Stamp Story: How My Flickr Photo Was Used By Royal Mail for New 1st Class Stamp

Royal Mail Stamp - The Giant's Causeway Visitors Centre

I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence this one time while I tell a story that’s not smart home related.


This tale began with a message I found in my spam folder last summer enquiring about a photo I had posted to my Flickr account.

At first I thought it was just your regular phishing attempt, but a bit of research on Google and Linkedin convinced me it was really from Royal Mail.

After some back and forth it was clear from that initial contact in July 2016 that my photo was just one of several on a shortlist being considered for a new set of stamps. It was explained that there were other hurdles to get over before I would find out if it would actually be used or not.

Green Light

After an agonising few months I finally heard back from the lovely lady at the Royal Mail last November. She told me they had tried many different shots but kept coming back to mine. She confirmed my photo had been chosen with the last step having seen the stamps taken to The Queen for final approval.

The Giant's Causeway Visitors Centre

The Photo That Nearly Wasn’t

But this may never have happened, not just because that initial message could so easily have been missed in my spam folder, but because I nearly didn’t take the photo in the first place.

It was a sunny evening back in July 2013 and I remember it clearly. We had completed the beautiful walk from Portballintrae, across Runkerry beach and along the cliffs to the Giants Causeway.

In 2013 I was packing my Canon EOS 60D and no doubt annoying my better half as well as the other couple with us, stopping every so often to take photos of the stunning views. If you’ve never been to Northern Ireland it’s time you visited this amazing little place, especially the North Coast with its UNESCO World Heritage Site and many Game of Thrones locations.

As we turned inland and passed the visitors centre heading for home, I looked back and thought the National Trust’s building looked incredible in the evening sunlight with its symmetrical lines and long shadows against the clear sky. I debated whether to annoy everyone once again or just walk on.

In the end I apologised and ran back and took the photo. I’m glad I did 🙂

Royal Mail Landmark Buildings Stamps 2017

The Stamp Set

The 10 stamp set celebrates excellence in contemporary architecture and engineering in the UK. The stamps will be on sale for 12 months.

So I’ve had to contain my excitement for over a year now, not really sure if I could believe it until the day the stamp was in my hand.

And that day is today. Thanks Royal Mail!

My Instagram  :  My Flickr  :  My 500px  :  :  The Giant’s Causeway

18 Comments on "Stamp Story: How My Flickr Photo Was Used By Royal Mail for New 1st Class Stamp"

  1. Absolutely fantastic, well done, the stamp looks great, you have every right to be – “pleased as punch”!

  2. @Trevor – many thanks 🙂

  3. Derek Holtham | July 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm |

    That’s amazing! Congratulations on having one of your photos chosen, Mark. It fits well in that series.

  4. @Derek – many thanks 🙂

  5. Well done, what an achievement – by Royal approval! Is commission based on the number of stamps sold? 😉

  6. Paul Freeman | July 13, 2017 at 7:11 pm |

    Very proud of you mate , well done

  7. @Mark @Paul – thanks a lot guys 🙂

  8. That photo is a beaut. Can imagine it works really well on a stamp. I was talking about Giants Causeway recently. Never been. Amazing that your photo is on a stamp!

  9. Brilliant Mark, congratulations! I’ll think of you every time I lick one 😉

  10. p.s. you should get a 4ft-square one for your wall, complete with perforated edges and the Queen’s head!

  11. @TimH – Thanks, good idea 🙂

  12. @Mat Smith – thanks Mat 🙂

  13. Thanks a lot

  14. Mark – and well done, too, for taking the time to line it up carefully – verticals vertical etc – ie: sensor plane vertical, for minimal architectural distortion … so few take the trouble, these days … Chris

  15. @Chris – thanks

  16. Adrian Wright | July 23, 2017 at 11:26 am |

    Gorgeous photo, massive congratulations!

  17. @Adrain – thanks 🙂

  18. Alan Taylor | July 31, 2017 at 3:47 pm |

    Well done, if somewhat ironic it’s for snail mail purposes!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.