Bokeh Focus History

Our Early Years

Bokeh Focus was started in 2011 by Center for Sustainable Journalism’s photojournalist Clay Duda. He named the platform after the Japanese word “bokeh,” which means “blur.” Duda spent a great deal of time photographing young people in Atlanta and cultivating young photographers around the country to contribute to the platform’s digital magazines.

Our original magazines were published as two website projects — Bokeh: The JJIE Photo Blog and The JJIE Magazine. They included photo essays and stories by young photographers and professionals about young people around the world from Africa, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Haiti, Kansas, Los Angeles, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Orleans, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, San Diego, South Carolina and Washington.

Bokeh: The JJIE Photo Blog Magazine 2011-12 cover with 1 large image and several small images JJIE Magazine 2013-14 cover with 10 images

Bokeh Focus Today

Initially, Bokeh Focus’ audience was primarily in Georgia, New York City and Los Angles. Our magazines showcased photos from Kennesaw State University students, as well as young photographers and professional photojournalists from around the country. Our website today focuses on showcasing young, up-and-coming photographers from around the world to a worldwide audience.

In 2016 the Center’s founder, Leonard Witt, taught a capstone course in which one project centered around the rebranding of our Bokeh Focus platform and website. This type of course is part of the Center’s experiential learning opportunities for Kennesaw State University students. What emerged from the course were concepts for a new, more modern and inviting version of Bokeh Focus.

In 2017, we implemented a full rebrand and redesign of the Bokeh Focus platform. Since then we have featured galleries and interviews of numerous young photographers and expanded our online presence by adding Instagram (@bokeh_focus) to our platform. We also host special project photography exhibits in Atlanta locations (2018 and 2019) and in ongoing 3D virtual galleries. These exhibits, along with our our Photographer of the Month online galleries, and our publishing partnership with creative international collaborations, are only some of the ways we are working to increase the number of contributing young photographers, our audience reach and our partnerships.