What’s Your Price? UK Photographer Refuses to Sell Out for Politician Photo

One seemingly innocuous image snapped by photographer Sam Hardy back in 2012 has received an unexpected surge of less-than-welcome interest recently.

The image in question features newly-appointed UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn with his arms crossed, smiling. In the background, two men pass, holding a flag.

At the time he captured the photo, Hardy was unaware of the significance of that particular flag—it happened to be the flag of Hezbollah, the Shi’a Islamist militant group considered to be terrorists by the Western world.

When leading Israeli newspaper ידיעות אחרונות Yedioth Ahronoth approached him, enquiring about a photograph he had uploaded to stock image site Demotix, it dawned on Hardy that in the wrong hands—and without context—this image of a relaxed Corbyn listening to speakers at the 2012 pro-Palestine march could be very damaging for the politician.


Hardy explained to Phogotrophy the situation that led up to the image he snapped of Corbyn:

“Jeremy Corbyn was (by) himself just standing to the side listening to the speakers. I turned to get a shot of him and he smiled back at me–at the time, I did not realise that the flags were of the Hezbollah group (had I realised at the time I might have tried to framed a photo without the flag), although it was clear to me that Jeremy was not posing with the flag–the two men behind him were simply passing by.”

Hardy declined the newspaper’s offer to ‘name his price’, instead opting to make the incident known, especially given the fact that various other news agencies had already used the image through improper channels. Whilst he is currently seeking to have the image removed from these other media sources, ידיעות אחרונות Yedioth Ahronoth have said they will respect his decision not to sell.


What do you think of how the photographer handled the situation? How would you have responded?

Please note that the above photograph was used with EXPLICIT permission granted by the photographer.

If you want to redistribute, please contact Samuel Hardy on for licensing requests.