I am a roller derby photographer and my 2016 season started last Saturday. I usually photograph at The Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California where light imitates art … or art imitates cupcakes. I forget.
Bay Area Derby created two “united teams” to compete against Sacramento’s Sacred City Derby Girls and the Santa Cruz Derby Girls. My son was unsure which team to support, so he chose his team the same way he chose his cupcake. (He chose the blue one.)
Before the evening bouts, I took my children to the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. We would have watched the junior derby “Golden Goblet” earlier in the day, but my son played his first baseball game Saturday and my daughter danced earlier that morning.
My kids enjoy derby as much for the community and competition as the cupcakes and cookies. I continue uncovering my reasons for photographing derby… something about leaning into a bigger conversation.
Roller derby can be dangerous for the participants. Sometimes I forget that derby involves constant contact until I review my photos. People move fast, often colliding into each other and the floor.
While I took a few good photos Saturday, I missed a lot more. It felt like opening day. I almost caught a really cool picture but I had focused on one part of the action when a skater jumped in front of me. I heard her leap just as I clicked the shutter.
I got lucky with the light a few times. The shadows and reflections make for some beautiful pictures between the collisions. Seeing old friends make for good new memories too.
… until the next home bout March 26th.
Note: I edited this post on Friday March 4th