Behind the Camera at the Hellgate Rollergirls Calendar Photo Shoot


I’m not what you’d call “creative.”

Or “artistic.” Or even “athletic,” “outdoorsy,” “good with people and/or animals,” “graceful,” “coordinated,” or “fashion forward.”

But this year I was nominated as committee head of the Hellgate Rollergirls Calendar Committee by a jury of my peers. Heretofore, I most notably held the position of Sponsorship Head for HGRG, a position which had landed me lunch dates with the upper-crust of Missoula’s finest business owners and associates, and allowed me to bask in the general generosity of sponsors like Community Medical Center, American Made Tattoo, Peak Physical Therapy, and Tamarack Brewing Co., and about 100 or so others to whom we quite literally owe our existence as a league.

But the calendar is a tad different (note: no fun lunch dates). It requires a concept (see above re: not creative), setting, props, skaters, photographer, graphic designer, time schedule, printer, and DOLLARS. Not necessarily in that order… at all.

To be honest, HGRG depends on the success of the calendar to pay its bills. So needless to say, I felt a teeny bit of pressure to make this year’s calendar the best we’ve ever seen. Not an easy task after last year’s prodigious, pizza-chucking, Christmas sweater-donning, fake blood, and prom dress masterpiece.

So Shut’Her Face*, Delicious Demon**, and I got busy.

We decided this year’s calendar theme would be Uniquely Missoula. And boy did it turn out unique.

Including some of Missoula’s most iconic and beloved places, themes, and activities, we shot at Mo’Bash Skate Park, Big Dipper, the XXX’s, California Bridge graffiti wall, The Wilma, UM Oval, the fairgrounds, the Carousel, the river trail, and the courthouse.

We had a quart of fake blood, six bottles of spray paint, chickens (the goat didn’t make the cut), a sequined bustier, a fire truck, several dogs, three bags of marshmallows, a pipe wrench, and we even got pulled over by the sheriff in order to bring you, what is hopefully the most memorable calendar you’ll ever own.

Please join us as we celebrate the birthing of the Hellgate Rollergirls 2013 calendar at the Tamarack Brewing Company on First Friday, November 2, from 6-9pm. Pick up a calendar (or three) as a gift, or get one for yourself, plus the skaters will be on hand to personally sign their months for you.

You lucky dog, Missoula.


*Shut’Her Face is the lovely and talented Athena of Athena Photography. You can see her work at her website.

**Delicious Demon is a former Dirt Road Doll, and a local artist and graphic designer. You can see her work on Facebook at An Anneke Creation.

Photos courtesy of Athena Photography.


Violet Hopkins, aka Montucky Lucky, spends her days as an Admissions Evaluator for UM. She’s been coaching and skating with HGRG since June 2010, and refuses to quit until her poor, beleaguered husband carries her, kicking and screaming, to an ER. Also, she wants you to buy a calendar.

If you can’t make the calendar release party, coming soon the calendars will be for sale on HGRG’s website.