The Healing Power of Wildlife and Nature Art

Exploring the Health Benefits: 

Improve your Health and Quality of Life

In today’s fast-paced world, we often find ourselves disconnected from nature, leading to an increase in stress and mental health issues. However, the simple act of viewing wildlife and nature art can have a profound impact on your well-being. Let’s explore the profound impact wildlife and nature art has on your health and how it improves your quality of life.

1. Reducing Stress

One of the primary benefits of wildlife and nature art is its ability to reduce stress. Studies have shown that spending time in nature or looking at images of nature can lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. Looking at a beautiful painting or photograph of wildlife can create a sense of calm and relaxation, providing a much-needed break from the stresses of daily life.

2. Boosting Mood

Wildlife and nature art can also boost your mood by releasing dopamine in the brain, the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and reward. When you view beautiful images of nature, it can create a sense of pleasure and happiness, improving your overall mood and well-being.

3. Enhancing Creativity

Engaging with wildlife and nature art can stimulate creativity and imagination, which can have positive effects on mental health and cognitive functioning. Whether it’s through painting, drawing, or photography, creating art can provide an outlet for self-expression and emotional release.

4. Increasing Empathy

Wildlife and nature art can inspire feelings of empathy and compassion for animals, which can lead to increased prosocial behavior and a sense of connectedness to the natural world. Research has shown that connecting with nature can increase our empathy towards others and improve our overall sense of well-being.

5. Improving Cognitive Function

Engaging with wildlife and nature art can improve cognitive functioning, including attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Research has shown that exposure to natural environments can improve cognitive function and attention span, leading to better academic and professional performance.

Ultimately, the healing power of wildlife and nature art cannot be overstated - from reducing stress and boosting mood to enhancing creativity and cognitive function - the benefits of engaging with wildlife and nature art are numerous. By incorporating wildlife and nature art into your daily life, you can improve your overall well-being and connect with the world around you.

-  If you would like to purchase any wildlife or nature. art and improve your health, please contact me at

Seasons & Senior Portrait Planning

Consistent warmer weather is fast approaching and whether your senior is graduating this year, next year, or even a couple years from now senior photos may be on your mind.  The first step in planning is having an idea of when to do them.  The following lays out some of the pros and cons for each season to help you determine what works best for your senior’s creative vision.



- Beautiful lighting: The lighting during the spring season is often soft and diffused, providing a natural and flattering look to photographs.

- Vibrant colors: The blooming flowers and foliage during the spring season can add a pop of color to your photos, making them visually appealing.

- Comfortable weather: The spring season is often characterized by mild temperatures, making it a comfortable time for outdoor photo sessions.

- Variety of locations: With nature in full bloom, you can take advantage of a variety of locations, from parks to gardens, to capture beautiful shots.


- Unpredictable weather: The weather during spring can be unpredictable, with sudden rain showers or gusty winds. This can make it difficult to plan an outdoor photo session.

- Crowded locations: Spring is a popular time for outdoor activities, and popular photo locations may be crowded, making it difficult to get the perfect shot without background distractions.

- Allergies: Spring is a high allergy season for some people, and allergies can cause red eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, making it difficult to capture a perfect shot.

- Timing: Spring is a short season, and the timing of the blooms and foliage may be difficult to predict, making it challenging to plan a photo session at the perfect time.



- Abundant natural light: The long days and bright sunshine during the summer season provide ample natural light for photography, resulting in bright and vibrant photos.

- Beautiful outdoor locations: The warm weather and clear skies make it an ideal time to take photos outdoors in beautiful locations such as parks, beaches, and gardens.

= Variety of outfit options: The warm weather allows for a wider range of clothing options, including summer dresses, shorts, and light fabrics, adding variety and interest to your photos.

- Fun summer activities: The summer season offers a variety of fun outdoor activities that can make for great photo opportunities, such as swimming, picnicking, and hiking.


- Harsh lighting: While the abundant natural light can be a pro, it can also be a con, resulting in harsh shadows and overexposed photos, especially during midday hours.

- Heat and humidity: The warm weather can sometimes be too hot and humid, making it uncomfortable for both the subjects and the photographer during a photo session.

- Crowded locations: Summer is a popular time for outdoor activities, and popular photo locations may be crowded, making it challenging to capture the perfect shot without background distractions.

- Mosquitos: These insects are most active during the late spring, summer, and early fall months. They particularly like to be active during the evening hours and when it is humid outside. Mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day, but you and your family are at higher risk during these times.



- Beautiful natural light: The golden hour during the autumn season provides a warm and soft light that adds a beautiful and romantic feel to photographs.

- Vibrant colors: The changing leaves during the autumn season can provide a beautiful and colorful backdrop for photographs, adding depth and interest to the images.

- Comfortable weather: The mild temperatures during the autumn season make it a comfortable time for outdoor photo sessions, allowing for a wide range of outfit options.

- Variety of locations: The fall foliage and autumnal decorations provide a variety of beautiful locations, including parks, forests, and orchards, for capturing stunning photographs.


- Weather variability: Autumn weather can be unpredictable, with sudden rain or windstorms, making it challenging to plan an outdoor photo session.

- Timing: The changing leaves and autumn colors are beautiful but fleeting, making it essential to time the photo session correctly to capture the desired autumnal look.

- Crowded locations: Autumn is a popular season for outdoor activities, and popular photo locations may be crowded, making it challenging to capture the perfect shot without background distractions.

- Limited photographer availability: With the autumn season being relatively short, photographers may have limited availability due to high demand, making it challenging to schedule a session at the desired time.



- Unique winter landscapes: Despite snow being atypical in North Carolina the winter provide some unique and stunning backdrops for photographs.

- Soft natural light: The soft and diffused light during winter provides a natural and flattering look to photographs.

- Cozy clothing options: The winter season offers a variety of cozy and warm clothing options, such as scarves, hats, and boots, which can add interest and variety to your photos.

- Off-peak season: Winter is an off-peak season for photography, which means photographers may have more availability and flexibility for scheduling a photo session.


- Cold temperatures: The cold weather during the winter season can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for the subjects and the photographer during a photo session, especially for extended periods.

- Limited outdoor locations: With the cold many outdoor locations, it can be challenging to find suitable outdoor locations for a photo session.

- Weather variability: Winter weather can be unpredictable, with sudden snowstorms or blizzards that can disrupt or cancel a scheduled photo session.

- Limited daylight: The winter season has shorter daylight hours, which can limit the time available for an outdoor photo session and make it challenging to capture the desired shots.

I hope you have a senior photo session experience to remember this milestone in life!

A Little Bit of Love

My son shook me awake at 3:30 am to get the sunrise.  I am sure he wanted to make sure he was not left behind since I could not get him up yesterday.  After stumbling through the dark gathering my camera equipment and clothes, Lyle got dressed and we were off to get hash browns.  (Hash browns before the sunrise is our thing now)  Hardees wasn’t even open yet, but Lyle accepted McDonald’s over his favorite round ones simply because we were headed for the sunrise.  As I was pulling out of the driveway, the song “A Little Bit of Love” by Weezer came on the radio.  I love everything about that song - its beat, its lyrics, its mood, its vibe; everything.  It was great to start the day remembering that “a little bit of love goes a really long way” because I will openly admit I have struggled in this department lately.  We all have our good days and our bad days; yet the lyrics hit me right in the feels.  They are:

“A little bit, a little bit of love

Goes a pretty long way

Take a look at where you started from

And where you are today

You climbed mountains

Swam oceans

You got knocked down

And kept goin’
In the end you know you got to say 

A little bit of love goes a pretty long way 

All your wounds are healing fine
I’m so glad I got you in my life 

Now the winter frost is gone
Now is our chance to live the life we want 

A little bit, a little bit of love 

Goes a pretty long way 

Everybody, everybody’s lost 

And that’s ok 

Some show it 

Some hide it 

But there’s a battle 

We’re all fighting 

So if you’re looking for the words to say, 

A little bit of love goes a pretty long way 

Holding onto the rabbit’s feet 

Walking down the sunny side of the street 

Shadows creeping at your back 

You can forget em like an amnesiac

A little bit of love goes a pretty long way 

 All your wounds are healing fine I’m so glad I got you in my life 

Now the winter frost is gone Now is our chance to live the life we want 

A little bit, a little bit of love 

Goes a pretty long way.”

I caught myself tearing up - hoping Lyle wouldn’t ask what was wrong - contemplating all I have done in my past: all the mistakes, all the wrongs, all the deception, and ultimately all the ways I was not being the person God was calling me to be.  I found solace in this being a new day - an opportunity to be better!  I found peace in remembering we’re all struggling and it is from the experiences of those struggles we all can learn and grow from each other.  I found hope in remembering Swansboro United Methodist Church enabled overcoming an addiction to climb mountains and swim oceans because a little bit of their love went a really long way!

Full Extension is an Eastern Brown Pelican at full wing extension taking off from a dock.  This was the photograph that inspired a devotion to photographing wildlife in their natural habitats without disturbance.  I sat focused on the bird for two hours waiting for some kind of movement because movement always makes for a dynamic photo.  I could have ran up on it, but that seemed like cheating; so I waited - at the time of capture my finger and entire camera hand had fallen asleep.  The second I saw the picture - wildlife was it.  My wife will point out in passing the amount of patience I have to wait on an animal, yet I have very little patience elsewhere.  What can I say - I am working on it!

Ultimately, a little bit of love requires a little bit of patience.  Full disclosure - I failed on both fronts within two hours of the day.  Lyle and I were having a grand ol time at Bicentennial Park waiting on the sunrise - we bunny hopped, we ran, we laughed, and we watched a Hermit Crab.  I also spent a lot of time reminding Lyle to stay out of the water.  We were getting ready to leave and Lyle put his feet in the water - I lost it.  Every bit of that Weezer song left my mind and all I could think about is how we’ve been talking about listening lately for him to AGAIN disregard what I asked him not to do.  We had a “discussion” on the way home and I could see he was upset - he knew I was not happy.  

I caught myself mid-discussion on the drive home realizing that a lot of anger never goes a long way - there seems to be plenty of that in the world right now anyway.  If I struggle to show a little bit of love with my own son, how am I going to be with my friends, how would I be with a stranger?  I am not sharing all of this to point out how bad of a father I am or seek parenting advice, but what inspired this blog was how quickly I forgot to give “a little bit of love.”  It took one instance of the day to screw up all intentions of being loving - even a little bit.

Well now what - we have Weezer, an Eastern Brown Pelican at full extension, and a father failure; what’s the point?

A little bit of love begins with patience and if I can find the patience to give a pelican the time of day for takeoff, I can certainly find the time to be patient with my son.  There will always be times throughout the day testing our devotion to love one another, but the good news is we only have to find a little bit of love.  If you’re feeling frustration building, look for the little bit of love - just a little bit and offer it. 

I get it - it’s hard!  We will all have days where we are riding a cloud so high we could just love everybody to come plummeting down at the drop of a hat forgetting the word love ever existed.  As quickly as we can love, we can hate and I believe the secret between those two extremes is patience.  The reward of a little bit of patience with the pelican was amazing - think of what that could be when a community does that for each other!

Besides in the grand scheme of things, it seems too much energy is being wasted on anger, frustration, and disagreement.  I washed Lyle’s shoes off and used the hair dryer so he could wear them to school.  I ended up with a little extra unexpected work, but Lyle thanked me, hugged my neck, said he loved me, and headed off to school.  A little bit of love from my child smacked me right across the face.

In re-reading this, I probably wrote this more for myself to hear - I hope it helps you too!  Where will a little bit of love take you today?  What might be the unexpected work necessary to show a little bit of love?

May we all show a little bit love through patience today and in the days to come!

Keep plugging along out there - you’re doing just fine!

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