Howard "Boots" McGhee, who is an amateur photographer, was taking photos of his niece's family for their holiday Christmas card.
A ranger questioned him and two other photographers on the beach that day -- primarily because of the quality of the equipment they were using. A permit is required for film or video shoots that are for commercial use.
"All he has to do is determine that it was a family shoot and maybe educate me on the commercial laws of it and say thank you very much, have a great day," said McGhee.
McGhee was not fined but he was given a verbal warning. The state parks department stands by its ranger's decision to question the photographers at the beach that day.