Just by way of explanation of how everything should be working ....
It has long been the case (a couple of years) that when viewing topics and you are not logged in, that photos are not visible
This primarily to ensure that bots are unable to harvest photos, eg for display in google image searches, and to prevent photos being linked directly from external websites and blogs often without attribution
Logged in Registered Users who are not paid up members should still be able to see the photos in the posts in the "free" areas of the forum if those posts have photos in them
Similarly it has always been the case that users (who are registered, but) who are not paid up members, do not see, and are unable to search, inside the member areas.
From last August the paid up members area was effectively considerably expanded so that registered only users can see much less
There was an announcement at the top of the forum until recently when it was superceded by one about third party links, however we have found in the past that users don't read announcements or prompts.