Risky Business

Presenting the Bellingham Roller Betties

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In select black-and-white shots highlighting the members of the Bellingham Roller Betties, photographers Kim Lincoln and Amy Woodward made sure to place the nearly naked roller derby players in postures that reflected each woman’s innate power.

“All the nudes were posed to reflect each woman’s strength and beauty,” Lincoln says of the images, which can be seen during an opening reception for “Bellingham Roller Betties: Business in the Front, Party in the Back” during the downtown Art Walk Fri., June 6 at Casa Que Pasa. “They are not retouched, as we wanted to convey what true beauty looks like (without Photoshop). We purposely left the scars, bruises and marks that make each woman unique and beautiful.”

Per the exhibit’s mullet-based title, the images shot by Lincoln and Woodward will be split into two distinct sections. In the “Business in the Front” category, pictures from derby bouts and practices will be highlighted, along with select portraits, in the front part of the restaurant. In the bar at the rear of the eatery,  the “Party in the Back” will feature the tasteful nudes, which were all shot in tandem by Lincoln and Woodward.

Along with the 90-plus images on display, the opening event will feature meet-and-greets with members of the Bellingham Roller Betties, who will be on hand to answer questions about the organization, sign up new recruits and share information about the upcoming training camp. Reps from Sea Mar Visions—the group who will be the recipients of the funds generated from the sale of the photos—will also be there to talk about their program, which provides counseling and rehabilitation to girls ages 14-17.

Woodward and Lincoln will be mingling with the crowd, as well, so attendees should feel free to ask them questions about the photographs on display, including what it takes to get the right shot when a horde of women in roller skates are barreling toward you. 

“It can be dangerous to photograph roller derby,” Woodward says. “Our equipment is fully insured, and we know it’s a risk every time we step out on to that track. We are required to stay in taped-off areas when we are in the middle of the track, but it is still a bit overwhelming being circled by refs and skaters who are shouting, blowing whistles and often times flying past you after a hard hit.”

“Shooting the bouts is one of the most challenging things we’ve ever photographed,” Lincoln adds. “You have fast-moving subjects and terrible lighting, and we’ve really tried our best to capture great images under these really challenging conditions. It’s forced us to step out of our comfort zones and learn new techniques.”

Despite the challenges, both photographers have been volunteering their creative services for a number of years, with the aim of bringing the women of the Bellingham Roller Betties to the public eye and sharing one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

“Part of the Roller Betties’  mission statement is to ‘honor diversity and self-expression, and welcome women of all shapes, sizes and skill levels,’” Woodward says. “We sincerely hope our photos can reflect this.”

Attendees at the opening reception can also purchase tickets for the Sat., June 7 Bellingham Roller Betties championship happening at Whatcom Community College’s Orca Pavilion. Tickets are $6-$14.

West Coast Wellness
More Visual...
Cup Show
An exhibit that runneth over

I have three coffee cups I keep in constant rotation. One is a dark blue and dense, and was handcrafted by a ceramicist who obviously knew exactly what they were doing. The second has a hairline fracture in it, but the painted-on fir trees and snow on it are so lovely I can’t bear to ditch…

more »
Night Moves
Art and action after dark

At last Friday’s Wine Walk in downtown Bellingham, more than 700 humans purchased tickets to sample grape elixirs and explore 20 unique venues in the urban core. While wine tasting was the official reason for the spring soiree, I heard more than one attendee express amazement at discovering…

more »
A trio of tales

Sara Siestreem was “thunderstruck” to hear her ancestors speak to her through handmade Indian baskets. A professional painter, trained in modern expressionism, she was visiting a private collection of indigenous artifacts. If DNA persists in whatever we create with our hands, she…

more »
BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am| Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Twelfth Night

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

School of Rock

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Back to the basics


Ski to Sea Race

7:00am|Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Images of Resilience Farewell

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Fairhaven Festival

12:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Audubon at the Museum

2:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Art of Jazz


Northwood Steak and Crab
Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books


9:30pm|Green Frog

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Lester and Hyldahl
Fermented Vegetables

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Gather Round

7:00pm|Honey Moon Mead & Cider

Chamber Concerts

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

see our complete calendar »

Northwood Steak and Crab Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Trove Lester and Hyldahl