Great lesson with a lovely photographer, exploring how she uses her camera and how she might reduce strain and fatigue in her chosen work.
Mireya is very slight with dainty hands, and her camera is not what you'd call light. She told me it became effectually heavier during the course of a shoot, so that by the end of it her hands - especially her right - were really tired and painful. She'd had carpal tunnel release a while back but the benefits hadn't lasted long. Mireya didn’t like using a sling, either, as it pulled unpleasantly on her neck which, along with her shoulders, also got tired and sore.
We had already worked together and Mireya had made some lovely changes resulting in her feeling “more relaxed, more ‘natural’.” Lovely.
I asked her to pick up her camera and take a shot or two as I watched. A few things caught my eye and we set to work again.
I won’t relate every detail, but there were a number things Mireya could do more easily and I hope she enjoys playing with these new ideas as much as I enjoyed our lesson. Here are just a few, for any other photographers out there:
1. Use just arms and hands to pick up the camera, not neck and shoulders (which aren’t capable of picking up anything!).
2. Pick up and hold the camera with both hands, not just one hand.
3. Raise the camera all the way to your eyes, rather than bringing your head forward to meet the eye-piece halfway.
4. In between spells of shooting, cradle the camera lightly in both hands; no need to keep your fingers in ‘trigger’ mode when not actually taking pictures. No need to grip it tightly, either, just let it rest in your softish hands. See how little effort you can get away with.
If you would like to explore a particular activity that gives you trouble or which you’d like to do better, please feel free to get in touch; I’d be delighted to have a look at it with you. You never know, there may be some very simple solutions that make a huge difference: https://www.francesbutt.com/register-online
And if you’d like to see Mireya Gonzalez’ wonderful work (she did a fabulous job at a recent event of mine and does gorgeous portraits too), visit mireyagonzalez.com