I love renaissance festivals for many reasons, but by far the best thing about them are the people. Once you enter through the gates you are treated as part of a bigger family. Every person you talk to is like an old friend you have not seen in a while. Good people, good food, good music, good fun, and awesome outfits all make for a great day. From a photographer's perspective I am humbled that I am allowed to capture the characters within my new found friends. To honor the opportunity I try to bring those characters to life. Now for a journey through my photographs I took yesterday at the Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade, TX. All photos can be seen here.
The weather cooperated for the most part. There were a few sprinkles of rain here and there but it wasn't strong enough to send people searching for cover. Friar Tuck seemed to enjoy it. Every time I go to the Sherwood Forest Faire I must go see Klaus Weiland. Klaus is a German folk - Guitarist and songwriter. He has lived an interesting life and makes music that will take you away. A while back I took a photo of Klaus that he just saw recently. His first response to the photo was "I am naked!" It is a great photo of Klaus and no he was not naked. Here is that photo. Now let's move onto the portraits of some awesome characters I had the pleasure to meet and photograph. This first character was competing in an archery tournament and I was able to steal him away for a bit to get a couple portraits. I also got a shot of his wife. This next gentleman has such great character presence. His facial features go well with the garb he was wearing. When you think of renaissance festivals that first thing you may think of is knight in armor. This next gentleman will open your mind to the other types of characters you could meet at a renaissance festival. His look and outfit were great. When I saw this next character it made me think of a Turkish or Russian man from medieval times. I knew I had to get a photograph and here it is. As I continue my walk through the festival I see an wizard sitting in a chair. I love that you do not see the eyes as to leave some mystery. The young lady in the next photograph I saw multiple times throughout the day and every times I saw her she was dancing. I captured her at a perfect moment which shows great movement with a little mystery. I find myself pausing on this photograph as it sucks you in and makes you think about who this dancer is and what is she thinking. Another young lady that I found captivating was joined by her horse in a slow dance of control. They way she made soft controlling movements with her horse was mesmerizing. I could have watched the two all day.
The biggest spectacle at the Sherwood Forest Faire is the jousting. At the end of the day there is a show at the castle. It was kicked off by Drones N Drums who were fantastic and got everyone pumped up for the show. Here is the bagpiper from Drones N Drums. On with the show! We start with the Sheriff of Nottingham who spouted his distaste for Robin Hood. While doing so he was caught by Queen Eleanor from her tower. King Richard the Lionheart made his appearance. He was also joined by King Philip II of France and King William of Scotland. Of course the evil Isenbart de Belame made his appearance. As tensions increase. Fighting ensues. The fighting stops, good has beaten evil, and love is found. All rejoice and Friar Tuck calls all to the tavern for mead. A tree planting memorial was held in memory of Lord Budweiser. As I listened to people reflecting on fond memories of Lord Budweiser I couldn't help but wanting to hear more about this amazing man. The day had everything you could want from an adventure. I hope my photographs and story inspire you to make your own adventure by attending a renaissance festival. I promise you will not regret it. Cheers my friends!