Artist’s Statement

Artist’s Statement

Photo of Shannon Marlow du Plessis

On 12/12/12 I turned 50 and had a moment of clarity rather than a midlife crisis. Recalling my youthful treks into the woods, I reconnected with nature. Living in the Texas Hill Country offers wide open spaces and lots of nature. I resumed my walks and brought my camera. I discovered that the process of creating an image induces in me a hyper-focused (sorry) state, which is a form of meditation that quells all the internal noise.

Wanting to know more about my photographic subjects, I became a Certified Texas Master Naturalist in 2013. The more I photographed, the more I became fascinated by what I saw through my macro lens. What I enjoy photographing informed landscaping at home–our 4.5 acres is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and a Pollinator Habitat with a Monarch WayStation.  Rather than focus on extreme macro photography, I capture each subject in its natural environment and include that in each shot. I came to view my photographs not as bug shots, but as insect portraits. I never stage a photograph. I never disturb the natural worlds I visit. I observe. I admire. I capture. I celebrate.

I discovered the Xerces Society and took their message of engaging in invertebrate pollinator conservation in my own backyard, and beyond, to heart. Believing climate change is real, I learned more about the importance of pollinators. Concerned about their fate, I vowed to help them through my art.


“Some photographers take reality…and impose the domination of their own thought and spirit. Others come before reality more tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation.” ~ Ansel Adams