Women Riders

WBwC: Women Bikers with Cameras

Written by  April 30, 2011

I work for a portrait studio in addition to doing my own photography and graphic art.
One area our studio hasn’t touched on yet that seems to be taking off in other states is Motorcycle Portraits. Depending on the photographer or artist, the phrase “motorcycle portrait” can mean either the bike being included in a portrait or an artistic image of just the bike.

Since I had been photographing bikes (and classic cars) for a few years, I wanted to see what else was out there and, in particular, if there were women photographers who were finding their niche in this particular art form. Happily, I found a few worth mentioning.

Christina Shook’s pictorial, Chicks on Bikes, was published in 2009. She gave me the pre-published manuscript to check out (which I happily did while laid up with the shattered ankle, ironically) and sent me an invite to the publishing party, which I could not attend. Christina is still photographing women bikers as well as the more traditional family, wedding and baby portraits. She is located in the San Francisco area.

Key Derby is located in the Seattle area and puts her feet where her camera is: On a bike. Her style is “journalistic,” meaning her images reflect the lifestyles of her subjects. Karen has been a photographer since 1993 and has an eclectic body of work that includes weddings (with bikes) and family portraiture.

Krissie Mason’s site and studio is called Chickarazzi and is located in South Princeton, Minnesota. Krissie is currently seeking out fellow women Harley riders for an upcoming book. If you would like to take part, by all means contact her. If you make it into the book, please let us know!

Unlike the others, Mandy McConaha is a photojournalist and documentarian currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I found her blog while researching this subject. She has a grouping of images she shot in 2008 during Laconia’s Bike Week that I found to be quite creative so I wanted to include them here.

My own work starts out journalistic; I always can be found shooting at rallies, PGR missions, bike nights, etc. I seek out the more artistically finished rides, then spend a few hours at the computer turning them into pieces of art. The East Coast seems to be slower in embracing the concept of motorcycle portraiture than the West Coast and Midwest. The commentary on my work has been nothing but positive, but it is certainly not a moneymaker…Yet.

By Louise Reeves