If you came to the blog via the Field & Stream homepage today, you likely spotted our gallery of photos from women hunters. It's forty pictures of females from all over the country, posing with deer big and small.
Of course all those photos got me thinking about the stories behind the hunts they commemorated, but they also got me thinking about the photos themselves. The actual taking of that well-deserved shot is such an interesting part of the hunt -- the setting up, the positioning, the subsequent e-circulation of the images to everyone you know -- a lot of people approach their photos in a lot of different ways.
As for me, my early experience with hunt photos sparked a personal dilemma: to smile or not to smile. I wonder if I'm the only hunter who's fretted over this particular problem. It started like this. At the end of my first hunt, I posed with a muley, a .270, and a big smile on my face. (That's me at right.)
But when I got the photos back, the smile made me feel just a bit guilty. Sure, at the moment the photos were taken I was happy about a successfully completed hunt. But viewing the images back home, I wondered if the smile was somehow disrespectful of the deer.
So, on a later hunt for antelope, when it came time for the guide to take pictures, I tried not to smile -- at least not very big. When I got those pictures back, the lack of smile looked ridiculous -- why should I be so serious at the end of a successful hunt?! (That's not me at right, but you get the idea.)
Nowadays, of course I bust out a grin! At a moment when you've earned the right to feel all that pride, relief, and excitement, there's no reason not to!
Facial expressions aside, I'm curious to know how other hunters approach their own pictures. Do you spend a lot of time setting up the perfect portrait, or just snap a few quick shots and get on with the field dressing? Do you worry about hair and make-up, or just go natural? Do your pictures tend to come off without a hitch, or have you had a photo shoot go awry? And here's an interesting one - have you ever taken your mount to a Sears Portrait Studio? I know someone who was so excited about her 10-point, she did just that! -K.H.