This is the home of Justin Hackworth Photography. Since 2007, I’ve kept an office and studio in the Knight Block building, in the beating heart of Provo, Utah. This building has been here since the year 1900, built by a fellow named Jesse Knight, to serve as the business headquarters for his mining operation.
If you live on the East Coast, buildings that are 114 years old are no big whoop. But out west, in Utah at least, it a little bit more rare. There just aren’t a lot a buildings like this in our town. It is unique and beautiful and it remains standing, while other building around it have come down, torn down, and replaced with far less interesting spaces. For example, you should see the abomination next door to me.
This same idea that’s going on with the Knight Block building is what I’m trying to do with the photographs I make, with the work that I create for myself and for those that hire me to document their lives. I want pictures that will be around in 100 years and beyond and will continue to have significance to anyone viewing them.
In this digital age, many photographs are consumed quickly, then torn down to make way for something newer and more flashy. That has its place, I guess. I’m addicted to Instagram, after all, and that’s exactly how that platform functions.
But here’s a story. When I was a kid, I used to look at this one particular photograph of my father. He was young and handsome. His hair was dark brown, he was trim as a praying mantis. In the photograph, he’s smiling, and standing next to a motorcycle that he just purchased. I used to stare at that photograph when I was a kid, wondering about that version of my father, and I wondered what could I learn about Allen from the past that would help me understand Allen from the present.
I think photographs matter. They matter to me, at least, and I come to this building every day to work, and it’s another reminder to me that I want to make pictures that will last.
It’s why we say at Justin Hackworth Photography: We’re not just making pictures, we’re making history.