Tips for taking self-portraits
We’ve all seen them: blurry, arm’s length self-portraits featuring a stressed-out, badly framed creature—and the bass or deer usually looks pretty rough, too. Here’s how to take better trophy shots when fishing or hunting solo.
The Camera: Take a few minutes to learn how to use your camera’s timer before you head out—not in the rain while juggling a muskie. Most have a variable wait time, as well as a burst mode that takes a flurry of shots, upping the odds of you getting at least one good photo; smartphone shooters can add these features through various apps. Flip-screen cameras even let you frame yourself in the shot, which works especially well when combined with a remote control.
Placement: Instead of balancing your camera on a tree branch, carry a mini-tripod, particularly for big-game shots. Light, flexible and compact, the Gorillapod (joby.com), for example, can provide a sturdy rest almost anywhere. On boats, meanwhile, install a dedicated camera mount. There are commercial models, but many creative DIYers make their own, often with PVC pipe. Another option for holding the camera at a distance, and for experimenting with angles, is a telescoping pole with a camera mount, such as the XShot (xshot.com).
Composition: For fish photos, keep your subject in the water until you’re ready to take the photo—even if you’re not releasing the fish afterwards, keeping it alive and fresh makes a much more attractive photo. For both fish and game, position the subject so it’s lit by the sun, and position yourself so you’re not squinting. Take lots of shots and vary the poses—even small changes can create a very different image. Face your trophy directly at the camera, at an angle and broadside, and try looking at the animal’s head or off to the side, as well as at the camera. And don’t forget to smile