Fashion Portrait Photography Sussex and Hampshire | Featured in the Olympus Magazine

It seems that more and more professional photographers have wised up to the fact that there really is no need to carry heavy equipment whilst they go about their work. I do talk about this quite often, and I think it’s an important point. I know a great many pro photographers and I also know there is a broad spectrum of injuries which any busy photographer is at risk of acquiring. Perhaps this will just amount to a few aches and pains but more worryingly there can be underlying and permanent injuries caused by stresses placed upon the back, shoulders, neck and arms.

Quite often we don’t know we have an injury until it’s too late, that was certainly the case for me and I had the choice of either cutting back my workload to a minimum (and trying to find another occupation) or else changing how I do things. Fortunately at that time the equipment world was changing and smaller lighter systems were being developed. I can think of several photographers who have been through a similar experience and still others who don’t want to reach this point, and who are lightening their load before it’s too late. To be perfectly honest, even if you have no musculoskeletal niggles, your job will be so much more enjoyable if you can reduce your fatigue level.

There are now some good mirrorless offerings from several manufacturers and some very high quality lenses to choose from. Back in my DSLR days I can remember finishing a day’s shooting and being barely able to lift my arms to the steering wheel when it was time to drive home, together with stiffness and aches the following day. I no longer have to suffer that, nor do I have to compromise on results or performance for the kind of work I do as a portrait photographer who works mostly on location. By the way I am not on the Olympus payroll, but I do feel quite passionately about the possible consequences of the more physical side of a photographer’s job, and I’m very happy to talk about the many benefits I’ve found in downsizing.

In the most recent addition of the Olympus magazine we’re all discussing the photographs we’ve enjoyed taking in 2013, in a feature called Olympus Moments. It’s tempting to believe that the professional world will always be dominated by Canon and Nikon DSLRs (which it still is) but things are changing. There are many wonderful cameras and lenses out there, and historically a small system would fail to satisfy all of your needs. I do think this is the reason why the OMD series has received so much acclaim. It’s a mature, well rounded system, and there isn’t much the new OMD can’t do.

For me, downsizing has put the fun and the energy back into picture taking. Take the shoot below for example, we had a muddy walk to the location, through a stream and over some rough ground. The shoot was also long and dynamic – and if I’d been lugging my DSLRs around I would soon have grown tired, and with tiredness comes loss of creativity. Fortunately I can carry a full complement of Micro 4/3 equipment in a fairly small camera bag, and I can move around a location freely and easily. I don’t need to leave my equipment anywhere, which can be risky. And I can carry all the lenses I am likely to need for the day. This has made a real difference to me, and has enabled me to take on projects which I might have previously declined. It’s interesting to ponder on the future of DSLRs, but I very much doubt they will be as popular in a few years time. As this blog grows, it will be interesting to see what I have to say, and what I’m shooting with in the coming years.

You can read the full Moments feature in the Olympus Magazine Issue 16 December 2013. Additionally, on pages 18-19 I talk in more detail about some of the technical reasons behind my decision to adopt the OMD series.

Lindsay Dobson Interview Olympus Magazine