When it comes to photography, I love it all. While my day job at 417 Magazine consists of photographing subjects such as people, places, food, fashion, events, houses and everything else southwest Missouri has to offer, evenings and weekends are when you might find me photographing nature. It might appear like the photos in this article were all captured in surreal places across the globe, but everything you see here was photographed in my own backyard.
Finding these critters to photograph might feel like an impossible task, but it’s easier than you think. Put out a hummingbird feeder and those tiny little guys will come feed all summer long. Butterfly-friendly plants like milkweed are great for attracting Monarch butterflies. Next thing you know, the Monarchs will mate and lay eggs that will hatch caterpillars. They will eventually cocoon, metamorphasize and create new butterflies. All of these different phases are fascinating for me to photograph.
Macro and wildlife photography can be extremely challenging, and that is why I’m so drawn to it. You can coach a model to turn a certain way and look toward the light, but when it comes to animals, it is all a waiting game and really boils down to patience. I’ve sat in uncomfortable positions for an hour waiting for a critter to do something interesting to no avail. It’s the times that I manage to capture a tack sharp image of a hummingbird in flight that make it so rewarding. For me, it’s all about seeing things that you don't get to see every day. Those tiny, microscopic details and pops of color that the human eye doesn't see until you capture it in a camera.
Next time you step out into your backyard, be a little more observant as you never know what you might find hidden in plain sight. An endless supply of photo ops awaits your discovery.