Adaptations, Animals, Art Exhibits, Climate Change, Colors, conservation, Endangered Species, The Art of Ecology

“Heart & Soul” – A Photo Project Looking at Animal/Habitat Relationships

My most popular piece from the "Heart & Soul" project showing an Eastern Box Turtle with her ideal habitat - a deciduous forest near a body of water, in this case a lake fed by an intermittent stream.
My most popular piece from the “Heart & Soul” project showing an Eastern Box Turtle with her ideal habitat – a deciduous forest near a body of water, in this case a lake fed by an intermittent stream.

As a Conservation Photographer who finds the interconnection of life fascinating, I try to reflect that passion in my work. I created my “Heart & Soul” project to depict this interconnection.

Heart & Soul shows the blend of an animal and it’s ideal habitat, or where the animal’s heart and soul belong, through image overlays. I take a portrait of an animal and create a composite. The end result is a piece of art that reflects the connection that the animal has with it’s home and helps to create a better understanding for the viewer of the animal’s life and basic needs.

Bearded Dragons vary in color from tan, to light brown, to slightly reddish and are so colored to be able to blend in with their desert environments. This made the overlay process a little difficult as the lizard is designed to be indistinguishable from their surroundings!
Bearded Dragons vary in color from tan, to light brown, to slightly reddish and are so colored to be able to blend in with their desert environments. This made the overlay process a little difficult as the lizard is designed to be indistinguishable from their surroundings!

Habitat destruction and fragmentation are destroying our world’s beautiful and diverse animal populations. Without their ideal habitat, they are forced to adapt. Unfortunately, the fragmentation and destruction happens too quickly for the animal to adapt in time, causing their population to dwindle to the point of extinction. Over 80% of endangered and threatened species have been listed as such due to habitat destruction, and the worst part is that this destruction is mainly caused by humans. We focus on current events and get lost in “the now”, but we need to think of the long-term consequences our actions will pose to the planet that we live on. Everything is interconnected and without one piece of the puzzle, ecosystems can fall apart. Humans are stewards of this amazing planet!

My Heart & Soul project strives to start conversations that get people thinking about and recognizing the importance that animals play and the importance of keeping habitats intact. Each piece is unique and the animal’s personality (especially if a domestic animal!) comes across – from lone wolf to friendly box turtle.

Predatory canines ran in the woods in search of small mammals. To this day, wolves, coyotes, and foxes run wild and are important parts of the food chain as predators.
Predatory canines ran in the woods in search of small mammals. To this day, wolves, coyotes, and foxes run wild and are important parts of the food chain as predators.Predatory canines run around in the woods in search of small mammals and make dens/homes in the protection of forests and rocks. To this day, wolves, coyotes, and foxes run wild and are important parts of the food chain as predators.

As I come across various wildlife species from around the world, I try to add their portraits to my collection of Animal/Habitat relationships in my “Heart & Soul” project! While I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect wildlife/landscape photo pairing, this is a project that will take lots of time, and honestly, will never be complete as there are more animals that need their life story told!

To view my full collection of “Heart & Soul” prints, visit my etsy shop and click on the Heart & Soul category or follow me on Instagram @TheArtofEcology – I always post my most recent project bits there!

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