Posted January 20, 2014 by Gavin Hoey in Articles

How my photo made the BBC news

bbc-screengrabLast Friday one of my photos wound up on the BBC website and although the subject matter was a potential tragedy for those affected, I’m still very proud to see my work on the BBC news website.

To be honest the biggest surprise was just how many people noticed the small “by line” on the photo and got in contact. I also got plenty of questions about how my photo ended up being used, so here are some answers…

Was it commissioned
Not this time. Following weeks of wet weather we had one day of rain too many and the small stream that flows through the village in which I live, decided to flood in a way that I’ve never seen. I snapped a few photos just as record.

So how did it end up on the BBC website?
I was supposed to be travelling to London but trains were all cancelled and the roads blocked, so I was reading the Local BBC twitter feed to find out what was running. By chance a new tweet pop up asking for any photos of the flooding and I thought… why not. The local BBC retweeted my photo and a few minutes later I was contacted by a lady from the BBC website asking if they can use my photo.

Did you get paid?
In this case I didn’t ask to be paid and to be honest payment was the last thing on my mind.

Do you usually work for free?
No I don’t. Had I been commissioned to photograph or video the flooding then it would be another matter but this was simply me sharing a piece of the history of Copthorne.

Would you do it again?
Absolutely I would.

Did the BBC alter your photo?
My original photo is below. It’s a multi image panorama made up of 7 or 8 photos and cover a field of view that’s just under 180 degrees. I sent the BBC a high res version with permission that they could crop it as required and that’s exactly what they did.

So how bad was the damage?
It looked worse then it was, no one was injured and although the road and a few gardens were flooded, the houses were mostly fine. Some damage was self inflicted when a couple of drivers decided to brave the flooded road. A big mistake!

Did you get flooded ?
No we were just fine.


Gavin Hoey