Some hunters will be lucky enough, or just good enough, to have success this fall. Now-days especially with the internet, facebook and smart-phones, a photo can get launched and seen by millions of people before you know it…and you cannot change it once it goes out. As hunters, and as representatives of our hunting community, you owe it to yourself and all other hunters in the world to be as ethical and tasteful with your photos as possible.
When you’re taking success photos make sure to pose the animal is a respectful, tasteful way. Wipe away as much blood as possible. If the tongue is sticking out of the mouth, push it back in or cut it off. If you’ve already field dressed the animal try to pose it so you cannot see the open chest cavity. We’re all hunters and can handle these things that some may label gross or bloody, but non-hunters may see your image too. If the animal has been hanging overnight, you may get the eyes starting to sink into the skull. Ask your taxidermist for a set of ceramic eyes that you can set in place for the photo.
Try to allow as much light on the subject (hunter and animal) as possible. If you’re in full-sun, shoot the photo with a flash to reduce the “cap-brim shadow” so you can see the hunter’s face. Don’t pose behind the antlers and fill the frame with the subject. The photographer should communicate with the subjects and let the subjects know when the shutter will go. This will eliminate stupid looks or catching the subject blinking. Often you have photos where the subject is centered on the bottom of the frame. In the traditional “grip-n-grin” style photo you should see as much space below the subject as above and even spacing on the left and right. SMILE! Nobody likes to look at a “sour puss.” Remember, you just had a successful hunt!