I bought my first field guide to North American birds when I was 12, so have always had a fascination with them. I graduated with a BFA from the University of Illinois in 1998, and much of my work over the years has had birds as the subject matter. My most recent work which I began in 2013 involves building miniature sets in the studio using natural seasonal materials and found objects. I use the seasonal objects for clues to myself as to when I did the photo shoot...for example, what flowers are blooming at the time, what I am harvesting from the garden, etc. Once the composition is completed, I place one of my chickens in the middle of the set. I do the photographing at night when the chickens are a bit more cooperative. The series started as a photo documentation of my flock, to track particular genetic characteristics that were persistent in each years' chicks that I hatched. I select my photography subjects based on their uniqueness to the rest of the flock. As with anything, there is a learning curve to each photo shoot, i.e., which way the chicken should be facing, fine tuning lighting, making sure the chicken doesn't obscure too much of the set. My hope is that the final image is a well composed and balanced photograph, while recording the bloodline of my chicken flock.