Shooting Roller Derby

Roller Derby is a mostly all women’s sport. Typically played in a gym or area mostly flat track though sometimes banked. Here is a link for a little explanation.

I started shooting roller derby back in 2010 on my old Canon AE-1 Prog 35mm film camera. I was hooked immediately, the drama, athleticism, and showmanship is very attractive for a photographer. I’ve been one of the official photogs for the Southern Oregon Roller Derby, and have also covered a few Siskiyou Rollerz bouts as well.


While I do shoot with a DSLR, I don’t have the funds or financial incentive to invest too much in my lenses or body. I shoot with a Canon T2i and primarily prime lenses. That is lenses with no zoom. I pack a 50mm, 85mm and a 24mm pancake lens. I also recently picked up a Canon G15 point and shoot, but I haven’t tried it out at a bout yet I’m concerned about it’s shutter lag.

I tend to opt for natural lighting. And while I do have a flash I use every so often, I make sure I don’t point it directly at the skaters so as not to interfere with the bout.



I am a bit of a documentary photographer. I tend to not interact too much with the skaters. I like to capture the event as if I wasn’t involved. There are shortcomings to this of-course. Having a more interactive relationship, can yield more theatrical and engaging shots. This is something I do need to work on.