21 Oct 2015 You Don’t Know Jack
If you’re in the photography business, you probably know Jack Hollingsworth. But do you know his latest incarnation as the king of iPhoneography?
A travel, lifestyle and portrait expert in commercial and stock photography, Hollingsworth is a renowned professional who has been shooting, producing, and directing for 40 years in the industry.
Always ready to try new businesses and technologies he has embraced the era of social media, deeply integrating his business life into the social networks and developing a Twitter obsession. With over 15 Tweets per day since 2010, his account has amassed 56.2K followers to date.
Four years ago, he discovered and got fascinated by iPhone photography. Since then, he has committed himself to exploring and mastering this new area of photography, to the point of becoming the number one ‘iPhoneography’ guru and an in-demand consultant for companies producing and selling mobile photos, mobile accessories and mobile apps.
How He Got Involved
Hollingsworth has a keen eye for the “next big thing” in technology. Long before the rise of smartphone photography, he envisioned online social networking as the future of life and business and dove into the field. He took time off from shooting to fully redesign his business and brand for Web 2.0, creating a presence on every major social media platform. He soon developed such a Twitter obsession that he’s often referred to as “the Twitter Monk,” but he sees himself as a working photographer-documentarian and interpreter of life. Hollingsworth also advocates for making businesses more web-friendly, calling his colleagues to follow his lead and modernize the industry.
Hollingsworth’s strategy was to focus all of his work and networking on the web, integrating the existing offline business he had built over 30 years in the industry. Instead of concentrating his online presence in one place, he found it more beneficial to establish several small sites and develop specific personas for each of them. He created blogs, guest posts, tutorials, and social network profiles, enthusiastically sharing photos or info on one channel, while elsewhere presenting himself as more of an instructor, a business analyst, or an artist. He maintains all of these personas separately but links them all to each other and to his offline business.
From social media and Web 2.0, it was a short step into mobile photography. Hollingsworth quickly became fascinated with it, to the point that he remembers the exact date and place where his new obsession began: on February 18th, 2011, at a photo shoot in Barbados. While working with his regular gear, he started taking photos with his iPhone, and a whole new world opened up for him. He was astonished with the quality of the images he created with his phone, photos that could easily compete with the ones he shot with his DSLR set. “It was love at first sight!” he says.
From that day on, just as with social networking, he has fully embraced iPhoneography. This new passion has been a professional rebirth for him. After 30 years working in photography, he says he’s more inspired, motivated, and in love with his profession than ever before. Hollingsworth reflects, “Who would have imagined that a capture device like the lowly iPhone would not just resurrect my passion, vision, and mission for photography at all levels, but that it would also completely and forever redefine the photography landscape for me?”
His current work is now entirely centered on iPhone shots, and he’s very involved in all aspects of iPhone and mobile photography, from social photo sharing and artistic productions to commercial shots and mobile stock.
Jack’s Perspective on Mobile Photography
Hollingsworth is now a true evangelist for iPhone photography. He loves not only the opportunities that come with this role, but its responsibilities as well. While many photographers shy away from taking the lead in this shifting marketplace, mostly due to lack of experience and street cred, Hollingsworth has both and was seemingly born for just such a position. Since 2011, he has been involved in podcasts, webinars, conferences, blog series, workshops, photo tours, niche events, and anything else that can help promote this market and improve the knowledge and skills of iPhone shooters.
His commitment is total; he has even moved his entire workflow process to the mobile platform. From shooting to processing to sharing or distributing, he does everything on his iPhone.
As for content itself, Hollingsworth’s approach to iPhoneography revolves around the concept of “imperfect being the new perfect.” To him, the core of mobile photography is in the content. The style, talent, and skills used to shoot images are more important than the device used to take them or the filters applied to them. In his opinion, a good mobile shooter is one who shoots with vision, creating relevant content, not just one who creates technically perfect shots. Shooting with intention and emotion and using a camera app with manual controls (allowing more technical control, like a DSLR setup) are the keys to great iPhone photography.
While the post-processing in his regular DSLR shots was very light, Hollingsworth says he is much less shy about editing his mobile shots and uses different apps to achieve the final looks. But he firmly believes that a great image is the result of a good shot, and post-processing is just used to improve the final result. Abusing apps to try to improve poorly shot photos will never deliver good results to Hollingsworth’s eyes.
But he’s not only concerned with the artistry of iPhoneography. As a photographer making a living from his passion, his deep interest and profound insight extend to marketing and business opportunities.
He’s always gathering info on the size of the market for mobile imagery, the balance of supply and demand, and the projected future for this kind of content in the photography industry. He’s particularly interested in the latest business models used to monetize mobile photography and how they are performing. Keeping informed about the industry makes him a valuable consultant for any company in the mobile photography market or trying to get into it.
His Present and Future
Hollingsworth continues to develop his broad online platform, and he is currently putting the finishing touches on a brand new iPhone-only photography blog that will be the hub for his web presence.
As for shooting, he says he now spends as much time shooting iPhone video as he does stills. It’s easy to see why, since the new iPhone 6s takes 4K video, up to four times the resolution of 1080p HD video. You get the keen sense, from talking to Hollingsworth, that all of the next-generation mobile storytellers, amateur and professional, will be able to seamlessly integrate videos, stills, and even audio and graphics into their modern narratives. Check out his hybrid video of India, all shot on iPhone 6s:
Jack’s enthusiasm for iPhone photography is contagious. He is publishing a new book with iLex Press called “The Joy of iPhone Photography: How to Shoot Anything, Anytime, Anywhere,” which should be on the shelves soon. He is also producing a new ebook and video series on “A Mobile Approach to iPhone Photography,” both of which will promote his ongoing calls for thinking of the iPhone less like a phone and more like a camera.
And as far as stock goes, Jack is back. He is launching “Jack-be-Nimble,” a new, premium, iPhone-only collection of his best work from the past four years, partnering with his long time friend and serial technology entrepreneur Manav Lohia, from Imagedb.
Get To Know Him Better
Aside from all of these new projects, Hollingsworth has—of course—a personal website. If you want to see more of his work and connect with him, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Slideshare.
And if you want to learn some more deep business knowledge and learn the skills to be a great mobile shooter, you can check out his tutorials and advisory posts on Snapsnapsnap and get updates from his curated mobile photography news portal, iPhoneography-Today.