About Analog.Cafe

A Film Photography Blog

4 min read by Dmitri.
Published on . Updated on .

Analog.Cafe is here to empower photographers and non-photographers to be better at and happier making analogue art. Free and ad-free articles, web apps, and community outreach are some of the ways we do the empowering. But there’s more.

✪ Note: If you’re looking to reach the editor, email “d at analog dot cafe.”

Who runs Analog.Cafe?

👋 My name is Dmitri. I own, design, code, write, edit, and post film photos on Analog.Cafe.

I grew up in a family of artists where I spent most of my pre-teen years with grandpa — a retired architect who loved to draw seascapes. If you’re interested in my cultural background, there’s a book, a post, and a photo essay about it.

My self-portrait, taken on a gingerbread film camera though a sugar lens.

I began building websites as soon as I got connected to the Internet back in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s. I used that skill to express my love for art and photography since the early ‘10s. The Web taught me how to do 5-0s on a skateboard, play Little Wing, design intricate animations, edit videos, and how to develop film. This technology connected me to new friends and gave me an opportunity to contribute my experience and technology back to the Web.

My film photography obsession kicked off on a date with my future wife while window shopping at the Lomography store in the mid-‘10s. I loved/love the results, the process, the history, and the countercultured nature of this art form. Analog.Cafe is the culmination and perpetuation of the countless hours spent obsessing over cameras, lenses, and photosensitive emulsions.

No ads.

I’m not against advertising in general. Ads can be good.

But as someone who’s been building the Web since the late ‘90s, I have deep mistrust toward popular ad networks.

I built Analog.Cafe to connect with the film photography community. Not soiling that experience with intrusive messages has been its goal since the day it launched.

A community project.

Though I own and operate the Analog.Cafe website, a large chunk of its content is authored by (and thus belongs to) the volunteer contributors. Analog.Cafe published well over a hundred community articles, hosts a community-powered photography game, and now moderates its own microblogging platform.

Everyone’s welcome to post a comment, help build the game, or publish an essay on Analog.Cafe.

Editorial standards.

Analog.Cafe blog is read by thousands of visitors every day. My job is to keep the language and illustrations legible for everyone.

I edit my own posts multiple times before publishing and often make changes to the community submissions. It’s an honour to be trusted with this task, particularly by members with English as a second language (whose works change the most before going live).

The non-editorial portion of this website is the comments, which abide by separate moderation rules. I do not edit member comments, but members can edit their own.

Built from scratch for the open Web.

To build the experience I described above, Analog.Cafe had to be coded from scratch using primarily JavaScript (a popular programming language) and the various tools provided by the open-source web developer community.

Under the hood of this website, there are dozens of optimization techniques to make it load faster, hundreds of algorithms to make it display content elegantly, and thousands of lines of code to power its apps.

Analog.Cafe remains ad-free in part thanks to its product recommendation engine that helps readers find film, cameras, and accessories within the review articles. But it needs more than that to survive.

Ways to support Analog.Cafe.

The average lifespan of a website is around two years. Analog.Cafe has been online since 2017. It’s grown a lot, and there are bills to pay.

You can support this project by getting the GOLD membership, which comes with premium content and features. This is the best way.

One-time donations on Buy Me a Coffee are also helpful, as are your purchases at the Analog.Cafe’s Etsy shop.

Contact.

You can reach me directly via email. It’s “d at analog dot cafe.”

You can also find me on Mastodon, Instagram, Bluesky, and YouTube.