ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — A picnic on a beach, the Olympics or the moon — these are all the places cicadas in photographer Oxana Ware‘s backyard have been in their short lifetime.
While normally photographing newborn babies in a studio, the family photographer and mother of three decided to combine her love of wildlife and snapping pictures into her latest project, starring Brood X cicadas.
The project began as a way to teach her children not to fear the red-eyed insects.
“When they started to emerge, my kids started getting weary of these huge insects. I wanted to teach them to just be playful,” said Ware.
Ware began placing the cicadas in different environments. Called “Brood X Adventures,” the bugs have traveled all over the world. The cicadas have climbed Mt. Everest and beyond.
“Now that we climbed up to the highest point on planet earth, the only logical place to go is to outer space,” said Ware.
One of Ware’s newest backdrops will send the cicadas to the moon, which she plans to shoot in her basement studio. She says the project is meant to be silly — and no cicadas were harmed in the making of these photos.
“They’re all alive, they’re all well. I never coerce them into things. If they don’t want to participate they just fly off,” she said.
The small county photographer has made national headlines for her cicada photography. And while she says she didn’t intend for her passion to go global, and would rather stay behind the lens in the future, she encourages everyone to pursue a passion project.
“I think we should all do something that just really makes you happy and unplug. It doesn’t have to have a reasonable explanation as to why you want to do it, just do it because it’s fun. And hey, look where it took me,” said Ware.