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Me, Myself and Eye


Me, Myself and Eye Home   //  Leslie Elsasser - Introduction   //  Selina Roman - Mind Currents   //  Michael Ball   //  TC Bryant   //  Larry Busby   //  David Canaday   //  Michael Congdon   //  Brandie Dziegiel   //  Loretta Fields   //  Jeaniel Image   //  Douglas Eric Jordan   //  Valerie Larson   //  John Leduc   //  Jason Lind   //  Mikko Maki   //  Alex Martinez   //  Matias   //  Noemys McConnell   //  Megan O’Connell   //  Robert Ortega   //  Adaina Plaza   //  Pat Randall   //  Heather Rivera   //  RaeAnne Swanson   //  Michael Webb


Douglas Eric Jordan, Hat Rack, 2020

Douglas Eric Jordan, Hat Rack, 2020


Hat Rack 

Throughout your life, you play many roles or “wear many hats.” I have never really liked taking photographs of myself or having my photo taken. I completed twenty years in the Army and, when it came time for my retirement ceremony, I had almost no photos of myself wearing a uniform. During the Breaking Barriers workshop I was tasked with taking a series of self-portraits for various assignments. As an undergraduate student, I was trained as a journalist, but never learned “art” photography. During this assignment, I travel through time acting as a “hat rack” for a series of identities that I have held during my military career and beyond. 

Each image is listed with the years that it was part of my hat rack…All of these hats are the actual ones that I have worn as part of my military service or in my life. Of particular interest (to me): I served in Airborne units for most of my career so I wore #2 a beret for most of my time. #6 Is the cap that I wore in Afghanistan from 2009-2010 when I worked as an advisor and #7 is a hat my son gave me when he attended West Point. 

I have been invited to participate in the Breaking Barriers workshop for the last three years but always thought that this is not for me. This year, I received one last email that said, we still have room for you, and I thought that this was a sign that I needed to try something new (old). 

Breaking Barriers provided me the opportunity to re-learn some photographic techniques that I had forgotten as well as learn to use some available tips and tricks for using that powerful tool that we all have in our pocket. Additionally, it allowed me to become more comfortable using my mind to see the world around me, and myself, in ways that I have not done in a long time. 

It is extremely nerve wracking to do “art” when you don’t have a background, and then have ten peers and three professional artists critique you. What I gained from this experience is that you can be trusting of others in this type of environment and that that trust will help you grow and learn. Also, they see things differently than you do. They see promise in “happy little mistakes.” 

I have studied communication and international relations for over thirty years and never really considered the use of art photography as a way for me to tell my personal story. This workshop encouraged us to look to other artists for ideas and for inspiration— and as an outlet for our thoughts and ideas. 

I had forgotten how much I like photography and now I remember…. 



Douglas Eric Jordan, Corona Reflection Seal Beach, 2020

Douglas Eric Jordan, Corona Reflection Seal Beach, 2020

Douglas Eric Jordan, Corona Reflection Netflix, 2020

Douglas Eric Jordan, Corona Reflection Netflix, 2020



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at
or Ashley Jablonski at

Breaking Barriers 2020 is supported by the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Love IV Lawrence, Hillsborough Arts Council, and the Florida Department of State.