From Wallet to Wall: How I Rediscovered My Passion for Photography with an iPhone

Why I stopped chasing paychecks and started creating art with the camera in my pocket.

I have been a professional photographer for over four decades. I have worked for magazines, newspapers, corporations, and advertising agencies. I have traveled the world, met amazing people, and witnessed history. I have also earned a decent living from my craft.

But somewhere along the way, not by choice but by happenstance, I lost the spark that ignited my passion for photography in the first place. I became a hired gun, shooting what others wanted me to shoot, not what I wanted to shoot. I was shooting for the wallet, not the wall.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed many of the assignments I got, and I am proud of the work I did. But I also felt like I was missing something, something that made me feel alive and fulfilled as a photographer.

That something changed in February 2011, when I bought my first iPhone. It had a camera, and that camera changed everything for me.

At first, I used it as a casual tool, snapping pictures of my family, friends, and everyday moments and memories. But soon, I realized that the iPhone was more than just a phone with a camera. It was a powerful, versatile, and creative instrument that allowed me to capture the world in new and exciting ways-quite differently than my dedicated camera photography experiences.

I started to experiment with different apps, filters, and editing tools. I discovered a whole new universe of possibilities and expressions. I found myself taking pictures of things that I would normally ignore or overlook, things that caught my eye, things that made me curious, things that moved me.

I also started to share my pictures online, on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I was amazed by the feedback and support I received from other photographers, both amateurs and professionals, from all over the world. I felt like I was part of a community, a tribe, a movement.

I was hooked. I was hooked on the iPhone, and I was hooked on photography again.

I was no longer shooting for the wallet, but for the wall. And by wall, I mean not only the physical wall where I hang my prints, but also the virtual wall where I display my images online. And most importantly, the wall of my own satisfaction and joy.

I still do some professional work, but it is no longer my main focus. My main focus is to create art, to express myself, to have fun, to explore, to learn, to grow, to inspire, and to be inspired.

I am not saying that the iPhone is the only or the best way to do photography. I am not saying that you should abandon your DSLR or your film camera. I am not saying that you should quit your day job or your clients.

I am saying that you should follow your heart and your calling, whatever that may be. I am saying that you should find what makes you happy and what makes you tick as a photographer. I am saying that you should shoot for yourself, not for others.

And if you happen to find that happiness and that spark in an iPhone, like I did, then go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is not real photography, or that it is not good enough, or that it is not serious enough.
It is real, it is good, and it is serious. It is also fun, easy, and liberating.

It is photography, and it is art.

And it is yours.



Jack Hollingsworth