How to Shoot All Day and Not be in Pain the Next Day
As casual shooters begin to transition into serious hobbyists or to the next step of getting paid to shoot, often one of the biggest surprises after a day-long shoot is just how tired and sore you are. Photography can be hard work! From sore necks and shoulders to sore thighs, we’ve been there. But, we’ve also found some useful tips to make shooting all day more enjoyable.
- Stop carrying your camera around your neck.
A high-end DSLR combined with good glass is likely going to be at least 4 pounds, and a lot more if it is a telephoto lens. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it takes its toll after a couple of hours – especially if you are carrying two cameras. There’s a reason that a search for “camera neck pain” on Google has over 12 million results.
Whether you are a wedding or sports photographer or just documenting a full day in the life of your family, you can prevent neck pain by swapping out your strap for a camera vest. Camera vests are the perfect solution for carrying one or two cameras that help spread the weight evenly, reducing the strain on your neck and back. We recommend our Multi Camera Carrier Photographer Vest with Dual Side Holster, which is currently on sale.
As obvious as it sounds, good old-fashioned stretching before, and during, an extended shoot will keep you feeling loose and will reduce soreness.
The primary areas to stretch are your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. People often don’t realize how much squatting you will do over the course of a day – especially if you are shooting children. After all, you want to get on their level as much as possible.
The website CreativeLive offers a series of “Yoga for Photographers” courses that will help you learn vital stretches before your next shoot.
- Watch your posture.
Poor posture can also lead to a lot of discomfort. Next time you are shooting, pay close attention to how straight you are standing. People often have a tendency to lean forward, hunch over, and lock their knees when they shoot, which is a recipe for soreness.
To improve your posture while shooting, start with your feet and keep them further apart to give you a wide base of support. Keep your core, including your lower back and abs tight. Also, be aware of your shoulders, make sure that they are pulled back and that your chin is tucked in, which will reduce strain on your shoulders and neck. Finally, keep your camera close to your body.
Following those steps should help reduce fatigue and soreness.
- Use a tripod.
If you have the luxury of shooting subjects that don’t move much, like some wildlife and nature pictures or wedding ceremonies, use a tripod. I could go on and on about the benefits of a tripod, especially when using a telephoto lens, but for the purpose of this post there is one main benefit: the tripod will bear the weight of the camera and lens for you, giving you a welcome break.
The best part is that a basic tripod is inexpensive and light enough to carry with you. Just remember to watch your posture when using a tripod.
We hope that you find these suggestions useful. Have you ever experienced pain or discomfort after a long day of shooting? We’d love to hear your suggestions for preventing and dealing with it.