Photography is not known as a hard job on your body to most people, but as anyone who has had to carry around gear for a day can attest – it wears on your body. It can creep up on you, things are going well and then you start to get small aches here and there. Next thing you know you have chronic back problems.
Staying healthy as a photographer is important so that you can continue to perform your duties to the best of your ability. Specifically relating to back health, if you are in pain from a bad back your are not going to be giving your clients the best experience they can get because you are going to be trying to push through the pain.
So what can you do to help “save your back” and insure that your body does not get in the way of your passion for photography? Here are 5 tips for staying healthy and keeping your back in good health.
5 Tips to Save Your Back
Stretch Before You Shoot
This one may seem like common sense to some of you, and silly to others. But the fact is that stretching should be an important part of your pre-shoot routine. It helps to loosen your muscles and prepare them for the work that is to come. Not stretching can lead to back problems.
Ditch Your DSLR
Ok, this one may sound a bit extreme but it is still valid. In the past if you wanted the best pro setup you could get that meant a big and heavy DSLR to lug around. Now with the release of quality full frame mirrorless systems like the new Sony A7 and A7R you can get full frame results at a fraction of the weight.
Carry Only What You Need
Completely changing you camera system may not be an option for you, but at the very least you should carry around less gear. Ideally during a shoot you should only have your camera/lens combo that you are using at that time on your shoulders, maybe a small bag with an extra lens at the most. I recommend the any of the BlackRapid Camera Straps for keeping the load on your shoulders down.
If You Must Carry, Use Your Waist
Get the weight of your gear off of your back and onto your waist. It has been proven that the waist is the best place for the body to support extra weight, so make use of that rather than hurting your back with extra weight. There are many great bag systems like the UNDFIND Waist Shooter or the Think Tank Modular Component System which put the weight of your gear on your waist rather than your back.
Practice Your Posture
Having good posture will go a long way towards keeping your back as healthy as it needs to be. As photographers we spend a lot of time crouched in front of a computer doing post-production which can be just as bad for your back as carrying too much weight. Make an effort to sit up straight, your back will thank you in the long run.
These are just 5 simple tips that you can try to help keep your back in good working order so that you can continue to shoot and practice the profession/hobby that you love. Stay tuned for future Healthy Photography posts for more great tips on being a healthy photographer.
What are your thoughts on today’s tips? Do you have any to add? Share your thoughts or tips in a comment below.