Taking Photos of Your Trophy

I always like taking pictures of my trophy whether it be a doe, buck, or this year hopefully a bear. However, there’s more to taking a photo than just straddling your deer and hoping the picture comes out. I myself would have changed the way I’ve taken pictures of my downed gamed in the past to have them come out more professional looking. I would suggest looking at as many hunting photos in magazines and books as you can. You’ll start to notice some similarities between all of them and should then be able to start taking magazine quality photos of your trophy.

Here’s a few things to remember:

1. If it’s possible, take the photo before gutting your animal. Also, use a damp cloth to wipe as much blood off the entry and exit wounds, and especially the nose/mouth area of the animal.

2. Make sure your animals tongue is not hanging out the side of its mouth.

3. It is best to wear your camo gloves when holding your trophy to help keep the focus on your game and not on your hands. Check yourself out before taking the photo, make sure you don’t have blood on your clothes and try to hide the blood as much as possible.

4. The camera should be placed level with the animals head. To accomplish this you can have a friend take the photo, use a tripod, or use a downed tree or stump as a tripod for your camera.

5. When photographing a buck, try to hold as little of the antler as possible. Some people like grabbing the skin behind the neck of the deer to hold its head up.

6. For a photo of a deer: fold the front legs under the chest and the rear legs towards the stomach so the deer looks like its in a natural bedding position. For bear: many times people like to put a log under the bears jaw to hold the head up. I prefer a photo where the bear’s head and paws are draped over a fallen tree so there is less to take away from the bear.

7. It is best to take the picture in a natural setting, not in the back of your truck. Don’t straddle the deer, sit behind the animal and let your trophy be the foreground.

8. Make note of your backdrop for the photo, thick brush with twigs going every which way may take away from antler tines.

9. Always keep the sun at the camera’s back.

10. Remember to smile and place your bow in the picture too!

Now the only thing left to do is get that trophy to take a picture of, so get out there and start hunting!

Posted in Deer Hunting
4 comments on “Taking Photos of Your Trophy
  1. Kristine says:

    These are good tips. I’ve seen some great pictures taken by photographers who are not professionals. Hopefully, your tips will help the Average Joe photographer take better photos.

  2. Great tips on taking better pictures. I can get really annoyed at some pictures that I see on the Internet. Deer with bloody faces, waterfowl held up in the air held by their necks and the list goes on. Not only do I think that such pictures are disrespectful to the animal we kill but more importantly such images are also seen by the non-hunting Internet users and that may be all they need to see to make their minds up about hunters.

    I am fortunate in that regard since my wife, a pro photographer, has taught me a lot about composition and how to make subjects look their best even if they are not that great to begin with. Natural setting, background, composition and exposure are the magic words that can make all the difference in how a picture is perceived by the viewer. With the modern cameras available these days and bit of forethought it is easy to take appealing pictures

    -Othmar Vohringer-

  3. Jody says:

    I am going to print this off for my husband. They sometimes take not so pretty pictures.

  4. Collin says:

    Thanks for the great tips!

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