Roller Derby Players Are Now In Focus
As most people involved with Roller Derby I am always on the look out for something new and interesting in the world of Roller Derby.
I spend a lot of time on the internet scouring around on Google looking to locate the best things to happen in the sport so you don’t have to. Besides requests for help with choosing a Derby name, photographs on recently played bouts and handfuls of press releases about upcoming derby events sometimes you find something that stands out from the crowd.
On one of my recent searches I discovered a chap called Kyle Cassidy who is travelling around the world and photographing derby players.
“What a brilliant idea” I thought. I had always found the level of creativity in Derby girls appealing and although they played as part of a team there was always something that made them stand out as individuals.
So I managed to catch up with Kyle while and he took some time out to give us an exclusive interview.
So here it is. Enjoy.
Hi Kyle, Please can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a documentary photographer based in the U.S. — I’ve been taking photos, mostly of people, since the 1990s.
So, what equipment do you use?
I’m using primarily Nikon cameras but it varies depending on the circumstances, sometimes a Hasselblad.
What was the appeal of photographing Derby girls?
Derby is one of the few sports, where individual style still trumps uniforms. So many athletic teams spend so much time getting their players to look exactly alike, it appealed to me that there was so much variety in not just the outfits that players are wearing but the lengths they go to to make themselves unique — it’s visually very appealing.
How many derby teams have you met so far?
So far I’ve photographed about 300 rollergirls from around the U.S. and a few from England and Germany.
How have you found the derby community?
I heard the phrase “derby love” very early on in this project and it’s something I think anybody who’s spent any time around roller derby understands. There IS such a thing as derby love and you can feel it.
What do you like best about Roller Derby?
I really like how inclusive derby is, and how it’s a sport about making people better, not choosing people who are already good and discarding them when they’re not anymore. There’s a place for everyone here and I like that.
What projects will you be working on next?
I haven’t thought about next, this is still next for me. I’ve got a book of soldiers tattoos coming out this month (May) called “War Paint” and this is the thing I’m diving into.
Where can we see more of your work?
You can see plenty of my work at kylecassidy.com — especially if you look on the blog, that’s pretty up-to-date. there’s also rollerderbyportraits.tumblr.com and a Facebook page for Roller Derby Portraits where you can follow along
Thanks very much for your time Kyle. All the best with the derby photography!
What did you think?
Any thoughts and comments can be added below.
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