Monday, September 6, 2010

You Can Call Me "Bug Girl"

Since starting my journey in photography, I have to admit to a fascination with bugs.  Not like any bugs and not bugs in my house or bugs touching my body but taking pictures of bugs.

It really started with the dragonflies.  While living in Florida, I had close encounters of the dragon kind every day and I love them.  OK - I am obsessed with them.  Folks in my photo groups call me the Dragonfly Whisperer although I am fairly certain that the dragonflies would concur with Dragonfly Stalker.

My obsession does not just extend to stalking dragonflies or running after bugs in the wild, but I also began to read about them, especially dragonflies.  I knew it was bad when I would wax enthusiastic at family dinners about species and experiences during my photographic journeys, adding in all the neat new facts that I had uncovered about bug behavior.  Blank stares and even my Mom asking me if I needed to see a therapist were the results.

The idea of going out to stalk dragonflies and other various denizens of the buggy kingdoms has gotten me out of bed at dawn, led me into standing in swamps motionless for 20 minutes to get a shot and hanging upside down the side of a canal to inspect a cocoon.  Weird, right?

In my defense, I have documented over 26 types of dragonflies, identified invasive species harmful to the Florida ecosystem, submitted to various scientific and scientific groups and  gotten a few darn cool photos along the way.  I even realized that my serious and debilitating arachnophobia could be controlled if I breathed and looked through the lens.  I do not wax poetic about spider behavior ... you are safe.

But the real reason that I am so excited about bugs ... beside the darn cool photos is that they saved my life.  Two years ago, I had just returned from London.  My husband and I had separated.  I had just been laid off.  I hated Florida.  The economy had made finding a job in my industry virtually impossible.  I was depressed and then one evening during a walk, I sat down in a field of dragonflies.  I was entranced and that was the first of months of daily walks.  Instead of going to bed and staying there (which is what I wanted to do), I went outside, took photos, did research and formed awesome networks on Flickr.  

I am through the bad patch now but my love of photography and capturing all the wonderful and weird things around us, no matter how small, has definitely stuck.  So, yes, you can call me Bug Girl.  or the Dragonfly Whisperer/Stalker, or as one friend dubbed me - the Reigning Queen of the Dragonfly Nerds on flickr.  But the bugs and I know ... I owe them.


All Photos Are Mine so Please Respect Copyright ... or the bugs will get you ... seriously.  
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  1. The past couple of weeks, there have been hundreds of dragonflies around my house in Florida. I love them! But do you have any idea why they're swarming my house right now?

  2. Hi Grace - lol - you must be near a pond or canal! They love their water sources and there must have been bunches ready to emerge! What do they look like? It is the one thing I miss about Florida - all my little dragons! take a picture and post it! :)

  3. I love photographing bugs too, particularly dragonflies and butterflies. I think for me it's really the challenge of photographing living things, the way you have to move around them with such care so they don't fly away while still getting close enough to get "the shot."

    -Angie @ Everyday Inspirations


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