insurance
  • You MUST have a clear game plane of what, where, how, who to present on the permit.

A few local links to obtain permits

Miami Dade County:

FilMiami administers the online permitting for Miami-Dade County and City of Miami Beach facilities, properties, and most other local municipalities. We require a minimum of 24 hours' notice for permits, a certificate of insurance additionally insuring the county and/or city(s) for $1 million of liability, specific information on locations, dates and times, budget information, and information about any other special arrangements that might be needed.

City of Miami Film Office

City of Miami Beach

Greater Fort Lauderdale

Palm Beach County

City of Hollywood Florida

Bayside Marketplace: Miami Florida

Florida Keys and Key West

Production permits in the Florida Keys & Key West are issued without charge.

If shooting is to occur on private property only, a permit is not required although all production companies are requested to notify the Florida Keys & Key West Film Office regarding their intentions, whether on private or public property.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

What is your other alternative

Be descrete, carry minimal gear, don't act like a professional, pretend you are shooting family, hide, dodge and don't make a spectacle.  All of these options are so very hard for me when I am the opposite of most of those things.