How-to-take good Trophy Photos (simple)

Edited Version.   You don’t have to be a pro to take good photos.
Non-Edited Version.  A little shadowy, but that’s real world conditions.

I see way too many hunters not taking the time to take a quality photo.  My dad is one of them! So, below is a simple how-to-step/reminder of how simple it can be.

How-to-take a good Trophy Photo

1.  Preparation!  You need an 8mb+ digital camera with a charged battery and space available on the memory card.  Keep it in a zip locked bag and in a small case in your pack (somewhere it won’t get smashed).  Make sure the lens isn’t dirty. Watch some online tutorials on how-to-use your digital camera or read the directions.  Then USE it before the hunt, so you are not trying to figure it out in the dark or when you are rushed. 

2.  Slow Down!  You worked your butt off for 12 days and you finally got your big bull on the ground.  Like most of us, you are tired, but excited because you finally fulfilled your lifetime goal.  Your trophy animal could have died in a bad spot, or you are worried about the meat spoiling (which you should), but generally this is when you have to slow down and take in the moment.  Try to get the animal in a position you desire and get the sun toward your back.  Clean off the blood around the nose and cut off the tongue.  Some guys carry fishing line to tie the mouth’s of their trophies closed, I typically don’t.  (Presentation is huge if you want to get published in a magazine.)  We all want our animals to look big in photos, so make sure you take a ton of photos from a bunch of different angles.  Again, slow down…  Your trophy bull is dead, this is the moment you have waited for!

Edited Version.  We can do a lot to clean up photos, but you have to take them.
Original Image.  Real world shadows and overexposed, but still a good photo.
3.  Use a tripod.  If you don’t have a tripod, use your pack, log or a rock to stabilize your camera.   Use your timer on your camera, if you are by yourself or want a group photo. 
4.  Don’t just rely on your smartphone!  Why?  They don’t have timers and generally they don’t have a way to mount to a tripod.  I carry my phone with me, as a back-up.
5.  Smile! This isn’t the UFC or the NFL.  We are hunters!  We are supposed to be having fun and enjoying it.  Nothing makes me laugh more, than seeing some guy acting tough with his trophy animal.  I know sometimes you are exhausted, or you feel like a badass, but come on man!
This isn’t about just taking photos for a magazine or for your website.  You are documenting your own personal history.  I love going through old family photos and I hope one day my grandkids and great grandkids will too. 

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