There are a few big updates to go along with the July MotM that are worth writing about for those of you loyal readers who still open this email. If you are reading this, you are probably wondering why we’ve gone so dark on social media, and what we’re up to instead.
To address the first topic, social media is massively time consuming and not something I feel comfortable devoting as much time to as we used to. I’m just not sure our brains know how to handle so much feedback, criticism, and even praise all the time. I don’t feel many of us, myself most included, know how to compartmentalize real life from Facebook or Instagram.
When a photo I am deeply proud of underperforms, or is trolled incessantly, or worst of all, when my personal character is questioned based on measures taken to achieve a result, I am not as able as I need to be to let it go. The same goes with too much praise or a photo going viral; is this really my best work, or just the result of an algorithm? Do I really want to gauge my work based on likes?
All of that said, the primary reason I am not as active on social media as I used to be is that it simply is not a good time to value investment. With Sophie finally in the country and things like credit, leases, and “adult stuff” popping up constantly, it became clear we would need something more stable. Likes and comments don’t build credit, and they don’t pay bills.
This leads perfectly to the second update and the answer to the second question of what we are up to instead. The answer is that our travel website, the very one you are on now, has been exploding post-covid and we are pouring ourselves into creating more and more guides. Every time a visitor goes from a Google search or social media to one of our guides, we make a little bit from the ads on the page. If a trip or tour is ever booked through one of our links, we get a little bit of commission at no cost to the user.
Basically, we have found a source of steady income that lets us go back to being explorers and photographers, and not salesman. Life on Facebook meant daily haggling over print pricing.
It also meant frequent disappointment about how entitled so many feel to free art these days. The Moment of the Month was created in hopes that with over 150k combined followers across all of our channels, just 1% might be willing to donate about $1 which would pay our rent. In the end, we only signed up about 100 people.
Which leads us to two final announcements.
The first is that we will continue MotM until our 2-year anniversary, at which point we will be ending it as it just takes too much time and did not get the result we required to make it worth that time.
The second is that we are partnering with Travel Medford, my beloved hometown tourism board, to promote the Rogue Valley and Medford over the next few months!!
It is in this spirit that the other featured photos for the July Moment is a collection of some favorite photos taken in the Rogue Valley. On a personal note, there is something incredibly fulfilling to be able to help move Sophie and I closer to buying our first home by combining a love for photography, writing, and the Rogue Valley. Having all these come together in one campaign is a truly special feeling.