Re: @Andrew Jones 2 - Not just google
"can you please enlighten me why on my Android v6 LG phone I can not change the ringtone for an alarm (basic settings, factory default) unless I give the app access to my photos ?"
While I get what you're trying to point out, rubbish example (with some twisting to suit your needs).
First, to correct the facts: It's not asking for permission to access your photos is it? It's asking for permission to access external storage? (Screenshot required if you want to argue this, because last time I checked, Android doesn't have a photos permission)
Now that's cleared up, your question has an easy answer: where is your media (that you probably want to use for your alarm) stored?