Troy Freund Photo: 2016 Review

December 20, 2016 | Comments (1)

The end of a year always prompts a certain amount of introspective “what did I learn? what can I do better? what have I accomplished” thoughts. I thought it would be fun to go through 2016, month by month and think about these ideas. Here we go! 🙂


Learn: I really have some wonderful, talented, sometimes steampunky friends and when I spend time with them, I’m happier.

Better: find local, maybe-overlooked stories of my own to cover, and blog about – like CC Carmickle, twice-weekly radio host at Riverwest Radio.

Accomplish: took advantage of some down time to visit to great spots in Milwaukee – the Mitchell Park Domes and the Milwaukee County Zoo!

(Aside of Neatness: 2016 has seen 12 more meetups of MKE Creatives (which I organize) and 14 MKE Comicbook meetups (which I organize with a friend))



Learn: We have SO MANY neat local businesses – as seen at the Buy Local Gift Fair, put on by Local First Milwaukee (whose board of directors I serve on).

Better: need to remember that most problems that need fixing in our city/society have got >deep< causes and multiple layers that need addressing.

Accomplish: photographed the BizTimes Milwaukee HealthHeroes and met some seriously awesome people – volunteers, administrators, judges, organ transplant specialists – people who have, in a variety of ways, devoted their lives to serving others.


Learn: Milwaukee has some really great local theatre companies – like Renaissance Theaterworks – the women-founded, women-run, gender-parity-seeking theatre company in the Third Ward; and the Boulevard Theatre, putting on the “provocative arts” for over 30+ years, and who I’ve been in service to for at least half that lifetime!

Better: every time I go photograph people with a limited time available, I need to remember to go with the flow, >and< be decisive about what I need from the subjects.

Accomplish: photographed two great Halloween parties – the Racine Art Museum‘s fundraising “Steampunk/Pirate Gala” and the Local First Milwaukee Food Fright MKE event! So many great costumes!

(also, this month I put on the 5th MKE Cosplay 5k and ran my own “Run Around Sconnie” trailrun adventure!)


Learn: by photographing a presentation by Deborah Lipstadt, I learned more about the Holocaust and how this amazing woman stood up to a fervent denier.

Better: was reminded that you never know what’ll happen when you bring animals (in this case, a goat) to a photo-shoot, when I made a senior portrait for a college-friend’s daughter!

Accomplish: got to spend some time with one of my favorite clients, City Year Milwaukee. attending one of their events ensures that you’ll leave feeling excited, inspired, and wanting to make a difference!


Learn: one of the coolest ways to get around downtown Milwaukee, for a story on the sharing-economy, is to ride a bike-share! Goooo Bublr!

Better: To do tai chi and yoga more often, because meeting Shirley and doing some tai chi with her was GREAT.

Accomplish: Had a real fun time making portraits for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation‘s annual report.



Learn: Milwaukee is full of people working hard to make this an interesting city, like the folks behind Black Cat Alley.

Better: Doing feature photographing for the UMOS annual report, and seeing other small businesses working hard, reminded me that I need to get on the grindstone more fervently, too.

Accomplish: Photographing the Local First Milwaukee summer social, and Local Motion Live concert/market, reaffirmed for me why the mission of this group is so important – local businesses contribute a lot to a city.


Learn: That we have some neat sustainability-minded businesses in Milwaukee, like Wudeward, who utilize “urban forest products.”

Better: Need to think about how my skills can be put to use for those in my community, like Suzanne Carter doing dance with people dealing with Parkinson’s, and the A.W.E. artists bringing art experiences to the parks of Milwaukee.

Accomplish: had a great fashion shoot with a eyeglasses-boutique in Delafield,


Learn: it smells real good at the kringle bakery down in Racine.

Better: photographing a young family is real fun, but we’re all at the mercy of nap-time.
Accomplish: participating in a grade-school’s career fair is a fun time, and kids make pretty great models.


Learn: There’s a neat business who guides people on middle-of the-night hikes around Milwaukee, and when hiking with a DNR naturalist, you never know what you’ll find in a marsh.

Better: I can afford to think more about who gets overlooked, and offer to be of service, as those darn Jesuits do.

Accomplish: I spent time with the power-couple behind Juice Kitchen MKE and some county mental health specialists, and was reminded of the numerous caring, concerned, beautiful people in Milwaukee.


Learn: when it comes to photographing actors, in this case, at Boulevard Theatre, the more I push them, the better the photos.

Better: when covering  a pub-crawl engage more with the participants, because that action is pretty darn fun.

Accomplish: I can make a pretty good, with-lights, location executive-portrait in under 60 minutes, set-up-to-pack-up.


Learn: I learned that I sure do love my medium-format camera and the look of its photos. Size >does< make a difference, when it comes to cameras (just gotta use the right camera for the job). For my magazine/commercial portraits, my medium format camera is where it’s at.

Better: on cold, winter photoshoots, remember to have a pair of mittens, especially the kind that can “flip open” for your fingers!

Accomplish: it was fun to work with Chris J. Larson, a local politician, on creating some campaign images for him.



Learn: winter-time trailrunning sure is pretty, especially when it’s along the Milwaukee River.

Better: photographing roller-derby is fun, but definitely challenging to see that “right moment” and capture it well. (Luckily the BrewCity Bruisers season opener is right around the corner and I can go try some more!)


Accomplish: another year of photographing Milwaukee-area real estate professionals for a magazine insert. Always interesting people to talk with, as they tend to be hyper-aware of the economic state of things, because of the biz they’re in.


About Troy Freund

Independent photographer working for commercial and editorial clients, based in Milwaukee, WI.

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One Response to Troy Freund Photo: 2016 Review

  1. Barbara Budish says:

    Thanks for sharing Troy! Nice images!
    Happy Holidays and let’s plan to get together soon! Like chatting creativity over tea or beer…I’m game for either,

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