A touching moment as an infant orangutan lays his small hand (Pongo pygmaeus) in the big hand of its mother, Borneo, Indonesia (Jami Tarris)
I have been interested in wildlife and nature since I was a child. I spent most of my time outside exploring our forest with my dog. Because of my mother, I was a voracious reader and read every book that I could about nature and wildlife (Jack London, Birute Galdikas, Jane Goodall). I have worked on many projects, but the two that were the most important and interesting to me were, the Desert-Adapted elephants in the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, and a project on oil palms and orangutans in Sumatra and Borneo. I could write a lengthy article on either topic, but these projects are my favorite. They were both extremely fascinating and fun. I have published in many major magazine publications worldwide, as well as calendars, newspapers, books. I have won photography awards in the BBC WPOTY, Nature’s Best, National Wildlife Federation. I have had images on exhibit at the Smithsonian, London Natural History Museum, St. Petersburg Natural History Museum and more.
A male polar bear walking on pack ice in the landscape on the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway (Jami Tarris)
Wild Focus Expeditions
We founded 'Wild Focus Expeditions’ (no long Focus Expeditions). It is a company where we take small groups to remote and wild locations around the world. We teach natural history, conservation and of course, photography to every one that travels with us to give them an intense and deeply moving experience during our trips. Our goal is to allow nature to have such a profound affect and influence, that our clients return home very much different than they were before the trip. In short, we want our trips to change their lives. Most people (particularly Americans) are very unaware of the conservation issues worldwide. It is our job to make them aware through our expeditions and of course, through our photography.
What have you learnt?
I have photographed for over 30 years and after living many months a year in the field, I have learned that I am more comfortable being alone, and in the company of animals than in cities with people. I have learned that there are very few people who are aware of the current plight and challenges of most wildlife species today. These species need human primates to protect them and their habitats. I have learned that visual imagery is an extremely effective voice for bringing about awareness, change and support to endangered species and fragile habitats
Close-up portrait of a wild jaguar (Panthera onca) taken by a camera trap in the forest of the Pantanal, Brasil (Jami Tarris)
Purpose of photography
Photography has become even more popular today due to technology and social media. It creates a strong visual impact to the general public and promotes awareness to all age groups and demographics more than ever in history. Photographs provide awareness to a large worldwide audience about the conservation issues facing so many different animal species. Photographs are powerful. I plan to continue my work focusing on wildlife conservation until the end of my life. I will also continue to photograph the plethora of issues facing various endangered and vulnerable species as well as take nature-loving people to remote destinations so that I can share my past experiences, and give them new and eye-opening experiences of their own based on the realities of our planet.
Sometimes you have to feel small in order to put life back in perspective. Being alone in a wild place is so good for the soul. This was taken at Laguna Verde, Bolivia - very remote. (Jami Tarris)