KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Loose Park is one of the most popular spots in Kansas City, Missouri, to take photos, whether they are personal or professional.
What many photographers might not realize is that the park has always required a permit to take professional or commercial photos on the property.
Signs recently went up in the park, and workers are on high alert for photographers doing business without the proper permits.
Loose Park Manager Judy Penner said the recent enforcement is due to damage caused by some photographers since the park has been so overrun in recent months.
"People will step on plants. We were having a lot of broken plants. People broke off the roses," Penner said. "We're hoping people understand we're trying to respect this beautiful park and keep it as nice as possible."
According to the Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation website, city ordinance 50-163 says business cannot be conducted on park or city property without a permit from the appropriate board.
Local professional photographer Michael Orr reached out to 41 Action News after he was told in the middle of a photography session last week that he needed a permit. Orr said he has photographed in Loose Park for years and was surprised to hear about the requirement.
"It's a park. Why would I have to pay to take pictures at a park?" Orr said.
Orr said a lot of photographers are likely using the park because they can't do indoor sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orr said he'll shoot at other locations moving forward, but he'd like to see more money going to other parks in the city.
"This park is a nice park and we need more options with other parks that look just as beautiful," Orr said.
Local professional photographer Allie Coyle told 41 Action News she's been shooting in Loose Park for eight years and never knew about the ordinance either.
However, Coyle said she agrees with requiring a permit to maintain the park's beauty.
Fees are $25 per hour for personal shoots. Commercial shoots start at $50 per hour. Permit fees and insurance needs will be determined upon review of the completed request form.
More information about the required permits and fees can be found on the KC Parks website.