Female sports photographer Hannah Bailey captured the Women's Division at Street League Skateboarding in LA using the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System.
Hello! Tell us a bit about your photography background.
I have been shooting women's skateboarding for about 5 years now, in a bid to increase the exposure and presence of it in the media. It was never about being a professional photographer but more so a storyteller. Actually, my first piece was for Lomography for Go Skateboarding Day in which I did a 6-part series capturing different skate stories. Since then I have done features for i-D, Dazed Digital, Huck, Broadly, Women's Fitness, to name a few. Last year I did my first solo show at the Lomography Gallery in London called "Skate Stories" which put a face to female skateboarding, challenging the stereotypes that exist. The aim of my photography has always been to get more of a spotlight on women in action sports, as athletes and inspiring role models for girls and women to look up to.
What did you choose to shoot?
Last month I headed to Los Angeles to shoot the Women's Division at Street League Skateboarding - a big street contest in which 10 of the top skaters compete for the title. It was held in a big arena, with a noisy crowd and live on TV/web, so the skaters were really put under pressure and in the spotlight. I went to this stop of the competition because it was the only one where women compete - going to global events like this is a great opportunity to do as many pieces of coverage as possible and spread the word on what women in the skate scene are doing. This year I interviewed Samarria Brevard, Mimi Knoop, Yulin Oliver and fellow photographer Nam-Chi Van - all for different features. Plus I shot a few snaps from the sidelines to test out the Neptune Lens.
How did you get on with the lens system?
This was a challenging environment and situation to shoot being that it was indoors, with inconsistent lighting and fast moving subjects. But the lens was beautiful when it caught the stadium lighting on the figures and faces of the skaters. I liked its dreamy vibe and it was easy to switch lens, therefore, change the aperture. Rather than capturing the action, it was about those moments on the side, which are the style of shots I prefer to take.
What's coming up in the future?
I will personally continue to shoot and cover the stories of women skating worldwide - whether in the street, park, competition or in remote places in the world. But also next year we are hoping to globally curate a women's skate photography show in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics. We want to make sure the vision of women's skateboarding is genuinely and authentically represented when more eyes are on it!
Follow Hannah Bailey on Twitter @NeonStash