CAMERA: Health, photography, gear and how it impacts you

We’ve all heard it before – health impacts everything, even your photography.

Whether you’re in professional photography or a hobbyist, if you don’t feel well or you’re carrying too much it’s going to affect the photos you are trying to produce.  

I’m pushing 30 but I’d like to keep shooting professionally for at least another 25 years. To do this I’ve had to take steps to keep my body strong enough to chug up and down the sidelines and stay on one knee for extended periods of time until I get the shot.

Especially being in Florida where the temperatures are 90 and above from May through October, you have to be in decent shape if you’re going to shoot outside.

The biggest thing is to drink water. Myself and a lot of my colleagues are always carrying at least one bottle of water. I’ve even seen a few local shooters with a pouch on their belt that holds a water bottle. That’s next on my gear list.

Now, let’s talk about back strain.

I always have people out in the community try to trade me cameras or are impressed by the multiple cameras I carry.

Trust me – I can’t wait for the day where I can only carry a small compact high end digital camera. But for now, this is my shooting style.

In recent months I have totally ditched camera straps. To me, personally, this is the worst thing you can do to your neck and back. I am not a medical professional, but I’ve been doing this for over 10 years.

I finally, after having too much back/neck/head pain, broke down and bought a Cotton Carrier – http://veronews.com/996 is the site you can find them at. I think a system like this has improved my health experience in shooting.

There are also other rigs – this is the one I have experience with – and get the weight off your shoulder.

Also, if you shoot with two camera bodies, it makes things so much easier when you go down low for a shot.

Another idea, if you haven’t bought one or don’t use it, a monopod. I’m sure when I get to the age where I need a cane you can bet I’ll be using one with a camera always connected to it. But, this is another good way to stabilize heavier rigs or even lighter rigs if you’re shooting all day.

From reading other articles and from my experience, if you have back pain I’ve found that if you concentrate on strengthening your core muscles, abs and such, you’ll be better off when you are shooting.

The last point I’m going to make is a pretty basic one. If you’re in pain, if you feel like crap, you’re not going to do good work. So, take care of yourself, and take measures that aren’t negatively affecting your health when shooting.

Good luck and see you out there.

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