The role of the critic in fact is not be to berate “the masses” for their choices. That would indeed be a bad form of elitism. Instead, the critic’s role consists of talking about artistic merit, in particular how it can be determined. A good critic is more like an educator who helps us when we have to make our choices, who help us see photographs with a fresh set of eyes. If I like the pictures by this particular artist, maybe there is something to them that makes me appreciate them even more? Or if I don’t like the pictures by that other artist, maybe I can revisit them and look at something I haven’t seen, to build an appreciation?