Hawai’i’s Kaua‘i County Launches Seminar to Instruct Photographers on Obtaining Proper Permits


Hawai’i is easily one of the top destinations for photographers from around the world, both hobbyist, commercial, and, naturally, wedding photography.

aerial view of green and brown mountains and lake
Photo by Karsten Winegeart

But that doesn’t mean that the islands welcome any and all photoshoots; in fact, they’re actually quite strict about who gets to shoot and where.

So much so that the state issues loads of citations each year to photographers that violate the rules and some of these can be really expensive.

To be prepare photographers for shooting in Hawai’i, and perhaps to head off some unnecessary confusion surrounding the rules, Kaua’i County has launched a seminar aimed at bringing the essentials to photographers in an accessible format whose goal is, ostensibly, to get everyone shooting within regulations and avoid citations.

“Admittedly, due to the various land jurisdictions involved, and the evolution of the commercial photography industry, we haven’t always made changes in our rules…The proliferation of internet sites promoting wedding services has not only increased the work-load of approving agencies, but has complicated the process,” the Hawai‘i State Film Office’s Kelly Pila said of the initiative.

Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho added, “The most frequent complaints center around Wailua Falls…It gives the entire wedding professionals industry a black-eye, when people standing at the Wailua Falls overlook see a photographer, a bride, a groom, or a drone operator at the base of the waterfall. There are signs indicating that it is a closed area, so no one should be using the excuse of…we didn’t know.”

Have you ever had the chance to photograph around Hawai’i? What were your opinions of the permitting process? Do you think a seminar will help clarify things? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out some other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[Kauai Now News]

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

There are some inaccuracies in this article. The seminar was put on by the Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources and the Kauai Visitors Bureau, not by Kauai County. Photographers have not been cited, but two companies received cease-and-desist orders from the State last fall asking them to remove photographs taken in closed area from all platforms.

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