Pro Tip: Photographing Your Hunt
To help tell a great hunt story with your photography, one tip is to isolate your subject to show how it feels to be on the hunt.
Capturing your hunt has become more popular thanks to outlets like Instagram, YouTube, and the overall need for outdoor content from top-shelf brands. With the ever-growing number of hunters bringing a camera to the woods, I wanted to share a few things I have found that make my work not only look better, but also makes my workflow more efficient.
UTILIZE WHAT YOU HAVE
Want to know the secret to capturing your hunts? Buy a camera and hit record. It doesn’t have to be the newest model or the most expensive. Hell, even the new iPhone’s have crazy-good cameras. When I started filming my hunts, I bought a Sony Handycam and the cheapest camera arm I could find. Then, the more experience I obtained, the more complex my equipment became. Yes, photography and videography can be expensive, but you don’t always need the best equipment to get the job done. Things like composition, subject matter, and overall experience are more important when telling a story.
Hard as it may be, if you want to get the best shots possible, sometimes you've got to shoot your camera and not your rifle.
ISOLATE THE SUBJECT
If I had to give one piece of advice to capturing better photos while hunting, it is to make your subject feel alone. Oftentimes, as cameramen, we are close to the hunter. Maybe in the same tree whitetail hunting or directly behind them on a stalk in the mountains. But to truly convey hunting at its core, the simplicity of one hunter alone in his environment, can be a powerful thing. Because of that, I always try to stay back, and capture the isolation.
CARRY TWO BODIES
I know I said to utilize the equipment you have, but once you’ve gained experience and really know how to run your camera efficiently, it can be beneficial in a hunting situation to have another camera body at the ready. In hunting scenarios, there’s oftentimes fast-paced action or quick events that require a quick shutter finger. I like to run two bodies, one with a telephoto lens, in case my subject is far away, and one with a wide lens, to capture on-the-go action shots. Simply put, with an extra camera, your photo opportunities double - which may be the difference in capturing a shot or not.
BE A CAMERAMAN FIRST
This, in my opinion, is one of the toughest things to do as a cameraman. We are all hunters at heart. But when it comes to being a cameraman, sometimes it’s hard to forget about key moments in the hunt to grab your camera. Here’s an example: You and your best friend and hunting partner are on a whitetail hunt, and he arrows the biggest buck of his life. As a hunter, it would be easy to get caught up in the moment and celebrate with him as you hear the buck crash, but as a cameraman, that raw emotion he displays could make a priceless frame. Sure, photos of you posed with your harvest and blood trail shots are cool, but capturing that raw emotion is something that can’t be recreated. So, be a cameraman first.
To see Brad’s work, and to learn more about capturing your hunt, follow him on Instagram.