Ways to Avoid the Aches and Pains of Shooting
We constantly talk about websites, marketing and everything gear related under the sun, but rarely does the topic of health come up. We’re usually crouching down, rolling around on the ground or balancing on our tiptoes to get a couple inches higher for the shot. So the reality is, one of the most important topics should be your health. You can replace gear but there is only so much you can do for your body.
Photography is a very physical career, that is if you want to make it a career. There are a couple preventive things you can do to avoid the aches and pains that photographing day to day can put on you.
1: A workout regimen: If you ask around to photographers to see what they do to stay in shape there’s usually a couple things that pop up. The two main ones are usually yoga and cross-training. By default people end up saying biking as well because they tend to use it as a means for daily transportation. Ya know, because hipster. But for real, the key is that you need to build up the muscles in your back and legs. Those are the two main things that will get you through a day and won’t make you feel like you’ve been beat up by a clan of angry middle schoolers the next day. I typically photograph weddings and in that world there is nothing worse than a double header. Waking up on Monday is probably one of the most painful and tiring things in the world. I started doing crossfit about a year ago. In the beginning of this wedding season we had a rehearsal dinner and two weddings in one weekend. I hadn’t shot that much in, well, ever. So I was thinking it was going to be rough. I woke up on Monday and realized I was fine. I had energy and I didn’t feel like I was going to die. Now lets get this straight, I’m not some crazy crossfit cult member. I enjoy a good workout that kicks my ass, but I love me some carbs and beer. I started it mainly to train my muscles for powering through fatigue and increasing my endurance. Doing any of these workouts three times a week will increase your body’s capacity for shooting all day. I’m not saying you need to do crossfit, but you should be doing a combination of cross training or yoga.
2: Your desk method: There are a few things that can relieve the pain of sitting on hours on end and editing. For those people who sit, they swear by the Herman Miller Aeron chair. The conformity and posture keeps your body feeling refreshed after hours of editing. The key thing to remember is that you should be taking breaks. Every 30 minutes you should be standing up and taking a lap around your house in order to keep the blood flowing. Now, if you’re like me and you slouch no matter what chair you’re in, maybe a standing desk is for you. I built my own and noticed I tend to be more focused when I’m standing and my thoughts are quicker. Your body doesn’t get nearly as tired and your posture tends to stay intact. I also tend to incorporate a little 90′s pandora into my work time so it also aids in dancing. Here is a picture of my standing desk I made. It was pretty simple, if you’re interested in the directions just leave a comment, otherwise pinterest is you’re friend.
3: Your shoes: This one is typically an easy one, but I can’t tell you how many men and women go for stylish instead of support. DON’T! There are so many shoes that you can do both with! Cole Haan has created an amazing shoe in conjunction with Nike called the Lunargrand. It offers both style and comfort while also coming in women’s and mens sizes. Another easy one is Toms because they’re simple and don’t stand out. Another tip is that if you’re shooting all day bring a pair of shoes to change into half way through. The change of feeling on your feet allows them to not get cramped up from being in one shoe all day. If you’re dead set on wearing whatever shoes you want, get fitted for some Dr. Scholls inserts. They’ll save you the aches and pains the next day.
The main thing you should always remember is to keep your body hydrated while shooting, even during the colder months. These are just simple additions that you can fix from day to day. I’d love to hear some more ideas of things that you’ve added to help your body stay pain free throughout shooting. Leave them in the comments!