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Kauai photographers ignoring rules receiving cease-and-desist letters

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Kauai photographers ignoring rules receiving cease-and-desist letters

KAUAI (KITV4) - The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has issued two "cease and desist letters to photography companies that failed to get permission or proper permits to conduct photo shoots along the Napali Coast in Kauai. 

The letters were sent to "Bradyhouse Photographers" and the "Foxes photography."

“It’s not fair to photographers who are making a living following the rules,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau. For years, she has fielded complaints about “bad actors” who basically thumb their noses at regulations that require permits to conduct commercial activities in places like state parks.

One of the companies website includes this statement: “Our team knows Kauai like the back of our hands, we know the spots to get away from the crowds whether you’re looking for a secluded beach, a private waterfall or an epic ridge trail, and we know the vendors who will show up and take the best care of you.”

DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell said there are no records of Bradyhouse Photographers seeking. “Our review of photographs on the company website, as well as on its social media pages, clearly show images from Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Falls, drone shots in Waimea Canyon and Koke?e State Parks, as well as from Hanakapi?ai Beach and Honopu in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park. Many of these places are both naturally and culturally sensitive and we would not be issuing permits for commercial drone operations or wedding photos in these sensitive locations.”

In July, Kanoho observed via social media posts, photographers chartering boats and doing weddings at Honopu. “That is 100% illegal and culturally inappropriate,” she said. She says her efforts to discuss the issue with other photographers have been met with derision and threats.

Both companies promote their customer's areas like secluded beaches, waterfalls, and epic ridge trails as wedding photo backdrops.

The DLNR claims both companies took photos in state parks without proper permits. 

Photography companies receiving cease-and-desist letters could face criminal or civil citations, which can carry fines of thousands of dollars and potential jail time.

Cottrell’s advice, “If you are ignoring the rules for commercial advantage, the evidence is on your websites, and the law will catch up with you. For couples wanting to get married on Kauai, we encourage you to simply ask if your wedding photographer is a member of the professional association.  They may not be able to get you to the exact spot of the likely unauthorized photo you saw, but they do know exactly where it is legal and appropriate and where it is not, due to culturally or naturally sensitive resources that are out of bounds…But hey it's Kaua‘i, so pretty tough not to get amazing photographs no matter where.” 

KITV reached out to the companies for comment, but they have not heard back yet. 


Kauai photographers ignoring rules receiving cease-and-desist letters




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