MySpace Tom has picked up a new hobby since retiring in 2009, and he couldn’t have chosen a better one!
Instantly recognisable by his grainy, small profile picture the size of a stamp, MySpace Tom was everyone’s first friend.
Back in the day, after signing up to the new hip social networking site MySpace, you’d check your new profile to find you’ve already made a friend. MySpace Tom, or Tom Anderson to use his real name, was the co-founder of the once popular site and everybody’s default first friend.
Obviously the OG social media platform is no longer a thing, back in 2005 MySpace sold for a huge amount of money, making Tom extremely wealthy and able to focus on his other passion in life.
How much was MySpace sold for?
In 2005 MySpace was sold to News Corp for a whopping $580 million earning him enough money to never have to work a day in his life again. He did stay on as president of the company until 2009 but ultimately retired aged 39. It just goes to show his love for this art form as he doesn’t exactly need a travel photographer’s salary, does he!
After spending a couple of years enjoying his retirement, Tom discovered his love of photography at the 2011 Burning Man Festival. Since then he has spent his time traveling around the world to exotic locations with his friends and his camera shooting epic travel photography.
Taken from his Instagram bio:
Former 1st friend, enjoying being retired. Phototaking has been my hobby for 4 years. New mission 2 help others & engage!
Admittedly he probably doesn’t have as many followers as he used to, but with over 651,000 on Instagram, 246,000 on Twitter, over 1 million on Facebook and over 6 million on Google+ he’s not doing to bad…
He currently lives in Hawaii but travels to places like Thailand and the Maldives to capture his beautiful images.
You can also follow his work through his blog www.stopworkingstartplaying.com but in the spirit of tradition you can access it though his old domain name which redirects to the new site.
The old domain? Yep you got it, myspacetom.com.
Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan. ?? When I first told people I was planning a trip to Bhutan, very few knew what I was talking about. ?Where? What? For those that did know Bhutan, it was always for one of two things: 1) the pleasant idea that the government and King make policy decisions based on the principles of “Gross National Happiness” and 2) the Himalayan Buddhist temple, Tiger’s Nest which I’ve posted here. I’d seen photos of Tiger’s Nest for many years, but photos do not give you a sense of just how high up it is! ?? I’d had the impression that Tiger’s Nest was perched just above a city, and that you could look up and see it from a town below, sort of like the Potala Palace in Lhasa. That’s not the case – not even close! You’ll probably never see a photo of Tiger’s Nest from the valley floor on Instagram because it would be so boring—in a photo taken from the bottom, Tiger’s Nest would be just a tiny speck on the mountain side. ?For Americans or anyone who has been to Yosemite, imagine you’re standing on the valley floor and looking at the very tops of the highest rock surfaces and you see a small speck that *might* be manmade. That’s the best way I could relate to you how high up this special Bhutanese monastery is. To visit the viewpoint from where I took this photo, you start at a forested valley floor, and hike up several hours. ????♀️There’s no rock climbing involved, and its only steep in a few places, but the sheer length of the trek makes the existence of this place that much more remarkable. It’s not just its beauty and the seemingly impossible engineering that gives you a sense of awe, it’s also the idea that every piece of wood, stone, every relic and jewel housed inside, was carried up one by one. ? Pro Tip: If you decided to visit yourself, start your journey before dawn, or in the afternoon, and you’re likely to have the viewpoint all to yourself. We did 🙂 !! We were there so late, we came down in total darkness. Remember your flashlights.
His friend and fellow photographer Trey Ratcliff helped to develop his skills. His main love is for landscapes but isn’t afraid to get creative. He says:
I’m not necessarily trying to represent nature exactly. I’m trying to make something beautiful like a painter would.
Becoming a travel photographer is never easy, but when you sell your company for $580 million while still in your 30’s that has to help towards flight tickets, at least a little bit.
But in all seriousness the guy oozes talent and can confidently say he’s successfully transformed from tech giant to creative mastermind.
Go check out his IG grid and follow him, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
He’s also come good on his promise to engage with his fans. He posts tips, tricks and helpful info on his IG Stories to encourage people to get into photography, or for more experienced photographers to step things up a level.
Lately I’ve been meeting a lot of “lost” people that seem to suffer from a crisis of confidence. I’m trying to help where I can. You don’t always have to understand the path forward. It’s OK to be lost at times. Crisis begets growth. In fact, some research shows that crisis is one of the few things that can really change us after age 25. If you’re feeling this way, just know that things can change in a moment — a chance occurrence can change your life forever. In the meantime, fill your brain with good ideas, follow the signs that life is sending to you, be open to what’s possible. If you’re doing OK in life right now, give your smile and empathy to strangers and friends. We never know what someone is going through. What does all this have to do with this photo? Haha well, I suppose this photo gives me a feeling of hope and a reminder that life, despite its conflicts, is always a beautiful thing. ????
Hello IG! Sorry I disappeared for a week–and thanks to those who asked where I went! No, I did not fall in the lava! Haha ? I just spent an action-packed week in Hawaii: first on the Big Island, then the island of Lanai (first time there!) and finally on my home island of Oahu! I was experimenting with my drone a lot and visiting with friends… I think tomorrow I’ll make a story that shows some of what I did during the week! ???? Here’s a shot of Waikiki and one I think may surprise those who’ve never been to Oahu. This is part of why Oahu is my personal favorite of the ? Islands–Oahu feels like a major international city with all the benefits (food, people, culture) but it’s also just a short drive to the world’s best beaches, jaw dropping mountain ranges and scenic hiking trails. Aloha ??? Just landed at LAX — now I’m back in Los Angeles and ready to look through and process some new photos! ??
I’m a professional travel photographer, and I’ve been living the digital nomad lifestyle since 2016. I make money by working on client assignments, selling stock photography and helping other photographers by sharing my experiences on this website. I move around at my own pace (I hate fast-paced travel) and like to spend a few months getting to know each place I base myself in.
My writing and photos have been featured on industry leading websites such as Digital Photography School, Atlas Obscura and the world’s leading underwater photography resource The Underwater Photography Guide. I authored an eBook called “Breaking Into Travel Photography: The complete guide to carving out a career in travel photography” that has been published on Amazon. My stock images have also appeared in ads promoting destinations and companies that sometimes has been a surprise, even to me. But I guess that’s the nature of stock photography, you never know who will license them!
I’m always happy to connect, so feel free to reach out!