By Madison Whitman
Whether you just shot the buck of a lifetime or your child just caught their first bass, it is important to have a good photograph to capture the moment. We live in a day and age in which our lives, especially our most special moments, are captured on camera and uploaded for our loved ones to see.
Those of us who may not be as tech savvy may still want a good picture for the family hunting album. Unfortunately, not all of us are models for Field & Stream magazine. However, with a few simple techniques and poses, you can capture your new memory with class.
How to get started: the only props you need are yourself, your trophy, and your trusty firearm or fishing pole. When hunting, choosing a good background is equally important.
Favorable backgrounds include a large oak to sit or stand in front of, fences and gates, or a rustic looking truck or tractor. All of these backgrounds are fairly easy to find in a backyard, and large trees of any kind can be found on public hunting land.
The hardest part is choosing a good pose. Here are three simple options to begin with after a successful hunt.
Kneeling. Place the head of large game, such as deer or elk, in your lap or spread out a turkey fan in front of you. This pose creates an illusion that the trophy is a little bit larger than real life when compared to a more compact pose of the hunter. Additionally, it helps you avoid eye rolls when describing just how large your trophy was to Uncle Roger.
Side shot. For my fellow female hunters, if you are concerned about your appearance, especially after a long hunt that leaves you sweaty or with messy hair, this is a great pose. The picture appears candid and you do not have to worry about your makeup. Depending upon the time of day, you can try to capture the sun rays with your camera or get a great silhouette at dusk.
Using a tree. There are two good ways to use a tree. The first way is to hang your harvested animal from the tree and stand next to it, one hand on the animal and the other holding your firearm. The second way, which is a little more tasteful, is to prop the animal against the base of the tree while you stand and lean into the tree, holding the firearm. You may have to play with the angle, but with a little patience, you can get a really good shot.
When fishing, I am sad to say that there are only so many ways to hold a fish. Your choice of background and the way you pose will be most important. If you do not have a great background, and your fishing pole is long enough, you can frame yourself with it. With the fish still on the line, simply stand the pole next to you in one hand, angling the tip of the pole above your head. Then, use your other hand to grasp the line just above the fish’s head or the inside of the fish’s mouth. You will need your photographer’s help to make sure that you have a sort of triangle shape around you to create a good frame. This pose in particular is good for young sportsmen who may not be strong enough to hold up the fish on their own because keeping the fish attached to the line takes some of the weight off.
Candid looking photos are becoming more popular and can also be applied to fishing. This can include someone to take a picture of you wrestling with the pole before reeling in the prize. After the struggle, stand sideways, resting the rod between your arm and body while holding the fish up as though you’re picking it up.
Photos are the best way to capture and share memories with many generations. Now, the next time you have a successful hunting or fishing trip, you will have a few photo ideas to choose from and make your own!