A ballerina needn’t be a saint and a skater isn’t always a sinner.

Bamphetamine - 2011 "Gritty" Calendar       

These roller radicals blossomed in just barely a year, growing into a bouquet of vigorous wildflowers, capable of standing beautifully alone. 

Here are some images from the two calendars the girls and I made together for 2011 designed by Dave McKay Design (layout and design...not shown here).  There are only a few calendars left. They can be found at Betty's Divine in Missoula, MT, or through the Hellgate Rollergirls by emailing them at hellgaterollergirls@gmail.com 

More calendar images can be seen on Athena Photography.com
Bitty Bitch & P.O.'d Box - 2011 "Gritty" Calendar

   Night Mare - 2011 "Gritty" Calendar                            Psyco Bows - 2011 "Gritty" Calendar 

Lola Botomizer - 2011 "Pinup" Calendar

      Tricksie Fiend - 2011 "Pinup" Calendar                 Hell Bunny Hunny - 2011 "Pinup" Calendar

  Harpy Marx - 2011 "Pinup" Calendar 

I started working with the Hellgate Rollergirls  in their first year and this is partially why it has been so enjoyable. A friendship is beautiful to witness but seeing the introduction, formation and trust building between these girls has been mesmerizing and inspirational.  I photographed the Rollergirls 2010 calendar, these were the days, and I began to notice that these Hellgate Girls weren’t just amicable and polite, but that they had a generous bond and camaraderie with each other.  Something often not found in just a regular group of friends, they had a deeper care.  They continue to be a cohesive unit of stability and encouragement… they just happen to skate around a rink wearing fishnets. And they beat the crap out of their opponents. 

After shooting their calendar piece, I began to shoot practices and battles.  I witnessed their progression of skating skills and their growing collection of battle wounds, and also saw their organization and authority advance as they came together as athletes.  They developed together, yet as independent women.

I get goose bumps and a lump in my throat when I tell people how proud I am. These girls are finding themselves again or discovering themselves for the first time. The comments that they’ve shared with me are infectious and leave me energized.  Roller derby has given them power: a power of confidence, a power of determination.  It has given them power to get up after they fall again and again.  (Not to mention, roller derby has given them all great legs!)  

 Hott Mess - 2011 "Pinup" Calendar

Hellgate Rollergirls, thank you for filling my year with your courage, love and toe stopper stands.  Happy holidays and I look forward to the new year with you!


back to cleaning

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.  ~Author Unknown

Don't cook. 
Don't clean. 
No man will ever make love to a woman because she waxed the linoleum -  "My God, the floor's immaculate.  Lie down, you hot bitch."  ~Joan Rivers


missoula vs spokane

November 6th, 2010
Missoula's Hellgate Rollergirls hosted Spokane's Toothless Annies for a very exciting roller derby bout. The Missoula crowd of 1500 cheered for their derby dolls as they fought their way around the track. The energy was high, the girls really wanted it and the fans loved it. 


perfect piles

I'm finding........ there is so much to do....... when I'm arranging my life...... to better suit me.


2011 calendars

Of all the things I've done in 2010, I'm most proud of the Hellgate Rollergirl calendars. I have a special place in my heart for those girls, which I will share more of in a future blog post. But for now, I want to celebrate the release of the calendar.

                                                                                         Pinup calendar cover

Bitty Bitch, that's Brae's rollergirl name, and I got together to dream up the 2011 calendar, we left our meeting with two calendars in mind. The first one is a 'pinup style' 11x17 flat calendar. The classic, Vargas pinup calendars with their white backgrounds and sexy girls were our inspiration. We asked Dave McKay Designs to take our ideas and step them up with his clean, simple and effective design. I'm really grateful to him for putting his magic touch on the Pinup calendar, but also for busting out on our 'gritty' themed calendar too. The Gritty calendar is a 81/2 x 11 folded calendar with a darker edger feel to the photographs and design.

                                                                                         Gritty calendar cover

This project really turned out to be a community collaboration, which warms my heart even more. Here is a list of the local talent: Hellgate Rollergirls modeled, I photographed, Dave McKay designed, Josh Quick did the HGRG logo, 12 business sponsored each month, Allegra and Pyramid printed the calendars while walking me through the process, and now derby fans will buy the calendars.....oh, love community.

The girls will be signing and selling the calendars for the next two months. I will be at their release signing tomorrow night, Friday, Nov. 5th at Break Espresso from 5-8. 432 N. Higgins, see you there!


Cover Shot!

This week I found out that my image was chosen for the cover of the 2011 Rocky Mountain School of Photography catalog.  I love this image of Pippin and Jen and I'm proud to have it on the cover.  Jeanne, the owner of RMSP, gives one of the best image critiques at the school.  I'm very flattered to have her thumbs up.  If you asked Jeanne five years ago, if she thought she would ever have a dog, let alone a dog wearing Fifi & Romeo designer clothing on the cover, she would have said no.  I guess she couldn't resist that cute Frenchy too.  Also, I would like to thank my agent Page, without her this image might not have crossed Jeanne's desk. 

Every year, somewhere, somehow I get to visit my friend Jen.  We talk non-stop, eat sweets, run around having fun - and then pause for a photoshoot.  Now that I think of it, it's the only time I see Jen pause.  The photo above is our last shoot together, somebody forgot to tell Pippin that it was Jen's photo shoot.  As any French Bulldog lover knows, they steal the show.

Here are some past Jen photo shoots you might remember.



Hellgate Rollergirl - first bout

The Hellgate Rollergirls had their first bout on August 6th in Missoula.

They did it.
They made it happen.
They got together, formed a league, trained, bought lots of fishnet leggings, had fundraisers, and now their first bout.

I love these girls and it was so wonderful to see them all so happy!

Hellgate Rollergirls - Angels vs Devils from Athena on Vimeo.


rockin' rollin' car show and pin up girl contest

Here are my favorite PHOTO BOOTH pictures from the event the Hellgate Rollergirls and Hot Rod Lewies put on last weekend. Sunny and hot, stressful a tad, and super fun. Thanks to my hard working assistant 'Texas',  beautiful girls, handsome cars, and reapplying some Secret deodorant (I know mom, it's bad for me) I made some photos I'm happy with.


visiting jen

Jenifer Tracy is one of my great friends. She is creative, fun and very charismatic. I admire her ability to always evolve, both internally and externally. When meeting Jen, the first things you will notice about her are... she's pretty damn cute, high energy, and everything she touches has style. She is living and breathing visual candy. Check out more of what she touches at JENCO Creative.

I got to spend a little time with her this spring to do our annual photo shoot. My camera is so lucky.

After photographing Jen, I couldn't help taking shots around her space.

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” — Coco Chanel

JENCO Creative


Art Retreat II - Las Vegas

At the moment, I am between dogs. With my released responsibly and decided to travel. Lacking the ability to turn off my camera, my travels quickly turned into elaborate art retreats. As seen in my previous post, my trip to France left me with a feeling of joi de vivre, (as well as leaving me with a slew of throw-away phrases). I’ve shared my images from visiting the City of Romance, now I’m ready to share my images from…the City of Sin, VEGAS.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t very sinful, but there will be many opportunities in the future to make up for my innocence. My absence of immorality didn’t come from a lack of trying; I was up early and to bed late. I was with five other photographer friends for two days and two nights. Our early mornings and late nights were spent together feeding off each other's inspiration to create our own work. But in the day, we would shoot separately; apparently we only like to see each other in dimmer lighting.

Self-Portraits and Plots of World Destruction
I am a terrorist, didn’t you know? Neither did I, but that is what I was told every time I attempted to take a self-portrait on my trip. I am pretty sure it was my thrift store sweater and vintage suitcase, standing in front of my non-aerodynamic equipment and laughing with my friends that tipped those high-detecting sleuths off.  Kudos to you, security guards of Las Vegas, you prevented a series of photographs to be taken that clearly had malicious intentions of annihilation. 
I managed to get one shot before they discovered my underlying plot of cruel purpose.

Two Models, a Hot Dog Bun, and avoiding the Terrorist Task Force
A photographer needs something to photograph, and models need their pictures to be taken. It’s pretty wonderful how that works out sometimes.

To avoid clashing with the authority, I had David meet me out on an empty lot of dirt. David has a great spirit, is handsome, and really easy to photograph.   I asked him to bring jeans, a white t-shirt, Converse shoes and hot dog buns. Insert joke here about hot dog buns :)

Jess brought charisma and youth. She was wearing super high heels, a short skirt, long thick fabulous hair, a big smile, and a fun attitude.
We roamed around downtown like vagabonds in search of a perfect spot. I thought being a faux terrorist was bad, but when running around with an attractive 20 year-old, you seem to gain even more unwanted attention. I am usually not chaotic when it comes to my shoots. When I am on the JOB I get permits, rent space, and go through all the boring proper procedures. However this time, I said in my 'art - retreat' voice, “fuck it, let’s just grab these shots and then run like hell.” This is what we did and I couldn’t have had a better model to work with. 
Sure we got chased out of every spot by security guards wearing tight starch shirts over bustling bellies. But we had fun, and as I was the first female photographer she had ever worked with, I am pretty confident I set a pretty unique standard.