John Birdsall Social Issues Photo Library is a ‘people’ library with a difference – images taken in the local community of people going about daily life. All aspects of social issues are covered. The majority of the images are model released – they all have a ‘R’ at the end of the image reference number.

Although most of the images in the library were taken by John Birdsall, the library also represents other photographers. The largest contributor is iD8 Photography who specialise in the social & criminal sectors (prisons, rehabilitation, probation service, police etc).

You do not need to be logged in to download low res but you will only be able to download really small low res and any lightboxes you make will be temporary. So please register and log in and then you can make and store lightboxes and download low res. If you wish to be able to download high res without contacting us first then please let Liz know and she can change your account settings. Please also contact Liz if you’d like help with your search – she is always happy to put together a lightbox for you.

Usage fees are competitive and affordable. Apart from the standard model of paying a reproduction fee to use an image in a one off way, we also offer extended licences or flexi-licences, both of which mean you can use images repeatedly throughout an agreed time period without having to come back to us to renegotiate a repeat fee each time. The best thing is to talk to us about your project and we will do our best to accommodate your needs and budget


If the library does not stock the specific images you need, or you want a set of images for your organisation to use exclusively, then the photographers are available for commission. Photographers are available throughout the UK. Please contact Liz for more information and a quote.