I've been shooting for about a year doing a little bit of everything and I have a real passion for doing architecture and cityscapes in New York City and would like to take advantage of everything it has to offer. I have seen a fair share of cityscapes/rooftopping photos which inspired me in the first place to urban explore and take beautiful city views from the top of skyscrapers.

I was wondering how do you go about asking for legal permission to do so in any building (hotel, office, residential)? I was thinking of emailing the owner of the building (if I can get in touch with them) and write up a formal email about my project and refer to my work; signing a waiver excusing any liability issues. I can also offer my photos as a thank you and as a token of appreciation to them for allowing me the opportunity. Also, I was thinking of just simply asking front desk for a tour or ask out-right to take photos on the roof.

How can I increase the likelihood of someone in the building or the owner to allow me to take photos on the roof?

The reason I ask is because I don't want the same photos everyone else took like tourists in the most popular observation decks but something different where the public can't go and only for exclusive access.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The number of correct answers will vary as much as the number of owners and managers of buildings from which you wish to shoot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 30, 2016 at 4:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you do discover a magic formula for this, please don't hesitate to answer your own question. ;) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30, 2016 at 7:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably won't help but another option to consider are drones or helicopter rides, if you can get that. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30, 2016 at 14:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe see: the photo.net thread on How do I ask permission to use a location? \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Mar 31, 2016 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ vtc b/c This is a question about asking for permission to access a property, not photography. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:30

1 Answer 1

  1. Have release forms readily available.

  2. Make appointment with speak with property manager.

  3. Explain your purpose.

  4. Ask for permission.

  5. Get papers signed.

  6. Go take pictures.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 7. get pictures on the computer and do post work... ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – LuZel
    Feb 28, 2019 at 13:54

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