Opinions Abound: But Your Own is All the Counts.

As I sat in the quiet of my home this morning, savoring the first sips of coffee as the world outside remained shrouded in darkness, I found myself reflecting deeply on the profound satisfaction that photography brings to my life. It’s a feeling that’s hard to articulate accurately, to capture in mere words, but it permeates every aspect of my being. Truly. If you only knew.

In the realm of photography, opinions abound. People will always have something to say about your work—some positive, some negative. And while I do care about what others think, their perspectives will never hold as much weight as my own. That’s the crux of it: in this journey of image-making, my personal validation reigns supreme.

It’s an interesting evolution, considering my roots in commercial photography. So much of my time, energy, and focus were once dedicated to fulfilling the visions of clients. But today, things have shifted. Today, I shoot primarily for myself. Right or wrong, good or bad, my lens is guided by my own creative impulses and desires. Simple and plain.

What strikes me as the most peculiar aspect of this shift is the reciprocity between my passion for the work and the reception it receives from others. The more I pour myself into my craft, the more others seem to enjoy and appreciate it. It’s almost as if by embracing my own artistic vision wholeheartedly, I inadvertently invite others to join me on the journey.

The less I care about what others think…the more they care. Hmm

Perhaps therein lies the secret to finding fulfillment in photography: loving what you do with an unwavering passion, and allowing that love to serve as your compass through both success and failure. It’s about embracing the process—the highs and the lows—and finding validation not in external praise, but in the sheer joy of creation.

In a world that often measures success by external metrics, it can be easy to lose sight of what truly matters. But for me, photography has always been about more than just capturing images; it’s about capturing moments, emotions, and stories. It’s about channeling my innermost thoughts and feelings through the click of a shutter and finding solace in the process. It’s about using photography as my autobiographical self.

So, as the morning light begins to filter through the darkness outside, I find myself reaffirming my commitment to this art form that has become so deeply intertwined with my identity. I may not always have the answers, and my path may be fraught with uncertainty, but as long as I continue to shoot from the heart—for myself, above all else—

I know that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.



Jack Hollingsworth