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 both 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 Facebook - 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 everyone in the photo before you upload and not posting to any public Facebook groups or websites.
- If you are planning to share outside of family and friends, including to websites, galleries, traditional & digital media, 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 AND register your drone with REDMV.
Media Crew / Media Passes
(pictures and video for articles, online and wider distribution)
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 – you need to seek and be granted written permission via media registration. If you are planning to write and publish an article, 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 still applies.
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. And that means we like to keep an eye on the media, photographers and filmmakers – professional, semi-professional and amateur. With the size of our event still intimate, we also set a limit on the number of film projects each year. Hey, we don't want a store on every corner, why would we want a camera on every one too?
What does media registration involve?
At Burning Seed we are not interested in 100's of photos just for the sake of photos and definitely not pictures for Instagram. 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 (and ask you) all about your creative project during the registration process. Not everyone who completes the registration process will be approved as we don't want hundreds of people running around with cameras.
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, you will be issued with a media pass at the event.
Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) otherwise known as drones are becoming more and more popular. Drones are allowed at Burning Seed, however if you want to use one, you are classed as professional media. To fly your drone you will need first need to have a media registration complete and approved. All drones must then (on instruction from the Comms Team) be registered with Red Earth Mutant Vehicles (RedMV) before they are allowed to be used at Burning Seed. To read the Burning Seed drone policy and register your drone with RedMV, click here to visit the RedMV page.
If you have registered your drone with RedMV, but not registered and been accepted for a media pass - you will not be able to use a drone. Our rangers will confiscate any non-approved drones until after the event.
Registrations are open from 13th August and will strictly close on Monday 27th August at 5pm.
Non-Crew / No Media Passes
(pictures and videos for 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. Lots of 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 your 12,000 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.
So, the best thing to do is ask. May I take a picture? Would you mind if I then used that picture on *insert social media platform* ?
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, or perhaps wanting to explore somebody else's, 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.