WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
slr-lounge-writers-1 News & Insight

Here’s to the New Year! | SLR Writers Share Their 2015 Highlights & 2016 Goals

By Michael Henson on January 1st 2016

It’s that time of year again! Most people spend time reflecting on what has past, looking forward to the New Year, and making plans to make the changes they promised themselves would be made last year. The writers at SLR Lounge are no different, and we wanted to share some highlights from 2015, as well as our goals for 2016.

If you want to keep up with your favorite SLR Lounge writer, be sure to subscribe to him/her on the Author’s Page here.

The SLR Writing Team

Without further ado, let’s get started with some responses from the pillars of our writing community!

Anthony Thurston


Beyond spending most of the year providing our great gear-related content, 2015 was a year of changes for Anthony, who decided to specialize in boudoir photography after years of ‘doing it all’. Looking ahead to 2016, Anthony hopes to continue to grow his new boudoir business in his new home in the Portland, Oregon area where he and his family moved to a few weeks ago.



This year, our Managing Editor, Hanssie jumped the Canon ship and purchased a Fuji system after reviewing the X-T1 Silver Graphite Edition in this article. Though we writers keep her pretty busy here, she still finds time to photograph the occasional wedding and portrait session. In 2016, she will be focusing on continuing her personal project – writing about life after divorce on her personal blog – and stepping outside of her comfort zone by looking for opportunities to speak at events/conferences.

Jay Cassario


Photo by Jay Cassario (Twisted Oaks Studio)

Jay’s year was mediocre at best. The main highlight (besides completing a business merger to create a killer wedding photography studio) was being selected by Leica to check out their new gear and provide feedback and insights prior to product launch. I mean, whatever, right? Obviously kidding, that’s incredible! His goal for 2016 is to continue to grow Twisted Oaks Studio in terms of business, team (looking to end 2016 with 5 associate photographers on staff), and vision. I’m looking forward to the lessons, articles, and inspiration we can expect from Jay in the coming year!

Kishore Sawh

2015-kishore-sawh-gucci-england-devon-slrloungeWithout divulging too much, Kish will be working with a media company in the Caribbean in 2016, and shooting more fashion and portraiture. His major focus, however, is to rid himself of his own inner critic, or as he likes to call it, his inner “Nickie Ferrante,” – Carey Grant’s character in ‘An Affair To Remember’,  a highly talented artist too critical of himself with his craft and thus not realizing his potential. Of the situation his grandmother describes his plight succinctly in her conversation with his love interest,

The artist in him would create. The critic would destroy. As a result, he has done nothing since. What a pity.”

Many photographers can identify with this. Kish shares, “While it’s not that I’ve done nothing, it’s more I’ve not done enough, and my inner critic is largely responsible. As such, rectifying this will be my primary focal point of my 2016.”


Max Bridge

Photo by Max Bridge Portrait Photographer (

Photo by Max Bridge Portrait Photographer (

Max can trace his most exciting moment to a foggy morning at a local park where he captured his favorite image (see above) of the year. Finding the energy to get up early and drag himself out of bed to take photos of deer is difficult at times with such a busy schedule, but the results of this enjoyable, purely self-fulfilling aspect of his photography is invaluable. The lesson here is – Don’t stop shooting what you love! It is easy to become distracted while we hunt for paid gigs, but shooting what you love keeps the passion and creative juices flowing! In 2016, Max plans to expand his product photography efforts to provide another revenue stream for his business. My guess? He’s going to be wildly successful. Take a moment to check out this article on product photography that he wrote up recently. Great stuff, Max!

Tanya Goodall Smith


The team at WPPI!

For Tanya, having the opportunity to attend WPPI was a major highlight. Despite the pressure to grind out multiple articles per day, she enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the SLR Lounge team and interview the other photographers and vendors in attendance. For 2016, she is leaving behind the world of chasing around youngsters with a camera pressed to her face and will be working hard to build her Work Story corporate photography brand. I’m sure we can count on updates and articles about the lessons she learns along the way!

Justin Heyes


Photo by Justin Heyes

Justin was fortunate enough to find a mentor this year that has helped him grow significantly and he learned a great deal about wedding photography. He also got married. But not just that! He developed a photo booth setup for his wedding that was wildly popular. Since then, he’s been able to expand it a bit and now offers it for events and venues in his area! For 2016, he plans to refine his photo booth business and to really focus on determining new ways to market himself and his business.

Brandon Perron


2015 saw Brandon shift his focus to pursue more automotive photography work and after a short time, he landed a cover and a full feature in a limited run issue of Volks-America! For 2016, his goal is an admirable one that we can all relate to, “…to continue to make money!” Join me in wishing Brandon all the best in his worthy pursuit of increased, additional, and ample funds!

Michael Henson

[re]Fresh Model of the Month

Photo by Michael Henson (

My highlights for 2015 are a collaboration I’m doing with [re]Fresh, a non-profit boutique for the Foster-Adoptive Care Coalition, where I do a monthly “Model of the Month” shoot, and shooting my first wedding as lead photographer! For 2016, my goal is to build my wedding business, expand my corporate photography network, and continue building my personal brand.

The New Kids on the Block

In addition to the team that’s been around for a while (at least a year), we have been fortunate to add some incredible new writers to the team in 2015! We are excited to have them on board and they have already shared some incredible insights in recent articles. Take a moment to welcome and get to know our newest team members.

Andy & Amii Kauth


Photo by Sunshine & Reign Wedding Photographer

The brains behind Sunshine & Reign Photography have put together some incredible wedding photography marketing articles since joining the team and their proudest moment for 2015 was to make it onto the preferred vendor list for two of their favorite wedding venues. For this coming year, they plan on to streamline their business, focus more on marketing their business, and their writing here at SLR Lounge and elsewhere.

Lauchlan Toal

Teacher Singing

One of our newest writers, Lauchlan’s highlight for the year is joining the SLR Lounge writing team and getting to interact with his readers! For 2016, he plans to add video to his toolbox because, “Movement and sound are so important to our lives, and video is the only medium that can communicate these cues.” I’m looking forward to the projects he will be sharing with us!

What About You?

  • What highlights from the past year have inspired you, encouraged you, and kept you moving forward?
  • What challenges or goals are you setting for yourself as you enter the New Year?

Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional living off your camera, it’s vitally important that you think about how you can improve yourself. To get your 2016 brainstorming session started, here are some quick suggestions and resources I highly recommend you check out:

Don’t forget to chat with us in the comments and on our Community Page to let us know how it’s going and how we can help! Thanks for helping make SLR Lounge what it is today! Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Michael Henson is a St. Louis based photographer obsessed with everything creative. His photography interests span genres from still life to sports. When he’s not running around with his face to the camera or behind a keyboard writing, you can typically find a guitar in his hands or catch him out enjoying life with his family and friends.

For more from Michael, bebop on over to:

Michael Henson
Personal Facebook:
Michael Henson
Business Facebook:
Henson Creative

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Richard Bremer

    Thanks to a mediocre 2015, I have a new focus for 2016. But first, my highlight of 2015 was becomming a member of the Dutch Professional Photographer institute and the associated Master Photographers Network. I attended a 2-day conference of the MPN and it was so envigorating and inspiring that it solidified my wants to become a fulltime photographer.

    For 2016, I have let go of my wish for more paid clients. Instead, I’m going to focus on just doing more jobs, whatever the price. I need to find out where my heart lies instead of just wanting to do everything. I need to find focus so I can show clients what I’m all about. And for me to do that, I need to find out what I am all about.
    Something a fellow pro photograpger told me (thx Lianne!!): give yourself enough time, use your heart and use good judgement. Will do!

    Also, I can identify with Kish about letting go of the inner critic. Wanting to improve is a good thing, but I also nee to be enthousiastic about what I can create today.

    Not so long ago I learned the an important lesson. As a human, it is more important to create than consume. So, less Playstation and Netflix, more photography.

    Happy 2016 everyone!! Let’s create more and consume less!!

    | |
    • Michael Henson

      Love that quote! Create more, consume less. That’ll be my mantra for the year as well!

      | |
  2. Fisnik Islami

    i saw here very nice portraits and i like them ,all i want to know here is the exif , im searching for a good tutorial in lightroom ,editing and post processing .

    | |
  3. Barry McDonald

    Justin Heyes: I love your photo booth concept. Very creative and fun! An article on your gear and setup would be very interesting.

    My goal for 2016: Make someone smile by capturing and sharing their moment.

    | |
  4. Ralph Hightower

    Kishore Sawh: to rid himself of his own inner critic.
    I have the same problem myself. I am my own worst critic, both in photography and software development. But I continue to shoot film in a digital world, I get ribbed about using film, but it’s fun and with two film cameras, one is loaded with B&W and the other with color. I also have one DSLR.

    Max Bridge: Finding the energy to get up early and drag himself out of bed.
    Max, I hear ya. I’m generally up at 5 AM, but when it’s below freezing, I don’t won’t to go out and shoot; but I had two personal photography projects that required doing that during winter.

    My goals for 2016?
    Learn to use a tilt/shift lens in a week. Canon shooters, any suggestions for T/S lens to rent?

    Do more with macro photography. I have the Canon Auto Bellows for my A-1 and F-1N and also the rare Canon Macrophoto 20mm f3.5 lens.

    | |
    • Kishore Sawh

      Ralph, I’m always interested in reading your ever-detailed tome of a comment(s) ha. Well, it’s always good to know a problem isn’t just individual. After all a problem paired is a problem shared. Here’s to putting the critic in its place.

      | |
    • Hanssie

      Re: tilt shift lenses, Ralph, what are you interested in shooting?

      | |
    • Ralph Hightower

      Hanssie, I’m interested in experimenting with depth of field and also creating photos with the miniature effect.

      | |