The Genesis of ShutterFreaks

As We Remember It Or Made It Up

Meet the Shutterfreaks Team

It looks as though we may be around for a while longer - knock on wood - so, at the suggestion of Ron Donson, we've decided to begin the history of ShutterFreaks. As the title suggests, we are filling in blanks with our best guesses and stand to be corrected if anyone knows better, and can prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

In the beginning (late 2001 - early 2002) there was a large and ultimately, too noisy web site - Adrienne Cleveland (AC), Larry Carter (LMC54), DogLeader (DL), Rick Bell (Rick), Floren (Ulol), and Hugh Stockton (hugh) met in Cyberspace, and recognizing common interests and, to a large degree, attitudes - at least photographically, began to meet in a Microsoft Chat room set up for that purpose by AC. The chat sessions were a 'hoot', with others joining in, but the above being the nucleus.

For various reasons we became disenchanted with the other photography forums we had been frequenting. In the meantime AC and hugh had been discussing an on-line photography class of some kind and decided to run the idea by Larry. At some point we decided on a name - ShutterFreaks -- thanks to a suggestion from Adrienne's husband, Scott. The next thing we knew, Larry had purchased the software and installed it 'for a test'. Momentum ran amok - to our very great advantage.

The site actually went live on June 20, 2002. Several of us wrote tips, and AC produced the first Photoshop Action (the sale of which, along with its companions, finances most of the site's existence). Initially, the actions were all free because we had no business account and no partnership agreement.

By the end of July 2002:
  1. Rick had produced a partnership agreement that was passed around and agreed to by - initially the five mentioned above less Ulol, who was added later.
  2. We had our tax ID number, then a bank account.
  3. ShutterFreaks had begun to show up on search engines.

By the end of August 2002:
  1. We'd sold the first action.
  2. Had our first Contest - won by John Van Natter
  3. Ratified a business policy - not without a lot of 'discussion'
  4. Created the SF Store
  5. Installed Gallery so we could market gallery space - another part of what keeps the site open and 'free'.

By the end of 2003 Ulol, Larry, and DL had decided that while they were interested in sharing photos and knowledge at Shutterfreaks, they weren't interested in the business side, and they left the partnership under the terms of our business agreement. Since then the ShutterFreaks 'management' has been AC, Rick, and hugh; with, of course, the invaluable assistance of our Moderators. We've had several who moved on or who didn't have the time to keep up with their forums. We miss them and appreciated their help. The current crew, Ron Donson (rdonson), Stan Abraham (StanA), and John Van Natter (ikzook) do a fine job and deserve special thanks for donating their time to the welfare of ShutterFreaks.

Before you ask, we are capitalists and proud of it. We started ShutterFreaks with a levy from each partner. In the early days, partners 'loaned' sums as necessary to pay for items not covered by existing funds. All loans have been repaid, all departing partners were paid according to the partnership agreement, we are covering our management and site costs, and can purchase the occasional ShutterFreaks booster items for resale.

Some of the items we've sold or are still selling in the SF Store:
  1. t-shirts
  2. coffee mugs
  3. logo patches - look super on a ball cap or camera strap
  4. key-chains and pin - you gotta get one or both. Pin shown here on a cap, but you can pin it on your jacket, vest, or camera bag.
SF Gear

We are not getting rich, but we are also not having to subsidize the site out of our pockets, nor do we plaster the site with commercials.

Our initial plan was to create a family-oriented place where all levels of photographic talent and interest could meet to learn and share. We are very pleased with the results so far. We feel this is the best collection of friendly photographers on the web, and greatly appreciate everyone who has helped to make it that way and those who continue the tradition.

We also solicit any suggestions for improvement. Please send same to Thank you all, and we hope to see you on the forums.


Meet the Shutterfreaks Team