Free content vs free publicity. / by Alex Bamford


Yesterday, I was very happy to have the Observer newspaper publish a picture of mine - lightning striking the West Pier. Last week they had called out for photos under the theme of "Storm" for the reader's photos section in their News Review.

There was no money involved, which led to a couple of my photographic friends to question the morality of giving out images for nothing. It's a question that has been keeping photography online forums in hot debate for years now. Photographers are losing out as newspapers find cheaper ways to illustrate stories and fill their pages. 

Having recently switched from working in a long career in advertising, I am well aware of how clients' decreasing budgets have affected both agencies and magazines. But as a fledgling photography business I need to get my pictures out there by every means possible. Even at the risk of shooting myself in the foot.

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Guardian readers' photos.