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Photography, film & media

To play and protect

Ask before you snap

Are you planning on taking photos at Burning Seed? We all love having some visual mementos of our experiences but some clarification on consent and intention could be helpful here. 

Photography and film is allowed at Burning Seed, however we have strict rules in place which say what you can do and when you can do it. This is our approach to filming and photography at Burning Seed for both participants and professional or amateur media. Not sure which is your category? The line between professional and non-professional is less distinct at our event and both categories share some of the same responsibilities, so please read ahead.


Professionals and aspiring professionals - Media Registration

(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 websites, gallery showings, traditional and digital media –  then 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. Photographers and videographers who are successful in the media registration process will be contacted and required to sign usage agreements before that are issued with a media pass.

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?

And there are no free media passes or tickets. In a participatory community such as ours, you're part of it too. So yes, you must buy a ticket.

Registrations are open from 1st August. Registrations will strictly close on Tuesday 22nd August at 5pm.

Drones 

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 also 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 not registered for a media pass and been accepted, you will not be able to use a drone. Our rangers will confiscate any non-approved drones until after the event.

Non-professionals

(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 ethical agreements, what are your responsibilities when it comes to taking pictures? Here’s the low down:

CONSENT!!!!!
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. 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.

PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN
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.


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