Film and Photography Permit

Film and Photography Permits are required for all motion picture, video, and professional still photography when filming activity takes place on City of Laguna Niguel property including parks, sports fields, trails, facilities, and the Niguel Botanical Preserve. Film and Photography Permits are administered and issued by the City's Parks and Recreation Department. 

City of Laguna Niguel Film and Photography Permits are not issued for County, School District, or other public property not owned by the City of Laguna Niguel. You must contact those agencies directly for use and permitting. A Film and Photography Permit with property owner approval is required if filming and/or shooting professional photography on private property or in a local business, will in some way impact the public right-of-way (this includes the production companies parking of vehicles). If you have any questions, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (949) 425-5100. 

When do I need a Film and Photography Permit? 

Filming: Filming activities that require a permit include the use of motion picture, videotaping, sound recording, or other moving image or audio recording equipment on City property.

Still Photography: Still photography activities require a permit when a professional photographer is used to capture still images on City property.

What is a professional photographer?

A professional photographer is defined as someone who participates for gain or livelihood in the activity of taking photos or producing images. The City of Laguna Niguel requires all professional photographers to obtain a photography permit when capturing images of posed individuals and/or pets while receiving compensation for taking those images on public property.

Filming or still photography will NOT be permitted if it is determined that:

  • There is likelihood of resource damage or public health and safety risks that cannot be mitigated, or
  • There would be an unreasonable disruption of the public's use and enjoyment of the site (beyond short-term interruption). 

What is needed to obtain a Film and Photography Permit?

The permitting process and items needed vary depending on the proposed location and type of filming. Please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (949) 425-5100 or email before applying to discuss the process and application fee.  

  • Photography Permit: $150 (pending approval of application)
  • Film/Video Permit: $300 per day
  • *Deposit: $300 per day

* Deposit may be required depending on application.

Application must be received at least two (2) weeks before requested date to be considered for processing. All fees must be paid before permit is approved and issued.  

Film Permit Application Form

A completed application (PDF) should be submitted to Crown Valley Community Center, Attention: Administrative Secretary, at least two (2) weeks prior to permit request date. An application is not considered complete until the application is completely filled out and submitted with: 

  • All necessary signatures
  • Certificate of Insurance along with the "Additional Insured Endorsement"
  • Production/Site Plan, if necessary 
  • Traffic/Parking, if necessary 
  • Property owner's signatures, agreement, and/or HOA approval letter, if necessary
  • Paid Filming or Still Photography Application Fee and Deposit (if required). 

Insurance Requirements 

Before a permit is issued, a Certificate of Insurance along with the "Additional Insured Endorsement" must be submitted. The Insurance Certificate must be issued by an insurance underwriter "admitted" by the California Insurance Commission and rated "A" or "B+" by Best’s Key Rating Guide. Certificate of Insurance limits and requirements are:

  • Minimum $1,000,000 per occurrence per $2,000,000 General Liability Limit
  • Minimum $1,000,000 combined single limit Auto Liability
  • Minimum statutory limits Workers’ Compensation / Employer’s Liability $1,000,000 per accident or disease with waiver of subrogation endorsement in favor of the City of Laguna Niguel
  • City of Laguna Niguel and its Council members, officers, employees, agents, and volunteers named as Additional Insured

The most common delay occurs when the Certificate of Insurance is not provided with the "Additional Insured Endorsement". To expedite your application process, please inform your insurance underwriter that you are required to provide the Endorsement as well as the Certificate of Insurance. See the sample provided below. 

Please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (949) 425-5100 or email before applying and to discuss the insurance requirements. 

Are there any specific requirements for the use of the Niguel Botanical Preserve?

The Niguel Botanical Preserve is home to more than 2,000 plant species and offers 4 miles of walking trails on 18 acres of land. For this reason, there are special considerations given when approving permits for requested use in this space. For more information, please CLICK HERE to review the Niguel Botanical Preserve Photography Guidelines. 

Why is it important to obtain a permit?

Requesting a permit allows the City to determine a few factors that could impact your activity, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Confirming there aren't any major events that may interfere with your activity; 
  • Identifying if parking could be impacted due to other activities at the same location, such as special events, sports tournaments, construction, etc. on the requested date(s);
  • Depending on location, there may be inherent dangers, such as rattlesnakes, debris, etc. that may impact your activity; 
  • Alternatively, a better location may be recommended to provide you with a positive experience for your activity.