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I’ve been thinking a lot about how to create value for the photography community. I love writing about photography concepts, but it takes a lot of energy to generate consistently valuable, high quality content. But when I’m talking to someone about their photography, it’s easy. I can write a ton with little to no complex planning. It’s reactionary. And it helps the photographer improve!

I started a thread on reddit a while back, just looking to see some photography and share some opinions because I was bored. It really blew up, and got so many responses I couldn’t keep up. It got me thinking. People complain about the rise of social media and the lack of real feedback. Now, feedback is just being used as this platform for promotion, in fact. Bots run social media. They give you some generic, bullshit comment on the hope that you’ll go look at their account and help increase their brand’s visibility.

The toughest part is that to break this cycle we need to involve value. I know that this isn’t the easiest decision. But, just as a for instance, when I created that reddit thread the reason I had to stop responding to comments was that I had to go do work. Work that saps my energy. Sure, if I didn’t have to do that work I could’ve just been responding to comments but ultimately we all need to do work. So, if people value input so much and we all have to work, maybe they’d be willing to pay for that input.

I love to help people. I love to share what I’m thinking with others to try and get a dialogue going. I have spent a lot of time practicing and learning about art and photography. I have been reading and writing — communicating — since a very young age. Why shouldn’t I start this trend? Let’s break this cycle of bullshit commenting and start trying to help each other.

I would like to someday start a community of people who want to be honest with each other like this, but I need to find a way to do that. Maybe it’ll be built on Ethereum. Maybe I’ll build it, maybe someone else will. But I see a way to break the cycle now with a website.

I’ve started a website for honest photography feedback and photography advice. It’s called cheapcritique.com and I hope you’ll check it out and submit for a critique!