Ever take a vacation and think, “I could live here?” For English photojournalist Charlie Hamilton James, that’s exactly what happened. Hamilton James and his family traveled to Grand Teton National Park on holiday in 2007, and when they were offered the chance to move there as a part of National Geographic’s special coverage on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, it was a no-brainer.
“It blows my mind every time I look at it,” he says. “To me it's the most beautiful place I've ever been.”
The assignment was meant to be temporary, a year to 18 months. Hamilton James enrolled his sons (then aged 7, 10, and 13) in the local schools and explored the territory with his camera.
Hamilton James says no one wanted to move away when the assignment ended, “but we thought we'd leave and see if after living in the U.K. we still wanted to come back, or whether it was just a bubble we were living in.”
It wasn’t a bubble. In late 2015, the family resettled in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hamilton James spent much of the winter with his camera, hoping to catch more glimpses of the magic he’d seen before.
Here is a selection of our favorite photos Hamilton James took while on assignment for the Yellowstone issue. From wolves to otters to bison to bears, his photographs keep us fascinated. He agrees. “It's not a place you get bored of, ever.”
Talk about working from home.
Have a question for National Geographic photographer Charlie Hamilton James? On Thursday, April 14, at 1 p.m. EDT, Charlie will be live on Twitter discussing his work in Yellowstone and beyond. Tweet your questions to @CHamiltonJames using #NatGeoLive.
Charlie is featured in the May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine devoted entirely to Yellowstone, America's first national park. Check out more of our coverage of this iconic place.