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My work is my fitness

Updated: Jun 5

Last week I worked in Croatia for a travel magazine and the week before at a monastery in France for their book. Some days I woke up at 6:30 am and was back in my cabin at 10:30pm or 23:00 and I still made a back up every day. In between those hours, wonderful things happened of course, in those two projects I have taken amazing shots according to myself and the clients expressed big satisfaction for the sneak previews shown. In each project I had a coordinator / guide who would measure the steps on their watch and already by midday they were surprised by the walked distance. I stopped measuring the steps a long time ago but somehow I still get something from my phone that knows I have been moving "Great job moving!".

I carry the camera + flash + lens on that is about 3 kg. Around my hips I carry two more lenses, extra batteries, SD cards, etc. That's another 1.5 kg. 4.5 Kg on me when I am shooting on location, at the monastery for example. But sometimes I carry my backpack all around while photographing, which is around 15Kg or more with chargers, cables, hard drive(s), computer, book for the travel and clothes. Clothes are usually what takes the least space. I just pack some cotton shirts, underwear and two pairs of cargo like pants and something in case it would be super warm and just in case, yes, the bikini but I almost never have time to make use of the wonderful hotels.

It isn't only the distances I walk, between 5 and 20km per day, it is also the pace, from here to there, climb up here to take the right angle, step down, climb again, squat to be at the same height of the object/subject, twist the back for a fun angle, lay on the ground and quickly stand up and run to the team because they are walking ahead. And that thus many hours in a row.

When having lunch or dinner it is a little bit of rest and time for hydration (which often I am not to dedicated to drinking water while working because it weights even more and I don't want to risk having an accident with the water next to the electronics.

My new camera is a bit heavier than my past two and I notice it in my arms. And all the walked distances I notice in my legs and the rest of my body for all the burnt fat. I also adapted my diet to a lot less sugar in the past two years and the combination of all of those things make my pants to be falling down! But nothing that a belt cannot fix. People have told me too. Sometimes I wear yoga leggings too when I know it is going to be a hectic shoes and my clients have made the comment after the shoot "Now I understand why you were wearing sport shoes and sport clothes". They often come with heels or something very formal the first time we shoot but not the second time.

In the long days sometimes I have a nut bar in between but I certainly have a good meal because with all the movement you need to eat good too. I remember in the past years how by the end of the summer I magically had some kind of light six pack and I could run up the stairs like crazy! This year too I notice the stairs game, I love that game of just two steps at once instead of one. Good shoes are very important for this job though!!!

One thing I did notice after the past two gigs is that I need a rest day in between because all the fitness people know that you need to give time to the muscles to repair, constant exercise with no rest might just damage the body. Also doing different movements is important, not only using the same muscles over and over but keep your whole body moving. So, after a work day a little dance or yoga would be fantastic. I often do stretches of the back, just on the ground because carrying all the weight can be intense for it and it really helps, I feel the bones and the muscles getting back to place and actually resting much better after the stretch. Also the mind does!

And when it isn't work time,don't forget to play with something not related to imagery! This way you'll enjoy it even more when you are shooting again. Of course, some collaborations in between are alright.

I remember a tattoo I saw once in the hands of a trainer "Work hard, play hard"

Thank you for reading!

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