A Timeless Journey Of Self-Expression

Like many of my peers and colleagues around my age, I have been immersed in photography for what feels like a lifetime, both as a personal passion and as a means of making a living. The year 1975 marked the beginning of my journey, as I held a camera in my hands for the very first time. From that moment on, photography became an integral part of my life, shaping the way I viewed the world and how I expressed myself through art.

For the majority of my career, photography was not just about capturing images that appealed to me; it was a delicate balance between pursuing my own creative inclinations and meeting the demands of paying clients. Client briefs, storyboards, mood boards, RFPs, and shot lists often dictated the direction of my work. While this presented a thrilling challenge at times, it occasionally meant sacrificing my personal artistic vision to cater to someone else’s needs.

Then, on a pivotal day in February 2011, I embraced a significant change by transitioning exclusively to iPhone photography. This shift allowed me to continue doing commercial work but at a more relaxed pace. Yet, the most profound impact it had on me was the newfound liberation to photograph for myself. Gone were the days of frantic obligations to clients; instead, I focused on shooting for my own pleasure and creative fulfillment.

I adopted a mantra that became my guiding light in this new chapter: “I shoot for the walls and not the wallet.” It meant that my photography was driven by the desire to create art that emerged from the depths of my heart, not just to chase monetary rewards. Through this realization, photography had come full circle, leading me back to the core reason I fell in love with it—to create art that springs from the soul.

With my beloved iPhone as my primary tool, I have now reached a point where I no longer seek validation from others or care about their opinions of my work. The freedom this grants me is incredibly empowering. I no longer strive for social validation, contest awards, or peer compliments. Instead, I use photography as a medium to authentically express my creative self and to delve deeper into my own life journey.

This unshackling experience has changed the way I approach photography entirely. I shoot what I want, how I want, when and where I want, capturing subjects that resonate with my soul, without concern for external judgment. If others fail to comprehend or appreciate the essence of my work, it no longer bothers me. The chains of seeking approval have been broken, and I revel in the liberty to create art purely for myself.

If I were still shooting for clients, my subjects and style would likely differ vastly from the work I share today. But I have chosen a different path—one of artistic liberation. Photography has transcended beyond a mere profession; it has become an extension of my identity and an outlet for my emotions.

In this newfound freedom, I find myself unburdened by external expectations and the need for flattery. I am free to explore my creativity, to experiment fearlessly, and to capture the world as I see it. Whether my work resonates with others or not is no longer a measure of its value.

So, here I am, free and unbound by the constraints of the past. I click the shutter with joy and passion, capturing moments that speak to my soul, and I couldn’t be happier. Photography has become a medium of personal liberation and growth—a timeless journey of self-expression that I will cherish for the rest of my days.



Jack Hollingsworth