365 Photo Project {August}

August. What even was that?

An interesting month, I guess. Kicking off with surgery to put the broken hubs back together again, humid and/or rained out photo shoots, crafty fun times for this Aunt (and the broken Uncle), a handful of plunges into water, news of a local favorite restaurant closing, ice cream, silliness, good conversation, plotting, some Netflix binging, and way more time with the hubs than pretty much ever.

Some Summer moments, but also the feeling that Summer disappeared while we were driving around to appointments, grocery shopping, sort of adulting, and watching six seasons of The Walking Dead. Some days where I didn’t feel like I had my heart in this project because my brain was needed elsewhere. Other days where I felt like I was definitely putting in the effort to continue to grow at my craft. So, a month like no other in some ways, yet like so many months in other ways.

August 1 / Scott Surgery day and the day I didn’t pick up my camera. So here is a photo from another day I the broken guy diaries.

August 1 / Scott Surgery day and the day I didn’t pick up my camera. So here is a photo from another day I the broken guy diaries.

8/2. 1st day of surgery recovery. This was my view for a large portion of the day.

8/2. 1st day of surgery recovery. This was my view for a large portion of the day.

8/3. Band in a barn.

8/3. Band in a barn.

8/4. Niece visit to entertain the healing broken guy. Instead she took his scooter and rode around the house.

8/4. Niece visit to entertain the healing broken guy. Instead she took his scooter and rode around the house.

8/5. One of those ‘waiting for a client to show up’ photos.

8/5. One of those ‘waiting for a client to show up’ photos.

8/6. Pool Time. Same pool I spent my Summers in as a kid. Back in my day floats were not allowed! *please read that in your best old timey voice*

8/6. Pool Time. Same pool I spent my Summers in as a kid. Back in my day floats were not allowed! *please read that in your best old timey voice*

8/7. Post Photo shoot view.

8/7. Post Photo shoot view.

8/8. Crafty fun times with this one. We started our potholder party fun times that we plan to continue for roughly until the world runs out of potholder loops. Oh, and I painted her nails.

8/8. Crafty fun times with this one. We started our potholder party fun times that we plan to continue for roughly until the world runs out of potholder loops. Oh, and I painted her nails.

8/9. That’s handy.

8/9. That’s handy.

8/10. Broken guy wanted some plants, so I stopped everything to get him to a plant place :D

8/10. Broken guy wanted some plants, so I stopped everything to get him to a plant place :D

8/11. Brothers.

8/11. Brothers.

8/12. Tacos! And this tasty beverage.

8/12. Tacos! And this tasty beverage.

8/13. Scooting around like a pro.

8/13. Scooting around like a pro.

8/14. Check up day!

8/14. Check up day!

8/15. The day we ‘mailed smiles’ which is our new thing based on our potholder party fun. Assemble packages, write notes, add glitter to some, hit the post office, then hit the pool! But this image won for the day, even though there were 20 others I also liked.

8/15. The day we ‘mailed smiles’ which is our new thing based on our potholder party fun. Assemble packages, write notes, add glitter to some, hit the post office, then hit the pool! But this image won for the day, even though there were 20 others I also liked.

8/16. Summer Fest turned into Hula HoopALOOOZA for us! So fun.

8/16. Summer Fest turned into Hula HoopALOOOZA for us! So fun.

8/17. Wall in my office.

8/17. Wall in my office.

8/18. Got to hang with these friends ❤️

8/18. Got to hang with these friends ❤️

8/19. The lawn needed mowing. The lawn mower wouldn’t start. The broken guy got a part and got it fixed. Then stood on his crutches trying to get me to mow the way he likes. I can guarantee you it didn’t go his way. 😁

8/19. The lawn needed mowing. The lawn mower wouldn’t start. The broken guy got a part and got it fixed. Then stood on his crutches trying to get me to mow the way he likes. I can guarantee you it didn’t go his way. 😁

8/20. In the yard.

8/20. In the yard.

8/21. Another play date with this one. She brought ALL HER GAMES.

8/21. Another play date with this one. She brought ALL HER GAMES.

8/22. Sebago Lake.

8/22. Sebago Lake.

8/23. CAKE!! Last Supper at Silly’s with these pals.

8/23. CAKE!! Last Supper at Silly’s with these pals.

8/24. Lake day with some derby pals and we stopped for ice cream.

8/24. Lake day with some derby pals and we stopped for ice cream.

8/25. Broken guys is healing. This photo actually shows progress, even if it doesn’t look that way.

8/25. Broken guys is healing. This photo actually shows progress, even if it doesn’t look that way.

8/26. Happy Hour and people watching with my pal, Gab.

8/26. Happy Hour and people watching with my pal, Gab.

8/27. One of those 365 moments where I love the shift I see from my regular work, even if it doesn't grab other people the same way.

8/27. One of those 365 moments where I love the shift I see from my regular work, even if it doesn't grab other people the same way.

8/28. GLITTER and a laptop.

8/28. GLITTER and a laptop.

8/29. Having out after the first day of school. I added some of the glitter to her nails…

8/29. Having out after the first day of school. I added some of the glitter to her nails…

8/30. Another fun afternoon in the pool with the Niece and then she sat right in a super good spot of sunlight and we chatted about snacks and other things.

8/30. Another fun afternoon in the pool with the Niece and then she sat right in a super good spot of sunlight and we chatted about snacks and other things.

8/31. Camp with my super long time pal and her daughter. There is always a little September sadness at their camp. This year it’s more since this may be our last time here together. I know of a good camp for sale if anyone wants to buy it and let me hang out with you!

8/31. Camp with my super long time pal and her daughter. There is always a little September sadness at their camp. This year it’s more since this may be our last time here together. I know of a good camp for sale if anyone wants to buy it and let me hang out with you!

A lot can happen in a month, as this project continually shows me month after month. But when you are hurt, have surgery, can’t drive or work, looking back over a month’s time is also pretty crazy. Broken guy made serious progress from August 1 to the last day of the month, making us both feel like we are over that hump. Or at least the worst part of it. Which is great since technically the best month of the year is now here!

Bring it, September.

{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: Celebrating Day 21 of 21

Well. Here it is. Day 21. Day 21 of a challenge to blog for 21 days. Yikes/Wow/Yipppeeee!

Celebrate the things in life. Like getting your license. Or blogging for 21 days.

Celebrate the things in life. Like getting your license. Or blogging for 21 days.

Real Talk: that wasn't easy. I’m trying to think about the pros and cons of this challenge. But it’s probably simple: Cons were 1) it was a lot of work, 2) there were so many days where I simply didn’t want to or had no idea what to blog about, and 3) for me it’s a CON when I start to feel like it’s too much MEmeMe HI look at ME. I’m a little weird about that.

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But the PROS of course were I made the time, buckled in, created content, and I DID IT. Now there is actually more work out there and not just on hard drives. More stories shared. And for me, it’s worth it to get to share things that aren’t always about professional work.

Nephew.

Nephew.

Neighbors.

Neighbors.

I have times when what I am photographing for people is not my story to tell, not really my thing to share first.. Head Shots for professionals starting a new job or rebuilding a brand (not my story to share before they do!), Images for an organization working on their website and needing to put the imagery out to the world when they are ready (so get the images for them, and let them share when things are ready for the world to know about them), and lately some work that is sensitive because it involves humans trying to get established after many hard months of uncertainty. So many things I don’t share on the blog, but maybe can eventually when the timing is right and whatever dust needs to settle does.

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Dinner with friends/ celebrating birthdays.

Dinner with friends/ celebrating birthdays.

But I liked sharing little snippets of life and small moments in photos. I’d like to think I will continue to feel free to do that. I’m also hoping that from now on when the calendar says BLOG, I will find the time to do it. If I’m smart, I’ll also be better about prepping for blog posts ahead of time. A thing that as a photographer should be part of our workflow. Being human is a funny tale in being imperfect. And I can tell you many, many tales!

Sawyer wants to show me his fort upstairs.

Sawyer wants to show me his fort upstairs.

Because in addition to sharing photo jobs, and the ongoing 365 project, there are thousands of life moments that may not get seen because they weren’t a thing for pay or they didn’t make the cut for a single photo on a certain day. But life unfolds in front of my camera on a daily basis (even if some of those days are WAAAAY less exciting than others). There is joy and laughter and uncertainty and fatigue and victory and good food and self consciousness and exploding confidence and quiet moments of thinking to capture and possibly share. It doesn’t always have to be for pay. It can be simply to document, and maybe to spread happiness and a little humanity.

Ice cream on a cold day with Molly and Kristina.

Ice cream on a cold day with Molly and Kristina.

I have a project I am currently really proud to be part of. But I can’t share until they do. I want to promise to do so when the time is right. Because capturing people who love their people and love what they do is definitely a thing we could all use more of.

After School time with the niece and my mom.

After School time with the niece and my mom.

There is a belief that people photograph what they are most afraid of losing. I photograph humanity. Even if it’s on a small scale of my family/neighborhood/community/friends/local business owners and non profit organizations. Maybe this challenge helped me see that a little clearer.

So my day 21 features a few photos that didn’t make the cut this year in the world of 365 photo project 2019, but that I want to be seen and shared. Little slices of life, that seem like not much at the time. But when seen with others, it’s a good reminder that these little human moments and exchangers are what end up being full of all the good.

And I’m up for that.

Pool buddy.

Pool buddy.

{Maine Family Photographer}: 5 Years of Davins

I thought I would try something I haven’t done before — combine multiple years of the same family in one post (YAY for people who get family photos every year! & YAY 21 days of blogging!). It’s crazy to see all these photos of the same family all at once. And it’s also a little crazy that I somehow still think of Cole and Ty as they were the first time I met them and photographed them. Now when I see them I’m shocked by how tall they are and how their faces have shifted.

The first time we hung out with my cameras we met in Portland, by a park with a graffiti wall. Things got a little silly. I may have encouraged some of that…

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This is actually one of my favorite family group photos - I love the colors and the angle and how they are not perfectly lined up yet.

This is actually one of my favorite family group photos - I love the colors and the angle and how they are not perfectly lined up yet.

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haha! :D

haha! :D

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Our final attempt at a photo of the 4 of them. Worth it!

Our final attempt at a photo of the 4 of them. Worth it!

The next year we met at SMCC. I loved Cole’s red shorts on that really overcast day. And you will see things were also pretty windy that day…

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That wind :D

That wind :D

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The next year we met at their home and the dogs got to hang out with us, which was a great way to keep the boys smiling and not worried about the camera (pro tip).

Some years it’s more about the boys, and less about all four of them. Until the next time we can all be in the same place for photos again :)

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Then the next year we met at the Portland Museum of Art. Which is a great spot for photos, especially if it starts to drizzle a little.

This was the year I almost fell over when I saw Cole. I couldn’t believe what a difference a year made! And sweet Charlie made another appearance…

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And then another year in their yard… some quick shots with dad before had to leave. Then the majority of the time seemed to be all about Charlie.

Charlie is the dog, by the way. He’s a little star at their home and at Dava’s work.

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Haha! Charlie is trying to play with everyone, so Cole put his foot over the tennis ball which of course made me chuckle.

Haha! Charlie is trying to play with everyone, so Cole put his foot over the tennis ball which of course made me chuckle.

The star of the family :)

The star of the family :)

So, these were some of my favorites from each of our sessions through the years. It was fun to look at these all again! Photos are so amazing, and I am always honored by the people who come back year after year and value how important family photos are.

Thank you, Dava, Jim, Cole, and Ty! And, of course, Charlie!!

Walking to get photos in year 5. Maybe I’ll save those for another.post! But also, has me wondering if this year Mom will be the shortest in the family…

Walking to get photos in year 5. Maybe I’ll save those for another.post! But also, has me wondering if this year Mom will be the shortest in the family…

{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: Roller Derby Practice

Do you know what kinds of people play roller derby?

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All kinds.

All backgrounds. All sizes. All careers. All of it.

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So, maybe it takes a certain something in your personality to get you to the point where you walk through that door and sign up to try out, but that one small thing in any of us isn’t enough to say ‘everyone who plays roller derby is ( fill in the blank )…’

Because they aren’t all one same thing. Except human.

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‘Roller derby is bad ass!’ people love to say.

Yes, it is. But that doesn’t mean everyone who plays fits into your mold of what bad ass might be. Because social workers and art teachers and writers and cooks and doctors and students and engineers may be sharing the track and the bench at any given time. The loud with the quiet, the assertive with the shy, the hot mess with the super orgnanized. All of it.

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Last night after my photo shoot, I met up with a friend for dinner. She had something she wanted to give me. It was a book of roller derby photos she found in Montreal. By a photographer who had also been a skater. So, that was pretty thoughtful and also a pretty perfect thing to gift me.

When I looked at it I felt like some of the photos could have easily been taken of my league, at one of our practice spaces. I looked for my friends in some of the images. It’s possible that thoughtful gift may have influenced this post which I didn’t really think about until I got to the very end of this quick post.

Fun how art and life keep influencing each other….

{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: Summerfest

If there’s one thing my niece is used to, it’s me following her around with my camera. I have been doing a photo a day project since the first day of 2018, and a photo a week project in 2017. So, that’s a lot of months of me always showing up and having my camera. And often turning it towards her.

I recently went to SummerFest, so of course the camera came out. I never thought about it much before, but at this outdoor celebration of Summer it occurred to me that perhaps at times it might look like she has her own personal photographer following her everywhere.

But how can you not want to photograph this face or that balloon hat?

So, here are a handful of photos taken with the new Nikon Z6 as I followed my niece around while still learning what this new camera can do…

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Darts!

Darts!

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We said hi to our pals Hello Newman.

We said hi to our pals Hello Newman.

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So after glitter tattoos, darts, a train ride, pony ride, saying HI to Hello Newman, kettle corn and fried Oreos, we found some hula hoopers and took turns with their extra hoop. Which was ridiculously fun and also a great test for the new camera and to see what I can get it to do.

Pretty much a perfect Summer night.

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And I have to say, the niece has got some serious hula hoop skills!

{Maine Event Photographer}: Palm Springs Wedding

Once upon a time, I did photograph weddings. Then I decided it was time to break up with them. So, I say I don’t do weddings anymore…

But sometimes the right people can convince me to pack up the gear and show up to their wedding and work my way through a big life moment I know matters to them. Sometimes that happens twice with the same friends, the second time came with the promise of a trip to Palm Springs. A trip to California? How fast can I say yes?!?

Jamey & Kori’s California Wedding | Palm Springs Air Museum.

Jamey & Kori’s California Wedding | Palm Springs Air Museum.

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So, these two fantastic humans first got married in my yard in Maine in a sweet ceremony with a small group of people. Then later it was wedding part two in the desert, at an air museum. Seriously. This ocean girl loved LOVED this background and light! Plus, I got to see these people I care about share their love with an even bigger group of people who love and support them.

So, I (pretty much) don’t do weddings anymore. Except every so often when things line up right and maybe I just can’t resist because I know it’s going to be just that awesome. And this wedding was!

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Thank You, Jamey & Kori for being such important people in my life, for getting married TWICE, and for including me in such a big way both times!

xoxo

{Maine Family Photographer}: Evie's Birthday Fun

Hello Saturday! Here we are, 16 of 21 days of blogging…. with these fun friends celebrating a birthday together at the beach.

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Sometimes as humans we don’t do everything with the intention we originally set out with. Sometimes life happens. Sometimes things take longer than you planned. Sometimes a restaurant you love announces it’s going to close and your friends want to go while we still can, so the task that kept getting put off throughout the day ends up being pushed aside. Because honestly, time with the people who matter is often worth more than a blog post. So, ooooops I missed yesterday! But also… totally worth it!

Which brings us to yesterday’s post that is now today’s. These Friends. This time in their lives celebrating a birthday, laughing, playing, and being together before things in their lives shift. Before different schools and different activities set them off into opposite directions. Glad Evie’s mom had the foresight to realize this is a time and an event that needs to be photographed. For them.

The snapshots of friendship, of a warm evening together, of a slice of time in their lives. This was a photo shoot that hit all the points for me. Snapshots of friends, then just document as they hang out, laugh, be silly, and go to an arcade. Freedom to capture what was happening as it unfolded. No emphasis on trying to make the kids look perfect, but instead just capturing who they are now.

Yes please!

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Sisters xo.

Sisters xo.

Photos with friends but of course a few with Mom as well.

Photos with friends but of course a few with Mom as well.

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Sometimes after posing for a photo you just need to dance it out. Makes sense - there is a birthday to celebrate and there is still an arcade to get to and prizes to win and eventually cake to eat. I know it’s hard to contain all that excitement!

Sometimes a group photo turns into a mini mosh pit. I’m ok with that. :)

Sometimes a group photo turns into a mini mosh pit. I’m ok with that. :)

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Thank you, Evie and friends for being so fun to follow around with my camera!

The next/ really the previous post contains the images from our time in the arcade. This was one heck of a birthday! Glad I got to be there with my cameras to document it.


{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: Another slice of Life

It’s 10:39pm on day 14 of 21 days of blogging. It rained a lot today, and today’s photo shoot needed to be rescheduled. The Niece came over and played games and laughed with the broken hubs. The Neph and I went out tonight (somewhat spontaneously) for tacos. So, it was perhaps a slightly imperfect but very good day. I’m tired and ready for bed, and this photo grabbed me as a photo to use for today’s blog post.

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The niece has this hooded blanket thing that says Princess across the top and the back. She throws it on her when she comes home and is done with her day. I so feel that right now.

If they made this in my size I would likely have one as well, and throw it on after a productive day. But maybe with a different word across it.

And with that I need to be done with the day and head off to get ready for whatever tomorrow is going to bring….

{Maine Family Photographer}: Summer Vacation Family Photos

When you are vacationing in Maine, it’s smart if you also include time to do family photos. The Buchanans did just that, so between family gatherings and duck boat tours we hung out together in Portland.

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Portland has so many spots that make for good photos, and there are ways to dodge the other tourists - even though it’s not always easy on a busy Summer day in Portland’s Waterfront!

I love the colors they chose, and the good mix of silly and …. well behaved :)

So, if you need a little inspiration for a Summer urban photo shoot with good smiles (seriously - note the lack of fake kid smiles!) and great outfits, please enjoy these images from my time with the Buchanan family…

Those eyes and smiles!

Those eyes and smiles!

I can’t remember what was so funny, but whatever it was it was worth it to have these smiles happen.

I can’t remember what was so funny, but whatever it was it was worth it to have these smiles happen.

I can’t get enough of this one.

I can’t get enough of this one.

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haha! I love it when one of the siblings brings the silly.

haha! I love it when one of the siblings brings the silly.

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And also this because it’s pretty funny……

😁

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{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: Behind The Scenes / Film Stills

I love being on set. I love the lights and the chords and and the light stands and all the gear weaving in with the humans working together in a bit of controlled chaos (but a few notches down from actual chaos). All working together to make something that will be seen either on the big screen or in your family rooms.

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I love following the light to see what it can help me capture. And I love documenting people creating.

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So, yes being on set and behind a camera is one of the things I love.

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The images in this post were all taken on a shoot for The Campbell Brothers, on a sound stage in Portland, Maine where there was dry ice being used. I am not sure why I needed to mention that other than the fact that these images look a little different than some of my work because I guess dry ice (is that right? It may have been a smoke machine…) definitely give things a different look and feel than what I am normally photographing. And I like it.

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There will definitely be more photos from other sets to share soon….

And as always, be in touch if you are in need of someone to document the behind the scenes moments of your business or project!

{Maine Portrait Photographer}: Lifestyle Session for a Writer

I recently had the honor of spending time with Stephanie and photographing her for a second time. I photographed her a few years ago, then it was time for a new website and a shift in the look for her imagery so she contacted me again.

Stephanie Cotsirilos, writer | Portland, Maine.

Stephanie Cotsirilos, writer | Portland, Maine.

If I had my way she would need to re-do her website every year because I like hanging out with her, and I like listening to her ideas and figuring out together how to get the images that will work for this next step in her life. Her background in theater, law, consulting, and writing make her a person of many talents and multiple experiences. And I love being around that.

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She took her life and her talents from NYC to Maine, and now lives, creates, and writes here. This time we used her home in Portland with its amazing light and pockets of color to showcase her and varying looks depending on what she needs for different forums and marketing pieces. You can see more at her new site here

So, thank you once again, Stephanie for trusting me to capture who you are, and for the lively conversation while we make it all come together!

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{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: A 365 Outtake

It’s past 8 pm and I haven’t gotten to today’s blog post.

*GASP!*

The Niece and the Hubs getting ready to beat me at Hangman.

The Niece and the Hubs getting ready to beat me at Hangman.

But that’s what happens on a full day when you didn’t prep ahead of time. Or it’s just a reminder to get some things done early. I’ll try to remember that in the future.

No promises, though. :)

Today the niece and I sent some fun mail to some people who may not know it’s coming. We made things and wrote cards together, then headed to the post office with hopes of making some people smile. Yesterday the ankle injured hubs got his cast off, and is moving on to a boot with crutches, and then eventually walking again.

So, it’s been a productive few days.

I came home, sat down to blog, scrolled through some images, and chose this photo of these two. Seemed like the right fit after today’s goodness.

And now I’m going to crash because I feel that kind of tired where words are not coming easy…

{Maine Lifestyle Photographer}: Maine Roller Derby & Names on a Jersey

Roller Derby. A full contact sport on roller skates. So welcome to day 4 of blogging every day for 21 days as I celebrate these athletes and encourage you to do the same.

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As you likely know, the US Women’s Soccer team won yet another World Cup this year. And you may have noticed a surge in people wearing jerseys with the names of their favorite soccer players on the back. I was loving reading about this, watching the inspiring videos, seeing the photos, and feeling the feels.

Progress for women in sports, when most of us know that women have been doing amazing things as athletes for years but rarely getting the seat at the table or the spot on the television. So, I’m here to remind you that right in your own backyard, whether that backyard is Portland, Maine or any other city wherever you may live, there is likely this awesome sport happening where unpaid athletes train hard and dedicate hours of their time to play a sport on roller skates and you can go cheer them on.

And maybe one day we’ll see kids walking around wearing jerseys with the names of their favorite roller derby player….

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The images seen here were all taken this winter at Happy Wheels Skate Center in Portland, Maine and feature members of Maine Roller Derby. You can find more info about the league here