Better To Chase The Bang, Not The Bling

I’ve been doing photography for a long time since 1975. I have personally experienced the zeitgeist changes in and to analog, digital, and, now, mobile photography.

It has been nothing short of sheer magic.

My conversion, from standalone cameras, to, exclusively, iPhone cameras, happened on February 18, 2011. Since that transformative day, I have, somehow, someway, managed to shoot, over this same time period, over 1.000,000 iPhone photos, on 10 different devices, in over 50 countries of the world.

Through, almost without exception, I have intentionally applied the same foundations and fundamentals I used in standalone photography to my iPhone photography-exposure, focus, white balance, design, composition, subject matter, and emotion.

My iPhone photography has been characteristically, even predictably, photographic in nature, supporting the sub-themes of modernism, minimalism, realism, and naturalism.

I have always wanted my photographs, at the end of the day, to look like, well, photography, not illustrations.
I am, as you well know, a photographer at heart and have the heart of a traditional photographer that uses modern tools.

Having, now, 12 years, under my belt, of intensive, obsessive iPhone photography practice, I watch others, with a curious eye, less focused on what I consider the “meat and potatoes” of photography, and more focused, thanks for and to, a never-ending appetite for social media validation, on photography trends, tricks, and techniques.

I don’t at all mean to sound critical or condescending here but I’m talking about, generally speaking, the seeming popular, cultural. amateur fascination and preoccupation with here-today-gone-tomorrow bents and bias like slow-shutter photography, macro photography, astrophotography, night mode photography, Anamorphic photography, retro photography, and the list goes on.

More bang, less bling.

Don’t get me wrong, these niches are super cool and, when done well, further the greatness of iPhone photography, in so many critical levels.

But oddly, I think we might find ourselves, in the mobile space, more infatuated with iPhone photography trends and techniques than iPhone photography indispensables and essentials.

Yes, of course, without a doubt, it’s awesome to show off a handful of memorable photos that show off your unique skill trends in narrowed-down niches. Click.

But, in my humble opinion, it’s far greater to chase critical and crucial photography fundamentals of light, focus, exposure, white balance, composition, subject, emotion, and storytelling.

In celebrating the work of photographers who immerse themselves in niche genres, I humbly encourage all photographers, both seasoned and aspiring, to remember the core principles that define our art.

Let us not be swayed by the fleeting allure of trends but rather embrace the timeless essence of what makes photography truly remarkable. By focusing on these fundamentals, we can create images that stand the test of time, eliciting emotions and conveying stories that transcend the ever-changing landscape of popular styles.

Photography is an ever-evolving medium, and it is our duty as artists to embrace new techniques and styles. But let us do so while honoring the foundations that have guided us for generations. Together, we can forge a path that celebrates both innovation and tradition, pushing the boundaries of what is possible while staying true to the soul of our craft.

So, my fellow photographers, let us continue to capture the beauty of the world, fueled by our shared passion and the pursuit of artistic excellence.

Let us celebrate the diverse talents within our community, acknowledging the contributions of those who explore niche genres. And, above all, let us never lose sight of the profound magic that resides within every photograph we create, for it is in that magic that the true essence of photography lies.

Chase the bang, not the bling.

Something to think about. I could be wrong about this.



Jack Hollingsworth