Council to axe freelance photographer budget

Bosses at North Lanarkshire Council are hoping to axe the £71,000 they spend on freelance photographers by hiring a full-time photographer at a fraction of the price.

In a move freelancers will hope is isolated, the council has called a vote on a cost-saving plan to reduce its annual photography bill by bringing the operation in house.

A vote to internalise all photography would end the council’s weekly intake of up to 14 freelancers in favour of a new full-time role, with a starting salary of £21,678.

Details of the job, reported by, indicate a hefty saving is on offer, as the £71,000 bill covers only bookings via the council’s corporate ‘comms’ office.

A council memo seen by the paper suggests the bulk of the fees paid to freelance snappers are absorbed by the intellectual property agreements they have in place.

As those agreements specify that copyright in an image supplied to the council remains with the photographer, the council must pay to reuse it in a different context.

These agreements come at a time when the council is facing a reported £15million in cuts for the coming year, further to a build of its new website, which will require the supply of numerous images and a range of other copyrighted content.

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