Florida’s biodiversity is one of the greatest and most diverse in the country. Ranging from tropical coral reefs to temperate pinelands, Florida has a wide range of habitats and an even larger variety of animals and plants that live in them. Some of these creatures like the Florida Panther are extremely rare while others such as the mosquito are far too abundant for most people’s taste. Some species like the Florida Scrub Jay and the Florida Mouse are found only within the state’s borders while invasive species such as the Brazilian Pepper and Burmese Python thrive where they were never supposed to live. One of the central goals of Filming Florida is to highlight the state’s biodiversity by shedding light on the common, the rare, the bizarre, and the ordinary.
In order to feature this biodiversity, Filming Florida has partnered with the international photographic project, Meet Your Neighbours, founded by Clay Bolt and Niall Benvie. This project is dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife in their own backyards and neighborhoods. Photographers from around the world utilize the same technique to photograph local species. Using a portable field studio, each subject is isolated on a pure white background. This technique removes each species from its environmental context and allows viewers to see the beauty and magnificence of all species, especially those that are often overlooked. The project also follows a strict ethical standard that holds the welfare of the subject as the top priority—any species that must be captured is photographed on site and released immediately.
Filming Florida will feature a different species every single day starting on January 1, 2014, and continue for the duration of the fieldwork. By the end of the project, Filming Florida will have featured well over 1,000 species of plants, insects, arthropods, mammals, birds, fish, and anything else that will pose in front of the white studio background. In addition to the daily image on the website, these photographs will also be used extensively in the final multimedia exhibition and featured across social media platforms.