When I set out to photograph wildlife, I like to spend a lot of time observing my target before I even begin. This time in the field helps me to form an emotional connection with my subject. Once that bond is formed, I am able to extract the most intimate moments. I often find myself completely absorbed in the scene unfolding before me. During this time, I am unaware of any distractions or urgencies around me; I am totally engulfed in what I am doing. It is in this moment that I feel alive, I feel deeply connected to nature. The world stands still.
This connection that I feel is what keeps me motivated and coming back for more. When there is no close relationship, I feel my images are snap shots and snap shots don’t appeal to me at all. I want and need that emotional tie. In fact, sometimes, I miss the shot because I am watching so intensely. I am often disappointed in myself until I reconfirm that I am human and I was born to make mistakes.
There are times that I am so happy with an image I can’t wait to share it with the world. But, I don’t always walk away with images that make my heart sing. Those near misses just motivate me to dig deeper, try harder. I have always loved a challenge. Creating an image that moves me is not an easy task. Even when I do capture an image that I love, I am then hungry for more-so this challenge is an ongoing event.
One of the reasons I like to photograph animals is because you absolutely never know what can and will happen. Most folks feel overwhelmed with multiple subjects in busy environments and I confess sometimes I do too. I look for tenderness, I search for nice backgrounds; I seek out good light, I watch for behavior and/or situations that I think will develop into something. I wait and watch. I am looking for something special; I am looking for that connection…