4. The subject. The trickiest part of setting up a jungle in your kitchen is finding subjects you can work with. The veiled chameleon (above) is one of the most commonly sold chameleons in pet shops, and it costs about $100. The often-photographed red-eyed tree frog (opening spread) is also readily available for about $40. I try to choose species that are not averse to being handled and pick those that exhibit a photogenic behavior repeatedly, whether it's eating, jumping, or running. The staff at a top-notch pet shop can be invaluable here.
When you arrive home with a prospective subject, try inducing the desired behavior before building your set. A study of the nuances of the creature's character and behavior will provide clues as to how to build a set-if at all. For further inspiration, scope out the work of tripwire master Stephen Dalton, stephendalton.co.uk.