by Sam Levin
Can St. Louis County officials charge photographers for taking pictures in their parks?
That question was raised this week when someone posted a photo on Reddit of a new sign in a St. Louis County park that reads in all caps: "Professional photographers are required to obtain a commercial photography permit to shoot in all St. Louis County parks."
The policy is effective as of April 1, the sign says.
Tom Ott, director of the county parks department, however, tells Daily RFT that the sign has since been removed, and there's been no formal policy change. At least not yet.
The photo is from Chesterfield's Faust Park.
Contacted about the sign yesterday afternoon, Ott tells us, "It's already down. It was put up by mistake."
A possible rule change, however, is "still under review," he says.
And the St. Louis County Parks also posted this on Facebook:
Ott explains that officials are considering requiring commercial photographers to get permits, much like other business operations in the parks; the county would collect some sort of fee through these permits.
He says that individuals who run exercice classes in the park, for example, need to get permits. The photo-shoot policy may be similar to this, and it would be fairly standard, he says.
Ott says, "This isn't going to apply to amateur photographers."
There's no immediate time frame for a potential change in policy.
The sign that sparked the questions this week was only put up in that one location, Ott says.