Casual Photophile Year in Review 2015

Casual Photophile Year in Review (1 of 1)

The upcoming holidays herald the end of another year at CASUAL PHOTOPHILE, and 2015 has been our best year yet. In the last 365 days we’ve published a number of articles of which we’re quite proud, created some really strong content, and (hopefully) contributed something of value to the photo geek community.

We’ve shot a lot of cameras, exposed a lot of film, and made a lot of pictures. And we’ve worked pretty hard to ensure that we’re providing our readers with a website that’s worth their time and attention. If numbers can tell the story, they say we’re doing a good job; annual readership has increased by a remarkable 2,202% (thanks for that).

As we approach the new year, we’re settling into a short break. But don’t worry. January 1st will see us back in action with a number of ready articles, and some totally new content that we think you’ll all enjoy.

Yes, 2016 stands to be a fantastic year, and we’re looking forward to sharing what we’ve got in the works. But until then, check out some of the articles, features, and reviews you may have missed in 2015. We’ve listed a number of our most popular posts, as well as some personal favorites that deserve some attention. So take a look, enjoy the holidays, and let us know what you’d like to see from CP going forward.

And again, thanks to all our readers for allowing us to share in this hobby of yours.

Our Most Popular Posts

Sometimes we publish a post and expect it to be hugely popular. Other posts we expect to get constant, low volume traffic. And sometimes, we expect a post will appeal to just a small handful of photo geeks. But the internet is a fickle mistress, so it’s really no surprise that we’re almost always wrong.

Here are a few of our most popular posts, as determined strictly by the numbers.

  1. Five Best Point-and-Shoot Film Cameras – We list five fantastic and easy-to-use film cameras that are perfect for on-the-go hipsters, retro geek travelers, and photogs who value efficiency.
  2. Canon AE-1 Camera Review – No surprise here, really. This most popular of vintage, film cameras gets a ridiculous amount of traffic. You’d think everyone would know about the AE-1 by now.
  3. Five Best Japanese SLRs – Probably among the most difficult tasks around, we attempted to list the five best Japanese SLRs. Honestly, like trying to pick the cutest Pokémon. Impossible, but we tried.
  4. Leica Minilux Camera Review – One of my favorite cameras reviewed thus far on CP, the Minilux review has proven to be extremely popular, and it’s one that I’m personally proud of.
  5. Why the Leica M2 is Better Than the M3 – This opinion piece was written with tongue firmly in cheek. Half jest, half truthful opinion, I never expected it to get the attention that it did.

Personal Favorites

For a long, long time, CP was a one-man operation and I was solely responsible for everything on the site. I juggled this responsibility alongside my day job, familial responsibilities, and running my camera shop, so creative time management quickly became crucial. As a result, many of the images and resources you see on the site were made at the same time that other events in my life were happening. Cameras would come along for testing during a family vacation, or lenses might be tested during a night out in Boston’s North End.

For this reason, many of the articles I’ve written carry with them certain connotations that go entirely unknown to our readers. These memories provide another prism through which I view my work. Here are some of the articles that are personally special to me.

  1. Nikon F Camera Review – This review was written during the early days of CP, a time when the viability of the site was often in question. I worried constantly that my work would give nothing of value back to the photo geek community and that the site would fail. While out testing the F at the Boston waterfront, I noticed a young man peering intently at the camera in my hand. I broke the ice, asked if I could answer any questions about the camera, and we chatted for a while. He turned out to be an aspiring filmmaker, photo geek, and all around good kid from Ireland. This was the first time that I saw first-hand that talking classic cameras could have meaning for people. It gave me hope that CP could be something worthwhile. After that, I stopped questioning things and got to work.
  2. Olympus OM-2 Camera Review – I shot this camera in Newport, RI. My wife surprised me for my thirtieth birthday with a weekend getaway. While Newport in March doesn’t boast the most clement weather, it was a great trip, and the review brings back very fond memories. It doesn’t hurt that the OM-2 is an amazing camera.
  3. Olympus Zuiko 28mm F/2.8 Lens Review – This is a lens from which I expected very little. I was wrong. While it’s not the most incredible lens in the world, it has a certain indefinable quality that makes it something special; it’s just a super fun lens, and one with which I was able to make a handful of really special images.
  4. Minolta MD 50mm F/1.4 – I called this lens the ultimate 50mm legacy lens, claiming you can’t do better at any price. I think that’s true. But I mostly enjoy this article because it reminds me of summer, and in New England, the memory of warmth is sometimes the best you can get.
  5. Our Exploded View Series – This is a series in which we completely disassemble a classic camera, arrange its component parts in an (hopefully) interesting way, shoot some photos, and talk about the cameras’ interesting innards. We’ve done a few of these now, and each time we do it the results get better and better. In February we have plans to produce a totally new take on the Exploded View using some seriously iconic cameras in ways that should amaze you, so stay tuned for that. In the meanwhile, we sell our Exploded View prints through our camera shop. We don’t make a lot of money on these prints, I just enjoy the idea that our work might be hanging on some walls.

And that’ll do it for 2015. Thanks to our readers, it’s been a great year. As we set our sights on 2016, we’ve moved forward in becoming an official business entity, brought in a contributing writer, and set things in motion for numerous site expansions. We’re super excited about what’s to come, and we hope you are as well.

If there’s anything you’d like to see on CP, let us hear about it in the comments. Tell us what you love about the site, and what you’d like to see more of in the coming year. And don’t be afraid to let us know what you could do without. This site exists for you, after all.

See you next year.

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No Comments

  • Reply
    December 22, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year, I’ve really enjoyed reading the site in 2015 and I’m sure 2016 will be even better.
    One suggestion I’d like to make is to see more Olympus kit being reviewed, although as an Olympus geek myself that’s a totally selfish request.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks my friend. Merry Christmas to you and yours. And don’t worry- Olympus has quickly become a favored brand around these parts. More to come.

  • Reply
    Jim Grey
    December 22, 2015 at 11:08 am

    It surely can be challenging to keep going at this in the early days, but once readers come, it sort of perpetuates itself! With lots of work on your part, of course. Congratulations on concluding another successful year here.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Jim. Happy shooting!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Wish you a bright future for you, James and the business. Casualphotophile has been to me a very friendly place to discover about film cameras, lenses and film. I couldn’t be more happy to have discovered it!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks again Francis. You’re the best!

  • Reply
    Dmitri Popov
    December 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Casual Photophile is one of my favorite blogs, and I thoroughly enjoy your writing style. Reading your articles makes me want to go out and take photos. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I look forward to reading Casual Photophile in 2016!

    • Reply
      December 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you, my friend! Happy shooting.

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