Featured Artist: Jameson Schultz

It wasn’t long after I picked up my first camera that I knew I would be a photographer for the rest of my life. My college hobby turned into a passion, and eventually transformed into a way to capture all those moments I wanted to hold on to. Whether it’s good friends on a weekend climbing trip, or a multi-day backpacking trip through pristine wilderness, my camera has been a companion to it all. 

 

I was raised in Southern California, with frequent family vacations and trips to the Eastern Sierras and other nearby wilderness to feed my curiosity. Our house lied nicely concealed in a canyon, where we had more bears and coyotes than actual neighbors. I definitely did not appreciate the immense impact of it all at the time, but looking back I can easily see how the environment I was raised in led me to where I am, and what I view as most important today.

 

I spend my weekdays as an engineer for a composites manufacturing company, and spend my remaining time planning and executing trips into wild and beautiful places. I feel like I am getting to be a pro at the whole weekend warrior lifestyle and am transitioning into going all in.

 

My outdoor career started with regular backpacking trips ranging from weekend overnighters to great multi-day pushes deep into the backcountry. Climbing eventually worked its way into my regular outdoor activities. Having started gym climbing back in 2010, I then viewed climbing simply as a fun way to workout, but after I was introduced to roping up outdoors on real rock it’s so much more than that. It’s a skill set that can unlock places and scenes so remarkable that even my imagination couldn’t top most of them.

 

My first trip up a heavily snow-covered Mt. Whitney in 2016 was undoubtedly a launching point for my aspirations to take my climbing into the alpine. I remember trying to fall asleep the night before our 3am wake up to make the summit attempt, lying in my tent watching the walls of my tent glow dimly with the setting moon falling behind Mt. Muir. All my attempts to visualize what it would be like to work my way up the mountain and stand above all of my surroundings, fell completely short of the mixed feelings of excitement, exhaustion, and awe I felt getting to that summit.

 

What is your inspiration for your work?

 

Ultimately, the draw for me is getting to these far-out places that few have witnessed and not only experience it all first hand, but then being able to bring back those moments as a photograph and reminder.  Capturing those seconds from my perspective in a way that can tell a story or provoke emotion is one of the greatest rewards I get from dragging my camera around, and when I throw myself out into those insanely beautiful places, my surroundings pretty much do all of the heavy lifting.

 

What to the pieces mean to you?

 

They are a reflection of my experiences and the magic of this world that I’ve seen first hand. These pieces show some of the most unique visual and emotional scenes that I have ever witnessed and captured on camera.

Why do you do what you do?

 

I want to create work that inspires people to go out of their comfort zone and bring them something that they haven’t seen before. I am working towards my dream of becoming a professional photographer, and along that road I realized that what I want to do is create work that matters, that will invoke an emotional response, that will trigger get the viewers’ minds turning, and hopefully change or at least add to their perspective on how lucky we all are to be alive in a world that holds these incredible places and experiences. I want to inspire people to not only admire but to protect these treasured places, because though they are numerous, they are also finite, and their survival is ultimately tied to our individual actions, through one way or another.

 

Jameson’s installation is currently on display at the Artist’s Corner in Mission Valley.

 

You can find him on Instagram at @jameson.schultz.

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