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Photography permits

dgvdgv Member
edited June 2011 in general photography
Photography is a passionate hobby of mine. My cousin recently asked if i could do a 'trash the dress' session for her around NYC...she was interested in photographing at the Grand Central station, Central park, Brooklyn Bridge and Times square. I'd like to know if i will need to get permits to do a portrait session at these locations. It will just be the bride,groom and myself..no tripods, lightstands, etc... I hear NYC is quite paranoid of folks walking around with an SLR.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Grand Central Station ... they will most likely stop you.
    I've shot there a few times without being interrupted ... and other times I was stopped and told I needed a permit. So this could swing wither way.

    Times Square ... no issues at all. Just don't obstruct a sidewalk.

    Brooklyn Bridge .. no issues either.

    And I don't know that New Yorkers are wary of people with DSLRs ... there are a zillion tourists, and a zillion photographers. Anyone who is paranoid of being photographed, won't have a good time in New York.
  • Neil once pointed to this website in his blog: Here is the NYC Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting policy in regards to permit requirements.


    Unfortunately, city parks and other property like Grand Central have other requirements. I have no idea if the permit from the above NYC office will also give you permission to Grand Central Station.
  • dgvdgv Member
    Thanks guys. I've read quite a number of blog entries where photographers detail their experience with law enforcement officials and civilians at NYC.

    I think i'll take a chance with Grand Central terminal. The FAQ section of their site says

    "Anyone is free to take pictures inside Grand Central. However, if you would be using professional equipment like a tripod, you would need to get a permit through Metro-North's Corporate & Public Affairs Department."

    An interesting link...

    Thanks a lot again!!
  • If you are sporting a battery grip, a large lens, and a flash unit, security at the Grand Central Terminal will likely think it is professional work and stop you. Be prepared with a Plan B.
  • dgvdgv Member
    I wrote to a person who is responsible for photography permits at Grand Central Terminal and this is the response i received. I will keep a print of this email in my camera bag. Hopefully this helps someone out there...

    If you will just be using a handheld camera, nothing else, then technically you do not need a permit. Just be sure to keep out of the way of pedestrian traffic, stay in the public areas, and do not go anywhere beyond the train gates (track/platform area).

    Meredith A. Conti
    Corporate Relations Rep.
    Corporate & Public Affairs
    MTA Metro-North Railroad

    Phone: 212-340-4825
    Fax: 212-340-4930
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Good! Nice to know.
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