People often talk about just being drawn to something. When telling stories about how they started doing something they love. They often talk about feeling a connection. This is something I experienced myself with my work. I immediately felt a connection to wildlife photography. I felt drawn to making everything from bird art to wild horse photographs. It can be hard to describe to someone who has never experienced it. I’ve been drawn to photograph certain animals that I had no intention of photographing only because I felt drawn to their energy.

Planning for Practice

Starting anything new can be daunting and can make you feel very lost. Whether it’s starting a new job or moving to a new city or even starting wildlife photography, it can be hard to find direction. When I had just started shooting wildlife, I was struggling to find things to focus on. My New York home wasn’t the most opportunistic area to refine my skills in photographing animals. The most I could do was perhaps bird art. Even that would be limited to the roughed up city pigeons and the occasional songbird. I wasn’t one to give up or settle for what was immediately around me. I decided to make a small pilgrimage to get the practice I needed. After all, everyone knows the old saying, “practice makes perfect” and I did not assume that I would be any different.

I took my camera and 600mm lens and drive to a bird sanctuary, nestled away from the city behind JFK airport. I had gone there with the intention of photographing seagulls for bird art prints. I thought to myself, that seagulls were familiar animals. They were white and pretty, seemingly easy subjects to capture nicely. It wasn’t even like I had to camp out in extreme temperatures to find them or wait for the perfect pose. They were simple creatures and curious enough to lend me their likeness for my bird art prints practice. Perfect.

Unexpected Wall Art Ideas

I walked out onto the sanctuary with my gear, hopeful and determined. I started to make a beeline to where I knew my intended subjects would be. I had gotten almost halfway there when I felt like I was being watched by someone. The sanctuary was rather quiet, and generally didn’t have a lot of visitors, so I was intrigued. I turned around and scanned my surroundings, expecting to greet another fellow wildlife enthusiast trying to make bird art. There was no one to greet.

I took another step towards where I was hoping to find the seagulls, and there I felt it again. I stopped and turned around. And yet again, there was no one to be found. I was about to accept that I was just being paranoid. Perhaps, I really had been in New York for far too long. Was I just imagining phantom presences to cope with the solitude I was in? I hoped not, because I planned on going too much more solitary locations for my future wildlife photography and wall art ideas.

Once I stopped worrying about all of this, I spotted this little bird. Happily perched in his tree branch, he was observing me from a distance. I was a bit surprised that it was this tiny creature that had somehow caught my attention. He hadn’t even tried to do so, I had just felt his energy.

I started walking towards him, expecting him to decide that he had seen enough and fly away. Instead, he watched me approach intently, never taking his little eyes off of me. I didn’t expect him to stay, and wouldn’t have been bothered if he didn’t. After all, I intended on going after his larger cousins for my bird art prints practice.

Making Lemons out of Lemonade

I stopped asking myself all these questions. Something had reached out to me and literally made me stop in my tracks. It would be wasteful to just ignore that feeling and walk away. So I didn’t. Instead, I decided to honor the small creature and make him a part of my bird art pilgrimage. I realized that sometimes things don’t have to be said or planned. Often, things that need your attention pull you to them. Times like those, you can just feel the energy and just go with it. I’ve often found myself just feeling the energy of a situation and moving forward based on how I felt. Your gut feeling is something that many of us ignore. However, it can tell you a lot about how you really feel without even needing to think about it.

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