My Autobiographical Self in Photography

I have always loved photography, but it was not until after my recent divorce that I started to think and feel about life and photography in a new way. I realized that photography is not just a hobby or a profession for me, but a way of expressing my autobiographical self.

What is the autobiographical self? It is the sense of who I am, based on my memories, experiences, and emotions. It is the story that I tell myself and others about my life. It is the way that I make sense of the past, the present, and the future.

Photography is a powerful tool for creating and sharing my autobiographical self. It allows me to capture moments that are meaningful to me, to reflect on them, and to communicate them to others. It is a form of self-representation and self-expression that can be both creative and reflective.

It is also a way of exploring and discovering new aspects of myself. Every time I take a photo, I make a choice. I choose what to shoot, where to shoot, why to shoot when to shoot, who to shoot, and how to shoot. These choices reveal something about me, about my perspective, my values, my feelings, my goals, and my style.

I am not documenting life per se, but interpreting life through the lens. I am not just taking pictures, but making pictures. I am not just recording reality, but creating reality.

This is what I call the “click and tick” of photography. The click is the act of pressing the shutter button, and the tick is the act of thinking and feeling about the image. They are both essential parts of the photographic process, and they feed, fuel, and fertilize each other.

Before my divorce, I was more focused on the click than the tick.

I was more concerned with the technical aspects of photography, such as the exposure, the composition, the lighting, and the editing. I was more interested in capturing the beauty and the details of the world, rather than the meaning and the emotions of my life.

But after my divorce, with not much to lose, my goal shifted to creating a unique and authentic self-portrait that could invite viewers to empathize and connect with my life and my photographs. I started to pay more attention to the tick, to the stories, and the feelings behind the images. I started to use photography as a way of healing, of coping, of expressing, and of growing.

Another very real and unique benefit of taking an autobiographical approach to photography is blurring the conventional boundaries between art and life, between the private and the public, and between the click and tick.
My photographs are not just artworks, but life-works. They are not just personal, but universal. They are not just clicks, but ticks.

Not everyone is going to appreciate the way I roll my photography. Some want my technical stuff only. Others want my emotional stuff only. It is probably the group in the middle, that relates to me best and enjoys not just my photographs, but my emotional ramblings and backstories to what is ultimately my photographic process.
Here’s to another year together. Let’s shape history. Be yourself.



Jack Hollingsworth