Street photographer Eric Kim has always believed in the value of ‘open source.’ Usually a term reserved for software and code, open source is a development model that promotes free public access and redistribution rights for a product.
Much of what Kim has put out into the world — be they videos or ebooks — he’s made available in the same way: use, alter and share as you’d like. And now, he’s adding his photos to the list of things the public has almost unlimited access to.
He made the announcement in a recent blog post, in which he explains a few of the reasons behind his draw to the open source community, and how he’s tried to embody that community’s principles in his own work. Part of that involves being willing to share much of what he creates for free:
I want to reiterate the fact that I will never charge anything on the blog in terms of information. I will make sure that anything information-based (articles, videos, features, etc) will always be available openly and for free on the blog.
I also wanted to announce that I have recently made all of my photos on Flickr available for free as full-resolution downloads. So if you have ever liked any of my photos and wanted a print, feel free to download any photo and print any sized photo you want. Use it as wallpapers, prints to hang on your wall, or whatever you want to use them for (non commercial). And no, you don’t need my permission.
Kim grew up in the lower socio-economic class in America, with his mom holding down three part-time jobs to put him and his sister through school. He made it through college thanks to a combination of Government grants and a subsidized work-study program, and he credits “countless mentors” who gave selflessly of their time with helping him become the person he is today.
It’s because of this that he feels he has “a moral and societal obligation to give back to the community.” And for him, that obligation means he’ll never charge more for his work and time than it takes for him to make a living.
In his own words, he never wants to become “a blood-thirsty capitalist/vampire trying to suck profits out of the street photography community.” And if he does, well, he gives you permission to “stab a wooden stake through my heart and bust out the garlic.”
My Vision of Open Source Photography (Volume 2) [Eric Kim Street Photography]
Image credits: Photographs by Eric Kim.
Thanks for sending in the tip, Neil!