Filming and Photography in the Parks

Film and Photography Permits

A Film or Photography Permit is required for film and photography done for commercial purposes or that otherwise falls outside of normal park use in the East Bay Regional Park District. Note: permits are provided only for activities consistent with the EBRPD Master Plan and not in violation of Ordinance 38.

Film/Commercial Photography Permits: Used for filming, photography, or videotaping of print ads, commercials, movies, videos, PSAs, etc. The current fees for a Film/Commercial Photography permit are $1,250 for a full day of filming (8+ hours), $750 for a half day (5-7 hours), or $165 per hour.

Individual/Portrait Photography Permits (Annual Photo Permits): Recommended for portrait/wedding photographers. If you are not the photographer and looking to hold a family or wedding photo shoot, it would be your photographer that needs to hold the permit. The fee for individual/portrait photography permits is $100. The permit is good for 12 months from the issue date, and the issue date is typically the date of the first photo shoot you send in a request for.

Student Permits: A fee waiver may be requested for student photography permits. A letter from the school and a valid student ID must be submitted with the application to be eligible for the Student Permit Fee Waiver. Students are also required to provide insurance from their school/college/university or provide their own insurance that meets our requirements.

Film and Photography Permit fees are subject to change. Additional fees may also apply for parking, reservations, and park staff time. Liability insurance is required for all permits.

Turnaround time depends on availability, impact on the park, and volume of requests. It is highly recommended you submit the inquiry form at least one month in advance to allow time for the details of your film/photo shoot to be vetted and to ensure you have enough time to obtain and submit all the required insurance documents.

To apply for a Film/Photography Permit:

1. Submit an Inquiry Form: Please fill out this form to request approval for your film or photo shoot with as many details as possible. If you do not have all the details of your film or photo shoot request, our Park/Trail Supervisors will not be able to fully review your request, so we advise you to have all your plans in place before submitting.

You will be contacted if there are any questions or if we are unable to approve your request. Inquires for all Film Shoots or new Annual Photo Permits less than one month in advance from the shoot date will not be accepted.

Current Annual Photo Permit holders should also use the Inquiry Form to request pre-approval for each subsequent photo shoot, even after obtaining the Annual Photo Permit, at least two weeks in advance.

If you would like to apply for an Annual Photo Permit but don't have a photo shoot date in mind, we recommend you wait until you have a photo shoot date to fill out the form below, after which you will receive an application. The Annual Photo Permit start date will be the date of your first photo shoot.

2. Film/Photo Shoot Approval: If your film/photo shoot request receives initial approval, we will be in touch with the next steps on applying for a film or photo permit and providing the required insurance. If you are a current Annual Photo Permit holder, your permit and insurance information on file must remain current to receive full approval.

3. Insurance: Review the insurance requirements. Insurance documents should be emailed to

  • For Film & Commercial Photo Shoot Permits, it is recommended you obtain pre-approval for the shoot before submitting your insurance in case your shoot request is denied.
  • For New Annual Photo Permits, you may submit your insurance at the time of the permit application.
  • For Current Annual Photo Permits, insurance must be kept current for the permit to remain valid.
  • For Student Film & Photography Permits, if your school is not able to provide the required insurance with your name and shoot dates, then you must provide your own insurance which meets the requirements.

4. Payment: Credit card (MC or Visa) payment is preferred, and you will be contacted upon approval of the permit to make payment. Invoices and W-9 forms can be requested if required for payment.

Please note that Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS aka “drones”), pyrotechnics, and weapons are prohibited by EBRPD Ordinance 38.

For Media filming/photography inquiries, please contact our Public Information Office at

For Regional Parks Botanic Garden photo shoots, a reservation is required – please email the Botanic Garden at