A Photographic Day in the Life of a Hunter
If you seem to be running out of ideas or topics to photograph, then there is no need to be concerned because this happens to most photographers whether professionals or amateurs at one point or another during our photographic lives. I have mentioned several times before that anything worth photographing has probably been photographed already and probably in many ways and with many styles.
However, there are always some photographic opportunities all of the time if you know "where" to look or how to approach the subject matter.
For example if you were to conduct a photographic project on an individual and the life of this individual, the best approach would be to do so for one day, thus the theme "a day in the life of a ..." comes to mind. You see, you can basically take anyone who you believe leads an interesting life or at least does some interesting activities once a year or thereabouts and record this day in your photographs.
This particular article is based on following hunters or just one of them during one full day while they prepare for the hunt, the equipment, the facilities, their game, their techniques and so much more.
I have never been a hunter and don't think that I could actually kill any animal unless I were absolutely forced to do so. Nevertheless I respect others right to do as they please and decided to do this first article on hunters because I had done a similar project many years back at the request of a friend who happened to own a hunting lodge in central Florida.
For the majority of such projects you will not need any extra gear other than what you normally carry in your photo bag but there are some projects which will require you to make some adjustments.
For this one I had to learn to become one with my surrounding and be as stealthy as the hunter himself. I also had to shoot everything without the aid of flash and capture images with basically two lenses as bringing more to the field would have proven to be too cumbersome plus it would have been too noisy also. I also had to content with the elements; rain, humidity, dirt and had to camouflage most of my gear. Other situations may require you to adapt yourself to them, so prepare and analyze the locations in advance, including if such locations are in a suburban setting.
You goal if you are to do a similar project is to capture images from various angles and not only of the subject but of the prey that he or she is stalking. Many of the images should also be of the environment and the terrain and since most hunters prefer shaded areas and like to use vegetation for cover this was not an easy task.
Some good scenes will be those that show the hunter in action, the final outcome and base camp. There are many excellent hunting lodges all over the country and their images should not be missed as they often provide luxurious accommodations that are in balance with a rustic scene at the same time with most featuring very nice looking fireplaces and feature many stuffed samples of previous hunts.
Show various perspectives and many variations but try to avoid the posed look. Better to record images when your subject is not focused on you taking his/her picture, This gives the topic more of a realistic surrounding and usually results in better photographs.
There are many publications who can regularly use these types of formats depending on what type of business they are into. Plus there are many opportunities for photographers that are hired by well to do individuals who wish to have part of their lives recorded for the future as was the case in my first attempt many years back.
Let me give you an example, lets say that you wish to conduct a photographic project featuring a day in the life of a business executive, not only will this project be very gratifying for the subject but there are many publications that can use the photos such as business publications and industry specific ones too if for example this executive were to be a banker.
Something else to keep in mind, just like there are many hunting clubs and facilities that would contract you to do a project featuring their services, there are many other such places like hotel chains which you can approach and solicit doing "a day in the life of a guest". This type of adverting often works better than more typical ones and if you sell it well, you might be surprised at the numbers of times when your services will be called for.
Make sure to make up a list of scenes that you wish to be part of the shoot and stick to it but also add other scenes as they present themselves. Do not be too demanding on your subject as your sole presence for an entire day can be a bit unnerving. Just try to be accommodating and not intrusive and your efforts will be better served this way.
A good zoom lens will go a long way since it keeps you from being right on top of your subject a tall times and you can still get close ups by simply zooming in. remember to use flash if necessary but avoid overusing it, especially in close quarters.
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Hunting in Florida
The Hunting Handbook summarizes the hunting regulations for private and public lands. The FWC also cooperates with other landowners to establish wildlife management area (WMA) regulations.
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© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez