scottbournealaska

It’s November 2, 2013. 15 years ago, on this date in 1998, I created Photofocus. I framed it as an “online magazine” because RSS hadn’t been invented yet and “blogs” were something still in the future. I did attach audio segments every quarter, but these couldn’t technically be called podcasts because again – podcasts require RSS. But many of the elements you see today were there 15 years ago. Just not nearly as refined or cool or valuable as what you see today :)

I published once or twice a week at first. Within a year I was publishing every day. Then I merged with a now defunct camera site and show called MYPHOTOTRICKS. That ran for three years before I went stand alone again until TWIP came along. TWIP (This Week in Photography) was started by my pals Alex Lindsey, Frederick Van Johnson, Ron Brinkmann and me. But it almost didn’t get off the ground. We had a false start. I had a contractual conflict with a client that wouldn’t let me be on the show so we tabled that incarnation of the show for a year. Fortunately that resolved itself because TWIP became an important milestone in my online career.

We officially launched TWIP at MacWorld in San Francisco. Alex and I cornered photo journalist Steve Simon and we did our first live TWIP episode. I remember Steve asking us what a podcast was. That was a fun day. TWIP was born and I merged the Photofocus blog into TWIP and for a year we ran the two as one. Various contributors joined TWIP over that year and the years following. I have even occasionally been on the show since leaving to rebrand Photofocus as a stand-alone website and podcast. Frederick Van Johnson has been a guest on Photofocus – and does a great job of hosting TWIP now.

Photofocus broke off from TWIP in January of 2008. Despite rumors to the contrary, it was a totally amicable move. Ron, Frederick, Alex and I are all still friends. We’ve stayed in touch all these years.

In almost six years as a standalone site, Photofocus has generated about 2800 posts and run dozens of contests. We’ve produced hundreds of podcasts and videos and had guest columnists representing a Who’s Who of photography. But now things are really going to get exciting. Because I am leaving – well mostly.

If you look at the Photofocus site today you’ll see a huge difference between it and what I started 15 years ago. I’d be embarrassed if you saw what the site used to look like. Just sort of get a picture in your mind – if a blog could have a hairdo then the old 1998 Photofocus wore a mullet. You get the idea.

Now my pal Rich Harrington is the publisher of Photofocus. I am relegated to founder status – a euphemism for “old guy.” And that suits me just fine. I’m proud of the direction the site is taking. We brought on the incredibly talented Melissa Niu as editor. She worked in broadcast media before starting the Framed Network and then coming on board with us. If you look up to the right side of the page on any post you can scroll over the bios of eight people who now regularly contribute to the site.

Like I said things are changing. We’ve started doing Google Hangouts. We’ve started posting several times a day. We’re looking into webinars, live appearances and all sorts of new avenues that we can use to interact with our audience.

Photofocus used to be a static site that I hard programmed (using text edit to write the code) which primarily featured me and my views. But now there are many voices. The site is a living, breathing, dynamic place which is constantly changing and improving. Adding these new voices has proven to be one of the best changes. And these new voices will give mine a rest. I am retiring (or my version of retirement) as of today.

As far as Photofocus goes, mostly I’ll be just like you – reading and listening to see if I can learn something from the site/podcast. As “founder” I no longer have any real responsibility at Photofocus other than to offer advice when asked and to play the role of gray haired old man in business meetings when that’s called for.

But I will still opine here on Photofocus from time to time when I am so moved. I may show up on a Photofocus podcast episode once or twice. But this is really happening. I am retiring. Really. Primarily, I am retiring from assignment photography and most of my business obligations as of this date – to pursue my passion – which is motor sports and my car hobby. I’ll be living in Europe most of the year but will come back to the US from time-to-time so I can see friends and run some US tracks.

Wherever I am, I’ll continue to do a bit of teaching and writing, (I just finished my eighth photography book) but I won’t be making many public appearances or speaking at many big conferences. I won’t be picking up a camera for money for the first time in decades. I am VERY much looking forward to doing something many of you get to do now – which is picking up my camera for fun. I’ll only shoot what interests me – not my clients – and I’ll no doubt still be connected to photography in some manner for the rest of my life. I just won’t HAVE to do it. That not HAVING to do it is the load off my shoulders.

My duties, responsibilities and obligations here are done. Bit I’ll still be a small part of the Photofocus team. You just won’t hear from or see me as often and I am sure that is good news to some of you :) It’s a great relief knowing that as of today, it’s someone else’s responsibility to see that there is a post up every morning at 6:00 am PT. It’s still my baby, but I have hired someone else to raise my child!

As for the new team? What a team it is. I have had the pleasure of watching many of the contributors grow and flourish over their careers. Some I know well. Some I don’t know at all. But I do know all of them are dedicated and talented. In a few cases, I’ve had the honor of doing a little mentoring here and there with a few of these folks. Either way, the results are stunning. These are some VERY talented people and thanks to them, I am absolutely certain the site is going to be MUCH better than it was when it was just mostly me.

I will be around less often but am always willing to help if I can. I look forward to still hearing from some of you and finding out what photographic excitement awaits both of us.

Things are changing. And that’s scary for some people. For me it’s exciting. Change usually means growth. And Photofocus – entering its 16th year today, is morphing and changing again – just like it has several times before. And each of those times, it’s improved. The site continues to grow, along with the audience. It continues to help visual story tellers in a meaningful way. And I hope you’ll stick around and help Rich, Melissa and their crew make Photofocus the best resource of its kind on the Web.

I want to thank all of you who supported me and the work my team has done at Photofocus. There have been times it wasn’t easy for any of us. But many of you stuck by me through thick and thin. For all these years those of you who have bothered to let me know I helped you in some small way have made all the hard work worth it. Thanks to the sponsors, vendors, friends, contributors and audience. All have been instrumental in making this thing work. I was just the spark plug in a big engine.

While I’ve been looking forward to this day, I am also at least in some ways going to miss it. Just as I will miss many of you. But time catches up to all of us and before I find myself in its last grasp I have a few other things I want to do.

Goodbye’s are hard for me so I’ll just say – “so long.” Maybe I’ll see you out there shooting sometime and remember, no matter what, I am rooting for you. Retirement won’t change that.

Sincerely with gratitude,

Scott Bourne
FOUNDER – Photofocus

Join the conversation! 60 Comments

  1. We will miss you, Scott! Have fun in your new pursuits and thanks for all you’ve done!

  2. Wish you all the best in your “new life”! Have fun :)

  3. Best wishes to you. Time is short, so enjoy. Thank you for sharing all-things-photography with us.

  4. Scott,I have followed Twip since the beginning and enjoyed the interaction between Alex,Ron,Frederick,Steve,and yourself.as I have the same sense of humor as you fellows.Started listening to Photofocus also I always appreciated the knowledge passed on by you over the years.Enjoy your retirement with the race cars, what a great way to “retire” Bob.

  5. Thanks, Scott, you’ve been a real inspiration for me!

  6. As a photo teacher I know the work that goes into this craft. I also know the pleasures that are returned to you. Thanks for all the years of commitment and enjoy the memories and next steps.

  7. I have listened to photo focus podcast for many years. Even had a question answered in one episode. Thanks so much for all the information and help you have given. Hope this next season in your life brings you much joy.

  8. I learned a lot from your podcasts. Thank you.

  9. Scott, congratulations on your retirement. It’s been a pleasure following your journey the photography. I greatly appreciate your contribution to photography that include sharing your experiences through education.

    Good luck in your endeavors and enjoy your next chapter!

  10. Scott. I wish you the best in all of your endevours and want to thank you for all you have done to improve my photography. You will be missed!

  11. Thanks Scott for all your years in helping us be better photographer and also better person. We will miss your honesty and humor.

  12. Best wishes Scott! I will never forget hearing you speak at Skip’s Summer School 2012. I have many written notes, but truly your message was etched into heart. Thank you for being part of that amazing event!

  13. It’s been an awesome experiencing for me to hear your take on things. Have an excellent retirement and don’t forget to have fun!

  14. THANK YOU for everything and enjoy the next round of good times!

  15. Wishing you good health and a great “retirement” Scott. Thanks for everything that you have shared with us.

  16. Best wishes, Scott, on this next phase of your life. I’m glad you poured so much of yourself into Photofocus. I know I’ve learned a great deal from what you’ve posted. And I know you’ve left a solid foundation for the future. As they say (well, *some* say), keep the shiny side up!

  17. I don’t comment often but I have to say Thank You. I’ve been following Photofocus for about a year now and have truly enjoyed every post. I will miss you.

  18. Thank you for all of the inspiration, practical advise, and motivation for me to get into and keep going with this hobby. You’ve earned your retirement. May it bring you as much or more fulfillment and as your photography has.

  19. Thank you Scott! You’ve always been so generous with your knowledge and time. I appreciate all that you have contributed over the years. Enjoy life in the fast lane! :)

  20. Thank you scott. I have learned so much from you. have fun with your cars.

  21. I have enjoyed your comments and contributions over the years and they have helped me develop. Good luck in your new endeavors….

  22. Scott,

    This site, the podcast, and all your other involvements have been great entertainment and information over the years. I’m glad I had the pleasure of coming by your old studio once (loved that wood on the ceiling), and walking over to that sandwhich shop for lunch. Enjoy living life for fun now, and safe travels.

    Razz

  23. Thank You Scott for always rooting for us. See you at the races!

  24. Sad to see you go, Scott! Best wishes for the future!

  25. Best wishes in photography Scott. I just wish I had found you sooner.

  26. Hey Scott – a big THANKYOU for your opinions, education and wisdom over the years. You are never afraid to call it the way you see it – in a corporate era, I’ve found that really refreshing. Your combination of outstanding communication skills and photography expertise is pretty rare on the ground. On the few occasions I’ve reached out to you personally, you have been responsive, gracious and inspiring – you have been a big influence on my photography. Enjoy those race cars !

  27. Thank you, Scott, for the wealth of photography information you gave me through Photofocus! I always looked forward to downloading the previous podcasts that I was too busy to listen to so I could take them with me on my iPod for long plane rides to get caught up. Also, thank you for answering all of my questions on your podcast! Have fun “making” pictures!

  28. Thanks for all the sharing of info and allthe teaching you have done the years I have been reading and listening. Any links to your racing team so I can follow?

  29. Scott, I am as amateur a photographer as they come, and the day I discovered your work by way of Animoto was the same day my personal photography became intentional and no longer a string of happy accidents. You’ve reached across the boarders of the profession and made a huge impact for those like myself, and I owe most of my most precious pictorial memories to the advice you’ve freely given. You’ve more than earned the opportunities ahead of you. I wish you all the best and thank you for giving so much and touching so many. Cheers!

  30. Scott, well done :) 15 years is a long time. Congratulations on holding the site up & publishing some wonderful, thought provoking & helpful articles. Truly appreciate the way you’ve kept the updates going no matter what. Many of your articles have helped me grow as a photographer. Do keep posting more views and personal thoughts from your journey as a person & as a photographer. Good luck in whatever you do. And from India, it’s Happy Diwali :)

  31. I’ve learned so much from you. I’ll miss you so much. Best wishes in all that you do.

  32. Scott you are a class act. As one who retired in the spring – enjoy it as much as I have!

  33. Thank you very much Scott! Thank you for sharing so much and being so open hearted. All the best with your retirement!

  34. Scott,I can directly point to you as my inspiration to get into photography. Your website, Twitter feed and of course podcast, have been a guiding light in my journey into image creation. You will be greatly missed by me, and I’m sure many others. All I can say is best wishes in you future endeavours, and thank you for giving me so much, for do long, and I hope you are happy in the knowledge that we will use what you have given us as we pay it forward.

  35. Congratulations on your retirement Scott. Enjoy every minute of it!

  36. Scott, Thanks for your unselfish giving back to those of us less knowledgeable, less experienced, and less skilled. Some of us are doing this on the side, while still working for a living (me) and we envy you and your new chapter in life. Sometime soon maybe some of us can retire also and spend more time “making pictures”. I, for one, will miss your opinions. If you get down this way on any bird shoots, dinner is on me.

    Bruce in Tampa

  37. Hey Scott, what cameras will you use in retirement?

    Thank you for everything you have done. You are a big guy in every way.

    Speaking from my nearly 79 years of life, there is always so much more still to do.

    Stay well. I wish you peace of mind.

    Leon

    Sent from my iPad

  38. Thanks Scott
    I have enjoyed reading your articles over many years.
    GoodLuck in the future.
    Cheers
    Steve

  39. Thank you Scott for giving so generously over so many years, I’ve enjoyed the adventure and am the better for your giving. Enjoy a much deserved recharge of what pleases you. Look forward to seeing where life takes you on the odd occasion paths cross….

  40. Well done Mr. Bourne… Well done!

  41. Thanks Scott, you are an inspiration and your talent has helped me. Enjoy your retirement and drive careful, but have fun.

  42. All the best to you in retirement, Scott!

  43. Scott, thank you for your encouragement, wisdom and advice. You’re a true inspiration!

  44. “So long” was exactly the phrase I had in mind on your post Scott – you’re a part of so many photographers that you’ll never really leave! Thanks for all of your help over the years!

  45. Thank you for the inspiration. You have inspired me to take better pictures and introduced me to many awesome photographers I now follow. Do I aspire to be a professional photographer, NO. I just wanted to take better pictures for…. wait for it…..scrapbooking. Yes a scrapbooker has been following you for the last 3 years. I was tired of auto mode and crappy pictures. I am not anywhere near as good as you or many of your comrades but I am better than I was 3 years ago. To be better it requires more time and dedication than I have. Also I am happy with m job as an ICU nurse. Maybe when I retire I will have the time to be better. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I hope to still hear from you from time to time in twitter land.

  46. Thanks for all the kind words everyone.

  47. I can only be sorry for those who couldn’t catch your wisdom “live” as I did , even though I too feel it was for me such a short time. Also, a big thank you. And of course, have fun with your stunning cars. Enjoy every minute of fun, that’s why you worked so hard for!

  48. Buono viaggio!

  49. As a more recent newby to photofocus I’ve benefited from your accumulated work – and I love the independent, no-nonsense voice and the aim to help everyone make their own progress. Look forward to having you here in Europe.

  50. Thank you Scott, needs to be recorded here this time, rather than just mentally after you’ve made me think in the past.

    All the best, and enjoy the drop in pressure

  51. Thank you for sharing your craft selflessly with us. This site has help me fuel my interest in photography in the moments it was sinking down. Best wishes from Spain.
    Hasta pronto Scott.

  52. I am so happy for you but must say how much you will be missed by me. As someone who is working much longer than I would like, I have looked forward to your podcasts as a welcome respite into the world of photography and the photographer. We all look forward. Thank you for helping me fuel a passion that will go with me.

  53. So long – and thanks for all the inspiration.

  54. Thank you for all the great work Scott and your inspirational and sometimes controversial views, I´ve learned a lot from reading your posts and was a listener of Twip back then. I wish you a great time with your hobby and a happy days in Europe. Kind regards Michael Herrmann

  55. Scott thank you for inspiring us to get involved with photography. Your advice and approach has been really helpful in understanding what it is about. Will be sorry not to hear your voice so often but thank you for your generous spirit! Your message has been well and truly heard down under. All the best for the future.

  56. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  57. Scott, you warned us that this day was coming. Where has the year gone?
    You have been a great inspiration. Best of luck in your new adventure.

  58. Thanks for all the information and inspiration.

  59. best wishes! I’ve learned a lot from you

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