Tucked in a cleft of granite overlooking Donner Lake is a pond that catches the morning light at its very best. Nearby is a swing suspended from a pine branch that shares the same view. It’s quiet here, despite the fact that Highway 40’s a half mile one way and Interstate 80’s a few miles the other. Twenty minutes further on is home for Paul Hamill, Creative Director/Marketing Director for Martis Camp Realty. The office is even closer yet.
This is a typical day for Hamill, somewhere along the Pacific Crest Trail with camera in hand. A husband, father of three, and local resident for the past 26 years, Hamill’s love of community, his degree in graphic design and illustration, his knowledge of branding, and his talent with the camera suit him perfectly for capturing and communicating the essence of Martis Camp, something he’s been performing for the past 11 years.
“I really fell in love with photography after going to work at Martis Camp,” Hamill explained. “I’m very fortunate that, on just about any given day on the job, I get to have a camera in hand,” he added. It’s that camera in those hands that has helped Martis Camp refine its brand within the luxury real estate market and that has also helped Hamill broaden his skillsets. “The principles applied in architectural and landscape photography are very similar,” explained Hamill, who also creates and produces Martis Camp’s videos, magazine, emails, website content, social media content and everything else related to the marketing of Martis Camp real estate.
While landscape opportunities exist within Martis Camp’s 2,177 acres, Hamill is quick to take his skills further afield. He’s been to iconic photo destinations that include Norway, Scotland, the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Lofoten Islands, Alaska, Utah and Colorado, yet he finds his greatest joys on those trails and in those mountains not far from home. “I’m so fortunate to be in a place where nature’s beauty transforms me and is so easy to access. I don’t ever want to take that for granted” said Hamill. “On the lake or in the mountains or with a fly rod on the river,” he said, “it doesn’t matter. It’s all good,” he continued. “It’s not always about making photos, it’s about being out there.”
That passion doesn’t waver one bit when Hamill shifts his focus from meadows and mountains to fairways and floorplans. He has photographed more than 275 Martis Camp Truckee homes for sale over the years and has an innate knowledge of everything from the curvature of the 8th hole at the Putting Park to the secret stashes of powder on Lookout Mountain to the ways that great rooms are made even greater when bathed in the last light of the day.
“Paul understands what resonates with those in search of Lake Tahoe’s ultimate lifestyle,” explained Brian Hull, Broker and President of Martis Camp Realty. “The second you meet him, you feel what a quality person he is,” Hull added. “He just has a sense for capturing the essence of whatever’s before him – whether it’s filming a video on the ski hill or taking photos of a home that just hit the market.”
In the same way that Hamill shares the best of Martis Camp through his photography, so too does he share his favorite local sights through his ability to take images that capture his passion for place. One video in particular, “A Love Letter to Truckee,” has gained particular interest and attention from viewers and film festival judges. “That video really sums up my love for this place,” said Hamill, who teamed up with friend, writer and longtime marketing colleague Scott Mortimore to create the video. “Love Letter” has been selected as a finalist in the Film Stream Award Festival. The project is yet another expression of Hamill’s commitment to his community. He and wife Lynn volunteer for local organizations that include the Sierra Community House and the KidZone Museum.
“I’ve come to realize that to lead a meaningful life,” said Hamill, “it’s critical to be of service – to your family, your friends, your teammates and your community,” he concluded.
Truckee and Lake Tahoe Photography by Paul Hamill Photography
Written by Scott Mortimore
Below are some of Paul’s favorite hikes. (1). The Pacific Crest Trail above Donner Lake (2). Rifle Peak Hike, Lake Tahoe (3). Pacific Crest Trail along Castle Peak (4). Frog Lake Hike