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Policy for Still Photography Projects

At the Marston House Museum & Gardens

Permit Requirement
A Site Photography Permit is required when still photography involves the use of models, professional crews, set dressings, or props; when it involves product or service advertisement, including professional portfolios or stock for sale; or when it could result in damage to park resources or disruption of visitor use. A permit is also required if the photographer wants to shoot in areas not open to the public, or before or after normal visitation hours. Contact the Public Relations Director at Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) if you are uncertain whether your project requires a permit.

Possible Supplementary Requirements

  • A pre-production site visit with a representative from the production company
  • Cooperation with a SOHO on-site supervisor for large or complex shoots

Frequently there are opportunities for news organizations to focus on Marston House & Gardens programs, or increase public awareness of property-specific issues. Photography related to these stories must be coordinated and planned in advance. A Site Photography Permit will be issued if it is determined that the property would benefit from the increased public awareness. Contact the Public Relations Director to discuss your project.

SOHO collects two fees; the hourly Site Photography Permit fee, and the Security Deposit. The amount of the security deposit will vary depending on the size and complexity of your permit.

Hourly Site Photography Permit Rates
(Must be pre-scheduled)
$35 per hour
$200 full day (6 hours maximum)

Security Deposit fees are determined by the following criteria:

  1. Type of shoot (wedding, editorial, commercial, stock, etc.)
  2. Duration of shoot
  3. Size of the crew
  4. Amount of equipment and complexity of setup used
  5. Location and amount of space used on the property

Applying for a permit

  • Permit applications are available at the administrative offices of SOHO at 2476 San Diego Avenue in Old Town San Diego, or online HERE (2-page pdf)
  • Complete the application including the site map indicating the exact location on the property where you wish to shoot
  • Leave the fee section blank, as Site Photography Permit fee will be determined by SOHO Public Relations Director
  • Any special requests/needs will be handled on an individual basis at the time of the application
  • Upon receipt of your application, you will be notified of the Site Photography Permit fee and security deposit, and if a certificate of insurance will be necessary
  • If the application is approved, a Site Photography Permit will be issued, which must be carried while conducting the shoot on site
  • The permit becomes valid once signed by the producer and SOHO, fees are paid in full, and supplementary requirements and conditions are agreed to
  • SOHO reserves the right to refuse any application that is not in the best interest of SOHO and the Marston House & Gardens or revoke permission without notice if terms and conditions of the permit are violated.
  • Your completed application should be faxed to: (619) 291-3576, attn: Public Relations Director

Commercial Photography Rules & Regulations

  1. The taking of still photos for commercial purposes in the Marston House Gardens requires a Site Photography Permit approved and issued by the Public Relations Director of Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO). The Site Photography Permit will state any and all conditions pertaining to the use as the Director shall determine, and the fee and charges to be paid for such use.
  2. Fees and charges, including a security deposit, for use of the Marston House Gardens for commercial photography are established by SOHO and are to be paid prior to the issuance of the Site Photography Permit.
  3. All fees, insurance certificates, city permits, and final permit application must be received before permission to film will be granted
  4. SOHO must be compensated for loss of business if photo shoot will take place in areas that will prohibit customer access to revenue producing areas and all established facility rental fees must be paid in addition to site photography permit fees.
  5. Activities that will endanger public safety at the Marston House are prohibited. SOHO must have advance notice of all water and electrical needs, (whether or not you provide your own generators)
  6. Police Department and/or San Diego Fire Department may shut down a filming company at anytime if they feel it is endangering public safety.
  7. The permittee is responsible for leaving the area clean and litter-free. Upon shoot completion, the area used must be left free of litter or debris. A custodial and trash receptacle will be deducted from the security deposit of permittees who do not leave the Marston House property in the condition in which it was found.
  8. Any property damage that occurs during the permitted shoot, set-up or take-down, is the responsibility of the permittee. Damage to the property should be reported immediately. It will be assessed and repair costs billed to the permittee.
  9. Neither people nor equipment are allowed in the plant or flower beds at any time
  10. All vehicle and equipment parking must be on paved surfaces only. No parking will be allowed on the roots of trees, lawns, or other sensitive green spaces.
  11. The erection of structures, fences, poles, tents, stages, or the installation of electricity is prohibited. Permittees must carry the permit and present it upon request. Permits will be revoked without payment of any compensation in the event of a breach of any laws, by-laws, or conditions set up herein or in force. Non-compliance may also result in additional charges.


3525 Seventh Avenue, San Diego 92103
(619) 297-9327


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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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