He started shooting street photography when he was an undergraduate at UCLA and found that there was a void when it came to mentors and information for newbies.
As he gained experience with street photography, Kim took on the role of teacher and traveled worldwide conducting street photography workshops.
He’s also partnered with well-known camera companies like Leica and Magnum and even taught online college classes, but his latest move is admirable and only supports his past actions.
Is Offering Digitized Photos for Free Normal?
Normally, photographers retain rights to all of their photographs and if you want to use them, you must pay a fee. Eric Kim doesn’t work this way. Up to this point, videos and ebooks he’s produced have been available to the public for free, meaning that you have the right to do whatever you want with his work as long as it’s not for a commercial purpose. Now, he’s adding his photos to the free list. Kim released a statement on his blog:
"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." He continues.
"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 (noncommercial). And no, you don’t need my permission."
Why are Kim’s Photos Free?
It’s more of mantra for Kim, who grew up in a household that struggled financially. His mom had to work multiple jobs just to support Kim and his sister. Despite the odds against him, Kim went to college with help from his mother and various grants and scholarships. He also claims that he owes his success to several mentors who didn’t have to help him, but did so for free.
Should Photographers Offer More Work for Free?
This is a personal decision. Kim feels he has an obligation to offer digitized photos for free, but that doesn’t mean if you charge for your work, you’re a bad person. Kim still charges for some things because he realizes he must also make a living.
If you do charge for your work, make sure it’s quality. Here at FotoBridge, we’re dedicated to high quality digitized photos and customer service. If you need to digitize old photos, we’re happy to assist you! Check out our other blog posts for lots of helpful, free tips!
Image Credit: Eric Kim