Photography Advice

Jack Hollingsworth – Professional iPhone Photographer!

The TOGCHAT Photography Podcast

My guest this week is a professional photographer, scratch that my guest this week is a damn good professional photographer who shoots exclusively with iPhones. Yeah, you heard me right, a professional photographer who shoots exclusively with iPhones.

Jack Hollingsworth is one of the most recognized names in Travel, Lifestyle and Portrait photography today, and he has been a staple in the photography industry for 40 years, eight of which have been dedicated to smartphone photography and videography.Jack Hollingsworth is a trusted consultant for mobile photography and app-focused companies and is well known for his instructional tutorials in the iPhone Photography space-including his “Picture Perfect” series for Adorama TV. He is a regular speaker at Apple stores and his work has appeared in the #shotoniPhone marketing campaign. And one of the reasons I like him so much, he is a straight to the point kinda guy who is lovin life with a camera.

Release Date: May 20th, 2021
Transcript | TOGCHAT Resources

Episode Links

Website URL

Instagram URL

Facebook URL

Favorite iPhone Apps Used by Jack Hollingsworth

“Apps should REFINE and not DEFINE your style.” — Jack Hollingsworth

Best Camera App
Favorite-Apple Native Camera App

Best Secondary Camera Apps with manual Controls
Favorite ProCamera
Runner-up Halide

Best Specialty Camera App
Favorite-Hipstamatic Classic
Runner-up Instagram

Best RAW Capture App
Favorite-Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor

Best PHOTO Editing App
Favorite-Apple Photos App

Best Secondary Photo Editing App
Favorite-Afterlight 2-Photo Editor
Runner up-Darkroom Photo And Video Editor

Best Creative Editing App
Favorite-Enlight Photofox

Best Video Capture App
Favorite-Apple Native Video App
Runner-up-FilmicPro-Video camera

Best Video Editing App
Favorite-Apple Native Photos App

Best Video Color Grading App
Favorite-Apple Native Photos App

Best Sharing App
Runner up-MoShow Slideshow And Video App (for making slideshows)

Best Optical Effects App (“The best effects are the ones no one knows you added.”)
Favorite-Lens Distortions

Best Filter App (You don’t take photos with Filters. You transform them.)
Favorite-Filters for iPhone and iPad (Filters has over 800 ways to transform your photographs)
Runner up-VSCO

Best Color Grading App (Photos)
Favorite-A Color Story

Best Fine Art App
Favorite-Waterlogue by TinRocket
Runner-up-Prisma Photo Editor

Best Alternative Process App
Favorite-TinType (by Hipstamatic)

Best Meta App
Runner-up Metapho

Best Infrared App (filters)
Favorite-Filmic Firstlight Photo App

Best Fim Simulation App
Favorite-RNI Films

Best Object Removal

Best Online Album Creation App

Best Texture App

Best Face Retouching App

Best Collage App

Best Type App
Favorite-Over-Graphic Design maker
Runner-Up-Word Swag

Best Magazine App for Printing Photos
Favorite-Recently-My Monthly Magazine

Best Slow Shutter App
Favorite-Slow Shutter Cam

Best Nite Mode App
Favorite-Apple Native Camera App
Runner-up NeuralCam Nightmnode

Best Editing App for iPad
Favorite-Affinity Photo
Runner-up Adobe Photoshop for iPad



Powerbank/portable power

Powerbank/portable power

Charging cables



Attachment lenses


Wireless clip-on mics
Saramonic Blink 500

Shotgun mic and clamp
Sennheiser MKE 400 Mobile Kit


My favorite supplier


Jack Hollingsworth – Professional iPhone Photographer!

Joe: [00:00:00]
What makes you a photographer? Do you have to have an expensive camera or can you be a photographer with a smartphone? My guest is a photographer with the decades of professional experience who has shot exclusively with iPhones for over eight years. Stay tuned for an awesome conversation with a man who is considered to be a leading authority on smartphone photography, Mr. Jack Hollingsworth.

DJ: [00:00:26]
You’re listening to the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast. The only podcast dedicated to the HOWS and WHYS, behind creating consistently great photographs. Here’s your host, Joe Edelman.

Joe: [00:00:45]
Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to a new episode of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast. I am your host, Joe Edelman. And indeed my mission is to help photographers like you to develop a better understanding of the HOWS and WHYS behind great photography.

We are still in the middle of national photography month here in the United States, so I hope you’ve been out shooting a lot, especially since we’re starting to see some COVID restrictions, ease just a little. And if you don’t live in the U.S. No worries, you can celebrate along with us. Just pick up your camera and create, have fun and embrace the opportunity to share your art with the world.

And while you’re sharing, please let your friends on social media know about the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast. You are part of a growing community of photographers in over 100 countries who are tuning in each week. Please help me spread the word.

My thought for the week: I had an appointment recently with my eye doctor. Seconds into the examination, he stopped and asked me how much time I spend in front of a computer every day. I told him most of the day, if I’m not actually shooting and even on shoot days, it can still be a few hours. He shook his head and told me that I have to reduce the amount of screen time that I have each week. Apparently my eyesight has gone from F 11 all the way down to F 1.8 and folks, I just can’t afford F 1.2.

DJ: [00:02:24]
Next up is a TOGCHAT exclusive interview.

Joe: [00:02:27]
My guest this week is a professional photographer. Scratch that my guest this week is a damn good professional photographer who shoots exclusively with iPhones. Yeah, you heard me right. A professional photographer who shoots exclusively with iPhones. Jack Hollingsworth is one of the most recognized names in travel lifestyle and portrait photography today.

And he has been a staple in the photography industry for 40 years, eight of which have been dedicated to smartphone, photography, and videography. Jack Hollingsworth is a trusted consultant for mobile photography and app focused companies, and is well known for his instructional tutorials in the iPhone photography space, including his picture perfect series for Adorama TV.

He is a regular speaker at Apple stores and his work has appeared in the shot on iPhone marketing campaign. Jack is the author of vendor inspirational book called the joy of photography, which was published by ellipse press. And one of the reasons I like him so much, he is a straight to the point kind of guy who is loving life with a camera.

So let’s dig in. Jack Hollingsworth. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me on TOGCHAT today.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:03:51]
Fantastic. Thanks for having me on.

Joe: [00:03:54]
Actually it is my honor. I’ve been following you on Twitter. You are like a God on Twitter. You just post nonstop. And I love the fact that so many of your posts are kind of like stream of consciousness, your stuff is just absolutely great.

I know that people are already, they’ve got one eyebrow up, cause we’re talking about iPhones. So obviously we’ve got a lot to discuss, but before we get into this whole revolution that involves phones with cameras.

I want to give folks a little background about how you got to that point. I mean, my understanding is you’ve been doing this photography thing for the best part of four decades. So tell me about your time before the iPhone. What kind of work were you doing and what kind of gear did you shoot with?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:04:38]
First camera in my hand was a Minolta 101, and that was 1975. That was 46 years ago. Since then I have had studios in India, Singapore, Cape Cod, Dallas, Austin, and staff, and successful businesses in each of those locations. So I’ve kind of done a lot of different stuff in photography. I never set out to run a photographic business, but live a photographic life.

That was always my key. And I don’t think that actually happened until February, 2011 with the iPhone, but we’ll come back to that. The last 10 years has been all iPhone, before then, started with Minolta, had a bunch of time with Nikon, Canon as soon as they went digital, I did that whole thing.

Shot a bunch with Hasselblad. I ended my career with a Mamiya RZ67, which was kind of, of course my favorite commercial camera in the portrait space. But for all those decades, I specialized in travel, leisure, hospitality, and tourism. So I shot airlines, cruise lines, resorts, hotels, tourist campaigns, all that kind of stuff. Lived six months on the road constantly for decades.

Joe: [00:06:11]
Very cool.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:06:12]
Yeah. So it really was on one of those jobs in February, 2011, I was shooting in Barbados at the Crane resort, shooting menu items, food shops, exteriors pool, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, nine cases of gear and a couple staff to help me eight cases show up, the one case that doesn’t show up is my camera.

Long story short, you know, being a sophisticated travel guy. I had a camera, you know, that I had on the plane, but I never even used it. So I kind of, you know, fake it till you make it. I was with a client, I don’t know all the controls, the budgets, the men, the menus, the buttons, all that kind of stuff.

So I fumbled my way through it out of frustration. First day, sun coming up over the ocean. I take my iPhone out, bah-boom!. That was it. I mean, I’m looking at my 5D (Canon). And my iPhone, which I guess was a 4S and I’m just going to What? What? Like, what’s, I take a shot with my 5D and then I take another shot with my 4S and I’m looking at it.

I don’t even believe what I’m seeing. So immediately, I tell the client, Hey, listen, let’s finish this up, got to go back to my room. I’ll see you in an hour, went back, loaded it on my laptop. I’m still looking at it and going, Oh my God, Now, I had a phone in my pocket for well, over a year. And I had never shot a professional photograph.

Never. I mean, I’d shot a few, family snaps, but that was pretty much it. Since then, 10 years exclusive iPhone. 1 million photographs, 10 different iPhones, 50 countries of the world. So I think I have a pretty unique perspective about what works and what doesn’t.

Joe: [00:08:00]
Yeah. I’d say that’s a fair assessment. So I am curious, just going backwards before we dive all the way into the phones, you were doing that type of work and the categories that you’re mentioning working with resorts and the travel and everything, it sounds like you were doing that for clients, but that also sounds like there might’ve been some stock work involved as well.

Was that a part of your business?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:08:21]
Yeah, lots of stock. I was like the three legs of a tripod. I had a commercial part of my business, which was, client direct. You know, the resorts, the airlines, the cruise lines. And then the other leg of that tripod was stock.

Like I was a big, big, big stock dude. Getty, Corvus, Master File. You name an agency, I was represented by them and I made during the heyday a lot of money in stock. Like I was one of the early adopters in stock. So I had commercial work, stock work, and then ,personal, editorial books, magazines.

That was another part of my business. I was literally doing that until like about 10 years ago and then I went I-phone and of course, life and love and laughter all changed.

Joe: [00:09:11]
It goes without saying the stock photography market has changed dramatically in the last probably 20 years. Are you seeing any kind of a demand or any kind of a business model or any use for stock done with an iPhone. Do you think that’s possible? Is it being done?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:09:30]
Oh, I have 100%. I haven’t shot a stock photograph in 10 years. Now that’s not to say that I won’t do it as a matter of fact, I’m kind of feeling the urge and the need to come back to that path again, not as a full-time gig, but maybe as a part-time gig to make some supplemental income.

And of course, I still have lots of dear family, friends that are, you know, cemented in that niche still. So I think because of COVID 100%. I think stock is going to come roaring back. Now, the problem is that is crazy saturated. And, you’re talking about smartphone, photography. Yeah. There’s a ton of it, but there’s also a ton of contributors.

So you’ve got to know what you’re doing. You got to look at it like a business and, you know, Adobe Stock, UnSplash, ShutterStock. Yeah. Big, big players still.

Joe: [00:10:26]
So you have this, this moment in Barbados 2011, you’re kind of forced to pick up that camera and you have this realization, I’m assuming it wasn’t overnight that the DSLR gets put away.

So how does the rest of that transition take place? And also along with that, how much did you second guess yourself at first? Or was it just like the shiny object that you just had to go towards? You, couldn’t stop yourself.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:10:54]
Yeah it’s almost like a love story. And I know it’s hard to believe.

I never second guess myself. Now, I never put my DSLRs in the closet as soon as I went iPhone. I can tell you because you’re a commercial guy, but I was pretty sheepish at first. And when I was doing my commercial direct work or editorial work, magazine books, whatever, even stock work that I would kind of just include my iPhone shots in the same folder. You know, they weren’t like, these are the iPhone shots and these are the big camera shots. And over time I found that the clients were gravitating toward the phone shots. So I kept thinking what? So I, don’t remember.

It was probably two, three years into the whole gig I went. I’m an iPhone guy. I’m going to tell the world, I’m an iPhone guy. I’m going to tell my clients, I’m an iPhone guy and you know, here I am still surviving.

Joe: [00:11:53]
Given that you were shooting with the high end gear and you were doing commercial work, why do you think clients were gravitating towards a lot of the iPhone work?

Certainly from strictly a, pure science standpoint, the technical advantage goes to the better cameras. So do you think it was a matter of, was there a certain feel or vibe to the iPhone shot or even maybe was it just that you were actually enjoying working with it so much? Those were turning out to be the better shots? What do you think it was?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:12:25]
I think the latter, Joe, I think technical and emotional technical. Yeah. We’re sort of at a stage in at least a mobile space where the gatekeepers and you know, them, the gatekeepers, the museum curators, the critics, the publishers, the art directors have always defined image quality for us.

And then 2007, the iPhone smartphones in general came along. And guess what? We have redefined image quality. So it’s not noise, artifacts, exposure, color accuracy. That’s technical criteria. Now it’s believability, credibility, authenticity, realism, feeling emotion. And that is what the clients were seeing.

And more importantly, that’s what the clients were feeling in my photos and then gravitating toward that imagery.

Joe: [00:13:20]
I completely agree. We’re seeing it more and more in advertising today and it’s kind of where myself I’m jealous of the younger generation.

Because they have adopted kind of a very rules, free approach to photography. There’s a rawness to it. That is really more based in emotion and it’s kind of satisfying their emotional experiences and advertisers are picking up on that, that we’re seeing much more of it in advertising. I think it actually makes for more interesting images.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:13:51]
And not only that it gives you. I mean, there’s a lot of reasons why it’s important, but you know, like I said, I never set out to run a photographic business, but live a photographic life. But, you know, as an Olympic shooter and as a commercial photographer yourself, you just don’t, you don’t bring a camera with you everywhere you go.

And it’s probably never, never happened for you. It never happened for me. So I would think about photography all the time. I would take pictures in my mind but there would be no capture device in my hand. Well, the phone over the past two years, Has helped me realize my honest, sincere, heartfelt dream of living a photographic life because the phone is always with me.

I have a special access to people. I’m not a pro I’m one of them. I come and go as I please, I shoot. I ended on the fly I deliver, I archive in the cloud. Oh my God. It’s like it dreaming. It’s dreaming.

Joe: [00:14:52]
I’m with you there for sure. So you’re still working with some clients. You’re still obviously shooting at a professional level because that’s not about the camera, it’s the photographer. As you made this transition from 2011 to now, have you run into any clients that were like. Ah, come on Jack. We love you. We know you, we love what you do, but an iPhone? I’m not comfortable working with that. Have you hit that at all?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:15:19]
Oh yeah. 100%. I get asked this a lot and I’m always hesitant because I don’t really know the numbers or the stats, but I’m guessing probably 60 to 70% of them went away.

Joe: [00:15:33]
Really? That many?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:15:34]
I’m talking about my assignment clients. They just want to wait. They’re like, yeah. Good luck. Sounds good. My kid owns an iPhone or an Android or, you know, sounds kind of cool Jack, but no, thank you.

Joe: [00:15:47]
I got to give you props there because that’s a statistic that says you are a very brave man from a business standpoint to just keep trudging forward with that.

And really believing in a potential. So good for you.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:15:58]
Another part, which I know you would appreciate. I did really well commercially for 30 years. So all those businesses, good investments, bad investments, you know, up and down, up and down, up and down.

But I did well commercially as a photographer. So it was easy for me to transition from my big camera to my iPhone because I had money coming in. So literally those first, I don’t know, the first half of that 10 years, there was a few and far between commercial clients for my iPhone stuff. I’m shooting out of pocket.

That changed over the past five years. And now some of the old clients are coming back. And of course, I’ve got new clients who are more interested in the iPhone story than they are the iPhone imagery. And of course I’m taking advantage of that. So it’s all good.

Joe: [00:16:51]
I hope that photographers that are listening realizeson that you’ve just given. It’s really kind of a masterclass. If I could summarize, from a creative standpoint, which is where you need to start follow your heart and then never look back. As a business person, you work and you make it work and you find the solution. So to change gears just a little bit, I found a quote on your blog that I think really kind of defines you and it defines this whole conversation that comes up about phones in general, because it does fascinate me, especially when you look at the photography, blogs that are out there, you know, just how much the debate continues, but the quote is, and your words, ” The time has come to no longer be defined by the device you use to take photographs, but by the body of work, you create.” My response to that is amen.

Expand on that for me. How does that apply to this switch? Because let’s face it, the majority of the photo world, still kind of looks at phones as well. Yeah. You know, like they’re so much better. They take really good pictures, but they’re not a camera.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:18:02]
Yeah. If you and I Joe as professional photographers say 10 years from now, 20 and 30, 40 years from now, maybe when you’re, maybe you’re still around. Maybe you’re not. When people look at your work, they’re not going to say, Oh, Hey, there’s Joe’s pictures that he shot with an Olympus.

Oh, there’s Jack’s photos that he shot with an iPhone. They’re going to look at your work and not the tool that you use. Just like you look at legends of photography past. I mean, Ansel Adams is one of my all time favorites and he always gets accredited with his 8×10 and 4×5 view cameras.

But that dude shot with Brownie cameras, Polaroids, Hassleblad, big cameras, small cameras, even 35mm cameras. So I think we’re sort of at that stage where our work is not defined by the tools. As a matter of fact, I was just having this conversation. Every single photograph that we ever take, whether it’s a phone Olympus camera, Hassleblad, whatever is some delicate combination of technology, technique, talent and tools.

So the intersection, if you put four concentric circles, the intersection where the good stuff is, is like right smack in the middle of technology, hardware, software technique, best practices, talent, nature, and nurture, and then tools, the stuff that you use in terms of a body of work. Oh my God. Like I told you, I’ve shot 1 million photographs over 10 years. That is a body of work.

As a matter of fact, I was just sitting downstairs, finishing up an edit from the beginning of COVID last year, where I was born is Hyannis up on Cape Cod. I was there at the beginning of COVID did two trips, six weeks.

I never edited the stuff I just shot. And I went on to the next job to the next job to the next. I finally dove in. I shot 44,000 iPhone photos over six weeks and of those 44,000 I selected roughly 12,000. And of those 12,000, I edited about 4,000. So we have the shooting ratio and then we have the shoot to select ratio, and then we have the shoot to edit ratio.

And then I even have a shoot to share ratio, which of those 4,000, maybe I’ll ever share 40 of them, but it’s still a body. And I’m looking at the stuff, looking at those 4,000. And I’m saying, this is my best work. Why would I say that after 46 years with a camera in my hands, a six week period in the great North, I’m looking at it almost in tears going, this is my best.

It’s the work that I’m most attached to the most emotional about technically emotionally athletically compositionally. It was a body of work and that’s where we need to get to because in the mobile space, It’s no longer about images. It’s kind of stories. And stories are defined by the body of work created by the creator.

DJ: [00:21:34]
Enjoying the show? Please take a moment and share it with your friends on social media.

Joe: [00:21:38]
There’s a couple of things in there I am curious about now. So shooting, 40,000 plus images, do you, as a habit, shoot JPEG.? Do you shoot RAW? What’s a little bit of your workflow in terms of how you’re managing this.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:21:50]
I love that question. And I’ve got to tell you before I answer that most people are really disappointed in my workflow.

I think that they want me to say that I have like these hidden secrets that I do. I pretty much shoot like everybody else. I use two apps. For 99% of everything that I do the native camera app for capture and the native photos app for editing, archiving and sharing. So I like most of my stuff is done on a phone and using the apps that come bundled with a phone.

Do I shoot JPEG? HEIC? or RAW? Almost 99% JPEG. Occasionally I might shoot RAW, but I’m just, I’m not an editing guy. I’m a Hunter, not a farmer. I live to be shooting in the field, not in front of a screen or even a retina screen on my phone. I’m just not an editing guy.

Joe: [00:22:47]
Do you ever find yourself, cracking open Photoshop to say, I love this shot but I want to do this, or you’re really kind of trying to keep it pure. In the sense of, you want to record your experience, the emotions of what was there.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:22:59]
Well, yeah, I’ve always had staff people in all of those studios that I mentioned India, Singapore, Texas, you know, I had post-production staffers in every one of those places. So that was kind of when Photoshop started and I kinda missed it. You know, I always had two or three or four people like doing like we literally, for 30 years, Joe, I shot 20 days a month for 30 years.

Joe: [00:23:28]

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:23:29]
20 days a month, I was shooting. So I could barely even look at my stuff. I did like so much stuff. So I wasn’t much of a Photoshop guy and it really wasn’t until the mobile experience and the ubiquity of apps that I kind of found a new found fascination for editing, but I am a stickler about making sure that even my mobile photographs look like photographs, not illustrations.

So all of my editing is modern, minimal bare bone, super dialed down, you know, I think it was, Henri Carier Bresson said, ” Once a photo is in the box. I could care less. What happens to it.” I wouldn’t go that far, but I’m kind of close to that. Another part of that equation, my ex wife, who still is my best friend and the mother of my two children. Shannon is an Uber, Uber, Uber accomplished Photoshop artist. She does it for a living. So if I want tricked out Photoshop work, it goes to my ex Shannon and she’ll take care of it. But I say 99% of everything I do is on my phone. And nowadays.

Joe: [00:24:46]
That’s great. So you mentioned you do a lot of your work with the native camera app and of course the photos app. Do you have any other apps that you use for, for more control or maybe even for specialized situations? Because right now, if you go into the app store, Whether it’s Android or iOS or so many camera apps, and some of them are junk. Some of them really amazing because they’ve got these kind of very specialized features.

Do you have any that are kind of like your go-to for certain things?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:25:19]
I did when I started out. And if you were reading any of my stuff on my blog, you know, that I have for at least for the first couple of years of my iPhone career was a consultant and a content provider, not just to Adorama TV, but to Camera +.

So for like, my first few years, that’s all I did. Camera + is a third party manual control camera app. And that’s pretty much all I use, but here’s the thing. And here’s what I found. That coming from a manual control photography background.

I thought though, you know, I manually controlled my big cameras. Why wouldn’t I manually control my iPhone? What I have learned it. And it didn’t really take me long to learn that there is so much magic packed in software on the phone that I don’t need manual control apps. Like you you’ve heard the phrase. Automagically. I’m using the brightness slider and then I tweak it a little bit in the photos app. I’m done less than 30 seconds. So, no, I would say only in very rare instances, am I ever going to an app like Manual or Halide or Pro Camera or Camera + or 645. I’m probably more the anomaly, the exception than the rule, because I know those third-party manual control apps are crazy popular, but I just find, I don’t need them.

Joe: [00:26:56]
That’s fascinating. So I still want to talk more about kind of apps and accessories and things like that, but you just said something that struck a thought with me. You talked about the idea that you kind of just looked like an average guy taking pictures with his phone. I know, going through a lot of your images and given that you did travel and that you have photographed a lot of people and a lot of very different cultures and very different places.

So I’m curious that experience of walking up to someone that you’re passing on the street and thinking, Hey, they’d be an interesting person to photograph. What’s the difference in your experience, walking up to someone with a set of professional gear around your neck, as opposed to walking up to someone with an iPhone in your hands and saying, Hey, can I take your picture?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:27:40]
Awesome question, Joe. And you being a people photographer yourself would, you know, understand the nuance of it all, but I hardly ever get a “No”. Like I can shoot anybody anytime, anywhere on the street in a store, in a restaurant, in a parking lot next door in the park, I just don’t get No’s.

My pitch is something like, Hey, you caught my eye. You look so cool. I noticed your whatever. Would you mind if I take a picture? IThey just go “Yeah”. If I had a big Nikon or a Canon that, you know, big, long glass and a camera bag, tripod,

it’d be the first question, you know, they’d be go, well, what are you going to use it for?

They don’t even ask when I’m using, but they’re just like, Ugh. I mean, how bad can it be? He’s got a phone. So yeah, I think that it goes back to that same thing. It gives you the phone, the smartphone camera gives you access that you just don’t get with the big camera. Now of course, the converse, part of that is that.

With some people, it raises a certain suspicion like, Hey, what’s this old dude doing? It’s kind of creepy, you know, like, so, you know, I would never ask some small child or someone under 18 without, you know, having someone around me. I am more in love with portraiture today because of the phone that I ever have been in the past 40 years.

Joe: [00:29:04]
That’s great. Well, here’s the lesson that you and I could maybe learn. From a younger photographer. One of my guilty pleasures during the pandemic is I started getting hooked on Tik TOK of all things. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but it’s a guilty pleasure. So there’s a young guy he’s on Instagram too, but there’s a young guy on Tik TOK that made a name for himself.

His name is Alex Stemp and his schtick is, he goes out with a buddy who videotapes everything. He’ll go to a place like the strip in Las Vegas or Times Square and he’ll look for interesting or attractive people. And especially like. You know, pretty young girls, cause this guy is like in his twenties.

Right. And you’ll find pretty and girls and he walks up to them and he’s like, Hey, can I take your picture? And so of course, there’s that immediate, like, ah, you know, I don’t know, but what he does, he picks out his, uh, his phone start scrolling through his Instagram feed and shows them the pictures at which point most people are like, Oh yeah, cool.

As long as I can get a copy of it, as I started watching his videos and the guy gets millions of views on his videos because his work is good. He’s very talented. He’s very creative. It’s really such a brilliant thing because indeed like you and I is as older guys, you know, we walk up to a young girl. I was like, Hey, can I take your picture?

That’s a hard hurdle to get over understandably, you know, in today’s world. So being able to actually show those pictures though, it’s, it’s such a great thing. And there’s, there’s been a few times, I don’t make it a habit of looking for models when I’m, you know, out at dinner or whatever, but every now and then, you know, you come across a face, it’s like, I just have to photograph this person.

And that is the greatest thing about having the phone there, you know? It’s cause I got my portfolio. It’s like right there. It’s like, look, this is what I do

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:30:44]
100%. I have on my main phone, by the way, I use six different phones, but on the main phone, under shared albums, I have three or four different portfolios that are like more or less permanently on my phone.

Like they don’t get taken off they’Reno my phone, you know, family, a family portfolio, , a sexy fashiony portfolio, a street portfolio. So I do exactly that. And also, my favorite utility by far, in a way on the phone is AirDrop. No more promising and not delivering now.

It’s kind of like, Hey, Hey, before you go, wait a minute. And you know, you usually have to show them how to use airdrop. But like nine times out of 10, I’m shooting, I give it to them unretouched. And they’re like, Oh my God, thank you so very much. And I’m like a rockstar, at that point.

Joe: [00:31:37]
So that brings up a question that is often a controversial question. And I’m, I have a feeling I’m going to love your answer. You’re taking the picture, before they walk away you’re going to make sure they have that picture unprocessed unretouched, which means, they of course, are potentially going to run an Instagram filter on it or put it through an app. You don’t care?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:31:56]
Up until like one month ago, I would’ve said I don’t care until I saw a model that I shot a professional model. Typically when I shoot and I shoot a lot of, you know, kind of modeled portfolio stuff on my phone, it just kind of my shtick here in Austin.

Maybe I shoot 1500, I edit 150 and then of those 150, maybe I kind of retouch 50 of them . So I gave the model 50 very slightly or lightly retouched as I always do. And she goes, Oh, thank you. It looks so cool. But that wasn’t her athletic. So she took my shots posted on her Instagram feed with my tag.

That didn’t look anything like my shots. They look like anything, but my shots and it was the first time really in 10 years, but I did one of those. Ooh. Uh, and I didn’t really know how to respond. I said, Hey, you really nice. Uh, thank you for, you know, tagging me and it looks cool. And I don’t know, I I’ve got to cross that bridge.

It’s the only time that has happened. And I guess I should probably, it’s probably time to think more about it and have an interesting dilemma. I have done similar things and like you once or twice regretted it. I don’t know that there’s actually a really easy answer unless you line up where most photographers do, which is like, you can’t touch my stuff.

And I dunno, I, I think that takes the fun out of the imagery and the process sometimes.

Yeah. And that, that does not mean I don’t do watermarks. I’m pretty, I’m pretty loose about copyright. I encourage people to widely use everything that I give them. I’m thrilled for additional exposure. I want it to be a positive experience.

Diplomatic, graceful, humble, all those, all those.

Joe: [00:33:53]
What do you say to those photographers? Not just from our generation, but younger photographers that are like, Oh my God, you just, you can’t just let people do whatever they want with your pictures. And you know, I’ve got to protect everything and I need to have watermarks.

So people know that everything is mine. And yet here you are. You’re basically saying, yeah, it’s cool. Like that’s chill and you’re successful. You’re making money. You’re paying your bills. You’re enjoying your business. Not just taking pictures, but you’re joining your business. What do you say to these photographers that are putting so much energy into, to controlling everything about that image?

Once they let go of it?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:34:33]
Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, maybe it’s, you know, with guys like us, it’s personality, maybe it’s experience. I’ve always been kind of loosey goosey about it, but I just kind of too. I am, I’ve never had a really tight grip on any of that stuff, but my advice would be to spend more energy in your gratitude, gracefulness, humility, openness, transparency, believe of all those things that make you a great photographer with them, to people, photographer, architecture, photographer, fashion photographer, street photographer, invest in those things because at the end of the day, It’s what will advance, not your photographs only, but your career as well.

And the other stuff it’ll come and go by the wayside.

Joe: [00:35:27]
That’s awesome. So, and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it sounds to me like for you, photography is it more about the experience whatever’s in front of you and you’re experiencing it and the opportunity to create something that reflects that experience than it is about actually that finished image.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:35:52]
I’d love that you phrase it like that, because that is exactly I’m using photography like you, or like people light, like U.S. as a way to experience life. As a matter of fact, you know, you, you will laugh, and they probably say it about you and your Olympus obsession is that photography distracts us from life.

And I’m like, well, I don’t know about you, but photography doesn’t. Distract me and attracts me to life in makes it better and more fulfilling in rewarding. So don’t, don’t give me this stuff is like put your camera away because you’re distracted. No, that is how I experienced life and love. And laughter camera happens to be just sort of our things.

So go, yeah.

Joe: [00:36:40]
Going back a little bit to the tech. I know I’m bouncing around a little bit here, but man, I could talk to you for hours. You don’t use a whole lot with apps now you’ve really stream things down, which I really respect that. What about accessories? Because obviously now everybody and their brother is making, you know, attachment lenses and you can get tripod clips and the audio gear and rigging and all that kind of stuff.

Are there any accessories that you routinely use or even maybe just for now, maybe not routinely, but like, Hey, if I’m doing this kind of picture, I’ve got this really cool gadget that like is my go-to.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:37:13]
Before I tell you the, the gear that I use, I, I don’t want to mislead anyone and particularly your audience.

I use other apps and I’m going to send you a list that you can include in the notes of all the apps that I use. And it’s probably the gear and the apps. Two of the most often asked questions. So I just have a list. I’ll send you my gear. I’ll send you my gear list too. And you can include, you can include those links in the notes, but I’m pretty strict stripped down.

I use moment lenses for my attachment lenses. I use a Mead photo tripod. I use a company called para cable for my lightening and USB USBC cables I use for my, and those are my everyday thing. I use a company called Moondog labs for my anamorphic lens. So moment for my fisheye, two X. Oh sure. WHYS macro Moondog labs for my anamorphic knee photo for my tripod.

A pair of cable for my cables and cords. We’ll see Rutgers from my hard drives for my location, audio, my wireless, I use Saramonic Blink 500. And then for my shotgun mix, I use a Sennheiser, MK II 400 kit, the new one from a Sennheiser. And you know, it’s, it’s kind of like this everyday stuff. And then there’s production stuff.

You know that my every day is my everyday stuff is like I’m 99% of the time I’m shooting naked without any I’m shooting with my phone, no attachment lenses, no accessories. And the two apps that come bundled with the iPhone. That’s how I do the majority of my photography on the weekends. When I’m doing production or I’m on a trip or with a client, then I might use my Osmo.

Mobile three, the gimbal and Oh, and I love, I love, love, love this company out of China called Z U L N E N Z I E. And they make all kinds of rape kits. Articulating arms led lights. They are affordable, practical well-built hot shoes, cold shoes, attachments. And I, I have, so I have so much and there’s stuff.

It’s ridiculous. So Ulanzie is kind of my tricked out accessory go-to and that attaches all the other stuff.

Joe: [00:39:44]
that I use. You know, you’re doing most of your kind of fun everyday shooting just with the camera. But then when you’re working with, with clients, you’re going with the extra lenses and accessories.

I’m curious about the lenses . I had tried moment lenses, which were awesome. I mean, they’re really high quality stuff. You mentioned the different lenses, but the phones now have, you know, like the multiple lenses. So like you’ve got the telephoto, you know, set up in the iPhone.

Are you more likely to. Grabbed the moment telephoto, or just switch over to the two X in the phone.

DJ: [00:40:19]
Did you know that you can have Joe as your personal photography mentor, I’m talking about direct access to ask him questions and get advice. You can also attend weekly video meetups for members to share and help each other with Joe’s guidance. Be sure to check out the link in the show notes.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:40:36]
100%. Yeah, that that’s a good, that’s a good observation. I would say. That’s why I shoot. So, so much of my stuff naked. Like I have three lenses, I have a super wide, a wide and a tele. So the only time that I would probably use moment glass is that I would put the two X on top of the iPhone, two X with a moment case.

So now I have a four. Excellent. And then I would use the moment and a morphic and I would use the moment Macro, which I don’t have on the phone, but again, it would be really specific stuff that I would have to be going after. But for the most part, if you have one of the three lens array, phones, pretty much is kind of all unique.

And I love, Oh my God, I love the ultra wide on the iPhone 12 pro max. It is like, combine that with a software. It is a thing of sheer magnificence. It’s so beautiful. It’s a great piece of glass.

You mentioned that you’re currently using six phones. Is that correct? Six phones. Why?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:41:46]
And that was a teaser. So I have the 12 Pro Max and then I have three. 11 Pro Max U.S. So 12 Pro Max might be my main photo rig. It’s also my main phone. And then I use one of the iPhone 11 pro max for a lot of my video work. And then the other two 11 pro maxes are full of editing projects that I just keep in my bag.

And I’ve just constantly, you know, they all have 500gb. So, you know, I just got like albums and albums and albums and albums. So instead of dragging them off external drives as I need them, I just keep them on my phone. And I just, I’m constantly at the bank at a traffic light at a restaurant I’m just constantly editing two of the phones, edit phones, one for video, one for slides.

And then my 10. A plus in six plus seven plus six, plus actually I have, I have more phones. Yeah. I just they’re in my bag. And you know, sometimes I’m watching video on what or listening to Spotify, Spotify online,

Joe: [00:43:03]
you are making teenagers look like total slackers was there tech, come on. That’s great. You clearly are all in on the Apple universe here.

What about the Google Pixel that gets amazing reviews. What about the fact that Samsung is like, what are they up to 120 megapixels or something ridiculous number at this point? What about the other technology?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:43:28]
Good technology is great. You know, Android still, I think, and I don’t know specifically, but it’s probably like, probably like about 80 20.

So Android dominates number of handsets so worldwide, and they smoke the iPhone. Right. They just smoke Apple. So it’s like 80, 20. They sell so many more. There’s some like 240 250 phones that are loaded with Android software. There’s only a handful with Apple so that when it comes to photography and filmmaking.

Hearts and minds is completely reversed. When you talk about Apple, that 80% of the Apple market is the hearts and minds of filmmakers and photographers, like, you know, you and me. So I, I honestly, I’ve never really played around with Android. I’m fans of all of it. I am such an Apple guy. I like staying in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple iCloud IMAX, the watch, iPad.

I mean that all, all of that. And just like, there is no way I would ever change no way. Are you a member of a photography club or meetup group? Did you know that Joe presents virtually to clubs all around the world? Follow the presentation link in the

Joe: [00:44:49]
show notes to learn more. So I’m assuming then whenever Apple releases a new phone, you’re a very quick, early adopter with the new phone.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:44:56]
I am. I do. I have it usually within a week. So I’ve,

Joe: [00:44:59]
I’ve seen a couple headlines. I don’t, I don’t follow the Mac rumor stuff closely. Admittedly, I’m all in on the Mac universe as well, but it sounds like the iPhone 13 is going to be somewhat of a revolutionary upgrade for the cameras. And we’ve heard that before, but what are you hearing?

Are you hearing anything about that? Because we should get an announcement in the next couple of months, right? I know,

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:45:24]
you know, it’s kinda weird. I, I I’ve been following along, you know, the discussions, but there’s some, I don’t know, there’s something that’s really, really magical and powerful. With the iPhone 12 ProMAX.

I mean, it is the best of the best. It is the best phone Apple has ever made in hands down. It’s the best smartphone or phone camera on the market. Not even, not even close. When I see stuff about the iPhone 13, I just feel like I’m cheating on a girlfriend. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Like I’m a, I’m a traditional serial monogamous. Type of guy I’m in love with this 12 pro max. And I don’t know, I’m just not that excited. I’m sure I will be. And when it comes out, I’ll be standing in life in a week later, I’ll have it, but I am so infatuated and obsessed with a 12 pro max that I haven’t been honestly paying a lot of attention to 13 and announcements.

And you know, the announcements are, they come from tech bloggers who. A lot of them don’t know anything about photography, right? So they take the Apple press releases and then they just regurgitate it and kind of like, well, I dunno, not impressed.

Joe: [00:46:43]
Just over 10 years, you’ve been completely immersed in this smartphone world.

You’ve seen a lot of development happen in the tech. You’ve seen a lot of people adopting the attack. You seen these third party companies from app manufacturers to accessory manufacturers, come on board and start to support it, which in the photography world, that support is important to any manufacturer of a camera.

Where do you see this technology going? And whether it’s maybe facts that you know, or for that matter, just your opinion. After, after 10 years, you’ve got a good track record with it. You seen the development, you understand the development. What a, what do you think we’re looking at in the next five years of smartphone photography?

What are going to be the, the, the things that are going to change. The way we see it and use it now.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:47:34]
Yeah, that’s an awesome question. And I’m, I’m, I’m certainly no, no prophet and I have no insider secrets or tracker. It could, but I think the writing on the wall, it’s all about computational photography.

And like, if you just look at the phone itself, you know, you have low light and deep fusion and smart HDR and Dolby 4k HDR for video it’s. These are all separate computational pipelines software inside the phone. If that is happening at this enormity right now, I just can’t even imagine where it’s going, because I’m looking at my shots.

Remember I said that I just finished editing 44,000 shots from Cape Cod, and I was almost in tears. I mean, seriously, I’m looking at some of these pictures thanks to adjust. Computational photography in and of itself. It would have taken me minutes, maybe even hours to give some of these shots with a manual camera, a big Baniel gamer, but now I’m doing them like this.

So, if it is happening at that sort of enormity in breakneck speed, I have no idea where this is going, but I can’t wait

Joe: [00:48:51]
to get there. I do have one kind of a workflow question going back a little bit. You’ve mentioned a few times, you know, shooting 40,000 images in that. Are you simply like for the calling, the idea of, you know, I like this, I don’t like that.

Are you simply using the photos app to call your images when you do that and just like favoriting, which ones you like, or do you have another app that you use?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:49:11]
I love this question. I think this is kind of like one of my trademarks. Think of it like this. Let’s say that there’s nothing on my phone, which of course that’s never the case.

There’s always something on my phone, but let’s say that I’m shooting a portrait of U.S.. So I shoot, let’s say 1500 shots of you in your studio with your family in your housing and yard, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I would take all of those usually. Within a 24 hour period. And I would create in the photos app, an album called Joe all Joe dash hall.

So there, Joe picked 1500 shots of Joe sick in my photos album,, then 48 hours, 36 hours a week. Whenever I find time, then I would take a pass at those 1500 shots. And then I would edit, I would call the lost art of editing. Oh, don’t even get me going because smartphone photographers don’t even know what calling is.

They just, they skip over calling and they go right to image processing. So calling, I might pick, Oh, like a 1500, maybe let’s just, let’s just say a hundred. So I’ve called a hundred shots. So now I go, Joe, another album, Joe dash select, right? So those are the on edited Coles of Joe. And then a day later, two days later I would take a pass at the processing and then that album would be called Joe dash process.

So in those shots would be every shot from the select folder that I wanted the process. And then the final and probably the most important, the shots that I want to share on line or using a book or an online class. Those would be Joe slash heroes. So you can see Joe all 1500 Joe selects 100 Joe process 50.

Joe hero’s tent. I mean that, that’s how my camera roll looks almost for every don’t. No, if I go like across the street and have fish tacos and I shoot a hundred shots, I don’t do that for, you know, a hundred fish tacos, but anything that’s kind of over the 500 Mark gets a folder, hierarchy or structure like that.

I don’t use the cloud iCloud. I love the iCloud and I have several different iCloud accounts, but it’s not big enough for me. You know, the max you can get is I think two terabytes. And I think so I have four, four terabytes to account that’s still not big enough for me, so I don’t use it like everybody else.

So those Joe all Joe’s select Joe process, Joe heroes are probably within a month going to get put on an external drive off of my phone. And they’ll just they’ll live on the drive. I know where they are. I make a little note, you know, you know, mechanical notebook, physical notebook, so that I know, you know, drive number 37 there’s Joe shots.

Joe: [00:52:35]
Do any of the apps allow you to do any like bulk processing on files? Can you, can you process more than one image at a time or is that not a thing yet?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:52:44]
No, it is totally a thing. And a lot of the, yeah, a lot of the processing apps, I don’t know, right off the bat show a which ones that I could recommend, but I’m thinking of an app that I really love for color grading or color timing as an apical color story, a color story.

They’re like an editing. It’s really, it’s a very beautiful photo friendly, gorgeous well-designed. App for editing, but in that app, a color story, you can do bulk processing. I’m sure there’s dozens more. I don’t use them because, you know, it’s just, if I took a hundred shots of Joe under different conditions and try to apply the same batch processing, I’d probably spend a whole lot of time going in fixing and tweaking because, you know, editing just doesn’t work like that.

But, but, Oh my God, beg, can I just rant just for a minute rehab, we have lost the art, the old fashion art and editing photographers, please. Smartphone photographers. Please spend time revisiting the culling process, not the editing or post-processing. I am so irritated that we call culling editing in the smartphone.

It’s not, it’s not the same. Culling is picking one shot over another shot. And then post-processing is taking the shot that you call and making it better. So yeah. Spent spend time learning it, learning to cull.

I am with you a hundred percent. Well, Jack, listen, I got to thank you, man.

This has been incredible. I love your photography. I mean, first and foremost, that that’s that’s top of the heat, but I love your very practical approach to all things, photography and life. I’m going to be down in Austin. The end of August, we have got to get together. I have a feeling we could talk for hours, man.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:54:43]
Absolutely. Let’s do.

Joe: [00:54:45]
Thank you so much. I wish you the best of luck. I’ve got links in the show notes, folks to Jack’s websites, also his books. And we didn’t talk about your books, but you’d have to check out this guy’s books he’s got. But in fact, the last I read, you’ve got a book that was coming out last year that had come out or is it still in the works?

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:55:01]
It’s still in the works. Yeah,

Joe: [00:55:02]
that’s cool. All right. So, but I’ll have all the links folks in, in the show notes. So make sure you check those out. And of course, all of Jack’s social profiles, make sure you look into that, but Jack again, thank you so much, man. I really, really appreciate your time.

Jack Hollingsworth: [00:55:15]
Thank you Joe. It was a blast talkin with you. Good luck.

Joe: [00:55:20]
So there you have it gang professional photography with an iPhone and they said it couldn’t be done. I do think that we’ll see more and more people make that jump. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not for every genre and every type of photographer. I know I’m not ready to give up the incredible range of features and optics that my Olympus cameras offer.

But there is a lot to be said for the fact that it isn’t the camera that makes the picture. It is the photographer and there is no one camera that is perfect for every style of shooting. Let’s face it. I shoot studio images and high-end beauty portraiture with a camera brand that markets itself for outdoor and wildlife photography.

The moral is find the gear that does what you need and do with it, what you want.

Be sure to visit. And my website,, where you’ll find my portfolio over 300 articles and tutorials to help you improve your photography, as well as the directory of modeling agencies and makeup artists from all 50 of the United States. You’ll also find some great advice for models as well as the photographers that photograph them and the website.

Serves as home base for all of my TOGCHAT podcast episodes, as well as The LAST FRAME LIVE and be sure to sign up for my email newsletter to receive updates, but don’t worry. I never sell the list. And I only email when I have something exciting to share no spam from Joe. I am hoping that you subscribe to my YouTube channel and that you have seen my new series called The LAST FRAME LIVE.

The LAST FRAME is a one hour live stream that happens every Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM. Eastern time in the U.S. each week, the last frame focuses on a different topic with no scripts. No, razzle-dazzle no canned presentation. I do my best to give you a lesson or demo or series of tips based strictly on my experience.

In other words, how I do it? No rules, no bullet points, no top five ways. I share my ways of doing it. So that you can get an inside understanding of how another photographer works. This is not your usual YouTube tutorial stuff. I do hope you’ll check it out. And if you haven’t subscribed to the YouTube channel yet, please do.

You can find the link to The LAST FRAME LIVE, my website, my YouTube channel, and all of my social profiles in the show notes. And last but not least, if you’re listening to the show on iTunes or any other platform that allows reviews, please leave a few positive notes to help other photographers find out about the show. Remember, photography is not a competition. It is a passion. Let’s share it.

Okay, folks, that’s going to do it for this episode of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast. Stay safe, have a great week. And until next time, please remember. These words. Thanks for listening to the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast. Now go pick up that camera and shoot something because your best shot, but it’s your next job.

So keep learning, keep thinking and keep shooting. Adios.

FTC Disclosure: No sponsors have paid for inclusion in this show. Product links included in this page are generally Amazon or other Affiliate Program links from which I do earn a commission that helps to support the production of this show.

Joe Edelman

Joe Edelman is an award winning Photographer, Author, and "No Bull" Photo Educator.  Follow this link to learn more about Joe or view his portfolio. Please be sure to connect on the social media platforms below.
Back to top button