Conflict photographer risked his life in Mosul, then shared all his pics for free

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Many of those are really good. I am surprised there were no takers…


it’s that no one will see the story, and then I will have failed to give a voice to the voiceless.

Roger That!


No, but seriously. hey! Seriously? No one will do anything worthwhile unless you pay them assloads of money and don’t tax their capital gains. Seriously. hey. are you listening? seriously.

– the invisible hand


I don’t know how it usually works and i hope i can get clarification, but is it usual for a photographer like this person to go to conflict zones, take pictures and then make money on them? My assumption is that this must be the case. I’m not naive to think that photographers shouldn’t be able to make a living off what they do, but it does make me uncomfortable that someone has the potential to make a good living off the suffering and death of others.

Then again i suppose it’s not too far off from regular reporting/journalism. Still the thought of going to a warzone and having the potential to make yourself a lot of money with the right picture doesn’t sit well with me.


I can’t help but to think this is sour grapes. I am not belittling the photographer by any means. There is good work there and it took guts to shoot where he did. But, not finding someone to buy your product, then getting frustrated and then throwing the pics into the air seems amateurish. Why not leverage the work with a gallery show, a documentary, a book, or a multimedia piece? Telling their stories can be done in sooo many ways and the possibility to make money doing so is better than letting the work go free into the wild. Publishing them for free is, however, a clever way to get a portfolio out there if that was his ultimate goal. Good luck to him whatever the case may be.

Holy moly I read the stuff and saw the videos linked on the Free Burma Rangers site. Impressive work. Makes me want to strangle every ISIS fuckhead with my own wimpy hands. Dunno if this sentiment is stoked by all the additional christian praying crap …

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Perhaps it’s not his skill? All what you mentioned is not an integral part of being a photographer. so he’d either have to outsource it (and pay up front not of it) or learn the skills himself. That’s quite an investment with a dubious chance of recouping the costs, probably prohibitively expensive when you just didn’t make money from your past endeavor.


Not knowing much about the photographer i can’t really say one way or the other if it was an amateur move or not. I think he still has the potential to make money off his pictures should he desire. I wish him success because this kind of journalism is important.


Somewhere down the line, Getty will claim that they hold the rights.


I had the same thought when I saw this posted a couple days ago. But to be the devils advocate. I have seen this posted 3-4 times now. Right now there are thousands of small galleries open that I will likely never hear of much less hear or see what is hanging on their walls. So at least in this instance the choice to give it all away seems to have paid off. Who knows, maybe the increased exposure will lead to something such a s book or gallery opportunity.


As long as he retains the copyright this is just free advertising for him. (And more power to him!)

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If the photographer couldn’t make money off the photos, how could he or she afford to travel to a war zone to take pictures and document the war?

There are basically three kinds of news photographers - those who work directly for a news agency, those who contract to a news agency to shoot an event or get a specific photo set for them, and freelancers. Freelancers try to position themselves in newsworthy areas and take photographs that news agencies will buy off them, in an attempt to make enough money to pay for the trip and make enough money to live on until they get the next shot.

This guy is shooting war shots, so hopefully there will be fewer wars in the future. Apparently, no one is interested in the story that he is telling. Perhaps because the war has dragged on for longer than many people have been alive.

Perhaps it’s worse that the soldiers are getting paid. And the Insurgents. And the people making the bombs. And guns. And planes. And - well, basically everyone on that battlefield is getting paid except for the poor schmucks who’s home is in a place some sonofa decided make a jolly good warzone.

To me, that’s what is offensive, really.

After all, it is exceptionally hard to kill someone with a camera. You can shoot at them all day and they are still fine.


you know when that happens crap happens some .corp comes along and abuses the copyright then things go ok whats next etcetera no mony

I don’t think it’s as silly as it seems. It’s a difficult field to break into until you make a name for yourself, make the right connections, etc. If he’s decided that squandering the commercial value of this set will make his name in order to sell the next set, it’s a calculated gamble.


Like doctors do?

Paying a doctor for their services, so that they can do things like have shelter, food, and clothing isn’t quite the same as fattening the pockets of insurance executives who generally only stand between you and your doctor.


If I could make suffering and death go away permanently, I’d be happy to be out of a job. (I could do something nerdy and engineering related instead).

I suspect most war photographers feel much the same about war.

Most doctors make a comfortable living… though most of them have to be now linked to some clinic or hospital. It is super hard for one to be a general family practitioners on their own any more. Simply put, the overhead it too great. You can only see X number of patients per day and charge them Y amount. I know someone who took out loans to meet her payroll. She eventually realized it wasn’t working and went on to be an ER doctor. Now she can finally work on her student loans.

Doctors aren’t the problem, it’s the system. Don’t believe, ask your doctor for the cash price for services. It usually is dramatically less than if they have to go through insurance billing etc.


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