Be Still My Soul

As a child, I wasn’t one to sit still. Always on the move, perpetually in motion, it seemed like stillness was an alien concept to me. This boundless energy, I believe, was inherited from my father, a man who seemed to be in perpetual motion himself. It’s funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it? How the very thing you struggle with becomes the focal point of your passion.

I still hear, faintly, the haunting reverberations of my dear mother’s nag, “Jackie, be still”.
I’ve always found it difficult to embrace stillness, to just be in the moment without feeling the urge to rush off and chase the next adventure. So, it’s somewhat ironic that I fell head over heels in love with a hobby, a craft, and ultimately a business, centered around the concept of “still” photography.

The term “still life” has a rich history, dating back to the 16th century when paintings of inanimate objects gained immense popularity. But for me, still, photography represents something more profound. It’s about capturing a single moment in time, freezing it forever in a frame, and holding it still against the relentless march of time.

In the early days of photography, still, photography differentiated itself from cinematography by its ability to capture singular moments rather than sequences of movement. Technically speaking, we can’t truly freeze time. It continues its inexorable march forward, unstoppable and unyielding. But through the lens of a camera, we can freeze a moment, holding it in stasis for eternity.

For someone like me, someone who thrives on movement and activity, photography serves as a counterbalance, a way to slow down and appreciate the fleeting beauty of life. It’s a chance to hit pause amidst the chaos and savor those precious moments that too often slip through our fingers.

Frozen moments in time. Glimpses of suspended reality.

I’ve come to realize that, perhaps at a subconscious level, I use photography as a tool to anchor myself in the present, to capture and relive moments that resonate deeply with me. In a world that seems to move at breakneck speed, photography offers a sanctuary of stillness, a refuge where time stands still, if only for a moment.

Each click of the shutter is an act of defiance against time’s relentless advance. It’s a declaration that this moment, right here, right now, is worth preserving. And as I pore over my photographs, each one a testament to a moment frozen in time, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude. I am grateful for the ability to capture these moments, to hold them close and revisit them whenever I please.

So, while I may never be one to sit still for long, I find solace in the world of still photography. It’s a place where I can embrace the stillness, if only for a moment, and celebrate the beauty of life as it unfolds before my lens. And in that celebration, I find a sense of peace amidst the chaos—a reminder that even in the midst of life’s whirlwind, there are moments of quiet beauty just waiting to be captured.

Be still, my soul.



Jack Hollingsworth