And I Would Walk 500 miles ...

July 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
OK So it's an interesting question right ... just how fit do you have to be to be a full time photographer.  I kinda wanted to know, I work hard during a party, a lot of running around and being in the right place at the right time.  I'm certainly far more active as a photographer than I was as a Suit in my City career.  
travellinglighttravellinglight Lets start with equipment and carrying it around.  I'm really bad at travelling light.  I know that, I don't care.  There are photographers out there that will carry a camera, a lens and erm that's it.  I generally get the shakes if I don't have 2 of everything just in case one breaks, and then I've got a big bag so I'll fill it.  In short I probably won't leave the house without 2 cameras, 3 lenses and a flash or two.   If I'm shooting an event or portrait set I take loads more, for portraits it's studio stuff, light stands etc, for events it's the light stands a selection of flashes and 7 or so lenses.  I'll use most of it throughout the night, swapping around and changing things up.  So what does that mean.  Well for starters I've got 2 cameras on me at all times, one on each shoulder and they are staying there for a good while ... my fave go to set up for versatility weighs in at nearly 5 lb and the long lens kit a 6.5 lb ... so that's 12 lbs I'm carrying for a fair chunk of the night ... 
My full camera bag with all the lenses and batteries and flashes and bits and bobs, I have to lug about through out the day bag34bag34 and across the venue, my bathroom scales tells me that's 34 lb 
According to the internet, and we all know that's an accurate source of info, 
34 lbs is just under a 5 gallon water bottle found on the top of a water cooler.  They also tell me it's the same weight as an adult human leg take from that what you will.  
12 lbs is a medium bowling ball or if you like Jimmy Page's double neck Gibson he uses for Stairway ... 
So it's no wonder I have arms like Popeye and sore shoulders at the end of a function shoot.
pedometerpedometer Now how far do I walk ... the recent push is that to be fit and healthy one should walk 10,000 steps a day.  In the average pace size that would be 2.5 mtrs meaning that's 5 miles ... it's all here if you want the source so I bought a rubbish pedometer, strapped it to my belt.  On an average day at the home office I'll cover maybe 3,000 steps, if I go out to see someone and have a walk in the sunshine I'll cover maybe 6,000 steps.  So what about when I shot, this is where it gets interesting at a recent wedding I covered nearly 16,000 steps.  Now they aren't all full 2.5 mtr paces I'll grant you so let's be conservative and say I'll cover 7 miles.  That's a lot of being in the right place at the right time ... I did try to get some information from a full on day this weekend where I had a portrait session in the morning and a batmitzvah in the afternoon but somewhere in the party, on the dance floor, my expensive £3 pedometer hit the floor and was turned into powder.
This NHS site tells me that 'A person aged 45 and weighing 70kg (about 11 stone) can burn around 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3-5mph).'  Somewhere in there they reckon on 20 - 30 mins to do that ... I'm normally on my feet at a function just about all of the time ... so that's 8 hrs or so and as we established I'm carrying 12lbs or so for much of that.  Somewhere else tells me standing still for an hour will burn 50 calories. 
Lets be really unscientific and do some bad math ... 50 x 8 = 400, add another 700 for the steps and another 400 for the weight and I'll reckon on 1500 calories burnt at an event give or take ...  that's quite a distance for staying in the same place.


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