Dainty Persnickety Dingo

Shots from Aaron Ansarov’s My Backyard series.

"Artist Statement
It’s in our nature to overlook the living things we see every day. An elephant walks the streets of Thailand while pigeons roam Trafalgar square. Locals accustomed to this overlook them while tourists flock to get their pictures taken next to them. When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the creatures of other lands. I would always look forward to my latest issue of National Geographic and be glues to the amazing stories of the incredible life on our planet. I believe this is what always kept me fascinated by the creatures in my own backyard. From rhinoceros beetles that fell in our pool at night to the occasional bird feather laying nearby, I was always exploring.
But at some point along the way I did as most people do, I grew up and went to work. I never lost this curiosity. It just stopped being of animals and focused more on people.
It is what made me a very successful photographer in the military. For nearly 15 years I took pictures for the US Navy in both peacetime and at war all while traveling the country and exploring the human element in action.
At one point though I was injured and unfortunately was forced to end my career in the Navy. This was a very sad time in my life because I loved the military and the lifestyle. It was at this point I had a 7 year old son. It was a good age for him because we could finally go exploring without worry of him picking up a creature and putting it in his mouth. I would take him in our backyard woods and show him the various bugs we could find. It was at this point where he made the statement that point me back on the right path in my life. As I held a bug in my hands he said, “Daddy, why don’t we take pictures of it.” So I did.
To this date, I have photographed over 150 different species of animals. All have been captured in my backyard.
This project later took me in a multitude of creative directions, but it is safe to say that I will never again ignore the life that happens all around me.”