Releases and Permit Basics


Darkness in an Urban Environment: Managing Light on the Streets


Lesson Info

Releases and Permit Basics

For an editorial shoot, the public street of New York are the public streets of New York. In theory, you can shoot what you want. If someone's walking down the block, I can go click, click, click and I can put it in the newspaper tomorrow and say person walking down Park Avenue. No harm, no foul. Okay, if I want to use that in a commercial vein, if that person's wearing Nike sneakers and Nike sees it and says, "Hey, we want to use this." Uh-uh (negative), you know? I gotta go back and find that person, negotiate commercial rights, pay them a fee. Same thing with the environment. If I'm out here on a commercial adventure, I'm gonna have to get permits, film permits. If I have perhaps, high-priced talent, I'm gonna have to get a motor home. I'll need to get a permit to park that motor home. I'll need to get insurance. If I have somebody sort of notable out on the streets in New York, I'm gonna get security. We have a relationship here, because we're based around here we have a relationsh...

ip of long standing with a security firm that employs off-duty New York City police detectives. Plain clothes, badged, armed, two or three of them on the street sort of insures that everything stays nice and calm. Also, the beauty and benefit of having those guys, they're really good guys, and if a beat officer comes along and wants to know what you're doing, they have that relationship with them and they can help you explain what you're doing to the officer on patrol. Anyway, commercial shooting is a hugely different enterprise. Lot of money goes into commercial shooting. You can spend literally thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars an hour out here on the streets of New York to do a full-blown commercial shoot. Did one just last week. The budget was very high. Permits were very dense. Multiple permits had to be had, because there's overlapping jurisdictions. Tonight, we're not going to observe any of that. It's run-and-gun editorial-style shooting, I don't have the worry so much about the implications of my background. I can move and shoot. If someone comes along and says, "You really shouldn't "be shooting here," I'm not gonna pick that fight. You have to choose your battles, so I'm not gonna get into a standoff with somebody over a picture that I can make an equivalent sort of picture down the block. So sometimes, just a mild manner and a happy approach to things is the best ticket you can use out on the streets of New York. Be amiable, be congenial, be forgiving. Be elastic. Can't shoot here? Okay, well how about here? Rock and roll with it.

Class Description

In this exclusive class, join legend Joe McNally, on the streets of New York to see how to bring light to one of the busiest and most dynamic backgrounds. He'll walk through how to prep your gear, scout for locations, direct your models, and incorporate flash to make your subject stand out on the city streets. He'll discuss how to set your exposure and plan your shot to achieve the "bokeh" look of the city glow behind your model. Learn tips for planning your shoot so you're within the city regulations as well as techniques to help work through any troubles you may have while on location. Gain the confidence and know-how to photograph your subjects with flash in what can seem like an impossible environment.


Janis Shetley

This behind the scenes class is great for those that already have a solid understanding of how to use their flash off camera. I really learned a lot watching Joe work with the models, seeing where he put the flashes, where he stood, how he framed the shots, how he had the models move - especially in the "movement" segment. The three light segment was also interesting - I would have never tried putting the reflector on the pavement with a flash firing into it - so cool. If you need detailed instructions on using your flash and camera - this is not the class for you. If you want ideas on how to get the most out of your flashes on the street - this is it. Great class. Plus Joe is just a great teacher and fun to listen to for 90 minutes!

fbuser 4d17acbc

I like the class. It is a good primer for getting an idea of some of the things that you need to think about when you are doing a night shoot. This is a quicky class Joe just touches on a bunch of stuff so you don't get a lot meat and potatoes on this class, but I found it helpful. Worth the cost.


Excellent course and teacher of mastering the shoot in a difficult environment. Mr. McNally shows how to work with the models in NYC in late afternoon and into the night. He works closely with his team to assure that they capture excellent images using the right equipment. I highly recommend this class to anyone that what's more out of photography.