Trophy Picture 101

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Everyone has different ideas about trophy pictures. Looks around and you will see "long armers," "set behinders," "big cheesers," and "blood covered brutes."  I have a few tips to keep your trophy pictures from being laughers or worse yet just plain gross.

#1 Clean it up. Try to avoid bullet holes, gut pile, mass amounts of blood, and the tongue sticking out. You don't want your big buck to look like a angry 1st grader with his tongue out or a MMA fighter during the 3 round.

#2 Long arming and sitting 10' behind your animal are fine, just make sure you take some pictures that show the real size of the animal. Years from now you will enjoy those better than the corny pictures of a 10 foot long trout you caught. Oh wait he was really only 10 inches.

#3 Down Fido. Keep your pets out of the picture. They usually only cause trouble. In the best case they are a distraction. Worse case, the are licking your deer, elk , or antelope someplace he doesn't need to be licked.

#4 This is my most practical piece of advise. After a cold weather hunt, when you get ready for a few pictures, lose your heavy coat for a few minutes. Nothing makes a fish or animal look small more that a 150 pound guy wearing 18 layers of clothes. It  makes a BIG animal look much smaller when you look much bigger than you normally would.

Try these tips out and post all your pictures for us to see!



I really do feel sorry for that poor chap. But at the same time I do admire the passion of this kid. Look like he is really good at it. I hope he does not misused his talent for something else or make an over kill of these. zipline kit

Rem2arms's picture

All good tips on the

All good tips on the pictures, Dont even take one that if you see that in the view finder.

arrowflipper's picture

Great advice

Those are great tips.  Like a lot of other hunters, when I was younger I just plopped myself down behind the animal and had someone snap away.  As I got a little more experienced, I tried to coach those who were taking the pictures as to where I wanted them the stand and how I wanted them to zoom in. 

I'm not too much on sitting way behind the animal, trying to make it look bigger than it really is.  I want it to be as natural as possible.  I do agree with you that the animal should be cleaned up.  No one wants to see the tongue hanging out or lots of blood.  I realize sometimes the blood issue can't be helped, but you can at least stick the tongue back in the mouth.

I have a friend that is adamant about showing respect to the animal by taking good pictures.  Stage the animal so he looks his best.  Prop it up so it looks good.  Don't just let the head and neck droop over something. 

Something that always bothers me is when I see the rifle laying across the animal with the muzzle pointing at someone.  That is NOT what you want kids to see and it's not exactly safe.  Yes, take your time and give the animal respect by taking good pictures with a good background.

Great tip!

hunter25's picture

Great photo tips here. Almost

Great photo tips here. Almost all of my old photos are very poor and I wish I could do them again. Getting the bad things out of the picture, getting the sun right and the tongue back in the mouth or gone are all good things to pay attention to. A better camera has surely helped but it still comes down to the person pushing the button. At least with the new digital cameras it does not cost you anything more to take a lot of pictures and review them later to pick out the best ones.

Make sure you get some scenery in the photo also to give some reference. It really hels to lay down and kind of be looking up when taking the picture. And also make sure you pass on all your knowledge to whever is taking your picture as it is some of my own that are the worst.

Thanks for sharing your tip.

groovy mike's picture

good tips, thanks

These are all good tips. 

I have been guilty of doing almost all of them wrong over the years but as time goes by I am learning to do it better!

Thanks for the encouragement, and By the way - that photo you included made me literally laugh right out loud!

I'm still chuckling thinking about it!  I don't know whether to feel sorry for that guy or not.  I mean, would you eat that deer now ???????????

But at least the deer will never know the humiliation....



numbnutz's picture

Great info thank you very

Great info thank you very much

Archery_hunter33's picture

number 5

#5 set your flash to “always on” it takes the shadows off your face if you have a hat on and takes away the shadows cast by the trees you may be under.  It makes for much better pictures.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Thanks, good tips.

Thanks, good tips.

groundhog's picture


I think pic's are important for recording hunts and memories so take your time and take lots and down the road you’ll be glad you took the time to do it right!

bigalwapiti's picture


Great ideas. I do find it funny how some want to make a 350 Bull look like a 450 Bull. I take multiple pictures, from high to low angles, side, front back etc. Way to go, good advice