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. I began The Pollinators Project in 2016 and partnered with The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens in 2017 to donate 40% of pollinator photo print sales proceeds to help local pollinators and those migrating through Wimberley, Texas. Will this little project save the world? The Painted Lady butterflies released during the EmilyAnn’s Butterfly Festival migrate worldwide, so that’s a humble beginning.


“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