An article I found that was written a year ago spoke of a charge for taking pictures at Tulum in Mexico. The article made it sound like it was something new. Maybe it is in the way they are charging. Tulum is a world famous archaeological site that sits on the coast. There are great views with the ocean and the beaches and the coastline. Need I say more? Good stuff for a picture or two or three.
Tulum is not charging by the picture, which is good in itself. They are however charging for each device that you carry with you that is capable of taking a picture. Every iPhone, tablet, camera, etc. will cost you around $2.50 to take in.
This is not the first time I've heard of or seen charges for taking pictures at tourist destinations. We've run into this several times. It is rare that we pay the fee. We just usually put our cameras away. There are some exceptions though.
We have paid several times (or tipped) for a picture of something that is culturally significant. For example a lady was dancing her heart out for the tourists in one of the ports in Spain we visited. She was dressed in a beautiful red flamenco style dress and we dropped money into the tip jar for her.
In some of the South American places and islands we have visited there are often children dressed in cultural clothing of the region and will pose for a dollar or two. The one I had to smile at was a child who invited us to take a picture and as we were about to snap it the mother tossed the other child into the picture and charged us double. Two dollars for a picture and a memory.
Many cities have the "statues" that want a money donation for a picture and in Rome there are plenty of gladiators that will happily let you take that selfie with them--for a fee of course.