Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Taking Good Pictures of Bad People

Is this the memory you want to capture?
I must first explain my terminology of what I am classifying as “bad” people. These folks are not “bad” in the sense of their actions or their choices but rather in their ability of set themselves up for a good photo opportunity. These individuals always hold the fish in front of their face, put their back to the sun, don’t hold the fan up on their turkey, forget to stick the tongue back into the deer’s mouth and generally do everything in their power to ruin any possible chance at a memorable photo opportunity. These photographic faux pas are only made worse by individuals handicapped in their usage of cameras.

Or should it be more like this?
Few things are able to conjure up pleasant memories of a past outdoor adventures as well as the simple photograph. As a Guide or outdoor enthusiast, it is important that you know how to take a good photo, for the sake of (and possibly in spite of) your “bad” family, friends and sports. As a friend of mine once said, it is impossible to make chicken salad out of chicken crap.  So, make sure to always practice good photographic shooting and everyone will be pleased by the end results. As few moments during the middle or even at the end of an adventure to set-up a good shot opportunity will be well worth time.

Get that salmon out of your face!
Even with the advent of the digital camera, I am still amazed by the number of individual who can’t manage to take a good photo. Digital cameras allow you to easily take dozen of shots but for many this isn’t always a good thing. These individuals happily snap away with the hope that just maybe they might capture one good photo. Rather than attempting the click and pray school of thought, these individuals would do well to slow down, observe their surroundings and concentrate on what they plan to photograph. What is the subject; is the horizon level, is the flash needed, did you cut off someone’s head or include distracting elements in the photo?

Nice and you even sat up straight!
One spectacular photo can sometimes save the day, when a particular experience is less than memorable. A father and son fishing together, a mother and daughter laughing in the front of the canoe, a group posing together during a shore lunch or a family playing together on a lake shore. Sometimes people need simple reminders that a good time need not be dependent on the weather, game animal shot or fish caught.

Despite the outcome of a particular day, even the most disgruntled friend or penny-pinching clients are likely to buy you a round of free drinks or tip like they own the Boston Red Sox, if you can provide documented proof that they had a fantastic time!

For More on Good Photography for Bad People Check Out the Following:


  1. People who hold the antlers with both hands and in front of their camo jackets so you can't see the definition of the antler.

    People who take pictures insisting they step as back as far as they can and use the zoom.

    People who take picture and lay prone on the grass and take mighty fine pictures of weeds and grass stalks, with a blurry hunter in the background.

    I am familiar with these people! Great post!

  2. Ian,

    My greatest fear is that I catch and release some massive fish only to have some idiot take the photo and cut off my head. LOL! WHY, because it has happened on numerous occasions!

  3. I totally understand about other people taking poor pictures. Most of the time I just take pictures myself because I have trouble trusting people to take a good photo :)

    I had to do some serious photo editing on my computer to make a picture of my most recent tarpon in the kayak look good. The original made it look like I was a mile away!

  4. Alex, Funny you say that because most times I know I need to take a good picture of myself I will bring a tripod and set the timer rather than let ANYONE do it for me!

    Yes, thank goodness for photoshop! It has saved many of my photographs over the years!

  5. One look at my site will show you that I have never heard of this "photoshop" you describe.


    Life saver.....well, that and taking 10,000 digital pix, hoping that 7 will be salvageable.....by photoshop.

  6. Thanks for posting this...I wish more people would read it. Maybe it would save me from being forced to look at really bad photos all fall (I'm a game warden and it seems like everyone wants to show me their deer-including other game wardens who can't take photos any better than anyone else)! Great tips.

  7. Hey FC thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, the world would be a better place were it filled with photographers that obeyed just a few simple rules!

    Heading over to your Blog!


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