By Truman Self, Ozarks News Journal

Taking pictures in the Greene County parks is very popular. The scenic landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for many pictures.

The stunning photos are so popular in fact, that the  Springfield-Greene County park board wants professionals to pay for the right to take them. The new policy is designed to help preserve the city parks beauty and public enjoyment. Only professional photographers are required to purchase a pass.

Jenny Edwards  is a spokesperson for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

“If you are making money off the sale of your photos then we consider that a professional,” stated Edwards.

Sydney Steele  is a local photographer who disagrees with the fee.

“I think it’s kind of crazy for them to just limit it to someone that is getting paid to do it,” said Steele.

If you’re out with your family or friends just taking fun snapshots a photo pass is not required. The new policy replaces an old one that many found confusing.

“The policy and passes are largely self enforced the majority of the photographers who work in our parks are very conscientious and they want to do the right thing,” said Edwards.

Kevin White is a freelance professional photographer who supports the measure.

“I totally agree I owe the city something for using their landscape,” stated White.

Preserving the landscaping and natural beauty of the park was the reason this policy was put in place. A daily pass is $25 sticker for one time use on a date specified. The annual pass is $150. But not every professional agrees with the new fees.

“I think it’s crazy to be honest.  The park board has so much money already…. They are thinking photographers, especially professional photographers, are the ones vandalizing the parks,” said Steele.

Since only professionals are required to pay the fee, some wonder how the requirement for the passes will be enforced.

“I have had problems of a lot of photographers out there working with clients and I’m not sure if they have paid their fees or not, but I can see why they would initiate it,” said White.

Only time will tell whether the new policy will fix the problem both photographers and the city park members are having.

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