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Lloyd D

Shooting in the US; are we allowed?

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I'm UK based and It's my intention to travel to the US a couple of times a year for 3-4 weeks at a time to shoot lifestyle/business type stock.

 

I've already made a couple of successful trips but after a conversation I had recently I'm a bit concerned about making sure I'm not breaking any rules in the US. 

 

When I've been through US customs before I've not been questioned so haven't had to explain myself but I would like to be up front with the border guards. 

 

Does anybody 'know' what the rules are in this situation? i.e. short trip to carry out commercial photography but not for sale in the States and not being employed as such by a US company. Also, I use local models who I pay an hourly rate, would that be a problem?

 

Perhaps somebody knows where I might enquiry as far as the US government goes, to get accurate info

 

thanks in advance!

 

Lloyd

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Image meaning we're all at sea?

 

wim

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1 minute ago, Lloyd D said:

Hi Matt

thanks for your quick response. That link seems to take me to an image only?

There's no thread that I can see 

 

Oopps! Corrected it now! These things happen when you are posting to different forums/chats and you forget what you last copied to the clipboard in Windows!

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Just now, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Oopps! Corrected it now! These things happen when you are posting to different forums/chats and you forget what you last copied to the clipboard in Windows!

 

I understood the question more like do I need a work visa?

Only the embassy can answer that. My guess is that not many people care to ask.

 

wim

 

 

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Just now, wiskerke said:

 

I understood the question more like do I need a work visa?

Only the embassy can answer that. My guess is that not many people care to ask.

 

wim

 

 

 

Now you mention this and having re-read it, I think you might be right! 

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1 minute ago, wiskerke said:

 

I understood the question more like do I need a work visa?

Only the embassy can answer that. My guess is that not many people care to ask.

 

wim

 

 

Yes, Wim

thats what I meant to ask. Obviously I am 'working' on US soil but do I need anything other than a visitors visa as I'm not working for hire, taking work from a US citizen etc

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I wouldn't think you would need a visa as you aren't earning money in the US.  But Jeff Greenberg would probably know best (although as an American he wouldn't have to have a VISA to shoot in the US).  Jeff travels all year just to take photos, so would certainly know the ins and outs of visa requirements worldwide.

 

Jill

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I guess the safest way would be to ask the embassy or try to contact the border agency in the US

I'll let you know how it goes 

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@OP: Why/how would your photos not be on sale in the US?

(Maybe it's just me, but I can't see how to restrict by country nowadays, I'm probably missing something.)

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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1 minute ago, Cryptoprocta said:

@OP: Why/how would your photos not be on sale in the US?

(Maybe it's just me, but I can't see how to restrict by country nowadays, I'm probably missing something.)

Sorry, Cryptoprocta

what I meant was, I'm not selling a product e.g. imagery, on the ground in the US. 

As you infer, (hopefully) the photographs I take could be sold globally but not 'just' in the US

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16 minutes ago, Lloyd D said:

I guess the safest way would be to ask the embassy or try to contact the border agency in the US

I'll let you know how it goes 

 

Let's hope you don't open a can of worms with your questions. 

If they deny your request, you might be in hot water regarding any future trips. 

Also, they might question you about images you have on your website or on social media regarding previous trips and why you haven't declared those at the time. 

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Lloyd, unless you are on a paid photography assignment, you are a tourist. The guy or gal asking you, "What's the purpose of your trip?" is checking hundreds of passports a day. They do not want to get into what might or might not happen with you in the future. If you are traveling for your day job, your answer would be "Business and pleasure." 

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2 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Lloyd, unless you are on a paid photography assignment, you are a tourist. The guy or gal asking you, "What's the purpose of your trip?" is checking hundreds of passports a day. They do not want to get into what might or might not happen with you in the future. If you are traveling for your day job, your answer would be "Business and pleasure." 

I think my worry is that if they take an interest then my kit looks pretty elaborate for a tourist. A quick scan of socmed will show that it's how I make my living and by then I'll have had already said "pleasure/holiday" and could risk being turned around. 

Im aware that even if the US embassy said 'go ahead, no problem' I could still have problems with a border guard who thinks differently 

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I have spoken to Mr Trump and he says it is OK to take your photos.

 

He only wants $100,000.00 dollars into his account.:D

 

Allan

 

 

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Even if your your sole purpose is to take pictures, you are free to do so in the United States as long as no one is paying you to do that at the time. It is perfectly legal to shoot as an unpaid freelancer and licence the pictures later. If asked what you do for a living you must of course declare that you are a photographer. This will not change the legality of your intention. If you were on assignment for a client or were there for the purpose of teaching photography (running a photo tour) and were being paid you would need a permit because your 'job' could conceivably be done by an American. 

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3 minutes ago, Chexy said:

Even if your your sole purpose is to take pictures, you are free to do so in the United States as long as no one is paying you to do that at the time. It is perfectly legal to shoot as an unpaid freelancer and licence the pictures later. If asked what you do for a living you must of course declare that you are a photographer. This will not change the legality of your intention. If you were on assignment for a client or were there for the purpose of teaching photography (running a photo tour) and were being paid you would need a permit because your 'job' could conceivably be done by an American. 

 

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Never try this at the border in the US. There is no way to get in after asking a question like this. You'll be escorted out to the next flight home, which if you're very lucky is the same plane. Always go to the embassy first. Btw they have an excellent website that will probably answer your question.

If you're a journalist carrying a legitimate presscard and all that, there's a special media visa for you.

 

wim

 

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Guest Stockfotoart

.

 

Edited by Stockfotoart

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Guest Stockfotoart

.

Edited by Stockfotoart

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1 hour ago, Stockfotoart said:

 

From that article:

First, you will have to find a sponsor who can be an agent or a production company… basically a U.S Company that says I want this person to come work for me.

 

wim

 

edit: ideally you will want this.

Edited by wiskerke

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I have spoken to Mr Trump and he says it is OK to take your photos.

 

He only wants $100,000.00 dollars into his account.:D

 

Allan

 

 

 

But they all have to be "great" shots. ^_^

 

My philosophy when it comes to questions like these is don't tickle the rhino lest he charge.

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Guest Stockfotoart

 

 

.

 

Edited by Stockfotoart

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