Wrestling: a new photographic frontier!

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I live in constant pursuit of photo ops, and in the last few months a strange and wonderful sequence of events has led me to a new (to me) and fun type of event to photograph: pro wrestling!
I photographed many protest marches in 2016 and 2017, and then in August of 2017 I had an ugly experience in Berkeley that made that sort of photo op less appealing to me: a group of self-righteous Antifa punks chased me off the street, and that same group was arrested less than an hour later when they attacked a news photographer a few blocks from where I had run into them.
My first reaction was to get a more compact and unassuming camera, a Sony RX 10 Mk III, which is a fraction the size of the Nikon D800 and Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8 lens I was carrying in Berkeley. I had already booked a flight to DC for Trump’s “Mother Of All Rallies” in September, and was also planning to photograph the Juggalo March taking place the same day on the National Mall. As it turned out, I found myself bored with everything there except the Juggalos, whom I found fascinating. They were welcoming and friendly, and I had many people thank me for being there and taking photos. What a difference from the hateful fear of those Antifa punks!
Through that event, I met Jiggylo (a Juggalo from Minnesota who apologized for thinking I was a narc, ha) and Kevin Gill, who was the master of ceremonies at the march. One thing led to another, and in February of this year I found myself at Juggalo Weekend in Las Vegas, where I photographed another great Insane Clown Posse show as well as a few wrestling acts. One of those wrestlers, Adan Reyes from Salt Lake City, reached out to me about some upcoming wrestling shows he had in the Seattle area, and on Saturday, March 17 I met up with him at the Combat Pro Wrestling event in Seattle at Evolv. Here are photos from that event:

Through that event, I met several of the wrestlers, as well as event promoters and the amazing ref Gearl Hebner. And through all of them, I learned of 3-2-1 Battle’s “Battlemania” event that’s taking place tonight at the Showbox in Seattle.

I am really looking forward to this event, not least because I have a brand-new Nikon D850 that will be an amazing camera for this kind of photography. My old D800 was on its last legs for the CPW event last month (had to use manual focus for everything, auto-exposure was flaky, etc), but the D850 is working perfectly and I’ve had a couple of weeks to get to know it. Doors open just 5 hours from now! Whoop whoop!

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