Shooting Professionally in Positano, Italy Will Require a Permit

Shooting Professionally in Positano, Italy Will Require a Permit

The Italian town of Positano is one of the travel destinations adored by photographers and tourists because of its colorful and dynamic scenery. If you want to know how Landscape Photographer Elia Locardi photographed Positano and many other beautiful locations, check out Fstoppers' latest tutorial "Photographing the World 3." But before that, you need to be aware of the new taxes imposed by city council of the beautiful Italian town, regarding permits for photography and video.

The administration demands a payment of 1,000 euros for a permit for photographers, and 2,000 euros for filmmakers, if the final images and video footage will be used for commercial purposes. Whether or not you shoot with a DSLR, medium format, mirrorless, cinema camera, or a cellphone, you have to pay the tax if you plan to make money with the files from your devices. The council assures that amateur photographers won't be required to pay anything, but will be able to freely take photographs and videos. People who are filming and taking pictures for television programs, documentaries, magazines, or newspapers also won't be charged with that tax too. Wedding photographers have to apply for a free permit at least 10 days before the event.

The question is how can the authorities make a difference between the photographers and filmmakers who would use the imagery for commercial purposes from those who won't?

[via Amateur Photographer]

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<The question is how can the authorities make a difference between the photographers and filmmakers who would use the imagery for commercial purposes from those who won't?>

That's the million dollar question and only time will tell. I wonder if people photographing the Amalfi coast will experience harassment from authorities based on the sophistication of their equipment?

Happens here in North America and sort of dulls ones experience. It's also worth noting that the more technology removes barricades on the path to creativity-the more we are hobbled with rules, restrictions and red tape ;-(((

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Unfortunately that's the truth. A pro with a mirrorless can probably be judged as an amateur, while an amateur with a DSLR and a tripod would look like a professional.

C.O. Shea's picture

I was just thinking the same thing. What if my camera is too fancy looking or I want to use my tripod for a long exposure? This news puts me off... glad I've already seen the Amalfi Coast.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Yeah, why travel to get harassed when you can get harassed right here at home? Folks have called the cops on me because apparently taking non-obvious photos of the landscape in public places is "suspicious". State and local legislatures have passed or attempted to pass laws abridging First Amendment rights to photograph in public. And, officials at public and quasi-public parks have imposed bans on "professional photography", WhateverTF that means.
Before you get all righteous about the Greatest Nation On Earth, look around.

Jacques Cornell's picture

I see. I assumed you were implying that America is better in this regard. It isn't. If you have other reasons for not wanting to travel, that's another matter.

Jacques Cornell's picture

When you say that a problem in another place is a good reason not to leave the U.S., the clear implication is that the U.S. doesn't have that problem. I think my assumption was fair and probably widely shared.
As for your cheap shot, I am not "anti-American". I have lived and traveled in many countries, and it's given me a deeper appreciation of the U.S., but it's also shown me that we can always do better. If you think criticism is "anti-American", you should take it up with the people who drafted the First Amendment.

Right. Learn your country first.

It must have been Patrick. He was there earlier in the year. What exactly did he do?

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

He was just eating at a few restaurants with Lee and Elia and was enjoying the view.

Patrick Hall's picture

I produced such good footage that it caused too much extra revenue to enter into their local economy. The only logical thing to do was create even more fees

michael buehrle's picture

thanks a lot Patrick. way to ruin it for everyone.

Just don't have Lee Morris badmouth the Italian food and wish that they have a McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

How will this impact future Photographing the World?

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

The good thing is that they (the city council) are probably an Fstoppers reader or they have bought Elia's tutorials.

C.O. Shea's picture

First guffaw of my morning. :)

Jeff McCollough's picture

Yet another reason for me to never return to Italy.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Exactly. Not to mention the police target tourists. I was surprised to see how much Italy reminded me of the third world country where I live (Bolivia).

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Well, it's just one small town in Italy, not taxes in the whole Italy.

Michael Holst's picture

I think there's got to be more to this. They made this for a reason and probably know they cant stop people claiming the photographs will be for their own personal use. I'd like to know what event(s) led to this.

Eduardo Francés's picture

Voice of reason here, your comment x2

Anonymous's picture

It smells like a new rule that will be used only in severe cases of professional shooting. Block a sidewalk for more than x minutes with more than x staffers and more than x cameras, and you are "it". Fly drones for more than 30 seconds, and you are "it". I have been there just a few weeks ago. Tripod and everything. I am convinced that I am not "it". The real issue with the Amalfi coast is that those villages cannot grow in size (sea and cliffs all around). They have been the same size for several hundred years. And now there are hundred thousand people visiting within a few months. The place is suffocating. I had a bit of a bad feeling when I was there a few weeks ago... The place looked like a rat invasion... and --- I --- was the rat. Sorry guys. Go there in April-May, or just don't go there. And if you are not abusively blocking sidewalks and all, be a happy clicker and enjoy the view.

Almafi or elsewhere, this is a new issue. Middle class is aging. Middle class has money (including Chinese middle class). Middle class is travelling. Amalfi, Paris, Cinque Terre, Dubrovnik, name it... they are all "places to avoid" for several months, every summer. That's the new reality. Work AROUND it.

C.O. Shea's picture

Well said. I'm a shoulder season traveler since leaving the nest. I abhor crowds.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Flatly unconstitutional, and indicative of the ignorance of our elected officials. Way too common. Welcome to the Greatest Nation On Earth, The Land of the Unfree, and the Home of the Afraid.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Because this is not an isolated incident. In the past 15 years, state and local public officials around the country have been pandering to the paranoid, repeatedly attempting to legislate away the First Amendment with regard to photography in public places.

He complained about the food so much it led local restaurant owners to seek extra revenue from the council.

Patrick Hall's picture

It's sad because they could have just upped their food game. They should have hired Giada or even Hector Boyardee :)

Jacques Cornell's picture

Like so many other municipalities, they haven't thought this through. How can one know in advance whether a photo one makes today might be used commercially next week/month/year? As a stock shooter, I never know whether an image will sell, and only a small fraction of the images I submit do eventually sell. If asked whether I'm going to make money on a day's shooting in the foreseeable future, I can say "No" and be telling the truth most of the time. Some cities, like New York City, finally got wise and stopped trying to make the professional/amateur distinction and now determine permit requirements according to how much you're going to inconvenience the general public - i.e. how much space you're going to take up with gear, vehicles, staff, etc.
Good luck to Positano officials in determining who's a "pro", and particularly whether any given click of the shutter is for financial gain or simply personal enjoyment.

Jonathan Reid's picture

There are similar rules in place for using drones in the UK. Commercial photography with a drone requires a license. Nobody stops you from creating the work, but when you try sell it, you may run into difficulties.

With Positano, you may be able to create images for professional use, but your client may run into trouble when they try publish the work without a license.

user-103480's picture

I think it depends how big your project is. We are in Italy, I am sure nobody is coming to ask something because you are taking pictures with DSLR ;)

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