Photographer / Filmmaker / Storyteller

Travel & Lifestyle Imagery

Jameson Abart

Phone:   +1-865-262-8140

One of my earliest memories of travel involved a trip to the Badlands National Park with my parents and siblings in the summer of 1983. I recall some iconic experiences during that adventure – aisle after aisle of kitschy souvenirs at Wall Drug, the grand view of Mount Rushmore, and posing for photos upon the giant tortoises at Reptile Gardens. As an adult, I haven’t been back to these places and I’m guessing my childhood memory may have distorted reality a bit. If so, that’s okay because I continue to cherish these moments as recorded. I look forward to visiting again some day and taking my family on a similar journey.

On that trip I took along a vintage 120 film camera that I borrowed from my grandparents. It was a prized possession and I recall keeping it at my side the entire time – framing scenes through the window from the back seat of the vehicle and walking proudly with it slung around my neck at each stop on our journey. Having only a couple rolls of film, I struggled between taking snapshots of everything I encountered and preserving the remaining frames for the next best thing that I might discover.

I remember watching the frame count visible through the blurred red window on the back of the camera.

For me it was complete guess work – click and pray while trying to capture each scene. I wanted to have the same results that had inspired me each month in the newest edition of the National Geographic Magazine. Once I returned home, I quickly packaged the film and sent it off for mail order processing and anxiously awaited to see what I had been able to capture. A couple of weeks later the results arrived. To the left is the only image I have from that roll of film – it has powerful meaning to me for an aging piece of paper. Of course, the photo is only a memento of the experience but it makes it tangible for me. Being able to assemble a story in the form of an image and convey an experience presented wonderful possibilities – and awoke an untapped desire for capturing and sharing experiences as I saw them.

I didn’t fully realize it at that time, but I was hooked. The power of travel. The creative and technical blend of photography. The wonder of storytelling. These forces would shape my interests and passions for many years to come. And now, some 30+ years later I still yearn for travel and using my camera to capture those scenes and stories so that I can connect and share the experiences with others. Each of my photos represents an experience – small and large stories that shape and define me. For me, they are simple and extraordinary at the same time.

And so, I’m on a journey to capture and share experiences that inspire and move others.

Mt. Rushmore, Summer 1983
On location at Max Patch, NC