Photography, film & media

Photography, film and Media

Are you planning on taking photos or video at Burning Seed? We all love having some mementos of our experiences, but Burning Seed is not like other events. While photography and film is allowed, we have strict guidelines in place for what you can do and when you can do it. We expect these guidelines to be followed by all participants - whether they are a member of the media crew or not.

This is our approach to filming and photography at Burning Seed, so please read ahead.

Do I need to register as part of the Media Crew?

We get this question a lot and the answer depends on why/where you are taking photos and what you plan to do with them.

  • If you are taking photographs just for your family and friends - including uploading to your personal Facebook profile - you wont need a media pass (unless you are planning to upload to public Facebook groups). However you will still need to follow guidelines on consent and permission which you can find below. This will include getting permission from every person in the photo before you upload, AND not posting to any public Facebook groups or websites.
  • If you are planning to share images and video outside of family and friends, including to websites, galleries, traditional & digital media, public groups or pages, the Burning Seed website or any other medium - you will need to apply for and be granted a media pass.
  • If you are planning to use a drone, regardless of what you intend to do with the footage, you must register for a media pass.
  • If you would like your photographs to be shared by Burning Seed and used in our publications and on our website, you must register for a media pass.

Why join the media crew? Improvements for 2019!

Joining the Burning Seed Media Crew definitely has some perks! We've learned from your feedback in previous years and have made some improvements for 2019. By joining the Burning Seed Media Crew:

  • Your photos and videos will be shared online after the event on the official Burning Seed Facebook page and website. This is dependent on us receiving your media in a timely manner.
  • After the event we will be revamping our media galleries making them more accessible. We are also exploring plugins for Flickr and other galleries - which a lot of our photographers use - allowing you to showcase your images in your way.
  • You will be given an ultra exclusive looking media pass!
  • You will have access to the burn perimeter of the Effigy and Temple Burns (subject to registration and Ranger/Safety mprotocols being met).
  • You will get to join the new Media Crew private Facebook group to share ideas, images, projects and ask questions.

Info for Media Crew / Media Passes

If you are planning to take photographs or film for anything beyond sharing with friends and family – including public Facebook groups, websites, gallery showings, instagram, traditional and digital media, the Burning Seed website –  you need to seek and be granted written permission via our media registration process. If you are planning to write and publish an article on Burning Seed, you'll need to register with us too.

A ticket does not automatically give you the right to film, take pictures or write for publication or broadcast, regardless of commercial intent. Even if you obtain a media pass, this doesn't mean that you can photograph or film whatever you want. Consent and rules still apply.

Why is this important?

At Burning Seed, we are seeking to create a radically self-expressive space where people can openly be or do anything. Because of this, there is a greater need at our Burn to maintain the integrity and safety of the space and its people – and for participants to know and trust that this is happening. This means we like to keep an eye on media, photographers and filmmakers – professional, semi-professional and amateur. We also set a limit on the number of media passes granted each year. We don't want a store on every corner, why would we want a camera on every one too?

Who qualifies for a media pass?

At Burning Seed a media pass is a privilege. We want to be able to show your art and talent to the wider Burning Seed community. We are not interested in 100's of photos just for the sake of photos, a collection of images of just you and your friends or pictures for Instagram. Instead, we want to see your creativity, your style and your passion come across in your photos. Do you have a particular project or theme you will be working on? We want to hear all about your creative project during the registration process.  There is no minimum level of skill or experience required for a media pass, but a solid project or idea is key.

What happens if I am successful?

Photographers and videographers who are successful in the media registration process will be contacted and required to sign usage agreements. If these signed agreements are returned, and on attendance of a briefing at the event, you will be issued with a media pass.


Drones are allowed at Burning Seed, however if you want to use one - regardless of your what you record or where you plan to share it - you will need to have a media registration complete AND approved. We only allow a small number of drones at each Burning Seed event, with a strict schedule of when you will be able to fly (so we do not have multiple drones in the air at once). Our rangers will confiscate any non-approved drones until after the event.


Info for Non-Crew

(aka photos for personal use of me and my friends)

It can be tempting at Burning Seed to be snap happy with your camera or phone - after all, how are people going to know what a great time you had unless you photograph it? While our core media crew are held to rigorous signed agreements, here are your responsibilities when it comes to taking pictures.

You will need to ask for explicit permission whenever you are taking pictures of others. This means that anybody in your lens’ field of vision needs to enthusiastically agree to having their photo taken - all the time, every time. If you only wish to share your pictures from your phone with your friends and family, then that’s fine. If however, you want to upload those pictures to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your blog or any other social media platform, you will need to communicate that intent with those in the photo. This is not like the default world where you upload whatever you like.

Your request will need to sound something like this: “Hey, is everybody okay with me taking a picture right now and maybe putting this on Facebook?” This gives people the chance to opt out, say no or add conditions (like no tags etc.) which you will need to honour.

This stuff is important. Lots of people come to Seed to shake off the digital world and to express themselves in ways that may look different to those on the outside. Many people are gifting their vulnerability and trust and while they may choose to share those moments with you and the people around you, they aren’t necessarily agreeing to share that with you Instagram followers or Facebook friends. Peoples right to exist outside of the digital space is more important than anybody else's need to take a photograph. Loads of people DO NOT CONSENT to having their photo taken during a Burn. Everybody has the right to be in the moment and to move through their experiences without feeling like they're being tracked by paps.

Whether you're a newcomer or not, you might not know what is acceptable until you ask. By asking, you'll eliminate confusion and foster a tighter, safer community where people know their boundaries are protected and respected. In a world where people are pushing the envelope of their own self-expression, such freedom is only assured by knowing you are safe to do so.

Remember: photographs might seem like a good idea at the time but radical self-expression can look quite different out of its natural habitat and splashed all round Facebook for employers, family members and others to see.

You must not photograph any child without the explicit permission of their parent or guardian. No exceptions.

If you are just sharing your photos with friends and families, then here ends our little chat. But if you're taking images for greater public distribution including digital media, websites, galleries, exhibitions, YouTube or others, you'll fall under the professional category and you will need a media pass to be able to do so. See the info on the left.


Media Pass Registration

The media registration process for Burning Seed is as follows:

  1. Media registration will be open in July 2020.
  2. You must have a Burning Seed ticket to apply for a Media Pass.
  3. Once registrations are open, use the registration form (linked below) to apply for a Media Pass for Burning Seed 2020.
  4. The Comms Team will contact you and let you know if your application is successful.
  5. If successful you must sign usage agreements and get these back to us by the deadline. Agreements not received mean no media pass will be issued.
  6. You will be invited to a private Media Crew facebook page where you can connect with other artists!
  7. If you are granted a pass, you must attend a briefing on-site with the Comms Lead. If you don't attend the briefing, no pass will be issued.
  8. You must agree to submit your photos to Burning Seed within 30 days of the event.

Can't find the answer you're looking for? Shoot a line to comms@burningseed.com