Ten tips for taking great photos of Cub Scouts

WHEN I STARTED taking photographs more than 20 years ago, I focused on nature photography. But, when my son became a Tiger Cub, my focus changed from wildlife to another “wild” subject matter: Cub Scouts.

Since then I’ve taken more than 12,000 photos of Cub Scouts and learned a lot about what makes great Scout photos. As the assistant Cubmaster and Cubmaster of Great Lakes Council’s Pack 631, I used these photos for volunteer appreciation gifts and events, crossover ceremonies for Webelos becoming Boy Scouts, our pack’s Facebook page, and “Join Scouting Night” presentations.

Our “Join Scouting Night” photo presentation shows potential Scouts our pack’s camping trips, submarine overnights, pinewood derby races, and Scouts shooting BB guns and arrows at Cub Scout Day Camp.

These photos remain one of our most effective recruiting tools. Inevitably, during the “Join Scouting Night” presentation, the visiting boys will spot a photo of a neighborhood friend or classmates who are already in the pack, which helps them feel comfortable joining.

Taking photos of your Scouts isn’t difficult—and you don’t have to be a professional photographer. You might find that capturing exciting Cub Scouting moments can be a challenge—but it can be fun, too. Try these 10 tips to snap better images of your Cub Scouts.

Ken Jacobsen—from Commerce Township, Mich.—has been photographing nature for more than 20 years, but started applying his nature-photography knowledge to Cub Scouting when his son first joined the program and he volunteered as pack photographer. His photos have been published in Nature PhotographerMichigan Natural Resources, and Birders World magazines. 

3 thoughts on “Ten tips for taking great photos of Cub Scouts

  1. And above all, make sure you have permission to use their photos. If the talent release portion of their Medical is checked “NO”, then don’t take the picture.

    • Go ahead and take the picture. Your scout should have photos of his friends in his scrapbook. But check the form before you publish the photo on Facebook. :)

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