10 Tips for Great Hunting Photos
By OutdoorAly

Posted: September 21, 2013

Now that hunting season has started the Internet is flooded with field trophy photos, some better than others. Here are 10 field photo tips to make sure you get the best shot with your camera.

  1. Tongues hanging out of the trophy’s mouth can distract from the beauty of the animal, either shove it back in its mouth or cut it off; the photo will be better without.
  2. Same goes for blood and large exit or entry wounds. Move your trophy from excessive blood pools and clean any from the animal that you can. You can cover any large exit or entry wounds with grass or brush.
  3. Make sure the background doesn’t have any distracting features in the shot, like a 4-wheeler or power line, and try to get enough of the animal’s natural setting in the shot to provide a sense of place.
  4. Blue sky is a great background for your trophy’s antlers in the field. If you can manage to get the antlers and most of the trophy with some sky behind them, it will really showcase the animal. This sometimes forces you to pose to the side of the animal too, which can bring variety to a photo.
  5. Shoot from a low angle. Photographers call this the “hero shot”. It amplifies the stature of you and your trophy, adding honor and confidence to the shot.
  6. Posing with guns and bows is a natural asset to hunting photos. Always be sure that safety is considered; unload and point any firearms in a safe direction from the photo being taken.
  7. Set up your shot making sure that the sun is pointing towards you and your trophy, in other words the sun will be at the photographer’s back. This will ensure the photo is not backlit causing dark faces.
  8. If on a solo hunt, try to bring a tripod. You can often use a scope tripod for cameras as well, but if all else fails, use the portrait timer and set your camera on a pack or other gear.
  9. When hunting with others, a group photo will add to these memories. The hunter should be the one closest to and holding their trophy. Participants should be distributed evenly around the trophy and hunter.
  10. Above all respect your trophy. Photos of animals hanging, in the back of a truck, or positioned in an unflattering manner seem like an afterthought photograph. If you are looking for a great trophy photo, position the animal in a way that will reflect the beauty of the animal and pride of the hunt. Trophy bears generally photograph best with their belly down and legs to the front and back. Mountain rams are regal animals and positioning them with legs folded under as they are when bedded is a natural pose showing the utmost respect.

Boone and Crockett Club have more detailed tips on how to create the best field trophy shots, read more here. Feature photo from a Boone and Crockett Club photo contest.