The Importance of Physical Fitness for Photographers

Photography is one of those professions you don’t expect to be physically demanding, but it definitely can be. Of course, it depends on your niche, too, but most types of photography demand some physical fitness.

When I first started as a professional photographer, I did not think about my physical (or mental) fitness at all. I assumed carrying a camera and walking around at an event or office wouldn’t be too harsh.

But I was wrong. At the end of the day, I would be drained. I was on my feet throughout. Thinking about my shots and client satisfaction, And carrying two heavy DSLRs with lenses. I was exhausted.

Photography is both physically and mentally draining

Often in photography, the days are long. You have to carry heavy equipment around. Cameras, lenses, lights, stands, … You usually don’t sit down until you’re in the car back home. A short drive if you are lucky.

Sometimes, you go a while without food because the schedule is a bit tightly planned. And you do it all: smiling, being polite, and upbeat.

Why improve your physical fitness as a photographer, then?

So, if it’s already draining you, it counts as a workout, right? Well, not really. It’s best to keep your fitness levels up. It shouldn’t be anything too crazy, either. For some people, a regular walk can be plenty.

You could do some cardio, go to the gym for weight training, or any other way you like to keep you healthy.

Sporting can help you maintain energy levels throughout a strenuous shooting day. It also helps with a shorter recovery time. So you don’t need to edit the photos in your bed the next day.

For me, it’s a (light) running schedule and some free weights at home. But it could be anything if you enjoy it in your routine.

Here are some quick tips for a routine to keep your physical health up as a photographer:

  • Find a routine that works for you: As often and intense as you can handle and enjoy
  • Don’t go overboard: light exercise is plenty
  • Find a workout buddy for accountability; this way, you might be able to keep doing it

What do you do to maintain your physical health as a photographer? Let me know in the comments!

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