Rules and conditions for photographing Models In National parks

Having just applied to National Parks for a small scale filming and photography permit they have the hide to tell me I must apply and pay $120 If I use a model {which they define as Talent.} Here is NP’s response. I will be working with Arts Freedom Australia as will my friend Malcolm Katon to effect a change in this policy. Photography is my hobby and to do it in National parks it seems I must pay or lie.

Hi David,

Thank you for your email regarding your photographic activities in NSW National Parks.

You have described your photography activities as a ‘hobby’, rather than commercial. Under the Department’s Filming and Photography Policy, amateur filming and photography is that in which the principal intent of the activity is the pursuit of personal or hobby interests and not commercial gain – approval from NPWS is not required for amateur filming.

Under the same policy commercial filming means any filming or photography ‘for sale, hire or profit’ (as per Part 2 of the NP&W Regulation) and extends to images for magazines, postcards, commercial websites, promotional material, books and advertisements. It is up to the individual to decide whether they require approval from NPWS based on these definitions for work they are undertaking. We would argue that the principal intent of individuals who advertise their services on talent websites (e.g. and offer images for sale; by way of prints, calendars etc is financial gain, in addition to any personal or hobby interests.

As you are aware, there are two main ways in which we licence commercial stills photography in parks. One is the Annual Registration for ‘small scale’ photography; the other is the standard filming and photography application which is required for activities that are not deemed to be ‘small scale’. The distinction arises from the nature of the activity including the equipment to be used (for small scale it must be ‘backpackable’) and whether or not talent is used.

Any person who appears in an image is considered talent. The term ‘professional talent’, however, refers to the use of an individual who is either part of the modelling, acting, dancing, hair and makeup styling or similar professions that require the use of photographs, or is seeking employment in these same fields (and so is being photographed or having photographs taken as a means of pursuing employment in one of these professions).

Shoots using professional talent are not covered under the Annual Registration and you will need to apply for a filming permit each time using the following form:

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