have injuries affected your shooting?
from the archives of PhotogsLounge.net)
As I write
this I loosen the straps on my knee brace from a long day of tape editing.
After 22 years of this excitement, it isn't my work that's caused the
most injuries but the process of trying to keep in shape to do the job.
The current knee problem is a result of attempted bowling,(first ball
thrown) with the engineers. What was I thinking??? I started playing softball
again this year. Both hamstrings tore during the season, one so badly
that the leg resembled that of a tortured smurf.
My back is doing
great, rarely bothers me. Probably because everything else hurts so
badly. Cycling helps the back not to mention the lungs, don't smoke!!!
Yoga Good! On the job I have wrenched my back falling off a wet truck.
Twisted my knee walking across a snowy slope. Been punched in the mouth
by an irate drywall contractor with illegal employees. Never dropped
a camera, though I did baptize a Sennheiser in the Atlantic. Do the
speed limit, the cops who provide the info will probably be doing it.
Even my wife says I drive too slow.
(Letters from the
archives of PhotogsLounge.net)
Glenn Garcia KPRC-TV Houston, TX
"In a way we're like
athletes. We are expected to perform a physical task, and if we get hurt,
it can affect our performance. This can go on beyond the common back aches
and shoulder pains, just recently I twisted my ankle jogging (trying to
stay in shape to do my job) and it affected my work. My Doc advised a
light work load, now how do you explain that to an assignment editor who
wants you to go after a three alarm fire? Well you just have to say that
you can't do it. Which isn't fun, because most of us aren't in this business
to just sit around, you want to be in on the action. But you have to tell
yourself that reinjuring yourself isn't going to do you or the station
Cochran KOMU-TV Columbia, MO
to deal with injuries by avoiding them as much as possible. I tend to
spend a lot of time on my days off swimming, running, and lifting weights
to stay in peak physical condition. I also try to relax a lot on those
days off to let my muscles rest a bit. I've been fortunate not to have
any serious injuries in my career thus far, and the fact that my station
just got new cameras that are very light definitely helps. But when
I do have minor injuries, I just try to treat them as soon as I can
before they become a bigger problem."
WDBJ-TV Roanoke, VA
I decided to make one of those spontaneous purchases, to help me
enjoy my time off--A Jet Ski. The first thing my boss said to me
was, "We just did a story on someone getting killed on one of those
things and you bought one?" Then he told me to be careful on the
water. Being a cautious, yet daring person, I haven't been hurt
on the water yet, knock on wood. However, getting to the point I
was unhooking it from my car, and being of about 500 to 600 pounds
it's pretty heavy. Needless to say, since it was raining, the metal
was slick and my foot happened to be under the trailer when it fell.
have very understanding bosses who told me to take time off if I
needed it. I did, an hour, to get my foot X-rayed. Nothing broke,
but impossible to get a shoe on. Sandals were of the order, and
slow movement. Everyone was easy on me to get to back to full speed.
I was also granted easy assignments that didn't require lots of
run and gun. Three weeks later, I'm able to go at full speed, yet
a little sore. Thank goodness it wasn't a hand!!"
LATINCAM Managua, Nicaragua
down here in Central America we don't have those handy health care
plans available in the states. That means when you pull a muscle
or worse you keep on working if possible. When I was working in
the states, I learned early on to stand up for myself and not be
afraid to call in sick. Working with injury only makes things worse.
If the boss has a problem, tough. There's always tomorrow. After
20 years shooting news my solution is to focus on prevention. I'm
42 years old and still love the job. Now I make it a point to work
out doing aerobics three times a week. It's amazing what a little
stretching can do. It also helps combat the "doughnut belly" I see
on many of the older shooters.
assignments I've learned when to walk away or say no to an assignment.
I still push myself alot but I think I know my limits. Too many
of my friends have quit the business because of injury. Networks,
local t.v. stations and production houses generally don't care.
Their focus is money and time. They all have a nice written policy
that absolves them from reponsibility if you get hurt so my advise
to any young shooters (especially those thinking of going freelance)
is use your head and keep your eyes open in bad situations. The
object is to be able to work another day."
David Joachim WWL-TV
New Orleans, Louisiana
third of our staff has had to deal with some sort of medical condition.
I feel lucky that my disc surgery a year ago was successful. I still
take care when I lift my equipment out of my van, or when I lift heavy
cable reels from the back of a live truck (I know I risk a flare-up
if I move too quickly or turn too suddenly). Another photographer (who
has had back problems and bypass surgery) was urged to switch vehicles
because of his recurring problems.
An ergonomics expert
toured our newsroom and examined our edit booths and vehicles (and marveled
at our heavy, out-of-date equipment and poorly designed edit bays).
He told management "some capital infusion is needed here." Fat chance!
We have to lug our video anvils around another two years while we wait
for SX. Thirteen of our eighteen photographers are over forty (most
of them are pushing fifty, while four of us are over the half century
mark). Our reporters are mostly children (some young enough to be ours)
who are often amazed at our ability to continue schlepping our heavy
load. They help. They better."
STW 9 Perth Western Australia
since December last year I have suffered two injuries which have impacted
upon my ability to shoot. The first was the result of an assult while
trying to record some one leaving court. I ended up in a gutter with
the camera crashing into my rib cage fracturing one rib. The injury
took several days to appear and at first did not affect my ability to
shoot. But the pain soon changed that. I should have taken workers'
compensation and not worked for eight weeks until the injury had healed.
The second injury was the result of a bicycling accident two weeks before
I was due to fly around the world for annual leave. I broke a small
bone at the base of my left thumb but had to wear a plaster cast for
ten weeks. This meant I could not work at all (and even had two weeks
with out pay).
My only advice
is ensure you have income protection as we can easily suffer injuries
which may not be work related but can jeopordise your ability to perform.
The company I work for did not want me at work with a the broken thumb,
even if I was on light duties for fear of any liability should the injury
not heal at all."
Bruce Johnson Wisconsin
"How do I deal
with injuries? Ibuprofen, 1200 - 2400mg/day. Not good for the stomach
lining, but I gotta get some sleep. Seriously, I don't know many shooters
that have been at it for more than 10 years that don't have some sort
of back problem. Between the gear-hauling and the 14-hour days of handheld,
it's gonna get you sometime. I used to be in much better shape than I
am in now (new baby takes away the time for biking and workouts), but
I resolve to get it in gear again...as soon as fall rolls around. "
Rick Portier WBRZ-TV
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
"I broke my
right hand about four-and-a-half years ago. Ended-up editing for six weeks.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure it was a drag being in
the newsroom all day, and missing some pretty good stories. But it gave
me a chance to look at a lot of raw tape. I got a chance to study what
our more experienced photogs were doing. I came away with some great ideas,
new respect for what the older photogs were telling me, and a much better
attitude about life as a photog."
Jake Blues WFTX-TV
Ft. Myers, FL
comp works for you!!!!! Until editing all day drives you nuts... then
there's sucking it up and taking pain pills. (braces are helpful too)
Chuck Dennis KHSL-TV
"This probably isn't
for everyone but,just suck it up and don't whine. If it gets to unbearable...
go see the Chiropractor."
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