If you're filming a short wildlife film, you don't have to stick exclusively to animals. Plants make excellent subjects, especially when their interesting aspects are communicated clearly by a presenter or narrator.
Why not start of by issuing an invitation? Building intrigue is an fantastic way of grabbing your viewer's attention, and ensures they are primed to engage with your film. It also translates your excitement and will help build suspense, especially if your subject is less animated or has hidden depth that's not immediately apparent. Further ways of building a relationship with your subject can be through relevant cultural references, personal anecdotes or unusual sign-offs. Used at the beginning or signing off at the end can respectively provide context or stoke intrigue, leaving them wanting to find out more.
You can clearly see that I'm excited about what you're going to see next - and that's an important ingredient.
On top of expressing your excitement at presenting your subject, you must also impart the key science and behaviour. Careful scripting and a structured narrative is key here. Cutting from your presented pieces-to-camera to a voice-over narration that you have added in later can help translate a story alongside the visuals.
If you're on camera, interaction with the subject can be fantastic - although you must be careful as your personal safety is paramount! Make sure you know what your touching and what consequences there are of any interactions. A great presenter knows how best to work with a subject without harm to either party.
Are you also thinking about your actions and appearance too?
Unbroken continuity will prevent the viewer from becoming confused or distracted. If you wear glasses, make sure you take note of whether you had them on or off at the beginning or the end of the scene - although if in doubt, it's best just to do the whole thing with or without! Other considerations include your clothes, the lighting or where you exit and enter a shot. Your film should feel natural and continuous when you watch it back.
Finally, it's not just the images you record that you need to consider, sound is equally as important. You need to be able to hear a presenter clearly so any bumping or rustling could hinder the audio, especially if you have a radio microphone pinned to your clothes. If you're using a microphone on top or built in to your camera make sure you maintain the same distance while speaking clearly and consistently in the direction of the microphone.
Other sound to think about are those in your environment. You can easily tolerate those sounds that you can see see visually, but unpredictable sounds off camera can be very disruptive and confusing. You may also want to think about the kinds of sounds you're imagining while re-watching your footage that you may not have picked up in the first record. Atmospheric sounds or your subject's audible behaviour could help bring your film to life.
Hopefully you're able to put some of these tips into practice in your film - experimenting with different techniques is a great way to find the right way to communicate your subject.