Saturday, 25 April 2015

Photography Causes Shoulder and Neck Damage - The Treatment

I have carried neck pain and tightness in my shoulders for years. Carrying heavy camera and studio equipment around in addition to 10 hour shoots running around the pool with a 300mm lens eventually took its toll.

One time too many, I picked up a large load and sent my rotator cuff into unbelievable pain. I literally cried all night and carried my arm like a broken wing the next day. It was time to get it sorted.

I called Physiotherapist Dianne at Lindfield Physio who gladly fit me into her schedule immediately. Through ultrasound, electro treatment, massage and strapping we were able to get some relief. 

Dianne gave me a number of stretching and strengthening exercises that have become part of my daily routine.

Assistant Grace kindly offered to demonstrate for you.

Firstly is the support strap. It brought an incredible amount of relief. Ensuring my shoulders were pulled back, not hunched and well supported. Worn over a t-shirt with a cardigan or sweater over that, is the most ideal. Worn directly on the skin can cause chaffing.

Everyday, I do my neck stretching exercises. I turn my head left or right then point my chin toward the shoulder. Then repeat for the other side. An awesome stretch. 

Another great exercise is to push my chin in toward my chest as far is it will go. Sometimes I use my hand to help it along. It's a really ugly stretch that gives you several chins so you may want to do this one at home. I sometimes do my stretches in the car whilst at traffic lights and I do get some stares on that one!Then for strengthening, I use the rubber band, strap. In the above image I hold the band across my chest and pull my back toward my shoulder blades working my back muscles.
The next exercise is slightly modified.  This time my thumbs point upwards and I pull across my chest working my front muscles. 

With Dianne's help, we got me sorted with a harness which really provides added support and helps on those long, long shoots. I imagine it would be great for wedding shooters as well as us sport shooters.

We decided upon a ThinkTank Racing Harness with a few other bits added. The terrific guys at L&P Photographic in Artarmon fixed me up with it and made certain that it fit correctly.

For the first couple of shoots after I damaged my shoulder, I wore the support strap and the harness.

Lastly, Dianne made an office visit to make certain that my workstations were adequate. They weren't. 

She made several adjustments including the height of my monitor and my chair and now I'm all sorted.

It took a major incident to get myself sorted, but I really wish that I had seen to aches and pains beforehand and this may never have happened.

For two months, I was barely able to lift my arm, let alone shoot. When it is your job, your life, it's not a good thing to be out of action. So grateful to Dianne at Lindfield Physiotherapy for getting me sorted.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Studio For Hire / Studio Buddy

With the crazy weather we have been having lately, it's not always possible to shoot outside. This space is ideal. Also terrific for product photography and baby portraits.  Rates are here on my website. Whilst you are there, check out my work. The majority of the images on this site were taken here in the Chatswood Studio.

There is a lovely viewing/waiting area. Street parking. 15 minutes walk from the station or bus stop right out front. There are coffee and tea making facilities as well as a microwave.

Friday, 6 February 2015

NSW 2015 State Age Championship Highlights - Swim Action Photography and Too Much Fun!

Just for a change I thought I put all of the highlights together into a short video for you!

This annual meet at SOPAC Olympic Park Aquatic Centre is always a lot of fun. I saw kids from different teams hugging each other throughout the event. Despite the torturous 6 days and nights of heats and finals, the kids never tired. Although I surely did!

There was also plenty of opportunity for some great action shots because we have the best in the State here at the event so technique is pretty good by now. The greatest highlight for me was watching the legend Chris Fydler swim so watch out for this post!

Speedo heats next should be an altogether different challenge as the kids are aged 6 years - 13years. See you there!

If you would like to see all of the highlights from the State Champs, click here.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Puppies In The Studio! - Australian Support Dogs (ASDOG)

How much fun is my job!

Today I got to photograph some very special puppies. These puppies are in training to provide support to people with physical disabilities. 

Not to be confused with the guide dogs, Support Dogs are trained to get the mail, fetch your car keys, grab a tin of food from the pantry, open the fridge or oven door even grab the phone for their person.

Besides which, they are really cute and wonderful companions.

ASDOG is a non profit organisation so they do rely on the support of our community which is why I was happy to help.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

LinkedIn & Website Profile Portraits - Chatswood Studio

When execs stop by the studio for their portraits, this is what a regular headshot session looks like.

We check that clothing, makeup (if any), and hair are all put together then we decide on our background colour choices. We look at a 5 second slideshow if the client has not already looked on my website and made their decision. 

Depending on the industry, the chosen colour can vary. The corporate's from the Tech or Pharmaceutical industries seem to go for the blue. It looks professional but stands out when you are scrolling through hundreds of little heads on LinkedIn.

Gray is very popular because it looks extremely professional and doesn't offend. White is often the standard for many a company website because it is easy to associate with other colours already used and the person can be cut out of the background easily and also used in newsletters etc.

We shoot from a few different angles and apertures so that we capture as many variations as possible. For this shoot, we were only after headshots but sometimes we do the entire range 3/4 and full length shots including a change of jacket, tie or shirt.

We end up with a gallery of approx 50-80 images from which the final selections are made. And that's now have the best looking photo on the web!

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Sydney Turns Purple


The best thing about November in Sydney is the colour. 

Gorgeous purple flowers against deep blue skies. It is the end of spring. The days are getting warmer and there is a definite lift in mood as summer approaches.

Mostly the colour comes from the Jacaranda Tree's which line the streets of Sydney's North Shore and other suburbs. I have taken these photos around Chatswood and Lane Cove.

Also, flowering at this time are Agapanthus which border many front garden and fence here in our Northern suburbs.
Agapanthus, McLean Ave, Chatswood

Kareela Road, Chatswood
Karilla Street, Lane Cove

Chatswood buildings surrounded by colour

One minor drawback is that it can get messy! Although for all of this beauty, I don't mind a bit of mess. Besides, there is usually a massive southerly at some point which blows it all away. That's Sydney for you!

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Textile Designer Portrait and Exhibition

Chantal O'Reilly, is an amazing textile Designer, who needed some quality images for her website and upcoming exhibition. 

Chantal conceptualised the lush fabrics draping over the rustic ladder. So it was my job to work out the best backdrop and lighting in order to compliment the fabrics and flatter their designer! 

I chose the brown/black canvas backdrop that I had hand painted as the most complimentary in colour, texture and overall effect.

As far as lighting, I went for diffused, soft lighting on both the fabrics and the client. I really liked the way the lighting brought out the soft, shiny texture of the fabric.

First things first though. Makeup for our Designer. 

MJ (Makeup by MJ) is fantastic and does a lot of work for the studio. Professional makeup makes all the difference to the final image. Having a proper base means less shiny patches on the skin for a start. Also, the artist brings out the clients features so they further appreciate the end result. Who doesn't like to look their best!

How exciting to see the finished products on exhibit!

There were many visitors from the Design world including Interior Decorators to Fashion Designers such as well known Akira. (people absolutely giddy with excitement that he was in attendance). And happily there was plenty of interest in in Chantals designs. Here are a few. You can check her website for many other wonderful designs.

Chatal at the exhibit with her hubbie and biggest supporter

Two creatives working together was just simply a whole lot of fun! 

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

NSW State Championship Swimming Photo Highlights

Short course season changes the game for me quite a bit. With only 25 metres to catch a front on Fly shot, I'm lucky if I get one attempt. The older kids (and I mean over 12yrs) get most of the way down the first 25 without a breath.

Breaststroke is still ok so long as the swimmer does the slow glide and not the quick bob up and down. Some swimmers do not come out of the water much at all, then they are just a head on top of the water but at these State Champs, we had some pretty stylish swimmers. 

The great thing about short course is that we can get pretty close up shots at some points where is would have been almost impossible in long course. If I had to be at the end of the pool ready for the fly, there is no way I would have time to get the dive shot first before running 50m to the end of the pool. Also, even with the 300mm lens, the 50m pool is too long for the backstroke start shot.

Poolside shots are one of my favourite to shoot so I was glad that I had a few this time.

Relays are usually a challenge. Photograph swimmer 2 lane 8 then swimmer 3 lane 1. My hand (where I write all of my people to shoot) ends up looking like a 2 year old got loose with a marker and scribbled a bunch of numbers down. 

This time, I got to photograph an entire team relay so that was different. We came up with these new Relay Combo Prints to best display them and there are already off the chart requests for them for upcoming meets. 

Decided to change up my shoot timing a bit for variety and ended up with this. One of my favourite shots of the weekend:

All of The State Champs Photos can be viewed here.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Swim Presentation Event Plus Photo Booth

Well this swim team sure knows how to have fun. What a terrific night and a fabulous team event. The ballroom at the  Novotel Norwest was the setting and the room looked magical. Swim families were ready to celebrate the end of the swim season and welcome  in the next!

The evening started out with Award Presentations and dinner. 

A special presentation was made to 41 time World Record Holder, (7 of them from last year) and International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame recipient, Jenny Whiteley. 

Talk About Star Power.

In attendance were Ursula and Forbes Carlile MBE. Pioneers and Rock Stars of the competitive coaching and swim school world. It was wonderful to hear their story and watch them make some of the award presentations.

The dance floor was pretty popular. Kids and Coaches got to show off their dryland moves!

The most popular and fun for us was the Photo Booth that we setup in an adjoining room.

All dressed up and altogether, it was also a great opportunity for family photographs!

In all, a great night was had by all and I was very happy to be a part of it. Thank you...

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at the following:


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