Self-filming hunts can be really challenging. No, it will be really challenging. The first question I always get when people ask me about self-filming their outdoor adventures is, what camera should I buy?
My answer is always the same. Don’t buy one yet if you’re just starting to explore the art of self-filming. Use whatever camera you have now, GoPro, cell phone, borrow Mom’s old camcorder. You need to see if it’s something that you even like doing and are going to be committed to. Once those questions are answered, then buy the best quality camera your budget allows!
The Art of Self-Filming Hunts
Now let’s talk about the reason you’re reading this blog. The art of self-filming. Let’s just assume everyone reading this is wanting to film in a way to tell the whole story and not just show a kill shot. The story is the hardest thing for people to tell that self-film. Many times, it’s just because they get lazy in the field. Let’s use hunting for instance, and let’s just say that you’re in a tree and you’re about to shoot a monster buck. You have to remember that there is a beginning, middle, and end to everything that you shoot. Now what shots do you get to tell the story of you monster buck? You’re there in person, but your viewer is not. You can smell the smells, feel the wind blow, feel the temperature changes, hear the birds, hear the squirrel running behind you that made you think deer were coming. You will need to capture all those shots to help bring your viewers in on the hunt with you. So, you can’t be lazy on getting those shots. You will want to get wide shots (camera zoomed all the way out), medium shots (camera zoomed halfway between hunter and subject), and tight shots (subject filling up most of your frame). Other great story telling shots to get if possible are a bird’s eye view (drone), the hunter’s point of view, ants’ point of view (this would be low shots of walking, sun through trees, recovery’s etc.), and time lapses.
Recommended Gear for Self-Filming Hunts
Here’s some gear that I would recommend for the outdoorsmen and women that are going to stick with self-filming. Your main camera should have the ability to control focus, use a remote and attach wireless microphones. I would recommend the Sony nx80. Second angle camera would be a GoPro or Tactacam. This would be attached to your bow pointed to your field of view or back at the hunter. I recommend the GoPro hero 7 or newer because the image and capabilities are just noticeably better. GoPro’s can capture your time lapses, slow-mo shots, cut always and more. Lastly, would be a good tree arm, and the only one to buy in my opinion is from Fourth Arrow.
The #1 Tip: Have Fun
Wrapping all this up remember, that this should be fun! Yes, it will be challenging, but that should excite you. Get outside, have fun, be confident, and tell your story. The amount of self-accomplishment when it all comes together, along with the joy of sharing your adventures with friends and family can’t be measured and if you’re like me it will become addicting!
Best of luck, Jordan Spencer