DLNR issues cease and desist orders to 2 wedding photographers for photos taken in Kauai

Hawaii officials have issued cease and desist orders to two local wedding photography companies for taking photos in state parks without a required permit.

The Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources recently issued orders to Bradyhouse Photographers and The Foxes Photography after the companies posted photos online of couples posing at places such as the base at Wailua Falls and Hanakapiai Beach. in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, which are technically prohibited and would not have received a permit.

DLNR said the letters served as warnings, but also meant companies could potentially face criminal or civil citations, with fines of thousands of dollars and potential jail time.

Commercial wedding photographers looking to get stunning photos of clients posed on Hawaii’s natural landscapes – whether on a ridge above craggy cliffs, under a waterfall, or on a beach at sunset – should first get the appropriate county and state permits before settling in and taking pictures, officials said.

The DLNR found evidence of unauthorized activity on company websites, as well as in social media posts.

Kauai-based Bradyhouse Photographers features images of Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Falls and Hanakapiai Beach and Honopu at Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on their website. There is also drone fire in Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks.

Bradyhouse received eight photography permits from the Hawaii State Film Office between May and September of this year, according to DLNR, including one listing all the legal locations that photographers can use during set periods.

But those featured on the company’s website aren’t included, and neither would they.

“Many of these locations are both naturally and culturally sensitive and we would not be issuing permits for commercial drone operations or wedding photos in these sensitive locations,” said state park administrator Curt Cottrell.

Meg Bradyhouse, founder of Bradyhouse Photographers, said in an email that the cease-and-desist order came as a big surprise.

She said the company met with a DLNR agent earlier this year and after getting apprenticeship permits for some locations it has since been 100% complained.

The company will no longer take photos at Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Falls and Honoopu because they are not allowed, she said, and is doing its best to be respectful and comply with all permit requirements.

“We regret that before knowing better we were once part of the problem, but we believe people do better when they know better,” she said in a statement. “We took our initial conversation with the DLNR in January very seriously and we are grateful for the opportunity to do better and help the DLNR to raise awareness and educate the processes necessary to capture this beautiful island in a respectful and respectful manner. legal. “

The DLNR also issued a cease and desist order to The Foxes Photography, which offers escape packages around the world, including Kauai, and features photos on its website which the agency says “were clearly taken in state parks, without a commercial permit.”

A photo of newlyweds standing on a rock at the base of Wailua Falls, for example, includes a caption saying the steep descent from the road is “100% worth it,” which is illegal, DLNR said. Signs are displayed indicating that the area is closed.

“If you ignore the rules for a business advantage, the evidence is on your websites and the law will catch up with you,” Cottrell said.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said she had filed complaints about this type of business activity for years by “bad actors” who basically didn’t care about regulations.

“It’s not fair to the photographers who turn down the business because they honor the place where they know it’s not legal,” she said.

What happens then, she said, is that potential clients who want a particular engagement or wedding photo will keep calling other photographers until they find someone. ‘one who is ready to do it. It takes a toll on those who follow the rules.

Mike Danderand, president of the Kauai Wedding Professionals Association, agreed.

“Renegade photographers create unhealthy expectations for visiting couples when they see photos online or on social media and they ask our members to take photos in the same places,” Danderand said in a statement. “There are places on Kauai that are sacred or dangerous. Our members are committed to honoring and respecting cultural sites.

Kanoho has also seen social media posts of weddings being held in Honopu by chartered boats, which she says “is 100% illegal and culturally inappropriate.” Some companies also set up luxury beach picnics, with extravagant setups that aren’t allowed.

“It got out of hand,” she said. “There are plenty of beautiful places to take a photo. You just have to do it the right way. “


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