WHEN we first launched the Worcester News camera club in the summer of 2017, we initially faced some criticism from people who accused us of setting up the group so we could use photographer's pictures for free.

However, the aim of the group has always been to provide a platform for photographers – whether amateur, semi-pro or professional – to share their work with a wide audience.

Tens of thousands of people see the camera club pictures we publish in the paper and online, and members have had paid photography work as a result of their images being in the Worcester News.

Yes, the Worcester News benefits from the club, because we've gained readers who want to see the photos, but the photographers who see their pictures in the paper and online are delighted to receive the free exposure to a large audience.

Harry Walton, who won the fireworks photo competition, is a great example of someone who is hoping to become a professional photographer and has benefitted from having his pictures published by the Worcester News as he builds a portfolio.