Your Picture Tells Your Story

Blind Insights is a soul perspective into the lives of waterfowlers written by published author and speaker, Jason Cruise, the founder of Mission Media & Resource Group. 

Had you told me in my formative years of manhood that there was coming in my life a day when I would never think of hunting without my phone, I would have explained to you that I hunt in order to get away from things like a phone. However, the reason I carry my phone in my waders has nothing to do with the phone: it has everything to do with the camera.

In the tree stand, the spring woods, or the duck blind, hunters of every shape, size, and age are chronicling their hunts via a text to their hunting buddies or through social media posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Personally, I can’t say enough about what Instagram has done to chronicle the mission, vision, and values of Mission Media & Resource Group. Instagram is absolutely a perfect tool for today’s hunter who wants to share his story through a lens.

A beautiful sunrise over the decoys.

Hunters love pictures. We love pictures not merely because of the dead animals that are in them, but more so because a picture brings instant recall of tangible emotions that are forever attached to our own personal journey as an outdoorsman. Given that pictures are central to every hunter’s story, I would argue that it is mission-critical for every hunter to tell his story well.

Here are a few mental notes for you to keep in mind this duck season as you pull that phone from your waders and add a chapter to your story.

Take The Time To Take A Good Picture. Slow down. Set it up. Take a second a look around for the best backgrounds near you. Twenty years later, when your sons and daughters are getting married and the pictures are hitting the screen at the reception, those few extra seconds will be some of the best time you ever invested in documenting your family history.

Some spent shells.

Remember: A Camera Is Not A Phone. Most people ruin a shot simply by the way they hold the phone. Because cameras are embedded in phones, people tend to hold their phones vertically, like a phone, to take a picture. Your camera wasn’t designed for that. If you know you want a vertical image, then of course take the shot vertically. However, your standard habit should be to shoot in landscape mode.

Touch. Don’t Punch. This may sound trivial, but I see people all the time “tap” their shot button to snap a picture. When you do that, your photos come out blurry because by tapping that screen you moved the camera lens while it’s shooting. Be gentle!

Choose Tight Over Wide. The average person takes pictures from far too great a distance. Wide angles do not show emotion because wide angles do not show detail well at all. When in doubt, take several shots: a wide, a medium, and a tight shot. Which is actually a point unto itself in that you should take many pictures and delete later. Snap, snap, snap. You’ll be stunned at the difference variety brings.

Hunters have the greatest arena imaginable for taking epic photos, regardless of the talent level of the photographer. We get a front row seat to God’s glory by spending time in creation. A duck hunter, more than any other outdoorsman, spends his entire season looking into the heavens. We have a story to tell, and for those we love who are coming behind us, we must tell it.

Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage.”

Our stage is flooded with timber, pits, buck brush, shells floating in the water, and the sound of wings in the wind. Every picture tells a story. Every story has a stage. Every stage has a Designer. Our designer is our Creator. He has painted a story that is waiting for you this season. Capture it.

Jason Cruise is the founder of Mission Media & Resource Group. and