Commercial Photography, Video and Drone Permits

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Commercial photography and other forms of media in the City's public right-of-way and parks are permitted through the City's Office of Special Events. Please read the information below to determine if you need a permit.

When no permit is required

Recreational photography: informal photos taken for personal use and enjoyment. 

Professional photography: photographer is compensated for their work or charges for their services or final product. Photography may include, but is not limited to: landscape, still life, senior portraits, family portraits, team portraits, birthday or holiday portraits, prom photos, engagement, and wedding photos. This final product is not used to market a good or service; for example, a car commercial. 

Exception: Rock Ledge Ranch (see below)

Please Note: Professional Photography Permit Under Consideration

At this time, professional photo or video projects where the final product is for a customer's personal use do not require a permit (this includes weddings, engagement photos, graduation photos, etc.)

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is discussing implementing a new annual permit for  professional photographers (see above definition) who profit from the use of City parks. The permit fees being discussed potentially include all City parks, including Garden of the Gods. The timeline and fee structure are yet to be determined.

When we have a draft policy we will make every effort to clearly communicate the policy and procedure, including fees, before it is implemented.

Our normal process includes meeting with stakeholders and a presentation to our Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Advisory Board, which is a public meeting. Following these meetings, details will be shared online and through our social media channels.

Once our policy and fee is established the revenue will contribute to the operations and maintenance of the park system.

To offer feedback, please email events@coloradosprings.gov.

When a permit is required

Commercial:  photos or videos that advertise or market a product, service, event or destination; real estate photography; non-editorial print or television media; or other commercial uses.

Drone photography: photos or videos taken for any purpose from a drone. Drone photography is ONLY permitted with expressed written consent (see Drone Policy)

Rock Ledge Ranch: Use of the site for portrait or professional photography requires a permit. Visit RockLedgeRanch.Com for more information.

    Apply for a Commercial Film/Photography Permit 

     A Commercial Film/Photography Permit is required for any commercial still or video photography in a City of Colorado Springs public right-of-way or City park.

    Provisions for All Parks, Trails and Open Spaces

    • The Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PRCS) Department reserves the right to approve or deny any permit application at its sole discretion.
    • Commercial General Liability Insurance that names as Additional Insured, “The City of Colorado Springs, its elected officials, employees and volunteers” and any other public entities impacted by the event is required for all permits. The policy must be for a minimum of $1,000,000.00 with an aggregate amount of $1,000,000.00.
    • The entire Application and Permit Packet must be on the premises during filming and presented to any City Employee upon request.
    • All park rules and regulations apply.

    Provisions for Garden of the Gods Park

    Additional regulations for filming in Garden of the Gods Park exist to protect the natural attributes of the park, as well as the experience of its visitors:

    • Permits which require road closures will not be issued during peak visitor season, May 1-September 30 annually.
    • Filming will only be permitted Monday-Friday during the hours of 6:00-10:00 am (year-round), 3:00-5:00 pm (October 1-April 30) and 7:00-9:00 pm (May 1-September 30).
    • Scouting, set-up, tear-down and filming may only be conducted during park hours, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm from November 1 through April 30; and 5:00 am – 10:00 pm from May 1 – October 31.
    • Photographers and crew may not disturb birds or wildlife or their natural habitat within the park.
    • Photographers, crew, equipment and vehicles may not disrupt or impede vehicle or pedestrian traffic at any time, unless a road closure has been approved and appropriate traffic control is in place.

    Permit & Application Process

    • Commercial Film/Photography Permit Application
    • Applications are due at least 14 days in advance of requested filming date
    • Applications must include:
      • Certificate of Insurance
      • Site Plan
      • Timeline/Narrative/Shot List
      • Signed Park Rules & Regulations (if applicable)
      • Other permits and licenses (as applicable)
    • Permit Fees:
      • Application Processing Fee - $25
      • Garden of the Gods Park - $500/day
      • All Other Parks - $250/day
      • Penalty and/or violation fees may apply for a violation of any park rule

     

    Are You Requesting?

    Required Permit

    Application Deadline

    Exclusive use and/or closure of any City street, sidewalk, alley, park trail or open space?

    Commercial Film Permit

    14 days

    Non-exclusive use of any City sidewalk or alleyway?

    Revocable Permit

    7 days

    Use of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)/Drone Photography?

    Commercial Film Permit

    Expressed written consent required for drone use (see Drone Policy)

    14 days

    Use of Pikes Peak or the Pikes Peak Highway?

    Varies

    Contact sandy.elliott@coloradosprings.gov

    Varies

    Use of private property?

    No permits required if the project has permission from the property owner, and there will be no signage, lighting, noise, high-risk activity or temporary structures

    N/A