I don’t know many photographers that haven’t had some sort of pain caused by our profession. While our job isn’t as physical as a 280-pound linebacker, it is physically demanding! Our gear gets heavy and that causes lots of people to have issues with their back, neck, or shoulders from lugging it around and don’t even get me started on how terrible it is to sit a the computer all day!
A few years ago, I found myself suffering from “photographer’s aches and pains syndrome”. I had terrible pain in the middle finger of my right hand! I usually don’t go around flipping people the bird, so that’s not what caused it. I just couldn’t figure it out…until I lifted up my camera one day.
Turns out, the entire weight of my professional-grade camera and the 70-200 2.8 that is often attached to it, sits squarely on that one lone finger to support it while I’m shooting. Most portrait photographers can use their left hand to stabilize and help carry some of the weight of that combo, but not us pet photographers. My left hand is often filled with treats and directing my wagging slobbering subject. That leaves the entire task up to my lone middle finger on my right hand. OUCH!
This new found information led me to start researching hand straps and I discovered the Spider hand strap. This thing was a LIFESAVER for me! It takes just enough of the weight of my camera and distributes it to the back of my hand so that it’s not just my lone finger trying to do all of the heavy-lifting.
Since I started using the hand strap, I haven’t had any more pain in my hand!
At the same time, I needed to find a solution for how to carry my camera when I wasn’t actually shooting. I never really used my neck strap as I hated having my camera bouncing around and if I bent forward it would whack a dog in the face…not the best way to inspire confidence in my doggie model.
I knew that I didn’t want to invest in one of the straps that carry the weight on my neck or shoulders as I have enough random body pains that don’t need to be exacerbated by more weight there. Enter – the Spider Holster. I love this thing. It keeps all of the weight of my camera distributed around my waist and resting on my hips. It’s quick and easy to grab my camera and return it to the safety of the holster.
This also prevents me from just setting my $6,000 camera and lens down on the ground in a busy city, the wet grass, or on the sand! Ummm…all bad ideas!
Anyway, I wanted to share this story with you in the hopes that it can help you avoid “photographer’s aches and pains syndrome”. If you want to see some of my other favorite things, check them out here.
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Thanks for sharing Nicole! I shoot with the exact same gear as you and have had the exact same hand pain. Went to a chiropractor for that in addition to computer induced neck pain. I’ve been fine since. But wish I had known about the hand brace, may have saved a few $$$. Will keep it in mind if my hand acts up again.
Thank you for this Nicole! I am suffering with photographer’s aches and pains syndrome on top of being pregnant so this is very helpful! I just ordered my hand strap!
Love Spider Holster stuff. I had just finished 18 weeks of chemo for cancer and three weeks later I was doing a benefit shoot for a local cat adoption organization. During my illness I purchased the Spider Holster and used that system for the shoot. It was fantastic. The hand strap is also part of my gear too as I was too weak to hold my Nikon with one hand.
It is super gear and I always use it. No more pain in the neck.
Great to hear Shelle! I hope you are feeling good and on the road to recovery!
Will have to look into this. I am currently suffering from sciatica, and my normal method of carrying my kit, a rucksack, is almost impossible. Thanks for the information, I’m now off to do some research.