Meet Your Neighbours photography project helps you learn about local wildlife

amphibian photo
© Meet Your Neighbors

Many of us barely know our human neighbors, let alone other species living in the same area. The Meet Your Neighbours project encourages us to get to know the many overlooked and under-appreciated species that live in our yards, streets, and neighboring wild spaces. You may have seen some species a thousand times, but have you really looked at them? Gotten to know them? From tiny native flowers to towering trees, to field mice to song birds, no species goes unexamined in this project.

Meet Your Neighbours states:

Founded in 2009, Meet Your Neighbours is a worldwide photographic initiative created by Niall Benvie and Clay Bolt. The project is dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife on their own doorsteps – and enriching their lives in the process. These creatures and plants are vital to people: they represent the first, and for some, the only contact with wild nature we have. Yet too often they are overlooked, undervalued.

Some of the photographers who are part of Meet Your Neighbours work with local NGOs and conservation groups, helping to document the species the groups wish to highlight or educate people about. Others work on a larger stage, contributing images to the Meet Your Neighbours collection of the Nature Picture Library so anyone can access the images. And best of all, the group is always looking for new photographers to help document different parts of the world.

Despite different photographers and different locations, there's one thing that ties all Meet Your Neighbours wildlife portraits together, and that is the white studio-style background. The photographers all use a field studio kit to make a species stand apart from its background so it can be appreciated on its own, without actually removing it from its habitat.

Here's an example of the Meet Your Neighbours mission and technique being used in the field:

This is a great project to encourage you to get outside with your camera this Saturday, June 15th, which is Nature Photography Day, or simply looking at photographs of species you thought you knew all about but that might still have surprises to reveal on closer inspection.

Check out the Meet Your Neighbours website and Facebook page. Then head outside and say hello to all the species you share a home with.

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