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Firefly Arts Collective recognizes and supports photography at our Events as a form of expression and participation valued by many Fireflies. Some participants feel that photography at Events or the use or publication of personal images negatively affects their experiences, and this Photography Policy is intended to help Fireflies navigate competing desires about photography.


Photographers are expected to honor the wishes of the Fireflies they are photographing, in summary:

  • Do not take pictures in or of areas with “No Photography” signs.
  • Do not photograph participants wearing No Photography wristbands without getting explicit consent
  • When in doubt, ask before photographing anyone.
  • Identify and inform people who are pictured before posting photos of them on social media.
  • Remove or delete pictures of participants if they request you do so.

Location, Location, Location (and consent!)

Public spaces at Firefly Arts Collective Events are photography-friendly. You can take pictures for your own personal use as long as you are are mindful of a few guidelines.

Fireflies expect that your photography won’t intrude on their own enjoyment and participation. Context matters: photographs of participants in the field at Firefly are less likely to bother people than photographs taken in quiet spaces in the woods; people may be less sensitive about a picture of them in a muppet-suit than nothing but a tutu. Don’t record people wearing No Photography wristbands without their explicit consent.

Remote recording devices can be particularly jarring and present a challenge to securing consent. People should be aware if they’re being identifiably photographed or recorded–don’t surprise anyone who thinks they aren’t being recorded. Please read Transparency About Photography for additional guidance on remote recording devices.

Guidance for the Field and Parking Lots (No Nudity Areas) and Crowded Areas (Mx. Firefly Contest, etc)

Please consider participants’ expectations of privacy in what you photograph and how you treat the pictures you take, so that your photography doesn’t intrude on other Fireflies’ own enjoyment and participation. Please listen to and respect the wishes of other participants who don’t want to be photographed. If you feel that someone’s photography is intrusive, please speak with that person about the effect their photography is having. As always, if you’d like assistance with mediation, look for a ranger.

Being in public spaces at Firefly makes it likely that you will be in the background of someone’s pictures. If you encounter pictures of yourself you’d prefer not be publicly available, please contact the photographer and ask to have the picture taken down. Similarly, photographers must contact identifiable people in their pictures before making those photos publicly available.

Guidance for In The Woods

The woods can be an intimate space, and participants in this area have a higher expectation of privacy. Photographers should ask before shooting, and try not to include unaware participants in the backgrounds of photographs.

Don’t post pictures of people or groups in the woods if you think they might not be okay with those images being published.For further elaboration, please continue reading.

Specific Expectations about Photography

Transparency About Photography

Participants should record openly, not secretly.

You’re responsible for letting participants know they will be recorded by visibly tagging any remote recording devices with the appropriate marker. Remote recording device tags are available at Bass Camp.

Remote recording devices must be properly tagged so that anyone entering the device’s view will know they’ll be recorded. This tagging must be done before the recording is enabled. If you aren’t sure your device needs a tag, or how to ensure a tag is adequately visible, contact the Event Photography Liaison at to discuss your project’s deployment.

Commercial Use Forbidden

Commercial or non-personal use of any and all photographs or video taken at Firefly Arts Collective Events is forbidden without prior authorization from the Event Photography Liaison. Please email the Event Photography Liaison with requests for commercial or non-personal recording useage.

Consent to be Photographed

Photographers should attempt to obtain consent from subjects of photographs prior to shooting. For impromptu shots and photographs with people in the background, consent should be sought from identifiable persons photographed. Photographers must delete or destroy images containing identifiable persons upon request from those persons.

Particularly intrusive photography which makes participants feel unsafe is a violation of the Code of Conduct and can be reported to the Conduct Committee as such. Examples in this category include photography of fully or partially-nude people, people engaging in adult or sexualized activities, or people or other activities people might not want seen on the Internet. If you’re unclear on whether recording a situation would make the participants feel uncomfortable, err on the side of caution and either request consent first or don’t record.

No Photography Wristbands

These wristbands will be provided free of charge to participants at the greeter station. If you see someone wearing a band, they do not wish to be photographed. If you’re wearing the wristband and someone still attempts to take your picture without your consent, show them the band in case they missed it. Please return your wristband to Bass Camp when you leave the event so they may be reused.

Photography of Minors

Photographers additionally need to obtain consent from the subject’s parents or guardians should they wish to photograph participants under the age of 18. All other photography policies still apply.

No-Photo Areas

Camps, art projects, and other areas may post a “No Photography” sign. Taking photographs in or of these areas is forbidden.

Areas may also post a “No Photography without Consent” sign. Photographers must obtain prior permission from everyone pictured in any way before photographing in these spaces.

Publication and Social Media Use

Photographers should consider participants’ expectations of privacy when choosing which, if any, photographs they share publicly. All photographers must demonstrate due diligence informing identifiable subjects of publication of their images, and remove photographs from public view upon request from any pictured individual.

This site conaints a community-run photo gallery, which affords photographers and subjects better control over the status of their images than commercial social media sites.


Don’t fly your drone over effigies, temples or other large burning objects. Don’t (try) to fly your drone through the woods or in high winds or other weather where you might lose control. Don’t bring your drone closer than 15 feet to the ground or participants. Drone projects should be discussed with the Event Photography Liaison before operating. This should preferably happen pre-event, not on site; if you cannot contact the Event Photography Liaison to be pre-approved then you might need to plan ahead for next time. All drone use must comply with FAA regulations. A drone-mounted recording device is considered a Remote Recording Device under this policy.


This guide is primarily for Firefly and related events. If you find terminology that is unclear, please submit a request for clarification to and we’ll work to make this content more accessible.


The Field

Open area adjacent to the forest

The Woods

This includes the event area in the forest and the trails

Bass Camp

A location in the field staffed by event volunteers providing information


Non-personal use

Any use that is commercial and/or widely distributed beyond one’s personal network of friends and family. See Burning Man’s Media Rights & Responsibilities page for more.

No Photography wristband

Red and yellow wristband that says “NO PHOTOGRAPHY”

Public spaces [at events]

Large open events or open areas. At Firefly, this would cover the field and large events like the Mx. Firefly pageant.

Public view [for shared media]

A photo or other recording posted on a social media site would be considered in public view. Online sharing in locations the general public could access falls under this concept.


Photographing, videoing, 3D-scanning, astral etching, light field transcribing, or any process by which a moment is reproducibly captured for later display.

Remote Recording Device

Projects or devices which take pictures or video either autonomously or via remote control, e.g. time-lapses, trail-cameras, motion activated cameras, drones, etc.

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