When Dreams Come True Austin Photographer

When dreams come true for an Austin Photographer: Have you ever had a dream that you held on to for so long that you thought it would never come true?

In April, much to my surprise, my dream came true. It was in no way what I expected, and better than anything I could have imagined.  As a result, it was the perfect reminder that life is great, and things don’t always happen on our timeline.

Austin Photographer

Back in 2014, I started volunteering as a photographer for the Austin chapter of HeartGift. You can read more about why in this blog post. To date, I have had the incredible honor of photographing almost 50 HeartGift recipients from countries all over the world. In addition, I have even had the pleasure of adding several of the moms of the recipients as friends on Facebook. I absolutely adore getting updates about their kids.

Needless to say, being a volunteer for this amazing organization is something I take great pride in and will always be my favorite way to give back.

Every April, HeartGift hosts a gala in Austin, the headquarters of the organization. This is their largest fundraiser of the year and representatives from all five branches are in attendance.

When Dreams Come True

The gala was held at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin in April. My draw dropped when I walked into the lobby area outside the event. Much to my surprise, 10 images I had taken for HeartGift were blown up HUGE and on display. One of the HeartGift employees noticed my reaction and said to me with a smile, “Oh, you didn’t know this was going to be the Jama gallery?” I was shocked and speechless. She went on to say, “I told every chapter that they need a Jama.”

When Dreams Come True Austin Photographer HeartGift Image Gallery

As a photographer, it has always been a dream to have my work displayed. I always assumed it would be landscape images from my travels. I never could have imaged it would be something so meaningful that I did simply as a way to give back and share what is so close to my heart.

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  • JHP

    It looks great! Is it a permanent ‘Jama Gallery’, or was it just a display for the occasion. You should have a showing of your work some time!ReplyCancel

    • Not a permanent “Jama Gallery”…which most galleries aren’t really permanent I guess. Unless maybe Monet or something. Hmmmm…Jama/Monet….one and the same?! ReplyCancel

  • Phyllis

    Goosebumps!!  You are such an amazing, heartfelt person, I can only imagine your surprise in seeing this!  And that is why you deserve this gallery!  ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Sonya

    Thank you Jama, we are so blessed to have you as “our” photographer. You capture the true personalities of these children. ReplyCancel

the VERY



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Jama Pantel Photography
Austin - Texas

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New York Times
Best Portrait Photographer in Austin
Professional Photographers of America