Photographer Ken LeBleu


ken-250Derby Name: Ken LeBleu

Derby Name Meaning or Story: I do not have an official name or anything, but I’ve sometimes been called “HouSTONE” due to something about a kidney stone attack on a plane while we were all on our way to Houston Texas.

Number meaning: There are a number of reasons why I do not have a number.. I figure that someday my number will be up, so the number one reason I do not have a number is that I do not want my gravestone to say “He died just another number.”

When and why did I join FMDG?
When a derby girls asks you to do something.. You say yes.. It is better for your health.

In October 2012, I was introduced to the sport in Brandenton (before I knew Fort Myers even had a team). It did not take long for our two worlds to collide, and for me, it was love at first sight… The combination of speed, talent, and the personalities associated with this league, was like being asked to photograph and tour with the Rolling Stones. I was very much at a crossroads as a photographer, and Roller Derby saved my life. I will forever be thankful to these incredible athletes and volunteers for that.

What do you do for a living? Full time photographer, Full time Mr. Mom, 1/2 time Guinness Beer tasting professional.

Girlfriend’s derby name if they have one, and years together? I am currently married to the Fort Myers Derby girls, and we are still on our honeymoon.

Any injuries? When and where? Announcer to the stars, Vince Hannity punched me in the kidney while I was gently sleeping on the plane to Houston and dislodged a kidney stone at 30,000 feet…. Revenge is currently in the planning stages. Other than that, the only injuries so far are from goon Ref Little Ricky who has tried to take me out 3 or 4 times.

Favorite game/derby moment and why? There are so many… but If I have to pick just one, I’d have to choose the night that FMDG legend Motley Bruze won her MVP award. I was blessed and lucky to be at the right place at the right time to capture her reaction and award. She epitomizes what Roller Derby is to me, and watching her get the MVP knowing all she did in her life to arrive at that moment… it still brings a huge smile to my face… and always will.

Favorite FMDG Derby moment? The moment Anya Dixon emailed me and asked if I would like to be the official photographer for the FMDG in 2013.

Any sorts of stats/awards we can share? Nah… I don’t do this for stats or awards… I do this for smiles on people’s faces. That is all that matters to me.

What do you love about derby? Moments. Moments of love. Moments of heartache. Moments of ultimate joy. Moments of ultimate sadness. Moments of inspiration. Moments of perspiration. Moments of friendship. Moments of pain. Moments of healing. Moments of victory. Moments of loss.

These moments all add up to moments and memories of a lifetime.

How has derby changed/impacted you in a positive way? Sometimes in life you feel adrift, and question where you fit in. Roller Derby has the uncanny ability to take anyone, from any walk of life, throw them in a room together, and somehow make each one of them feel that they belong. The world can learn quite a bit from Roller Derby.

Any tips for people that want to skate/ref/volunteer/announce with FMDG?

If you are thinking about it, you need to stop doing that…
You need to stand up, walk to the door, open it. and make your way to the rink.
That simple tip will open up a world to you that will change your life for the better.
You know that feeling you have where something is missing in your life? This is it.

The only other tip I can suggest, is that you don’t sit near Vince Hannity on an airplane if you have kidney stones.

See Ken’s amazing photos, derby & non on his website LeBleu Photo.

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