Freesouls: Joi Ito's book of freely licensed photos of the wonderful weirdos in his orbit


I've finally dug far enough through my pile of must-read books to have a proper look at Joi Ito's wonderful book of freely licensed photography, FreeSouls. For years, Joi has travelled the world, photographing the activists, creators, inventors, hackers and entrepreneurs he's met. Noticing that many of these people had very poor portraits in their Wikipedia entries and learning that this was because professional portraits almost always have some licensing restrictions, Joi assembled his remarkable photos into a book and online repository, licensing the whole thing Creative Commons Attribution.

Although the photos can be had for free, Joi's publisher has assembled an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous book (in a limited edition of 1024 copies!) that includes a stirring intro by Larry Lessig and essays from Yochai Benkler, Isaac Mao, Howard Rheingold, me and Marko Ahtisaari. I've been lucky enough to be in Joi's orbit for several years now and one thing is certain, any time you find Joi, you find interesting things happening, and this book is no exception.

FreeSouls is an existence proof of a different kind of creator: an amateur who is driven to create work that's as good as anything a professional might produce, but it is produced for the love that characterizes amateur activity.

Freesouls

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