New to Portland

DarenGirdner 4:05pm, 28 July 2010
I am moving to Portland August 1st and I am beyond stoked. I have been wondering a few things and hope you guys can help me out. How are cops/guards/etc about shooting in the city with strobes and all? I use alienbees and normally shoot bands so I was wondering if I had a shoot by the burnside bridge (for example) with a band would I get stopped? Or do I need a permit?

Another questions what is the music scene like out here? Down in Southern California there is a lot of pop punk, deathmetal, hardcore, etc. I have looked up bands up on myspace and seems like there is a lot of folk and punk rock. I could be wrong though?

Thanks for all the help.

Oh and by the way I dont know anyone in Portland so it would be cool to meet up with some of your strobist. :]
MisterSqueeze - (tyson robichaud) PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by MisterSqueeze - (tyson robichaud) (member) 8 years ago
Welcome. You're not the first SoCal'er to move up. There is a lot of music in Portland, in fact most people are in a band, if not three.

If you're using light stands, you will need a permit. I'd think if you could strap a vagabond to each light and have a human light stand, you might be able to get away without a permit, but once you hinder traffic, car, bike, pedestrian or otherwise, you can (and probably will) get asked to stop. Of course the same rules apply for copyrighted imagery, etc, so if you're shooting something with a recognizable brand, image, person, etc in the frame you may be subject to scrutiny (as you would otherwise) but lights will certainly help you stand out. Safe bet, if you're pursuing photography from a professional direction and being paid, have insurance and get a permit and work it into your pricing.

I've only been to one strobist meetup, but the folks are great and I'd highly suggest it. Great group of talent and personality.
ShutterCraze (NUEL) 8 years ago
Welcome home Daren!

Well I haven't been up to date lately on P-Town's music scene but I can assure you it won't disappoint, others here will chime in and give you the low down. There is a bit of everything here and a lot of local bands, some even coming down from Seattle for shows.

MisterSqueeze describes above my experiences exactly with regard to your question about shooting around town.

PDX Strobists holds meetups regularly so check in and come join the group and make new friends.

ShutterCraze (NUEL) 8 years ago
@MisterSqueeze- um, so when will be the next time we see you again? You are surely talented with that camera of yours and your creativity is outstanding.
Craig Mitchelldyer 8 years ago
Welcome to the city. you join a large group of people that move here. Seems if you are a photographer, Portland is the place to live! I've been a professional shooter here for over 10 years. I shoot all over the city with stands and lights and all kinds of crap and have never once in my life ever been stopped by anybody for a permit, except once when I setup in front of a federal building for a portrait and some SUV's pulled up and asked me what I was doing. As soon as I gave them the scoop they left me alone. Portland is the most laid back place on the planet.

Music scene here is big, lots of local bands. most with no money.

MisterSqueeze - (tyson robichaud) PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by MisterSqueeze - (tyson robichaud) (member) 8 years ago
Thanks Nuel, you're too kind. I'd love to make it to another meetup and will do my best. Busy summer and young child make for cramped schedule.

edit: @Craig, I guess I should have said, 'legally' if using light stands, you'll need a permit. I'm sure you can get away with a lot, but when setting up any non-mobile equipment on sidewalks, roads, (public/city property) etc by city ordinance one is supposed to obtain a permit. For times that I'm inside (private property), I will normally just call and talk to a manager or someone in an official capacity to ask permission before hand and I've never had any problems aside from being told 'no' which is fair. Of course you could always take the better to ask forgiveness than permission approach, but if you're doing a more serious shoot, I think it pays to have your bases covered.
DarenGirdner 8 years ago
Thanks everyone. I finally got here a few days ago and I love it. Been trying to scope out some locations for future shoots. Think I got one coming up so gotta prepare. Half of you guys said I need permits other half said I didn't haha so I think I'm gonna try and do it without the permit and see how it goes. Hopefully there are no problems.. If any of you strobist wanna meet up I would love to meet some people. My girlfriend and I moved here and we don't know a single soul ahahah.

Hit me up through flickr mail!

Oh yeah and thanks again.
Berry90 8 years ago
To my knowledge you do not need a permit I have been modeling in Portland for a while hanging from anything I can climb however dodging traffic in early morning does cause some trouble but some great shots too ;) I have never been stopped. I would say I could show you guys around a bit but I'm about to move to NE so I wish you all the best of luck!!!
You don't NEED a permit to shoot. You only 'should' have one in certain situations based on city ordinance. I can't remember the actual wording, but I remember it says something to the extent that if using anything that will impede traffic (foot, bike, car, bus, max, etc) like light stands, booms, etc, you will need to obtain the proper permits or can be cited for obstruction (or something akin to that). Now, that in mind, you need to get caught to be cited.... so, take that however you wish.
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