We take a look back at the last year of Fast Company through the lens of photography. From the professional portraits that graced our magazines to the unusual images utilized for our website, it's been an interesting year.
We covered how four people who do exactly what they want run one of the most popular blogs on the planet. The founders of Boing Boing bounce around on their steampunk pogo sticks.

"Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing"
(Dec/Jan 2011)

Photo By: Glen Wexler
We wrote that everyone -- CNN, MTV, Conan, and even Google -- is tweeting about the future of interactive entertainment. These realistic Twitter birds get in on it.

"I Want My Twitter TV!"
(Dec/Jan 2011)

Photo By: Jill Greenberg
YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar (front) and his team are blown away: Margaret Stewart (user experience), Shishir Mehrotra (monetization), Hunter Walk (product), and Robert Kyncl (TV and film).

"How YouTube's Global Platform Is Redefining the Entertainment Business"
(Feb 2011)

Photo By: Robyn Twomey
Designer Monique Péan worked with native artisans of Shishmaref, Alaska, a community south of the Arctic Circle, to find fossilized walrus ivory and woolly-mammoth bone that they then carved by hand. The materials have since become her calling card.

"Object of Desire: Monique Péan Nihiru Necklace"
(Feb 2011)

Photo By: Steve Cohen
Andrew Mason is the unlikely CEO of last year's unlikeliest breakout business, Groupon. The 30-year-old Midwestern music grad has transformed the bottom-feeding coupon trade into a billion-dollar force that even sexy Google lusted after.

"Most Innovative Companies: Groupon"
(March 2011)

Photo By: Saverio Truglia
SynCardia makes the Total Artificial Heart, the only complete heart-replacement device approved by the FDA. Last year, it began a clinical study for its Freedom portable driver, a 13.5-pound external power source that, for the first time, lets survivors of advanced heart disease return home with the implanted mechanism. They're no longer tethered to a 418-pound power supply at the hospital.

"Most Innovative Companies: Syncardia"
(March 2011)

Photo By: Sue Tallon
Mark Pincus, Zynga's founder and CEO, leads visitors through the San Francisco company's colorful, dog-friendly Potrero Hill headquarters at a brisk trot, showing off the huddles of engineers and designers who self-assemble into the "studios" that run Zynga's insanely popular online games.

"Most Innovative Companies: Zynga"
(March 2011)

Photo By: Art Streiber
Seventy percent of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa, but less than 1% of the world's chocolate is made there. Tim McCollum and Brett Beach founded Madécasse in 2008 to keep more economic benefit within the island nation. Beans travel by oxcart to Ambanja, where they are spot-checked for damage and appropriate dryness.

"Most Innovative Companies: Madécasse"
(March 2011)

Photo By: Livia Corona
Remember the iconic image of John and Yoko from 1981? Here's our interpretation for our modern times. Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock embraces a bottle from his top sponsor, Pom.

"Morgan Spurlock: I'm With The Brand"
(April 2011)

Photo By: Erin Patrice O'Brien
Jeff Dunn believes he can double the $1 billion baby-carrot business -- and promote healthy eating -- by marketing the vegetable like Doritos. Here, we reimagine some of the most popular snack foods.

"How Carrots Became The New Junk Food"
(April 2011)

Photo By: Jamie Chung
We discuss how a home-soda-maker company is rocking the beverage world. SodaStream touts natural syrups and the eco-friendliness of homemade soda. Here, one soda-making machine stands tall, atop the conquered cans of soda.

"SodaStream's DIY Pepsi Machine"
(April 2011)

Photo By: Steve Cohen
This schoolhouse in Band-e Amir, in central Afghanistan, has light, thanks to solar panels installed by Sustainable Energy Services Afghanistan.

"Transforming Sustainable Energy In Afghanistan"
(April 2011)

Photo By: Benjamin Lowy
In Shenzhen, China, the Wuwucun neighborhood today looks much as it did in this photo from 2005, though the lives of its residents have improved materially.

"China: The Small Steps Forward"
(May 2011)

Photo By: Mark Leong
Zhao Neng plays in a neighbor’s home. His parents, neither of whom got past middle school, save most of their income to send him and his 13-year-old sister, Zhao Huan, to school back in more affordable Chongqing, China, with an eye on college.

"China: The Small Steps Forward"
(May 2011)

Photo By: Mark Leong
A couple who upgraded to a nearby apartment after having twins return to Wuwucun, China for a visit. The village homes are tiny -- about 270 square feet -- and typically house four people.

"China: The Small Steps Forward"
(May 2011)

Photo By: Mark Leong
For a man whose way of life has been threatened by modernity, activist and tribal leader Chief Almir of the Surui people of the Brazilian Amazon has looked to a surprising source to help his tribe maintain its traditional way of life: Google.

"Most Creative People: Chief Almir"
(June 2011)

Photo By: Ivan Kashinsky
Sam Kass enjoys: slipping on his White House chef 's jacket and going out to the garden to pick some peas and mint for the Obama family's dinner. He is, after all, their cook -- and he's inspired more by seasonal produce than by recipe books.

Most Creative People: Sam Kass"
(June 2011)

Photo By: Michael Lewis
Comedy writing has two main ingredients, Conan O'Brien says. Part one: left-brain bullshitting. Part two: seeing ideas up on their feet, in rehearsal, and then reworking them.

"Most Creative People: Conan O'Brien"
(June 2011)

Photo By: Matthias Clamer
Conan as the great creatives in history, shot for our Most Creative People feature: (l to r) Madonna, Conan O'Brien, Steve Jobs, Moses, Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Socrates, Ben Franklin.

"The 100 Most Creative People in Business"
(June 2011)

Photo By: Matthias Clamer
We went on tour with former singer-songwriter Nathan Hubbard and his showstopper of a plan to rescue Ticketmaster's business -- and, for an encore, its dreadful reputation.

"Ticketmaster: Rocking The Most Hated Brand In America"
(July/August 2011)

Photo By: Benjamin Lowy
Creative marketers are launching new efforts to reach the Latin American community. Colin Spooner manages a consultancy launched by ad agency Pereira & O'Dell, whose majority owner is Brazilian advertising giant Grupo ABC.

"Colin Spooner On Brazil's Olympic Retail Efforts"
(July/August 2011)

Photo By: Jason Madara
Israel may be the world's next energy superpower. But is this good for the Jews? Depicting a Star of David covered in the black toxicity of oil makes that question real.

"Israel: IEI's Land Of Oil And Money"
(September 2011)

Photo By: Justin Metz
David Lauren is turning his father's empire into a digital leader--and shaking up the fashion industry. Lauren wearing a simple and elegant white suit allows him to be projected as a towering figure.

"Ralph Lauren's $13 Billion Bet"
(September 2011)

Photo By: Francois Dischinger
During recess, students at the Second High School attached to Beijing Normal University--like their counterparts across the nation--gather in the courtyard to do calisthenics. This exercise is meant to aid their vision.

"Cramming For College At Beijing's Second High"
(September 2011)

Photo By: Shiho Fukada
NeuroFocus CEO A.K. Pradeep knows how to read your mind--so long as you put on that device first.

"NeuroFocus Uses Neuromarketing To Hack Your Brain"
(September 2011)

Photo By: Floto + Warner
Bill Moggridge at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, a reworking in progress.

"Mister Moggride Has Mad Amibtion"
(October 2011)

Photo By: Mark Joao Canziani
Jeanne Gang designed the Nature Boardwalk at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo: "It's a hyper-urban site, and yet it provides a space for a natural habitat."

"The United States Of Design: The New Masters"
(October 2011)

Photo By: Michael Lewis
Psst, Mister! Wanna buy a watchband? Scott Wilson's wrist candy is driving sales of iPod Nanos.

"The United States Of Design"
(October 2011)

Photo By: Jeff Minton
Inside the life and mind of Phillip Lim, one of the most talented and most elusive young fashion designers of our time. Here, Lim is photographed in the New York loft that will soon be his new HQ.

"We Live By The Dress, Die By The Dress"
(October 2011)

Photo By: Jake Chessum
Media companies aren't the only ones in the content-providing business these days. Diane Charles and Ron Qurashi are the producers of Lexus's Web Therapy series, starring Lisa Kudrow.

"Web Production Gurus Diane Charles And Ron Qurashi On Lisa Kudrow And Lexus"
(November 2011)

Photo By: Pamela Littky
International Medical Corps is a model for global not-for-profits, with a plan that goes way beyond drop-in disaster relief. In Jacmel, Haiti, Dr. Dan Khodabakhsh, center behind woman, teaches locals how to fashion a sling out of a bedsheet.

"International Medical Corps Helps Haiti In Its Long Haul"
(November 2011)

Photo By: Antonio Bolfo
A portrait of entrepreneur Bill Nguyen, the founder of Color Labs, and previously, Onebox, Seven Networks, and La La.

"Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble"
(November 2011)

Photo By: Mark Mann
In the entrepreneurial economies of emerging markets, women are key to connecting with the main engine of growth: the small-to-medium business market. This remake of the famous U.S. propaganda poster emphasizes the working woman.

"Want To Win The Talent War In Emerging Markets? Start Recruiting Women"

Photo By: Liannes Ibanez Cubanita
In person-to-person conversations, we listen and influence others based on our five senses. Online companies should similarly listen to their customers with the five digital senses. It may take a pair of large floppy ears for some people to really hear.

"Listening To Your Customers With The Five Digital Senses"

Photo By: Raquel Van Nice
Applause! Applause! Some cheered when Reed Hasting announced his decision to split up Netflix's DVD and streaming businesses.

"Why Reed Hastings Should Be Applauded For The Netflix Split"

Photo By: Rick Harrison
One can argue it is time for Apple to torch the classic iPod.

"Time For Apple To Kill The iPod"

Photo By: Jasper Nance
"I took this on the way back to the hotel on my last day of a weekend trip to Hamburg, Germany. I was waiting for the train at Landungsbrücken train station when I suddenly see this well dressed guy walking down the track," said photographer Thomas Leuthard. "The photo shows a perfect silhouette of a man with a hat, a suit and an umbrella. It's hard to tell which date the shot was taken, which makes it more interesting. It is reduced to the relevant things, the man and the station."

"American Firms Now Embrace Design, But They're Aging Fast. What's Next?"

Photo By: Thomas Leuthard
A colorful photo of a building in need of repair helps represent the materials necessary to create housing and the disorganization a lack of standardized labeling fosters.

"A Nutrition Label For Building Products"

Photo By: StuckInCustoms
The tedium of learning to programming code is palpable in this pic of an archaic computer.

"Codecademy.com: Finally, An Interactive Coding Class That's Fun"

Photo By: Super Bomba
"I went to La Tomatina in alone from Valencia where I live. It seemed to me that about half of the guests had come from other countries. I heard Spanish, English, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese speech," said photographer FlyDime. "It so happened that I saw a man in the photo preparing to splash with juice a passing girl. I managed to shoot it."

"Shiroube Makes Travel Social, Cheap, Unusual"

Photo By: FlyDime
A sun at the horizon illuminates a soldier, highlighting the promise of solar energy for the military.

"Printable Solar Panels Now Powering The National Guard"

Photo By: Expert Infantry
"Bastille Day / Liberty Festival at Brasserie Les Halles in Washington DC. It was, perhaps, the only place in Washington DC that celebrated Bastille Day in a big way," said photographer Elvert Barnes. "Events included a summer fashion show and a cigar smoking contest whereby the participants competed to see who's cigar could hold the longest ashes, as was captured in this photo of a waitress dressed as Marie Antoinette."

"Infographic Of The Day: Wall Street? Pfff. Protesters Should Be Occupying Congress"

Photo By: Elvert Barnes
What’s the best way to move a rhino? Helicopters, of course.

"Operation Rhino Drop"

Photo By: Green Renaissance/WWF
A portrait of a particular circle of friends symbolizes "the biggest problem in social networking"--grouping the right friends in the right ways.

"How Google+ And Other "Little Versions Of Facebook" Solve Social Media's "Big" Problem"


Photo By: All Chrome
"A couple of years I was involved with something called the Twitter Photo Challenge. Every week there'd be a new topic, and the participants had to produce a photo for that topic during the follow seven days," said photographer Jo Christian Oterhals. "This particular challenge was 'The four elements.' Water and fire was easy to imagine, wind and earth was worse. In the end I settled for an idea about a zombie digging out of it's grave as the element 'earth.' "

"Is Design Thinking Dead? Hell No"


Photo By: Jo Christian Oterhals
"My friend Andy was in his early thirties when he died of brain cancer. I took this photo during my first visit to his grave with his wife, (who is my aunt) and their three kids (my little cousins). Being a first class computer geek, Andy enjoyed hacks like this one, using the casing of an old Mac SE for a flower pot," said photographer Björn Söderqvist. "I like to think there is some extra symbolism found in this special flower pot. While his physical being and the core of this old Mac are long gone, Andy's warm nerdy spirit lives on in the form of his wonderful kids and in the rest of us who continue to be inspired by him."

"Computational Sustainability: The Projects Of EcoHack"

Photo By: Björn Söderqvist
Have you seen another computer set-up that so typifies the state of attention-crowded, over-stimulated youth?

"Unpredictable Rewards: Twitter's "Activity" Stream And Our Dwindling Attention Reservoir"

Photo By: Louish Pixel
A simple shape in the doorway is visible here, the unmistakable outline of someone toiling at their custodial duties.

"Super Supers: Enlisting Building Workers To Reduce Energy"

Photo By: Brad Smith
Dolphins swimming. What more needs to be said?

"Dolphin Whistles Help Solve The Mysteries Of The Cosmos"

Photo By: Jesslee Cuizon
"It was right after Lieutenant Pike sprayed the group of students, they were sitting there, still, some of them clutched each others hands. For a moment time stopped, was this really happening? It was surreal -- police in riot gear sprayed a bunch of students who were sitting, at UC Davis," said photographer Brian Nguyen. "That day was a moral victory. Even faced with violence, those students responded with, and only with, peace. "

"Storytelling 2.0: Cowbird Classes Up Our Communication"

Photo By: Brian Nguyen
"I loved the idea of a showdown between these two iconic characters, because while they fight on different sides they also share some remarkable similarities," said photographer J.D. Hancock. "The Dark Knight and the Dark Lord are both orphans who learned at the feet of the masters before embracing a fearful alternate identity and dedicating themselves to a relentless crusade against their enemies."

"In The Messy NFC Battle, Consumers Are The Biggest Losers"

Photo By: JD Hancock