Dan Lewis (907) 980 - 6423
© 1998 Backcountry Taxidermy - All Rights Reserved
Photographing Hunting Trophies
“Take care of all your memories for you can never relive them,”
I think a lot of hunters focus on the bow, arrows, rest, guns and other cool equipment, but don’t necessarily put a lot of thought into taking pictures after the trophy is on the ground. Here it is important to note that when I say “trophy” I mean ANY animal harvested with archery / firearm equipment regardless of sex or head gear. From a personal stand point I am very sorry I didn’t pay more attention to recording my memories. The older I get the more important this becomes. The three photos below represent a progression in how much attention I have paid to this. The results are self-explanatory.
Good Hunting ........ Dan Lewis, Taxidermist
Here are a few tips for taking that trophy photo:
1. Point and shoot cameras are easier for your friends and family to use than complex digital SLR’s.
2. Put both the camera and the memory card on your equipment list. It’s easy to leave the memory card in your computer.
3. Take your pictures before field dressing.
4. Set up a natural background. Avoid “Back of the truck” pictures.
5. If possible prop the animal up and fold the legs underneath it.
6. Carry an extra rag into the field and use it to clean up any blood around the mouth and entry/exit wounds. Use it later to wipe your hands during field dressing.
7. If you mainly hunt by yourself consider carrying a tripod like the Grypton Portable. The North American Hunting Club recently profiled a do-it-yourself fixture made from a binder clip and a few screws that will attach to an arrow to form a mono-pod.
8. Verify your camera’s compression (picture size) is still on your desired setting. Bigger is better. Digital photo sizes can be reduced on the computer later.
9. The trophy and hunter should face the sun with the photographer’s back to it.
10. Fill the frame with you and your trophy.
11. Take pictures with and without flash. Even on a sunny day the flash can fill in shadows from a ball cap or tree limb.
12. In the era of digital cameras, you can never take TOO many pictures. Take a dozen or more pictures and you can sort them out later on your computer where you will find 4 to 6 that you really like.
13. Taking pictures from a minimum of three different angles and some times four different angles, will help capture more detail that you might have otherwised missed.
14. Its best to keep the camera at the same level or lower then the subject. What this means on your trophy is that the camera should be no more then two feet above the ground even when your buddy is taking the photo. Some of the best photos have come from a self portrait using a tripod one foot off the ground.
By keeping these tips in mind you hopefully won’t look back and wish you had better memories of that great hunting trip.