Sell Photos of Landmarks: Permit Required?

If you are interested in making money by learning to sell photos of the different objects, people, and places you have shot over the years, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations associated with selling photos. If you have traveled the world and have developed a beautiful portfolio of landmarks, it is important to know the steps toward selling them. When you took the photos initially, you may have needed a permit or special permission to shoot on the sites. Here's what you need to do the next time you want to take pictures of landmarks and market them for sale.

Materials You Will Need

  • Pen and Paper
  • Camera
  • Computer
  • Internet Connection

Check Local Authorities

Go to a local municipality building and find out if the monuments you wish to photograph are protected by local municipality rules and regulations. Inform the officials that you intend to sell the photographs. Ask them if a permit is required. If no local permit is mandatory, ask them if they know anything about the state or federal requirements. If they do not know the regulations, log on to the Internet and start to do some research. Find phone numbers and call around. Generally, local tourist-type attractions do not require that you obtain permits, but you must be aware that they are usually protected by copyright laws.

As an example: Chicago has a local landmark ordinance. In order to take photographs in Chicago, you must submit an application to the Commission on Chicago landmarks. This coalition reviews all applications, and issues permits to the photographers. You cannot legally take a photograph of a landmark in Chicago without going through this process.

So, it is best to know the rules of the city you are in!

Check Copyrights

The building or landmark itself typically is not protected by copyright law, but the design or architecture may be. Go online and do some research about the landmark you intend to photograph. Find out if there are copyright rules you must follow. Inquire about royalties and other issues so that you may properly photograph and sell your work.

Check Out the Landmark Preservation Society

Some locales have a society specifically dedicated to the protection of the landmarks. This is the organization that usually writes the rules regarding what you can and cannot do. They may have royalty dues or fees for permits that will allow you to photograph the landmark over a specific date or period of hours. These societies are usually self governed and are built on fund-raised dollars.

Special Landmark Rules You Should Know

Many world-known attractions have very specific rules, designed to allow freelance photographers a chance to photograph the landmark and resell their works. For example, if you find yourself in Paris taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower, there are no permits required. The only exception to that rule is if you are taking the photos during the nighttime. As long as you steer clear of this, you can sell them online or to any other company without infringing on any laws.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: