As you might know, I photograph the local Roller Derby team (my wife plays for them so it was one of the only ways to not become a derby widow). Last weekend was the first Bristol Roller Derby B Team’s British Champs game. It was the first British Champs game ever for me so I was super excited and packed up all my things the night before in enthusiastic preparation.
This game also marked my comeback to filming and editing. I haven’t filmed or edited video for about 7-10 years and I had borrowed a Sony A6300 from someone at work to do this.
I posted my Camera set up on Instagram stories:
– Pentax Z-1p with 28-70mm lens loaded with Lomo Metropolis for shooting portraits of the skaters, NSOs and Refs. I also packed a roll of CineStill 800T for when this roll ran out as I had already shot 22 photos on the Lomo.
– Pentax Z-1p with 28-105mm lens to be loaded with Ilford HP5 and Kodak TMax both pushed to 6400ISO for shooting action.
– Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm & 55-200mm Lenses for shooting action
– Sony A6300 with 35mm prime lens for shooting video
The following morning we were packing our things into the coach that was taking us to the game, all the other skaters had packed their bags in and were waiting on the coach, except for a few people who were going back and forth just getting things out or putting things in.
I put my bag in the bottom of the coach then changed my mind and took it into the main seating area to keep on me. I wanted to get the Sony camera out so I could film a bit on the coach during the road trip to the game. The coach was pretty rammed so we ended up having to put my back back into the bottom of the coach. At some point between the bag being put back there and us getting ready to leave the bag had been taken. The coach driver asked us to check our bags as I guess he had seen someone hanging around and then maybe saw them ride off with a backpack.
That backpack was my Manfrotto camera bag containing all my cameras (except the Sony that I had taken out before the main bag was placed back into the bottom of the coach).
My Sunday changed from going to a game to photograph and film the B Team’s first British Champs game to me going home, phoning the police, cancelling all my cards and trying to make a list of everything that was stolen. I lost around £700-800 worth of kit. I have since then been in contact with my house insurance as I am covered for things outside the home, but because it is all cameras that are basically discontinued at this point I am not sure I can replace them. One thing I did do was call round all the camera shops in my area to ask them to look out for the gear and because I didn’t write down the serial numbers I then had to call around to all the places I had purchased the gear from and try and get those. Most of which I did manage to retrieve and some of the gear I even found receipts for. But some I had bought in a shop ages ago and don’t seem to have evidence of owning.
I don’t think I will see my old gear again but everyone at Roller Derby has been amazing, so many people shared my post on Facebook about the cameras being stollen that I am sure if they show up somewhere one of those 4000 eyes that saw my post will know they are mine.
The film community has also been amazing. This event happened at the same time as an interview Analogue Wonderland was published and because they shared my story people have been supporting me by buying my zine.
I have been quite overwhelmed by the kindness everyone has shown me this week.
1. keep a note of all your camera serial numbers because you never know when you will need them.
2. Get good insurance cover – if you spent a lot of money on your cameras, even if they are irreplaceable at least you will be guaranteed cash in return for your losses.
3. Be extra vigilant when packing gear into coaches, you never know who is around and waiting for a second where people aren’t paying attention to steal your stuff.
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You can also find me in the following places:
Film IG: @sisboombah
Roller Derby IG: @fillingthetime
I buy all my film from Analogue Wonderland. They are awesome, stock over 200 types of film, ship worldwide and give you points for every £1 you spend.
If you use my referral link here to make a purchase you will receive a free roll of 35mm film!