Panama Jack-Fine Art Photographer

Part 2 of 3

In my earlier post, “Panama Jack-Travel Photographer”, I tried to paint a quick, simple, 30,000-foot overview of what it’s like, for someone like me, to execute a commercial, editorial assignment, in this case…..Panama City.

In this post, I’m going to slightly but intentionally shift the emphasis of my assignment motivations, and pull back the curtain of what it’s like, even in the midst of a Travel Assignment, to feed and fuel my fine-art side.

Let me first say that the reason I sucked, really sucked, at Advertising Photography, is because there was way too much client control and micromanagement in the creative process, for my taste and style.

I was, and continue to be, downright awful, even dreadful, at taking creative advice from anyone, except, of course, Shannon and my daughters:)

Looking back, it was likely this very lack of authority-respecting that gently pushed me more toward a career in Travel, Editorial, Stock, and Personal work, where, in almost all cases, the creative decisions were my own, not someone else’s. Click.

Even given the liberal freedoms I enjoyed, over my decades in commercial photography, there was always, deep down, a strong magnetism to shoot fine-art photography, where I traveled and whatever subjects and objects I photographed.

A fine-art photographer is an individual who uses photography as a means of creative expression, aiming to create visually captivating and conceptually thought-provoking images.

Unlike commercial or documentary photographers who often focus on capturing specific events or products, fine-art photographers prioritize artistic vision, exploring unique concepts, emotions, and aesthetics through their photographs. They often employ various techniques, styles, and post-processing methods to enhance the artistic quality of their work.

The primary goal of a fine-art photographer is to create images that evoke emotions, provoke contemplation, and serve as works of art in their own right.

As it turned out, I had, by nature and nurture, a lot of fine-art in me.

While fine-art photographers, myself included, may still explore traditional subjects and themes, their main emphasis is often on the emotional, lyrical, and aesthetic aspects of photography.

They seek to convey a unique perspective or evoke specific feelings through their images. Fine-art photographers pay close attention to the interplay of light, color, composition, and design elements within their photographs, using these elements to enhance the overall artistic impact.

They may experiment with different techniques, styles, and post-processing methods to achieve their desired aesthetic and evoke specific moods or atmospheres. The aim is to create visually compelling and evocative images that can be appreciated as artworks in their own right.

Back to Panama City. Click.

Here’s the absolute truth for a photographer like myself- I could not survive, in the long term, on an exclusive diet of commercial work.

It’s just not enough for me. My eyes and heart lead me in a different direction. They always have.
For most of my photography career, with dedicated cameras, and for commercial clients, I shot for the wallet and not the wall.

But way deep down inside, in the places that few talk about, in photography, my ardent and passionate pursuit and goal was never just to own and operate a photographic business but to live and celebrate a photographic life.

And in the pursuit of that photographic life and dream-to create fine art.

I have this unique ability, even while executing commercial assignments, briefs, shot lists, comps, even storyboards, to pull away and immerse myself, even if for a moment, in the fine art of photography and life.

Look at these glimpses of Panama City fine art.

Can you feel, through my lenses a different sense of vision, voice, and value?



Jack Hollingsworth