Last Updated on 08/07/2011 by Chris Gampat
At the same time I was starting out on my photography path, I was also going through a lifestyle change. I was starting a diet. I have come to realize that one of the biggest catalysts for my current weight loss success has been photography.
“A passion can do great things” Scott Wyden
‘What’ I am doing to lose weight is irrelevant. The fact that I am working on losing weight is relevant. I am not going to promote the weight loss program in which I participate, but I will tell you if you ask in person. There are many ways to lose weight and get in better shape. You have to make the decision to do it, or use your passion for something to help get you there. With photography as a strong passion, it is helping to keep me focused on my weight loss goals. I know I need to save money for things I need in photography. I also know I need to be healthier to enjoy the things I like about photography like landscape shooting or simply testing out new gear. Eating healthier actually helps me save money as well trims my waistline.
The Physical Aspect of photography
Why is it important to have a healthy body in photography? In my experience, photographers are on their feet all the time. Photographers are always walking, carrying gear from place-to-place, or trying to compose images in new and interesting ways. Having an unfit body can get in the way of that. It is also about perception. What you look like in front of the camera or how a potential client perceives you, it all matters at some point or another. Being healthy makes everything easier in something as visual as photography.
Exercising for Photography
I do specific exercises with photography in mind. Exercise helps no matter your age, build, or physical condition. It is good to have the blood flowing a little more now and then. It’s better to be active than sit still. In photography, exercising helps build stamina enabling you to shoot as long as you desire.
Photo Walking as Exercise
One of my preferred physical activities is photo walking. I kill two birds with one stone. I get some light cardio in and I get to work on my photography. Wherever I can go I can carry my Tamrac Evolution 8 filled with: water, Nikon D90 and one of my favorite photo walking lenses, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 SLD , or the Sigma 70-300mm macro, and of course a small towel (“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker(or photographer) can have ” Douglas Adams). Depending on how I feel, I can walk for hours around a city, or walk a little around my neighborhood. Walking is an accessible, low impact exercise that really helps anyone manage their weight loss.
Put Your Heart and Soul into it.
You have to be serious about exercise. Make it a part of your life. 30 minutes of exercise or longer is beneficial and helps reduce the possibility of risky physical conditions. Some activities like stretching can help you be more flexible and get shots with unique perspectives. Other activities will make it easier to lift things like lighting or bags and not hurt your back. With great exercise comes great endurance.
“The camera looks both ways.” – Rick Sammon
In an Ideal world, we would all be healthy. This is not the case however. I have found that photography is a great tool for weight loss, for me especially. I have found as my weight decreased, I looked less ugly and felt significantly better. As long as I keep active and keep creating images, I will continue to get healthier, and I think anyone can do this.
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