My 15 Favorite Roller Derby Photos of 2015

As I have said a couple of times on this blog I did not shoot nearly enough derby for me this past year. I had two prior engagements that kept me from shooting two of the three bouts for the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls at home this year. I was able to shoot a couple of the scrimmages. In most other sports the intensity is not quite the same during a practice. A roller derby scrimmage can be pretty amazing to watch though. I also had a couple of photo shoots with the team that make you look good as a photographer. Below are 15 photos that I really liked from this past year.

15. I will start the countdown off with a little fun. One of my best shoots of the year was my studio session with the Brawlin’ Dolls. They had a blast, and in the process of making their photos so did I. We made the photos that we needed to, and then made a few for fun. This shot was one of the really fun ones of the day.

14. This year for the group shot we wanted to do something a little different. With the help of a ladder I made this group shot of the team. This was yet another fun shoot which they usually are with this team.

13. A couple of weeks ago I shot a co-ed scrimmage for the team. One of the interesting facts about the scrimmage was the fact that it was co-ed. Here I liked the facial hair of the two skaters facing me. I can see where facial hair could be another distinguishing factor in the male game.

12. This was a shot from the lone game that I shot this year. Dreaded Thunder is the last of the original members on the team. She loves the sport, and I think I will be photographing her playing for a long time to come. Her enthusiasm is hard to beat, and is contagious.

11. Sometimes things line up your way in derby, and the pack is in just such a place that you get this shot of the jammer looking towards them. This is not like any other sport where you can stand based on where you think they will be. The action could be right in front of you, or on the other side of the track behind a pole. When the luck comes your way you have to be ready for it.

10. No photo of a bout would be complete without the photo of a jammer with the ref in the background signaling that they are the lead jammer. This is the kind of photo that you want to make for your skater as they know that they were in the lead, and controlling the jam.

9. Sometimes an element of a photo makes it interesting to me. Here the tattoo of the eye with the opposing player looking into it is enough for me to like a photo. With contact constantly happening on the track you must look for the things that are a little different.

8. Here is another photo from my studio shoot with the Brawlin’ Dolls. You can tell that I had just come back from my class with Joel Grimes. A lot of this photo was influenced by his style. I would never have cut the helmet or the hands off. but they really were not part of the photo here. I was in right where I needed to be.

7. Sometimes as a jammer you just have to have a nose for the opening. Other times your own teammate hits you square in the nose. This was one of those moments that happens during a bout that makes you scratch your head. These are tough skaters that can take a hard hit and keep on going. This isn’t the fake roller derby of the 80’s.

6. One of my favorite positions is on the inside of the track. You can really get in up close and personal with the skaters from this position. You don’t have the outside lane in between you and the skaters. Here you can see the contact up close which is what I like.

5. When it is placed in the right location the large Brawlin’ Dolls banner make a good backdrop for a while during a bout. You leave no doubt as to where you are shooting. I usually like to spend a good portion of time here to get a few clean shots like the one above.

4. What sports countdown would be complete without a huddle photo. I really do like my huddle photos. Here in this post bout photo you can see the emotion of the team. The hands and arms also help draw you into these photos.

3. Here is another head on shot showing some of the contact that occurs constantly on the track. For some reason some of it just plays better than others. Here is a shot that I liked from my one bout of the season.

2. This is my favorite shot from the studio shoot with the team this year. This photo has already been on a best of countdown, but here I thought it should show up again. Roller Vortex was great, but it was this outtake that I really liked. You can see a little inside of the person here.

  1. My favorite shot of the year is this one made during the first scrimmage I shot this season. I love the way that the jammer looks coming into the pack. You can see athleticism and the determination here. This is what derby is about to me. I liked this photo on the back of my camera, and it has remained my favorite for the entire year.

So that does it for my favorite roller derby photos of the year. Roller derby is a sport that I enjoy because of the characters and the action. You can make some fabulous photo at a bout. Hopefully this year I will be able to attend a few more bouts to make some extra photos.

 

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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