Freelance Photographers Banned from Universal Beijing Resort

Spencer Lloyd

Universal Studios Beijing entrance

Freelance Photographers Banned from Universal Beijing Resort

Following a string of complaints from guests, Universal Beijing Resort has officially banned the practice of freelance photo shoots sessions recently popularized on China’s Instagram equivalent. What’s more, photographers who offered this service are even being denied entry to the park!


Chinese news outlet China Daily reports that several freelance photographers on the social media platform Xiaohongshu, essentially China’s version of Instagram, posted this week that the park has begun denying entry to those known to be freelance photographers in the park.

“Starting from April 2, Universal is taking action to prevent photographers from offering photo-shoot services inside the park, especially in the area of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And the specific action to prevent photo-shoot services is still unknown,” a photographer posted on Xiaohongshu.

“I usually started at 10 am and worked for 6 or 7 hours at most a day. The price varies and the standard package is 200 yuan ($29) per hour, which is about over 30,000 yuan ($4367) a month,” a freelance photographer told the China News Service. They also noted that their reservations for the next week were already full.

Workers familiar with the faces of freelance photographers would go out of their way to stop the ones who did enter the park, although some noted their annual pass validity was revoked outright.

Many social media commenters supported the decision, with comments like “It’s an amusement park, not a photo-shoot studio,” and “To be honest, it was very disturbing to see visitors posing in front of their photographers in the park, especially in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, whose passage is rather narrow and their posing activities just blocked other visitors.”

According to a representative at Universal Beijing Resort, the ban is enforced for the copyright reasons, but primarily to protect the guest experience. Many guests having already complained online and to the park about the photo-shoot services disturbing regular guests. They also noted that the rule has always been in place, this is merely moving to stricter enforcement.

Universal Studios Beijing does offer authorized photography services that cost 388 yuan ($56.48), which helps guests take photos in various hot spots throughout the park.

How do you feel about freelance photographers in theme parks? Let us know in the comments below!

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