Free Art

A few years ago I was contacted via email by the California State Parks Foundation. They asked for permission to use one of my photos that was taken at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.

I thought about it for awhile, because I was a little offended that someone wanted to use an image that I took for a major campaign, and didn’t feel they should compensate the photographer for his art. At the time I originally took the picture, I was unemployed and could have used all the extra money I could muster.

After a great internal debate, I lost, and I made the decision to grant the California State Parks Foundation the right to use my work in a statewide membership champagne. Atleast they would give me photo credit and I would get my name out there.

I also figured that I am a big user of the State Parks in California, and besides purchasing an annual pass every year, I have never contributed any money to the #CalParks Foundation. With granting the foundation permission to use my photo was my way of a donation.

I actually saw the mockup of how and what they were going to use my photo. It turns out that the Foundation placed the image on the Temporary Membership card they were going to send out to households across California.

A few years have past and sometimes I ran across the mockup and think to myself “I wonder what ever came of my image?” I never saw the final product. Maybe the Cal Parks Foundation change their mind and went a different direction.

Until today… Just got home from date night, got the mail and opened it up. In the mail was a unassuming envelope from the #CalParks #CaliforniaStateParksFoundation. In the envelope was the typical stuff, card or letters to send out to whomever etc. There was also a membership acceptance form, with a temporary membership card. If you didn’t throw the letter out take a look in the bottom right corner of the temporary membership card. Yep that’s right ©Kirk Howard. I took that poppy image back in spring 2010 at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.

To see or purchase the original image go to:



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