Photographer Wellness and Prevention

Photographer Wellness and Prevention

What is the Photographer Syndrome?

During my years as an exercise physiologist, expert of postural alignment and creator of The Godi Method®, I’ve come across several photographers all experiencing the same kinds of symptoms which I named Photographer Syndrome.

A common sign of the Photographer Syndrome is neck pain on one side that often shoots down to the shoulder on that same side and the correspondent arm. This pain is usually in conjunction with lower back pain.
Usually the symptoms are connected to the posture employed and the way the camera is held during long hours of shooting.

Keeping an incorrect posture for a long period of time in conjunction with holding the camera incorrectly, will inevitably lead to repetitive stress injuries.

Repetitive Stress Injuries may translate into:
 A disruption of the physiological sequence of the neck and lower back joints, which are subject to compression. This leads to bulging or herniated discs often resulting in a sharp pain that travels through the arm “brachialgia” or leg “sciatica”.
 The wear and tear of ligaments and tendons in particular the shoulder ligaments and tendons.

However, an accurate diagnosis and cause of the pain should always be determined by a qualified physician.

Anyone suffering from Photographer Syndrome can prevent or reduce the condition and its related symptoms by taking the following suggested preventive and corrective measures:


When you hold the camera use these helpful tips:

1. Positioning the camera
 Keep your camera near your body with your elbows tucked in
 When positioning your eye closer to the viewfinder: Do not stick your neck out, but shift the weight of your entire body instead
 Do not lift your shoulders toward your ears

2. Be aware of body position while shooting:
If you are standing:
 Do not lock your knees and distribute your weight in the center as much as possible
 Variate your position during the shooting as much as you can so that you are not holding the same position for a long period of time.
 If shooting lying down at least avoid twisting of your spine or excessive arching or curling of the spine
 Use specific gear so you are do not always have to hand-hold your camera: i.e. increase the use of the tripod or monopod
 Use a cross-body camera strap to distribute camera weight evenly across the body
3. When you need to carry gear, camera bags etc. distribute the weight of the equipment equally on both sides of your body.
4. Preventative wellness exercises
 Before and after shooting release the tightness between shoulder blades and in the lower back with proprioceptive exercises and appropriate stretching exercises of those particular areas.
 Stretch your hamstrings
 Reinforce your abdominal muscles with abdominal exercises.

For more info on The Godi Method® exercises for Photographer Syndrome and shooting pain-free, please contact: