Friday, August 19, 2011

Most Photographers Aren't Terrorists, but Some Terrorists are Photographers

I've been reading a lot of information on forums and webpages of recent action against photographers taking pictures in public places.  It seems that many security guards and police departments feel obligated to stop and even search people taking photographs in certain areas or of innocent things, like tourist attractions. Evidently, the situation is worsening. There are now websites devoted to fighting against "harassment" of innocent people taking pictures.  Some, when taking pictures, are wearing T-shirts stating things like, "I'm a photographer, not a terrorist."

As I read these various sources of information, I, too, feel a bit of aggravation toward people in power that abuse it. However, I'm trying to remain logical and reasonable about this issue. There are two sides to every story.

So far, I've only been stopped once while taking a picture from a public location.  It was by a security guard at a major chemical company.  I had stopped my car on the side of the road just outside a fence surrounding their factory. I was within a few feet of the main entrance of the factory, but blocking no one, nor causing any road hazard. The sun was setting and I wanted to take some generic pictures of back-lit smoke ascending from one of their smokestacks.  It had a cool-looking purple glow that I thought was unusual and very photogenic.

About the time I started taking pictures, a pickup truck drove up, slid to a stop, and a security guard jumped out. With a frown on his face, he asked me why I was photographing the factory.  Being that I was on a public road and taking pictures from a non-private place, I was clearly breaking no laws.  I could have simply told him to go jump in the lake and kept snapping pictures. However, I tried to put myself in his shoes. I thought to myself, "If I were a security guard, and some guy had a zoom lens taking pictures of a factory I was assigned to guard, how would I feel about it?"  This is not a religious blog, but I also remembered a bible principle that states, "An answer when mild turns away rage."  I think that applied pretty well, in this instance.

I decided to answer mildly, and said something to the effect, "I'm a professional photographer taking pictures of the sunset shining through the smoke from the stack over there."  I then showed him a couple of pictures on the camera's LCD monitor.  "Who do you represent," he asked?  I told him I work for myself as a freelance photographer, and showed him a business card.  He visibly relaxed, and told me that he was charged with protecting other people and his employer's property and took his job seriously. He wanted to make sure I wasn't someone with bad intentions. He told me to be careful not to get run over, got in his truck, and left.

Now, thinking back on that situation, I have gone over in my mind various other ways I could have handled things.  I could have reacted like some do and refused to give him any information. I could have even taunted him or questioned his authority, like some of these websites seem to recommend. Most likely, the results would have been bad.  He might have been a hot-head and punched me in the face or broken my camera. He might have called the police, telling them that there was a suspicious man taking surveillance pictures of his employer's chemical factory, with the resulting mad rush of multiple police cars and a take-down of my innocent bodies, camera and flesh.

This whole issue is a very inflammatory one. However, where there is no fuel, the fire goes out. Most of the time, people in real or imagined positions of authority will respond with kindness when treated with kindness.  There are surely proper times to "stand up for our rights" and push issues to the extreme.  However, while photographing a picture of a tourist attraction or purple smoke is fun, and could even be profitable, it certainly isn't worth a punch in the face, broken camera, or police record. I'm not saying that we shouldn't stand up for our rights as photographers.  I'm merely opining that there are better ways to handle it than challenging the authority of another person simply doing his job.  Many people don't react well to direct challenges, as evidenced by some of the photographers I read about.

In 99.9% of the cases mentioned in the links I provided above, all the photographer needed to do was answer the simple question of why he/she is taking pictures.  Is that such a big deal?  Does a question like that require a photographer to go sullen and refuse to treat another person with respect.  I think not!  There are always special cases and circumstances where this may not apply.  However, in the majority of cases, allowing the security guard or officer to "feel important" by responding to them in a reasonable way, is quite disarming.  No one wins an argument!

I'm not saying that we should let angry people walk all over us, take our personal property, or force us to delete perfectly legal pictures.  I'm merely saying that there are better ways to handle the majority of these confrontations than getting into a fruitless argument with the authority figure.  Simply stating your reason for being there, displaying a few pictures, and showing a business card or press pass will usually completely disarm the tension.  In most cases, you'll be able to go right on taking pictures after assuring the person that you are not a pervert or terrorist.  In other cases, maybe the confrontation is simply not worth it, and one could move on, coming back at a different time for the pictures.  We, as photographers, can make phone calls to authorities if our rights are being violated, and usually will get support from them.

In a world so full of violence, terrorism, and anger we must realize that the government, police, and even security guards are under a lot of pressure, just like we are. So, the next time a person feels threatened by your perfectly legal photograph making, simply be kind, and most of the time kindness will be returned.  Acting like a jerk merely causes the authority figure to reciprocate.  Remember the title of this article, "Most Photographers Aren't Terrorists, but Some Terrorists are Photographers." This is a real fact in today's world! Sullenly refusing to answer perfectly reasonable questions is awfully suspicious. How would you react if one of your kids or spouse did that?

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young


  1. Hi Darrell,

    I've been stopped many times. I usually try to ask the reason in a friendly way, after apologizing if I've done something wrong. At a National Park the ranger offered to show me the rule book. He apologized when we found out that he was mistaken and I didn't need a permit for using a tripod. After being stopped at the US Capitol I asked where I could get the needed permit and the officer took me into the basement where the Park Police issued me a permit for my tripod. Last week I was stopped at the National Cemetery in Maine and told I couldn't take pictures on Federal property. I knew this was wrong, but opted to move on. Checking with the Media guy by phone later I found out a permit is needed but you can photograph there, of course. A security guard who was leaving work once gave me a kind warning about photographing a Naval Shipyard, even from the public road I was on. So I agree that it is best to act professionally, read all signs, and stay in a position to accept help that often follows the initial contact. In all cases I market the photos as it has always come down to a question of access, not one of usage of the photos.

  2. Being an older female, I've only been questioned twice. The first time was in San Diego. I was on public property, but just outside the RV property fence where we were parked.
    I was happily shooting sandpipers at the edge of the water when two security guards from the RV park and driving a golf cart skidded to a stop near me and asked loudly and belligerently what I was doing.
    My explanation was treated with suspicion and disbelief, as one of them said, "With a rig like you're using, you have to be from a newspaper." I guess my D200 and monopod looked impressive to them.
    I found out from an apologetic gate guard later that there was a hot button property thing going on between individuals living next to the RV park and San Diego, who were trying to evict the people. Apparently lawsuits were filed, and it was pretty common for this issue to be in the news. I was looked on as another nosy newsperson. They told me in no uncertain terms to keep my lens on the birds and not the homes or highway, boats or anything else. Soon as they left I shot the boats and the highway and the homes across the highway, since I'd been treated so shabbily in spite of my mild, non-confrontational manner. I know that was wrong of me, but instead of lashing out with my tongue, I lashed out with my lens.

    The second time, I was parked off the road and taking a picture of an oil well pumping away in a field of wheat.
    A cop stopped and asked me if I needed help. His question only thinly disguised his curiosity and suspicion of what I was "really" doing. It was rather obvious that if my car were broken down, I wouldn't be casually shooting pictures of an oil well.
    Once I explained I was a stock photographer and where my images were being sold, he relaxed and went on his way. After all, I probably looked a lot like his mother!
    I understand where these people come from, but I have to admit that we photographers go about our business with clear hearts and probably most of us feel a flash of anger when confronted.
    We must need to understand that we are strangers to these people. They don't know we're kindly grandmas or mild-mannered people only interested in how the light is striking our subject. Until we talk to them and give them a look into our personalities, they must (it's their jobs) feel we are guilty of something. It's our job to be nice and friendly and beat back that flash of anger at being treated like a criminal.

  3. I was recently stopped for shooting photos outside a Veterans Administration Hospital. I was told they had concerns about terrorists photographing the structure. I provided identification, including credentials as a journalist, showed the policeman the photos I'd taken and pointed them to my web site. I then met with head of public affairs for the hospital. He told me what I was doing was fine, just to let him know in advance next time--that some people had gotten nervous seeing me outside with my camera.

  4. Darrell -

    I've had a couple of odd moments when I've been stopped, but each case a friendly smile and calm discourse has resulted in my being allowed to continue shooting without further interruption.

    That said, I always travel with backup in my hand, and I feel obligated to stand my ground if someone gets horsey with me.

    I think all photographers should carry with them a copy of "Photographers Rights" which can be found here: (it's free I might add) It's a pdf that can be printed, and folds to a nice handy size. I've pulled it out to share with folks during discussions related to photography, and what we rights we have as Americans living in a free society have.

    I see exercising those rights as an obligation of living in this country, as if we don't exercise them, we'll lose them. (Consider what happens to our body if we don't exercise it) :)

    I'd like to see some of the professional organizations become more vocal about this issue - even produce some PSAs so that the public perception can be changed. Until then, I'm seriously considering a "Photographer - Not Terrorist" t-shirt.


  5. I was taking a picture of a building in Los Angeles and was approached by a private security guard and told that I could not take pictures of the building. He told me images of the building were "copyrighted". Just a regular, office building.

    I was a little miffed.

  6. I haven't had any unpleasant experiences myself, but am concerned about the future.

    I note that Canadian National Parks won't permit professional photographers to work there unless they pay prohibitive fees. At least they seem to be honest about and admit that if someone wants to profit from the scenary, they should pay for it. I still strongly disagree with them but respect their relative honesty.

    I am concerned that my personal experiences could turn unpleasant within the next few weeks. Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics, and the do's and don'ts are already receiving negative publicity. It seems that cameras are not allowed at Olympic venues, meaning that I can hassled when I go to some of my favourite hang-outs, even if I have no intention of going to a venue.

    This affects all of us, Darrell. Good on you for trying to do something about it!

    Mark Shaw
    Port Moody, BC

  7. I had to post a follow-up here Darrell, as I'm a bit concerned about the topic of the blog post.

    Terrorists are terrorist - period.

    They're not photographers.

    Also, there was never any evidence that there was photography done when scouting for the London bombings or 9/11.

    And - most important: if you're a terrorist, and you're planning to make photographs to scout an area for attack, why on earth would you do so with pro equipment, drawing all that attention to yourself.

    Nope - this is a law enforcement issue, and we as photographers need to push to have law enforcement officials better school their officers as to the rights of photographers in a free society - simple as that.


  8. I agree that it's not likely that a terrorist would walk around with pro-level cameras, taking pictures of buildings to blow up. However, I'm sure it's been done.

    Governments are concerned about people they feel might be posing a threat. Maybe the concern is wrong 99.99% of the time, but that's not the main point of my article.

    My point is merely that a person generally gets back what they give. Act like a sullen idiot, and the authorities will do the same. There are better ways to deal with authorities than to say something like, "I'm not required to give you any information," and then start snapping pictures of them.

    If I were a cop, I know how I would react?

  9. I'm utterly gobsmacked.

    How on earth could you know "it's been done" Darrell? In fact - there's "zero" evidence that's been published that shows terrorists have engaged in surveillance activities with professional camera gear.

    To the point - your blog post started with a premise that I think is flawed - and there's no evidence to the contrary.

    The rest of your point is well taken; courtesy given is generally courtesy received.

    That said - police are not God - and U.S. citizens have rights. We as photographers fit in that group, and with *extremely* rare exception we can engage in our craft without concern that we're doing something illegal. If our subject is in public, and not a restricted military or sensitive facility (ie; nuclear power plant) then we're good to go. (yes - I know it's not 100% that simple - but generally that's true) Further, we have zero obligation to explain our activities as free citizens of a free nation to law enforcement when we're not doing anything illegal.

    And THAT is the point. We as photographers should not have to risk short term encarceration by police that are ignorant to the law. We as photographers should stand up and say that *very* loudly, at every opportunity we're given.

    Hence this post I'm making here.

    It's not personal - it's about our rights as photographers - as American citizens.

    I'm glad you've brought the topic up. It's timely - so much so that just last week (...or the week before - can't recall as I've been ill and the days blurred there) in the U.K. photographers gathered to demonstrate against police harrassment for engaging in a 100% legal activity; photography.

    Best -


  10. Kendal,

    I don't care if terrorists have or haven't done this or that. That's not the point of this article.

    When someone stands up and *very* loudly proclaims their rights in the face of a cop, and then starts firing off pictures of that cop, that photographer is asking for arrest, and will probably be taken down, rights or not.

    The whole point of my article is that there are better ways to deal with people who have the authority to cause you a load of trouble. Showing respect goes a lot farther than being aggressive toward someone who is used to throwing people on their faces and cuffing them.

    Personally, I'll NOT loudly proclaim my rights, just before I'm hauled away. Instead, I'll calmly remember the badge number of anyone causing me problems in that way, and use proper channels to effect relief. Cops carry guns and have real authority. I carry a camera, and would rather not get shot, cuffed, beaten, or have my camera confiscated, just so that I can stand up in a cop's face and tell him I have rights.

    There are better ways to handle things. I guess I'm just not a radical person. Too many kids to support, I guess.

  11. Darryl, I fully agree with you that being civil to anyone who challenges you is the correct action to take. Where I have a problem with this whole issue, is that governments all over the globe, and especially my own, have cranked up the fear of terrorism to an alarming extent. By talking up perceived dangers of terrorist attacks, the governments are doing what governments, the church and dictators have always done, make the populace scared of their own shadows in order to gain control over them.
    Now, I'm not saying that the threat of terrorism doesn't exist, but since 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London, very little terrorism has surfaced in either the US or GB. Can it be that the security and intelligence forces have thwarted the thousands of planned attacks?, or could it be that the dangers have been grossly exagerated?. In any case, are these the same intelligence services that told us WMDs existed and took us into one illegal war, and a very ill-advised one?.
    9/11 and 7/7 were heinous and evil crimes, but we must remember that there were muslim victims in both attacks too.
    Around 3,000 people died in those two attacks collectively, but on British roads, around 3,500 people are killed and about ten times that number injured every year. The US has five times the population of GB, so 15,000-20,000 dead on US roads each year?. 150,000 dead since 9/11?. I don't hear anyone calling for cars to be banned though, or anyone too scared to venture onto a road.
    Let's keep things in perspective. British people are not scared witless about terrorism. They scarecely tink about it. I'm sure Americans are the same. Despite having more surveillance cameras than any other country in the world, there has not been one single conviction for terrorist activities by either surveillance camera or the use of stop and search in the UK, despite there being over 157,000 stop and searches in London alone in 2008. There is, as Kendal said, no evidence that cameras are part of the terrorists' armoury. A suicide bomber just walks to where there are the most potential victims. Car bombers park the vehicle where there are both maximum amount of potential victims and glass. Shopping centres are ideal. The IRA used this tactic in Ireland and mainland Britain with great effect. No need for cameras. Any job needing one would be done using a mobile phone camera.
    I feel sorry for the police and security guards. The average beat copper, PCSO and security guard is not normally the sharpest knife in the box. They are mainly ignorant of photographic law, and are being used by governments for their own dodgy ends.
    The day the public get scared of their own shadows, is the day the terrorists have won. Who needs to blow themselves up when western governments have eroded hard won civil rights, gained after decades or centuries. Once gone they will be slow in being regained.
    To sum up, yes, let's be nice to anyone who challenges us, but not let's play the politicians' game. They are the people I'm scared of. How long before we invade Iran?.
    Planet of the Apes here we come.


  12. I agree with most of what you say Darrell and the points you make. I'm a "soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1) type of person too. I also try to apply the principle of looking at things from the other guy's point of view. Most of the time this works in my individual circumstances and I've gotten away with a lot.

    But sometimes you have to stand up against the way things are going and make a point or the system will stomp over you and take away your liberties.

    Private security guards can be a real pain and act in a very unreasonable way no matter what you do or say. Many of them don't have a good grasp of the law or common sense some can act like thugs.

    Sure I can generally talk my way out of situations were I'm being hassled but I don't want to be hassled in the first place. It gets to be a battle of nerves sometimes, wondering if you are going to be stopped. I've often gone out rehearsing what I'm going to say if I do get stopped. I want to take pictures not have to defend my motives for doing so.

    I've been questioned quite a few times in recent years when innocently taking pictures either in a public place or at a public event to which I'd been hired to take pictures and I find it puts me on edge. It is mostly their suspicious attitude and belief that I'm somehow doing something wrong that I pick up on. Usually when I say who I am, what I'm doing and why it's all okay pretty quickly but I don't enjoy being questioned in the first place.

    If the police or security came to me with a more positive attitude, introducing themselves in a friendly way and making their questions non-threatening then at least it would be easier to take.

  13. ...and Rebel has really hit it spot on; "...but I don't want to be hassled in the first place."

    And nor should he be.

    While the point of your article Darrell might be that we can diffuse confrontation by cooperating (though you'd not know it from the title) we shouldn't have to do so - ever.

    The police are there to protect our rights - not violate them. Every time they stop a photographer who is going about his or her business, they're intruding on the freedoms we're guaranteed.

    It's serious business this, and when a post begins here with the title "Most photographers aren't terrorists...." I get riled up, as you're contributing to the problem Darrell - whether you recognize it or not.

    It might not have been your intention - but then, you're the one who through it out there for comment. :)

    Best -


  14. Actually, Kendall, the title is all about Search Engine Optimization. (SEO)

    Discussing a controversial subject tends to help various people deal with it. No need to get riled up. No one is shooting photographers ... yet.

  15. One thing I've noticed through my years that just by my writing this will probably get some dander up. After all, Uncle Charlie was a cop, brother Bob is a cop, and so on.

    I feel there are two reasons (perhaps 3) men (note I don't include women, they come from a different place for reasons, usually) become law enforcement officers.

    One is to serve. The other is the power. The 3rd maybe is family tradition.

    I have heard enough stories from family members and other good people to believe the "Power Trip" type may outnumber the "Want to Serve" type.

    Why would a cop write my son a ticket for reckless driving that he never witnessed, from a phone call by a man who tailgaited my son and he probably stomped his brakes a bit hard to get the guy off his tail? Last I heard, a cop can't write a ticket unless he witnesses the offense. Then when he walked up to the car, he told my son to "spit out your gum." Of course, my son said, "I didn't know it was against the law to chew gum."

    The next day when my son called the Sheriff, all of a sudden the ticket was forgiven. I think he could smell a public stink coming.

    Growing up, I knew a guy who beat the crap out of his sister or just cruelly tormented her every day on the walk to school. I was usually on the other side of the street, trying not to get caught looking. He was known as a bully and everyone steered clear of him. He ended up on the police force, and I knew it was the Power Trip thing with him.

    I could go on and on with these stories, but suffice to say that anytime one is approached by law enforcement, you don't know if you are going to get a Power Trip cop or a public servant. Woe is you if you give the Power Trip guy lip.

  16. You bring up a great topic Darrel,

    A person wanting photographs of a specific place or site, whether it is for good or evil, doesn’t need to be a photographer or even own a camera. They just need to know how to keyword on Google or Flicker where they will find shots of just about any subject from any angle. Law enforcement is well aware of this too, this is one reason for tight security on specific subjects.

    I think the “Princess chasing” Paparazzi is a type of terrorism. Although they claim that that they’re just doing a job, most of them have unscrupulous tactics. These guys / girls make life tough for all photographers because they bring negativity to the industry. Greed is most likely the reason for this industry because just a few unethical paparazzi shots can surpass the money made in a lifetime of stock photography.

    Being a resident of the suburbs of Washington DC I find my self downtown with my camera gear often. I have been stopped by security or law enforcement numerous times, especially when I was a medium format film shooter with a Pentax 6x7. You know the camera that looks like a 35mm on steroids, with a big wooden grip (handle). I have signed for permits but when you read the fine print most permits say that your pictures must be for personal use only. I have asked for permission to take photographs on private property and have been laughed at but occasionally some say yes. You’ll never know unless you ask. One supervisor of a large recycling center in the area said that if I am not off the property in ten minutes…….. I took that as I have about eight minutes left to get the shot.

    Here’s a link - all photographers should know their rights.

  17. I have a long, colorful history of incidents with police, soldiers, security guards, bouncers and irritated citizens who liked not the fact that I was pointing cameras at this and that. However, must of these happenings happened long before 9/11.

    Over the years, I've learned a few things: Take what pictures you can without asking permission. Relax and act as if you own the place. Try not to argue with anyone about who is right or wrong, especially if they are carrying a gun. Disengage. On the other hand, don't delete files or give up your memory card (or film). To that I'd say, "I'm sorry. I can't do that," followed by "Am I under arrest?" and "Am I free to go?"

  18. blah, blah, blah. In a free country I shouldn't have to explain my perfectly legal actions. The need to do so moves us ever so much closer to a police state.

    I get stopped every few months. By now the local cops must know who I am before they even pull up. None of them seem to know the law. I have been search, my images have been previewed, the police I demanded that I delete images, security guards have demanded that I not only provide a reason for taking pictures from a public place they have demanded to see full copies of ID.

    I'm sorry but I see this as pure and simply harassment by people in authority. The police ALWAYS tell me that I'm violating the law but they can't which law and how I'm violating it. I have asked police to send me the "appropriate" documentation or have one of the legal staff call on me. I never hear from them until the next time they think I need a lesson in what I can and can't take a picture of. One security guard in a pickup doesn't feel quite the same as two police cruisers and 4 cops asking what you're taking photos; especially when the police system will surely tell them that I'm a registered professional photographer.

    Charlie (part 1)

  19. (Charlie part 2)
    You're wrong in your point and wrong in your attitude. These people don't really have the right to hassle a free citizen in a free country doing a rather normal activity and I resent being stopped and questioned by people who have not been properly trained in what is and is not legal.

    I know you'll be shaking your head. I know you know it's within my personality,, but I can not and will not back down and be contrite to people bent on intimidating me.

    The last time the police stopped me they questioned me about why I live here when "everyone" wants to go to the US and other completely irrelevant and inappropriate questions including what weapons I have registered and why I have then. (a 40 year old Remington 7mm magnum that hasn't been fired since 1976)

    The time before that they 6 policemen including the "Sargent" told me I could take their pictures and demanded that I delete images on my camera. I refused and believe me, they weren't happy. It got to the point where I demanded that they< arrest me and take me into the station so that we could sort it out legally. After calling back to the station (presumably for legal counsel, that warned me that I could be held civily liable for the images if I published them; that is, somone could sue me if the images defamed them. I didn't realize it it at the time but they were out hassling the local indigents and had a couple of them handcuffed and leaning against a wall.

    The time before that someone complained that I was tasking in pictures in a public place and had no right to take peoples pictures without asking them. The public seems to thinks this is true, the police are part of the public so they think it's true, in France it's true, but in Switzerland it isn't true, at least not yet. That time they demanded my camera and previewed all the images on the chip. The only thing is, I anticipated this happening and swapped chips just in case. The offending chip was neatly tucked away and would have required a full police search. And even then, they wouldn't have found anything you could show at church social.

    Tolerating the abuse of power only validates it. But perhaps the police and security guards here are more professional because I don't fear for my physical person when dealing with them. They are always cold but courteous, generally pumped with adrenalin, but in control of themselves and the situation.

    It's funny becaus they harrased me for taking the picture of a lit bank logo, UBS. I guess that they thought that I must be casing the place to be taking pictures in front of the bank at night. I bet the bank has better pictures of me than I do of the bank :). What's funny is that I took picture for over an hour of a chemical refinery, pertrolium refinery and associated tank farm and train yards, some from in front of the main gate and I never saw a soul.

    People with big cameras aren't bad people and shouldn't be treated that way. Police stopping them and demanding to know what they're doing is wrong and people should push back to the extent of their rights. Treat me with respect and I'll treat you with respect but the moment that you question why I'm doing what I'm doing you have stopped treating me respect and as long as I don't feel physically threatened, I'll stand my ground.


  20. U.S. Brings Terrorism Case against AP Photographer in Iraq:

    "...The U.S. military has refused to disclose to the media specific evidence or allegations concerning the grounds for Hussein’s detention. According to a Nov. 19, 2007 AP story, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell stated that Hussein, a native of Fallujah, was an operative who infiltrated the AP and was linked to terrorist groups in Iraq. Morrell said the military had “convincing and irrefutable evidence” that Hussein is linked to insurgent activity..."

    Read more here:

  21. Many will be happy to hear the following news:

    Home Office hands victory to photographers, restricts use of Section 44

    In a speech to the House of Commons, the Home Secretary Theresa May has put an end to one of Britain's most controversial piece of legislation, which has been increasingly used by police officers to restrict photographers working in public places. In an oral statement, May says that police officers will not be able to use Section 44 stop-and-search powers on individuals. However, Section 44 will remain available to police officers wishing to search vehicles.

    Read more here:

  22. Darrell,
    I thought about your question for a day or so and believe your response was the correct one. I have limited my cityscape photography because of a permit requirement here in Minneapolis. A professional photographer is required to buy a permit for 300 dollars to take pictures around the city if they are to be offered for sale. The professiional equipment kind of screams permit required even if I'm shooting for pleasure.