You know you’re a Roller Derby Photographer when:

They are an international symbol, in every bout held around the world. :)
How do I know?
A few of us have been brainstorming…  so this is dedicated to my fellow “togs”. ;)

  • You watch the Dust Bowl Championships live on DNN and try to yell at the cameraman to pan to the right so you can see the photographers taking the group shot clearly… so you can see who was there.
  • You are happy to be able shoot under 3200 ISO.
  • You get a message 10 minutes after the bout asking when the photos will be posted…
  • You meet a bunch of other Photographers that are actually nice people willing to give advice and help you get better!
  • You commonly hug sweaty women that are wearing fishnets and your wife doesn’t get mad.
  • You have just as many bruises as the skaters.
  • You use your right eye to shoot, and never close your left eye.
  • You use lens hoods indoors in the feeble hopes that they will stop a skate to the front lens element when sitting in the crash zone.
  • You pack your knee pads with your camera gear… just in case!
  • You shoot for 12 hours and forget to eat.
  • Your suitcase is full of camera gear and t-shirts and not much else.
  • You know your favorite skaters by just seeing their skates. And you know which ones skate with their tongue out most of the time.
  • You take 2 or 3 meetings to recognize someone without their helmet on.
  • Everyone knows who you are by name but for you most of the time you rack your brain trying to remember their derby name or real name or facebook name and end up saying ‘HI!’
  • You have more rechargeable batteries than Walmart does.
  • You always take pictures of the other photographers taking pictures – and you post them.
  • Girls you barely know ask you to take pictures of their butts.
  • The novelty of having a derby girl land in your lap has worn off and you are more worried about your gear or whether you got the shot that caused the fall.
  • You put the camera manufacturer’s shutter longevity claims to the test.
  • Your “other” photo gigs get confusing.. as you look for something to happen at any second.. which is silly when you are shooting a home interior.
  • Your daughter is skating down the hallway and jumps as she reaches the lounge room and you are torn between telling her off and telling her to wait until you get your camera so she can do it again…
  • Photographing a wedding you refer to the group shots as “shooting the pack”.
  • You have enough photos of ref butts to set up a fetish site.
  • You have used your ‘Derby’ name at derby events for so long, you don’t recognise your real name being called out.
  • You refer to the entire day before a bout as “battery charging day”.
  • You end up taking more ibuprofen than the skaters do.
  • You’re having such a good time at a tournament sitting with your team & watching other teams bout that you *only* take 1000 photos.
  • You realize you’ve spent more money in flashes and batteries than some skaters have spent on their cars.
  • You post a pic on Facebook and get three likes, then a skater makes it her profile picture and it gets 117.
  • You know player numbers as well as the refs.
  • You see a hit heading right to you and you shoot until the last moment when you just move your camera to the side and take a skate to the junk.
  • You can’t remember the last time you went out for Happy hour that was not at a sponsor’s bar and did not have rollergirls present.
  • You schedule family vacations to line up with tournaments you’re shooting. “Honey, kids, this year we are vacationing in Oregon!”

**Credit for creative genius goes to:  TJ Chase, Bob Dunnell, Cory Layman, James McDaniel, Gunther Hang, Felicia Graham, Natalie Barovsky, David Costa, Michael Wise II, Erik Cherchio, Rod Noendeng, LeVar Hurtin, Kim Lee, Steve Sharkey Mancini, Richard Kimbrough, Ron Horton, Daniel Whittaker, Jim Lee, Bill Smotrilla, Allyson O’Keefe,  Phil Petersen, Keith Dangerously StanleyJoe Schwartz, Nick Nav Sullivan, and any of the other amazing artistes with some input!

I’m back for #IBOT again!


add comment
Rhianna (9 years ago)

Welcome back to IBOT lovely, always lovely to read you. This post was no exception, funny girl that you are. Roller derby sounds like so much fun. It is on my never ending list of things to try
Swinging by as part of #teamIBOT and leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Thanks for stopping by Lovely! Glad you had a laugh, you would love Roller Derby. :D x

Dorothy (9 years ago)

Love it! Somebody needs to teach me the whole keeping your left eye open with your right eye at the view finder trick :-)
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    I’m still learning that one Dorothy! Always a need for improvements! :D x

Emily @ Have a laugh on me (9 years ago)

OMG sounds like a bloody fun but dangerous profession CJ – worth all the sweat and tears I’m sure! FUNNY post :)
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Fun as fun! I shall invite you to the next bout around your way! ;) x

Lisa@RandomActsOfZen (9 years ago)

Hilarious! I so love roller derby, and I’m old enough to remember when it used to be on TV every weekend xx

    CJ (9 years ago)

    It’s an addiction… not only for the skaters Lisa! I *should* be old enough to remember it on TV but we never watched it! xx

Me (9 years ago)

LOL – love your list !!!!
Hope you are doing well – take care and stay safe !
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    The list compiled by me… thanks to some of the best Roller Derby photographer talents in the world. ;)
    I’m doing what I can, I promise! xxx

Meagan (9 years ago)

whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa thats a pretty long hilarious list!!!! It must be fun to be part of such a cool group / community! I wish you’d post some pics on here, i was scrolling down hoping to see some!! xx

    CJ (9 years ago)

    You need to join us Meagan. ;)
    I’ll see what I can find for you! :D xxx

lisa (9 years ago)

Love this post CJ, I might have to get that RollerDerby movie out to check out what it is all about! Sounds like a lot of fun
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Either the movie or go and watch a live bout Lisa! There’s something about the atmosphere at a game! :D x

Aroha @ Colours of Sunset (9 years ago)

Having seen you & some other derby photogs in action, I can totally picture all of the above! great list! ha ha!
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Nothing like first-hand experience Aroha! Thank you! xx

EssentiallyJess (9 years ago)

Ha ha! Love your passion xx
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    We can always sign you up with the Darwin girls Jess! ;) xxx

Nathalie Brown (9 years ago)

Giggling my head off

    CJ (9 years ago)

    That was the desired result Nathalie! Hope you feel better soon and welcome to my world! x

Alicia (9 years ago)

That was quite funny, going to watch some roller derby is going on my list of things I must do :)
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Do it, do it, DO IT! I’m sure you’ll love it Alicia! x

Enid Bite'Em (9 years ago)

BAhahahahaha! I skate, so hadn’t seen it from that angle before (thanks for showing the other side).
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Glad you enjoyed it! ;) x

Rita (9 years ago)

Hahaha! I learned a lot about Roller Derby in this post!
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Wonderful Rita! Glad I could make you smile! ;) x

Becc (9 years ago)

Hmmm, do you enjoy all these butt photo’s?
Becc @ Take Charge Now
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Funnily enough they are usually rather out of focus and it takes a fair bit of restraint not to swear when they block your shot. They are just doing the job they volunteered and train hard to do. ;)

Grace (9 years ago)

I love seeing your roller derby photos on FB! Such amazing talent you have! And you’re so passionate about it! Love! x
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Well if you’re doing something you love… ;)
    Thanks Grace! Love to you! xxx

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky (9 years ago)

Forget to eat?! Wow, I’ve never done that :) I must get to a roller derby game/show/match (!) sometime, they look like SO much fun.
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    *sigh* Yes Kylie, I have indeed forgotten to eat myself! I have found ways around it nowadays though… I don’t function well if I don’t eat. ;)
    And yes… you SHOULD get to a bout soon! x

Lisa Wood (9 years ago)

I have never been to a Derby event before, but it sounds like so much fun!!
Do they end up getting hurt while having fun?
It sure would be good to watch and take photos of them all racing around crazy :)
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Do it, do it, DO IT! Sometimes there are injuries but I’m sure netball has more. The photos are fun! x

Annie (9 years ago)

Definitely would love to see some photos (even some of the mishaps that happen when shooting) to add to this story! Sounds like an adventurous sort of photography!
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    The link to my photos is Annie. There are lots of flying and smacking shots. ;) It’s definitely fun and a great community to be a part of. Thanks for stopping by!

Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit (9 years ago)

You know what, I reckon I would totally get into a roller derby. I used to be a mad keen roller skater (the four wheel variety with front stopper … not these silly in line things) and could totally do the speed thing. I wonder if there is any roller derby in canberra-ville. Hmmmm.
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    CJ (9 years ago)

    Boy, do I have a league for YOU Leanne! Indeed Canberra has a one of my favourite leagues/teams! If you need to be hooked up, let me know. And definitely NO fruit boots! ;) x

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