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Photo and Film Permits

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Photography and Filming in Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara has been featured in a number of motion pictures, commercials, catalog shoots, and reality shows. From It's Complicated, Sideways, and Seabiscuit to The Amazing Race, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and Top Chef, Santa Barbara has served as the backdrop for a multitude of film and video productions due to our great variety of picture perfect locations to choose from and year-round fantastic weather. 

Permit Requirements

The City of Santa Barbara offers a one-stop permitting process with the Parks and Recreation Department acting as the lead in issuing photo and film permits for any location within city limits. Parks and Recreation staff coordinate as many internal logistics as possible among other City departments such as Police, Fire, Public Works, and Waterfront to help make your project a successful one.

Note that a photo and film/video permit is always required for any shoot, with the only exception being not-for-profit photo shoots occurring on private property, having no impact on the public.  

Resources and details about photography and filming in the City of Santa Barbara and within the County can be found on the Santa Barbara County Film Commission website. Click on the button below to complete an application to obtain a photo/film permit. Or if you have further questions, contact our permitting office at FilmPermits@SantaBarbaraCA.gov or 805-564-5418 (wait for greeting to start, then press menu option 3 then menu option 2.)