This past December, I attended the Dickens on the Strand festival in Galveston, TX. It’s a great festival and I’ll show you that in this post.
If you follow me on social media, you know I like to arrive early when attending special events. It’s easier to park and I like to capture the beginning of the event with photos to add to the story of a day in attendance.
Here is a shot of the Strand. It’s a perfect place for a festival. They host a Mardi Gras celebration here also and you can read about that in another post of mine. I love how clean the street is. Nice job.
Here is the write up about the festival…
Dickens on the Strand is an annual Christmas festival organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation in Galveston, Texas occurring the first weekend in December. Established in 1974 and set against the historical backdrop of Galveston’s Strand, participants come to witness and relive the Charles Dickens era.
Here’s another write up…
For several years, Galveston’s Christmas festival Dickens on the Strand has been a big hit during the holiday season, drawing crowds of more than 35,000, according to Galveston Historical Foundation.
One of the first things I noticed at DOTS was the trash can covers. It may seem trivial, but having the trash cans covered like this increases the aesthetic value of the festival. If you didn’t notice trash cans everywhere, it worked because they blended in.
I met Scott early in the morning that Saturday. He’s a balloon artist.
When I attend special events, I like to cover the food as well. This is Naji’s food stand.
He serves a variety of food and it all looks good.
He told me that he went through 11 cases of Turkey Legs in one day.
I asked Naji to make me a plate of just a few fried shrimp. He loaded me up and didn’t charge me.
The breakfast of champions.
The event has several street vendors and that gives it a great feel for a street festival.
Captain America. Very cool look.
On this Saturday, I saw this gentleman walking towards me and I stopped him for a pic. Take note of this because it will come up later in this post.
These two guys had some really nice uniforms on. Thumbs up.
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, from June 20th, 1837 until her death on January 22nd, 1901.
A beautiful young lady in a beautiful dress.
Here is a write up about Dickens…
Charles Dickens, Charles John Huffam Dickens, (born February 7, 1812, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England – died June 9, 1870, Gad’s Hill, near Chatham, Kent), English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian era.
Even though DOTS is about the Dickens / Victorian era, you will see almost anything by way of costumes, outfits and garb.
Great dresses with matching hats. Very nice.
This woman is a Pony Express rider. I said I thought she was Calamity Jane. She said she gets that a lot. I think it’s the hat.
Here is the write up about Steampunk’s era…
The most common historical steampunk settings are the Victorian and Edwardian eras, though some in this “Victorian steampunk” category are set as early as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and as late as the end of World War I.
This guy did stunts like lie on a bed of nails. Interesting street performers help create a fun environment at DOTS.
This gentleman would give you a ride on the back of his conveyance. Notice how I didn’t say bicycle. That’s because I’m not sure what to call what he is riding.
And you will see Pirates at the festival.
Lots of Bobbies at DOTS.
Here is the write up about Bobbies…
Bobby, slang term for a member of London’s Metropolitan Police derived from the name of Sir Robert “Bob” Peel, who established the force in 1829. Police officers in London are also known as “peelers” for the same reason.
I came across a few Santas.
Notice her Steampunk goggles and corset. Cute girl, good look.
There was even a place to play a game of Cricket.
Here’s another gentleman offering rides.
Creative uses for the same material.
The Queen and her Court.
The beggars are a favorite of mine to photograph. The baby with black marks on his face is cute.
The festival has several groups that sing throughout the day. Great voices and great outfits.
I came across the Queen talking with Charles Dickens. She was giving him what for because he missed her party. Funny exchange.
He then read a selection for the audience. This guy looks a lot like Charles Dickens.
Here is the real Dickens for your comparison.
Great outfits and pith helmets. With Steampunk goggles as well.
My favorite Steampunk couple.
Charles Dickens wrote fifteen novels. He also wrote short stories, essays, articles and novellas.
Bobbies on this stand gave helpful info and offered great photos.
The girl in the shades struck a great pose.
Great beggar pose.
Steampunk is a favorite of mine and I love how creative people get with it.
One cute Pirate.
Beautiful dresses and parasols.
Attending DOTS is like Time Traveling. I love walking down the Strand and seeing all kinds of people. Pirates may be my favorite.
Another favorite beggar family.
I took several photos of the different choirs. One mother saw a photo on my site where I had captured her 2 daughters with their choir. She then donated to our charity foundation because she was so pleased.
I met Tony at the Texas Renaissance Festival and then again at DOTS. Great Steampunk look.
A stand sold these mugs and then you could fill up the rest of the day for free.
Three lovely ladies having a fun time.
“Get your damned dirty hands off of my wine.”
Bobbies are always unarmed and only carry a Night Stick. When they were created, it was decided to try and differentiate them from the British Military, which was viewed with some hostility.
Another parasol in this next pic.
What is the difference between an umbrella and a parasol?
Generally, an umbrella has a curved handle to allow for easy grip and storage. A parasol, however, (in Latin para for “shelter or shield” and sol “sun”) is typically constructed from more delicate fabrics such as lace, cotton, silk, linen, canvas and plastic.
The steam from his jet pack is really awesome. Great pic of a cool couple.
A good looking and sounding choir.
A fun-loving girl here.
I’ve photographed this couple at the TexRenFest also.
A beautiful woman in a great hat and outfit.
Choirs add to the great atmosphere of the festival.
Lovely hats and great sashes.
Pirates make any party better.
Plenty of food options at the festival.
Everyone has a great time at DOTS. Great parasol in the background.
Street performers are a great addition and they entertain a lot of people.
How do you make a Pirate mad?
Take away the P.
A Steampunk Santa and Mrs. Claus. Very cool indeed.
Another great pic of a beautiful woman.
It takes a lot of talent to walk on stilts. My hat is off to her.
A Bobby told me that I had a ‘Get out of Jail’ card for the day. I never needed it.
A fun pic.
This is one stylish couple.
The phrase “what the dickens,” first mentioned in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, was a euphemism for conjuring the devil.
Charles Dickens first wrote under the name of Boz because he didn’t want any negative references to the devil.
Once his work became known by the public, he used his real name.
Dickens owned a beloved raven he named Grip, and it even appears as a character in his novel Barnaby Rudge.
Following the bird’s death from eating lead paint chips later that year, Dickens replaced it with another raven, also called Grip, which was allegedly the inspiration behind Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.”
A great looking group of friends enjoying the festival.
Edgar Allan Poe made an appearance at the festival. Here is the write up about Poe…
Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States, and of American literature.
This guy did a a great job with his recitation of Poe’s work.
These next pics are from the Sunday of the festival.
Naji hooked me up with something for breakfast.
Beefeaters out in full-force.
A favorite of mine from the event.
My favorite beggar family.
Pirates and vampires. Ya gotta love DOTS.
What do you call a Pirate with both eyes and both legs?
Another write up about Dickens…
Early in 1843, as a response to a government report on the abuse of child laborers in mines and factories, Dickens vowed he would strike a “sledge-hammer blow… on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.”
That sledge-hammer was ‘A Christmas Carol’.
I happen to catch the Queen and her procession heading down the Strand. Great pic.
This gentleman on the left said he didn’t care for Pirates, so I told him I was a Privateer. All good Pirates know how to lie.
Another great performer at the festival.
I ran into this couple again on Sunday.
He’ll always get a close-up. He looks that good.
In addition to ravens, Dickens loved cats.
When his cat, Bob, died in 1862, he had its’ paw stuffed and mounted to an ivory letter opener and engraved with “C.D., In memory of Bob, 1862.” The letter opener is now on display at the Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library.
The Ghost of Christmas Past.
A beautiful family in great clothes.
A Pirate and the cutest little dog.
Okay, now for an explanation. That gentleman that I photographed on Saturday turned out to be the great, great, great grandson of Charles Dickens.
Here’s Ollie Dickens on the left and the gentleman playing Charles Dickens.
The little dog steals the show.
Talent abounds at DOTS.
Lazy slackers, lol.
This guy played a great Edgar Allan Poe. Hat’s off to him as well.
Now for my pics from Sunday.
Here I am with Scott. He made a lot of money making balloon figures.
With the Queen.
One of my favorite pics from the weekend.
Chuck and I.
Another fav of mine with Ollie DIckens.
Well, that’s it for Dickens on the Strand – 2021. To see all of my photos, go to the link below and click on Photos. Enjoy.
Always be yourself… unless you can be a Pirate, then always be a Pirate.
I first met Phil Brayton a few years back, at a comicon in Houston. He was dressed as his Barbarian character. I knew that when I saw him, I immediately wanted to get his photo. This first photo is from the first time I ever met Phil.
When I decided to work several weekends at the Texas Renaissance Festival, I didn’t expect to see Phil there. When I walked inside the gates of TRF, he was one of the first people that I saw. This next pic is from that first encounter at the TexRenFest.
Phil has been working at TRF for 12 years. In the mornings, he poses as his Barbarian character, then after the noon parade, he comes out as Tan Man.
He is 6’6″ and 325 pounds… a mountain of a man.
Phil is called a Badged Entertainer and there are only 5 at TRF.
His Barbarian character is the 3rd highest photographed person at the TexRenFest and his Tan Man character is in the Top Ten in photos taken of him.
I tried to get a pic with Phil each time that I saw him.
Out of the many people that I met at TRF, Phil is one of the nicest. He was always so complimentary of me and the way I dressed.
At one point, he said I was the Best Dressed Photographer at the TexRenFest.
Phil started out his career working in the Medical Field. Then, in his late 30’s, he switched to Mortuary Science and has been working in that calling for over 25 years.
As you can tell, Phil is a real life character.
He also plays Donald Trump. Phil is a Social Media Influencer that works in New Orleans, Houston and Galveston.
He plays Capt. Jazz, the Ghost of Christmas Present, the Barbarian, the Mountain Man and also Houston’s Tan Man.
Phil went to a White Linen party in the Heights of Houston years ago and a friend started calling him Tan Man and the name stuck.
Phil is known far and wide by many thousands of people and also has thousands of Followers on his social media accounts.
Here’s a pic of Phil with some friends at the White Linen Party.
They made the paper with the caption, ‘Life of the Party’. No truer words have ever been printed.
Phil has been in the media spotlight for several years now and been a part of many Promos for a lot of events.
Here he is for the Super Bowl that was hosted in Houston.
Every major social media influencer has been a part of a meme.
Here he is as the Ghost of Christmas Present during Dickens on the Strand in Galveston, TX.
He also has hundreds of thousands of views for his videos.
The Marlboro Man at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The Undertaker with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Here he is at the Lone Star Motorcycle Rally in Galveston.
At Saint Arnold’s Brewery with the owners.
Mountain Man at the Houston Rodeo BBQ Cook Off.
Mister Astro with some babes.
Here is a pic of Phil while working in his calling.
As I stated earlier, I’ve met many people in my line of work and Phil is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He’s fun-loving, carefree and always so kind.
I asked Phil what it is that he could say about working at the Texas Renaissance Festival and he said this… “I love working at TRF because it is a Judgement-Free Zone. You could be a 500 pound man wearing a Tutu and you will be the most popular guy there.”
My hat goes off to people like Phil who live life to the fullest and get the most out of our time here on this planet. I look forward to seeing and photographing Phil many more times in the future.
Cheers to Phil Brayton for just being himself.
Phil Brayton Fan
Thanx for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. To see all of the 3,105 pics and videos from the TexRenFest 2021, click on the link below and go to Photos.
“Always be yourself… unless you can be a Pirate, then always be a Pirate.”
This is a post about the last weekend of the Texas Renaissance Festival. I attended 6 out of 8 weekends and enjoyed myself, thoroughly. I met some great people, ate a lot of good food, saw some great shows and got a lot of pics and videos.
For the last weekend of the festival, Celtic Christmas, I ended up with 734 pics. For the entire 6 weekends that I attended, I added a total of 3,105 photos from the event.
I arrived first at the festival again on this Friday after Thanksgiving. These first pics are from that Friday.
I enjoy seeing the Front Gate Plaza early in the morning. There is something peaceful about knowing that as quiet as it is it will get so much more exciting as the day goes on.
I have a special project that I’ll be working on soon that is about the TexRenFest. This may be the cover photo.
I’ll let you know when the project is ready to view. Should be late Spring or Early Summer of 2022. I think many people will enjoy reading my book about my adventures at TRF for 2021. The book will have hundreds of pics from the event with lots of great costumes, outfits and garb, as well as some fun-loving, great characters and patrons.
Hamish McGregor always has the early morning guests entertained with his pipe playing and entertaining stories and jokes.
Rudy does a great job as Hamish and is a well-loved character at the festival.
Hard to believe that about 500,000 people will pass through these gates in 8 weekends.
Always buy a program. These girls and guys are usually the first people you meet in the Plaza and once inside the Front Gate. And they’re always happy to see you.
Queen Isabella looked very good in front of the Christmas tree at the front. Nuria is one of my favorite people to see at TRF.
I love the creativity that goes into some of the costumes and outfits worn by the cast and crew. They help create the fantasy world of the TexRenFest.
Erin as Glinda the Good and the Spanish King.
Katrina as a Bride of Frankenstein.
Micah as Crayon. The kids love her and many come back by at the end of the day to say goodbye to her. We wish Micah luck with her career in the Navy and look forward to her return to the festival one day.
Micah always gave me some great pics.
She was one of the people that I gave the close-up treatment to because I enjoyed her pic so much.
Jade is another person that always gets the close-up treatment. Jade is one of my favorite characters at TRF. I love the effort she puts in to create her face and overall look.
Two very pretty ladies.
I stopped by to see these ladies at a food stand and snapped their pic. I love that all of the workers at the festival like having their photo taken.
I bought the crab cakes from them for breakfast. They were hot and good.
I enjoyed photographing the Pickle Vendors. And I ate a few pickles as well. Always delicious.
I learned of a pizza place in the village and found it this last weekend. The pizza is great and one of my new favorite places to eat.
Lilly always looked so pretty. I loved watching her dance to the music of Tartanic.
I ran into Tony again. And this time, he was Elfis. What a funny outfit and great name. Very creative.
The ears look great and a green mustache with those glasses tops this look off.
Elvis would be proud.
It looks like Tony would be saying, “Hey, Baby. What’s shakin’?””
I took Alan’s pic a few times. He works the door at the Wyrmwood Public House. The best bar in the village.
Mickey made my daily kamikaze.
I look forward to TRF 2022 and seeing all of my new friends again.
I love purple and this singing duo rock it. The Minstrel Rav’n always looked great.
This family was having a fun time.
And she deserved a close-up treatment.
Monsieur Bunny, or Daddy as he prefers. I have lived a long life and never had to call anyone Daddy… until now, lol.
Next TRF, I plan to try the coconuts.
Cute workers always with a smile to greet you.
Who doesn’t like a nice kilt?
Kevin was always fun to photograph.
This is a good pose and a nice pic of him.
What’s better than a pic of a Pirate? A pic of two Pirates.
Hercules brought out his fur for the last weekend because it was a little chilly.
Always get the wings in the frame.
Krampus made an appearance.
If a dad dressed like this for Christmas morning to surprise his kids… he’d scar them for life, haha.
Skidmark was looking festive.
A working man in his office.
A great group shot.
Erika always looked so beautiful.
Greg and Sara were so nice to me during the TexRenFest and I look forward to spending time with them again the next festival.
Haley looked great in her Christmas outfit. The word on the top of her head is ‘Naughty’.
I bet Santa would still give her some gifts though.
I like this guy’s blue, leather vest. Very nice. And he was always nice enough to pose for me.
A Pirate Santa. Good Look.
I met Pam while I was working the festival. She was a lot of fun to hang out with.
The crew of the Sea Devil bar.
Blaze looked happy to be at work on this Friday.
While working at TRF, you make some great friends and lasting relationships.
Big Pirate hats always look god.
Hamish McGregor and a friend singing a tune while in the village.
More good friends.
My favorite Krampus and St. Nicholas. Nice guys and fun to shoot.
And deserving of a close-up.
Great Promo Gal and she loves her job.
One stylish gentleman. I’d definitely wear these clothes. Very sharp.
Another St. Nicholas and his lady.
Jesus and Santa. I photographed Jesus and Satan a few weeks earlier than this.
One of my favorite pics out of all of the TRF photos. He’ll enjoy this pic for years of him and his little boy.
Greg and I in the Catskill Mountain Moccasins booth, number 212.
And with the ever beautiful, Sara.
Now, we’re on to the pics from Saturday of the Celtic Christmas weekend. I was there first again.
The entrance to a great fantasy world where you’re free to be whatever and whomever.
As you can tell, I love this view.
The gates to fun and frivolity.
A lot of people will come down this walkway on this day.
Another cold day in the village.
Ready for action.
Playing his pipes.
Micah as Crayon. So cute.
Micah is full of energy and so fun-loving.
Erin, looking splendid, as usual.
One of Hercules’ best poses for me. He has a good double bicep pose.
Pennywise was a favorite of mine to photograph.
This was the first weekend that she didn’t wear a mask and she looked awesome.
Her face make-up is so great. And close-up material.
Jade, looking her best.
She never disappoints.
In the early morning, right after I enter the Kingdom, I usually get a lot of photos of the characters. This beautiful girl was fun to shoot also.
Phil Brayton was always a pleasure to run into. Through some stats, I learned that Phil’s Barbarian character is the 3rd most photographed person at TRF. And his Tan Man character is in the Top Ten.
I had kolaches and milk from the Queen’s Pantry on this Saturday morning. Always a good start to my day.
MJ and a co-worker. I bought a nice hip pouch from them that I use quite often now. Great quality.
Some very fun ladies.
Skidmark is one character I really enjoy watching work. He’s extremely entertaining.
One time, a guy told me to focus my pics on the beautiful girls. I told him I had that covered. Case in point, this photo.
These 2 characters always enjoyed posing for me and I thank them for that.
Daddy in his element.
Leos is more of man than I am. I even wore Long Johns on this day and he went shirtless.
Lilly, looking fabulous.
Haley with a different Christmas outfit and always looking cute.
This girl’s mother told me where she worked so I could go get her photo. It came out great.
I had several bowls of etouffee from Blaze’s booth.
The crew of the Sea Devil bar. Another good pic fo their gang.
Family pics are fun.
A really good Grinch.
She gave me some advice and it was really bad.
Pirates are always fun to photograph.
Sara and Abby.
Booth 212 – Catskill Mountain Moccasins.
Another good crew photo.
Paolo entertaining the crowd.
The Spanish Court.
Another pic of this beautiful redhead. Her hat is awesome.
A fun group to shoot.
I had to get a pic of these two.
Apollo promoting their show.
Blaze and a friend.
I ran into Tony again on Saturday and this time I got some better pics.
His shoes were very cool.
I only had a few people refuse to pose for me during my time working the festival. I’m glad this girl decided to pose for me.
How much does it cost a Pirate to pierce his ears?
A buck an ear.
A festive group that was enjoying their day at TRF.
She has a great hat and looks good in it.
Eye contacts can always improve a look.
Another great Grinch.
Abby in a good-looking outfit.
The only Christmas tree that I photographed.
I love these guys.
The stuff of nightmares.
Two more cute food stand workers.
A smiling group shot.
You gotta love seeing people having a good time.
Another festive group.
Cute Pirates are always a pleasure to run into and photograph.
And deserving of a close-up.
One of my favorite poses. Love the hat.
Talent in the village abounds.
I love the hat on the far right.
Now for my pics from Saturday. Big Phil and I.
I’ve got a tough job, lol.
Sara and I.
Abby was fun to pose with.
Greg always had on great garb.
I would leave everyday about 2 or 3pm and I always saw more people coming in.
My view when I leave.
These next pics are from Sunday, the last day of TRF for 2021. I like that the plaza always looks so clean.
I’m already looking forward to going back this next year.
My last pic with Willy for the year.
Another chilly day in the village.
I was asked to shoot the group shot for the Front Gate staff and it came out great.
Leo was nice enough to let me into the Kingdom early a few days and I appreciated that.
Nuria always took a good photo.
You’ll notice a lot of smiling faces in my pics.
I intend to interview Jade next season to learn more about her character and other things like how long it takes her to get ready.
I’d be curious to know how long it takes to do her face make-up.
Micah was a natural with the kids and an asset for the Texas Renaissance Festival.
I’ll miss getting her pics while she’s in the Navy, but I respect her service to our country.
She’ll do the USA proud.
A regal gentleman. It’s good to be the King.
I ran into Phil in another area and snapped his pic one last time for 2021.
This girl always had a great pose.
Case in point.
The staff at my favorite pizza place.
These girls looks festive in their Santa’s Helpers outfits.
Alex was fun to shoot and I look forward to seeing her next season.
Next season at TRF, I’ll focus more on the food.
Lots of characters working the food booths also.
It’s hard not to be hungry as you walk around because the food all looks and smells so good.
I tried some of the chicken.
Another great outfit.
Love the headdress.
How do pickles enjoy the day out?
They relish it.
One fabulous costume.
The ears, the hair, the horns, the make-up… all fantastic.
Why would you expect the coconuts vendors to pose funny?
You tell me, lol.
This look takes some time. Great job.
I look forward to going back to the Glory Hole for my morning beer.
Great horns and a great pic.
The Sea Devil is a great place to get some good pics.
Case in point.
Blaze was a redhead this last day of the festival and looked great.
Her co-worker looked great as well.
This crew asked me to take their staff photo and I was happy to do it.
Alex always looked cute.
Easy to see why I always passed by their booth for photos.
A really good face make-up job.
Another time-consuming job, but well worth it when you see the final look.
How do Pirates prefer to communicate?
Aye to aye.
Another lady that works with Tartanic along with Lilly.
A great Santa.
With a funny close-up.
Paolo playing some tunes.
Alan looking quite sharp.
Erika looked great the first day I photographed her and to this last day.
Melissa and Vebecka while at work in the Asgardian Armory, booth number 211.
The staff that works for Shiva. Great clothes.
I look forward to seeing Violet next season also. She’s a great Fire Dancer.
And gets a close-up.
Next season, I’m going to try and shoot over 4,000 pics. I’ll be attending all 8 weekends with no bad luck and I think I can do it, plus, I’ll have assistants.
I bet they were warm on this cold day.
I plan on shooting lots more videos also.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with Pam. She’s a lot of fun to hang out with.
How did the Pirate call his mate?
On an Aye Phone.
This King has some great looking rings.
I saw more furries on this last weekend.
Hercules saved his best pose for the last day of the festival.
These two girls worked at a food stand but were enjoying the last day as patrons.
This is the last person that I photographed at TRF for 2021 and I snapped it as I was walking to my Tahoe. 3,105th pic.
Now for my pics from the last day. Rudy was one of the nicer people that I met at TRF.
I imagine Jade gets photographed quite a lot. Gotta be in the top 5 of all the characters.
I’ll have a special post about Phil coming up soon. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Blaze is wearing one of my STORM Factory beanies, just backwards while she was working.
My last pic with Erika.
Many thanks to Greg for his hospitality towards me during the 2021 TRF season.
A pic with Shelbelle Shamrock on the Wyrmwood patio.
My last pic with a character at TRF for 2021.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Texas Renaissance Festival and I’m looking forward to going back this next season. Many thanks to everyone that posed for and with me. It was a lot of work, a lot of driving and long hours of walking and also working on the computer, but I loved every minute of it.
Hope to see some familiar faces at the next TexRenFest and if you see us, come say hi and get a pic.
Thanx for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. To see all of the 3,105 pics and videos from the TexRenFest 2021, click on the link below and go to Photos.
“Always be yourself… unless you can be a Pirate, then always be a Pirate.”
The fifth weekend that I attended the Texas Renaissance Festival was the Highland Fling weekend. This was my first time visiting the Kingdom on this weekend and I didn’t know what I was in for.
I had an assistant working with me this weekend, so you’ll see some behind the scenes shots of what it is that I do at TRF. These first pics are from the Saturday of the Highland Fling weekend.
I climb up on the King’s throne to get these pics.
At TRF, there is regular parking that is free. With this free parking, sometimes it is a helluva long walk to the festival and then back to your car.
There’s also Preferred Parking, which costs $20. I did that one day and liked the proximity to the front entrance of the festival. And after a long day of walking, having a short walk to my Tahoe is a blessing.
TRF also has Handicap Parking for free and also Valet Parking for $40. The pic below is of the valet area before anyone showed up. It is right near the front gates. I mean, right there.
I was able to get my assistant to snap a pic of me on the throne. It’s not as easy to get up there as you would think.
We ran into this guy at the front entrance area. When I asked for his pic, he struck this pose.
Then, he put on his goggles, extended his wings and struck another pose for us. Impressive is a good word for his look.
Pennywise was right inside of the front gates and I was glad to get her photo. She must have a party size can of helium to have a fresh red balloon every morning. It completes the whole picture.
Tinker Bell was always a lot of fun to photograph. I see the TRF characters from early in the morning until the afternoon. They are always energetic, in character and having fun.
It takes a special type of person to work as a character at the TexRenFest and they have a lot of special people on staff, Tinker Bell being one for sure.
I’m quite sure that there were 2 different girls playing this role. They were good characters and always happily posed for myself and my assistant.
The guy in the middle knows how to pose to make a statement. He was always fun to photograph and gave us some good pics.
After spending some time near the front gates, my assistant, Ryan, and I headed to what I call ‘Food Stand Row’. There are several food stands lined up and next to each other. I would walk down this row and get pics of all of the people working in said stands.
This day, Blaze was wearing glasses.
And we took some pics without them. Blaze knows how to pose to create a good picture.
If anyone gets a close-up, it’s Blaze.
After taking some pics, Ryan and I ordered what would be called Brunch because we ate between breakfast and lunch.
This photo of Blaze serving hot, delicious food is a favorite of mine because it says a lot about the festival in one pic.
On the left is crawfish etouffee and on the right is shrimp etouffee. We enjoyed this meal and headed to the Sea Devil area for a morning beer.
Amanda was there to serve them to us. The little bar that she works at is called ‘The Glory Hole’. That’s really funny.
This is a shot that I’m proud of. They each spent a lot of money on their clothing and hats to look this good. Kudos.
The staff at the Sea Devil bar were always up for a photo. They have a good job at TRF. They work at one of the coolest places to hang out, there’s a live band that plays right in front of them and everybody loves a bartender serving good drinks.
As a note, I bought some Honey Mead from the Sea Devil bar. I think I’ll need to drink some more before I give it a thumbs up or down. One small plastic cup isn’t enough for a fair review.
These 2 girls are good friends and it shows. Fun pic.
Here is an example of a mid-range shot that I always take of people.
And from that pic, I can create a close-up like this. “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
That is a very famous line from an old movie called ‘Sunset Strip’. The delusional Norma Desmond is about to be arrested for murder. She sees a news camera and thinks she’s on a movie set with Cecil B. DeMille directing the film. She delivers that famous line and it has been used over and over again.
That was your Hollywood History for today.
Hercules struck several different poses for me when I came across him in the Kingdom. Some call this pose the Double Biceps. Others know it as ‘The Gun Show’.
Next TRF, I’m going to ask him where he got that head piece. It’s amazing. And I bet it kept his head warm on those colder days during the festival.
This was the second time that I ran into this pretty lady. I think it was 2 weekends in a row. If you are a fan of people wearing great hats, then the Texas Renaissance Festival is for you.
I’ll give you one guess as to what this guy’s name is… He even gave me a wristband with his name on it.
Mr. and Mrs. Painkiller. Looking good.
I ran into some Star Wars people, but not as many as you would think. Still a good number of people came as their favorite Star Wars character. I always saw a Mandolorian or two, each weekend.
Here is another time when I use the word striking. As in, “She was striking.”
Definition of Striking… Someone who is striking is very attractive, in a noticeable way.
Here is another mid-range shot that I always take of people. Her necklace is awesome as well.
And another close-up that came from the mid-range pic.
Here’s Erika at Booth 211, Asgardian Armory. She had so many different looks for each day of the festival. I think she wore something different each day for 17 days.
I don’t think it’s possible for Erika to take a bad pic.
Ran into Leos again. As you may have noticed, he was at the festival for a lot of days. At the next TRF, his brother Argos is supposed to join him.
How many brush strokes to create the look of Leos’ face? In a previous post, I guessed at 200. It could be more. His face always looks great.
Alex Draco had on his tartan for the Highland Fling weekend.
I would not be able to go to TRF as either of these 2 characters for several reasons.
My stomach hasn’t looked like that in 25 years and I’m a whimp when it comes to cold weather. My hat is off to both Alex and Leos for their efforts to create such a great Kingdom, full of all kinds of characters.
This guy looked really good. A tartan hat set him apart from all others that were there celebrating the Highland Fling.
This fine couple performs for the guests of the TexRenFest. Purple is one of my favorite colors and they look great in it.
Their IG account is called The_Minstrel_Rav’n. Here is what they say about themselves…
“Telling Songs and Singing Stories of Pirates, Taverns and Elven Lasses.”
Fun couple with a cool job.
I saw a lot of people with those wooden drinking vessels. This couple had them and looked like they were enjoying a walk through the Kingdom while having a drink.
Nuria as Queen Isabella. The entire Spanish Court were wearing tablecloths around their dresses. It was their way of celebrating the Highland Fling while still being in character.
Here is another favorite pic of ours. Such beautiful dresses and he looks great as well. I’d wear what he has on just to run errands around Houston, lol.
A second pic, the mid-range shot, is always a great way to capture the details of people’s clothing, outfit, costume or garb.
I also liked this next guy’s look.
I asked them to get together for a shot of the 2 of them.
Then, I asked him to remove his helmet. I sometimes prefer a photo of someone holding their helmet. It shows the face behind the headgear and they always look cool holding their helmet. Like they’re ready for action.
If I hadn’t asked him to remove his helmet, he would have been content with the shot of him and his girl. Like it is, they loved the shot without his helmet also and even posted it on social media and tagged The STORM Factory. I like it when things turn out like that. I feel like I’ve done my job well.
Here is the King of Spain. I didn’t talk with him much, but he was always nice enough to pose for me.
This was a fun group to photograph. The guy on the left had some great eyes.
This is when I really enjoy the close-ups.
If you didn’t think she was a favorite of mine, you’d be wrong.
Blue is a good color for her.
The Spanish King and his Court. Here, you can see them all wearing, what I think are, tablecloths.
I introduced Bird in a previous post about TRF. She works with the bagpipe band Tartanic by selling CD’s and other merchandise to the audience watching their show.
I’ve mentioned before that I love the fact that Pirates show up on every weekend, no matter what the theme is…
“The theme this weekend is the Highland Fling, but we’re going as Pirates.”
“Great. I’m in.”
One of the prettiest Pirates that I photographed.
Alex looked great on this Saturday of the Highland Fling.
Here’s a pic of their crew. During the Celtic Christmas weekend, they called me over to photograph them in their Holiday outfits. That pic came out great. You’ll see it in a future post.
I wanted to try their fried crawfish, so after taking some pics, I order some.
It was a good meal and I almost ate all of it. I didn’t want to feel bloated while I walked and worked.
I never noticed this before, but Kevin is wearing a pair of Steampunk goggles around his neck on this Saturday. I’m a big fan of Steampunk. Here is what Wikipedia says about it…
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates retrofuturistic technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.
Any good Pirate worth his salt has a good ring collection. I know I do.
Definition of ‘worth one’s salt’…
To be ‘worth one’s salt’ is to be worth one’s pay, or good at your job or profession. Being a Pirate is a full-time job.
Another good pic of a nice couple enjoying their day at TRF.
Most all Pirates have a swagger in their poses. If you look in the back, on the left, you’ll see Amanda working in ‘The Glory Hole’.
Scott would come by to chat with Amanda every day that he attended the festival, which was several times. I would be there some days also, having my morning beer from Amanda. We’d talk about the festival, the characters, and other things TRF related.
These next pics are funny.
I was told by a guy that I needed to go get this guy’s pic. When he turned around and I saw his breasts, I started laughing. I took a full-body shot and then this mid-range shot.
Then I asked him to grab his tit. Gold.
I was able to run into this girl a few different times while I was working at the TexRenFest.
She happily posed for me and got some great pics.
Pothead. Jay wears a pot on his head and one person called him Pothead. So do I.
Jay told me that every flower in his pot was given to him by a kid at the festival. Pretty cool.
Here’s Tits McGee and his friends enjoying some beer at the Sea Devil.
These girls work at the Wyrmwood Public House. That’s Shelbelle Shamrock in the middle.
The Burlesque Show at the Wyrmwood is great and you should check it out this next TRF. I highly suggest it.
This guy looks so good that he looks like he just walked off of a Hollywood movie set.
This is the crew of one of the shops located around TRF. I tried to get a lot of workers.
Mario and Luigi. Great!!
There is a funny story with this couple.
After I photographed them as a couple, I asked to get some pics of just her. So I did.
I then showed the pics to her and after seeing them, she said, “The girls look nice.”
I had to agree.
I would be curious to know who is the most photographed character at TRF. This girl has a seat on a pedestal and she sits there as people come by and snap pics of her.
I have said this before, but I’m convinced that there are 2 different girls that play this role. And both look great.
Good friends, good times.
I ran into Lilly Bontemp on this Saturday. She had a wooden drinking vessel also.
Her hat has a mermaid on it, but it’s the skeleton of a mermaid. That is very much like a Pirate.
This lady has 3 different nose rings. I’d be so scared of accidentally ripping my nose up when something got caught on it. She fit in at TRF perfectly.
Some choose to stay in character for their photos. I like the guy’s outfit. That’s another one that I’d wear.
Bree and Erika at Asgardian Armory.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I think colored contact lenses can complete a certain look and often times put it over the top.
In this shot is an example of contacts creating a great look. She looks Awesome with a capital A.
If ever there was a reason for a close-up.
I brought Ryan by the Wyrmwood for a drink.
Mickey made us 2 kamikazes. We downed them and hit the road to get some more pics.
I’m not a fan of people raising their arms like this. In order to get the arm in the frame, the pic ends up being a lot further back. She does look great though.
In this shot, you’ll see what I mean. Her arm is lower, which allows me to crop in and get closer to see more details.
Next TexRenFest, I’ll spend more time covering this woman’s act. She’s in a group with other dancers and they’re all as pretty as her.
Haley was wearing a tartan skirt to celebrate the Highland Fling.
This is a good example of my shooting practices. The pic above is a full-body shot. This pic is a mid-range shot. And the next pic after this one is the close-up I was able to create from this pic.
The flowers and her face make-up gave her a great look.
I’ve mentioned several acts that I want to cover the next TRF. This dancer is in one of the acts I’ll cover.
Apollo always took some time to pose for a pic. That was cool of him.
Lilly changes the flowers on her hat and uses similar colors on her face that match the rest of her clothing. It all goes together. Her stockings are great also.
If you’ve never seen Lilly dancing around while Tartanic plays, you’re missing out. It’s a high-point of the day for a lot of people.
This lady worked with the band, Tartanic, also. Pretty fantastic face make-up.
Here’s Philip. I’ve mentioned this before, but he was voted as one of the Top 10 Pirates of TRF for 2021 by our group at the STORM Factory.
I would love to have a coat like that. I’d wear it everywhere. Philip was the only Pirate that had a great hook. We love his hat, the hair, the hook, the coat… everything. Kudos to Philip.
My friend, Chelsea. She told me one day, “I want to thank you for always asking to take my picture before you do.” I told her, “Of course.”
That is my policy. I don’t shoot people without them knowing it, which a lot of photographers do at TRF. When you see those guys with the long lenses… well, those aren’t for close-ups.
They like to stay a long ways away and shoot people without them knowing. I believe that to be downright wrong.
This sign is for the booth that I’ll be meeting people next TRF for photos.
This is the Wyrmwood Public House. That upstairs patio is awesome.
Maps on a scroll. Very cool, indeed. Good move by TRF.
One of the things I told Ryan, when he was working with me, is to never cut off parts of people’s costumes, outfits, or garb. This next pic is an example of getting all of the top feathers in the pic. Possibly, other photogs would cut them out.
I love that there are big parades on both weekend days. And always starting at noon helps me cover them.
Who doesn’t cheer for beer?
Jade, looking great as always.
These next shots are by Ryan while I was shooting video of this act. This is Cirque Olympus.
I’ll load the videos from TRF on YouTube soon.
Both of the girls in Cirque Olympus are amazing. It’s a great show and if you’re at TRF again, you should definitely check them out. You won’t be disappointed.
It takes years of conditioning to be able to do this several times a day.
She did all of these maneuvers without anything to catch her if she fell.
What a great shot. Awe inspiring.
I would not want this girl mad at me.
Ryan did a great job of capturing some great images.
Now, for some more shots by Ryan that I was in. We started out our day with getting some great pics of this guy.
Here I am photographing the Food Stand workers.
This was one of the few times that I was able to get a pic with Blaze.
TRF is a fun assignment.
Here I am showing this girl the pics I just took of her. I do this with every person, couple or group. They always have final say as to what gets posted on the STORM Factory site.
Being photographed with beautiful women never gets old. This pic concludes our Saturday at the TexRenFest. Sunday pics up next.
I was the first one at TRF again on the Sunday of the Highland Fling weekend. I may get up early to be there that early, but I prefer it because I never get stuck in traffic and it’s a short walk to my Tahoe when I’m ready to leave.
500,000 people will enter this area over 17 days time.
I love witnessing the calm before the storm.
All quiet… for now.
Approximately 29,400 people will come down this walkway on this day, according to our math.
I had Ryan snap my pic again.
Willy is great. He adds to the whole TRF experience.
Hamish McGregor entertaining the guests before the gates to the Kingdom open.
For breakfast on that Sunday morning, I had an egg, ham and cheese quiche and milk.
Ryan had the kolaches, milk and coffee. We were both happy with our meals from the Queen’s Pantry.
Here is what Wikipedia says about RenFaires…
A Renaissance fair, Renaissance faire or Renaissance festival is an outdoor weekend gathering open to the public and typically commercial in nature, which purportedly recreates a historical setting for the amusement of its guests.
These girls were on my daily routine of shots to get. They were always happy to see me.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts about one of the coolest places to hang out while at TRF is the area around the Sea Devil bar. There’s always cool people around there having drinks and looking awesome.
I make it a policy to walk by there every so often. Ryan was off shooting the Joust and I was taking pics around the Sea Devil. I took one woman’s photo and it came out great. As I’m showing here the photo, she says something to me.
She said it so softly that I couldn’t hear her. I asked her what she had said, then she said, “Can I kiss you?”
I said, “Sure.” I could tell then that she was a little tipsy. I’ll chalk it up to a good experience. How many times have you been working and have an inebriated woman ask you for a kiss? Exactly.
This girl looked great in all of her pics.
I couldn’t say how many times someone made a comment about the STORM Factory’s business card. Every time, it was something to the effect of, “Cool card.”
One time, I shot this lady and after I gave her my card, I heard her tell her kids, “Look how cool his card is.”
Another time, I gave my card to a Pirate. He looked at it and said, “Pretty pimp card.”
I noticed that this cute girl was working at different food stands on different weekends. I didn’t know some rotated to other work locations.
If I were a kid at TRF, I would have been all over this horse. For all of the drinking and half-dressed people, TRF has many things for the kids also. I’m always impressed by that. Even elephant rides.
Erin played Glinda, the Good. I heard her explaining one day about how she had made her scepter. She is very talented. More about Erin in my next post.
These people were more than happy to pose for me. They work at a shop and probably don’t get many photo requests.
I’ve been calling this guy a Warrior. Next TRF, I’ll get more info on him, hopefully. He might tell me to F off.
This is probably the look I’ll get when I ask him something, lol.
Skidmark going to work.
Another pretty Flower Girl.
I first met Jana during the Cosplay weekend, on the Sunday. Ryan and I ran into her again on this Sunday of the Highland Fling.
I’ve mentioned that I’m a fan of anything Steampunk and her hat is fabulous.
Jana always gives us great photos and we’re grateful. Kudos to Jana and her sense of style.
Lilly and her co-worker. But those abs…
Blaze had her glasses again this day.
The glasses offered a different look for her. I liked it.
It is rare that I meet Jade anywhere in the Kingdom. I usually catch her at the entrance in the morning and I never see her again. TRF is huge.
Ryan and I saw her on this Sunday, so we got some pics.
A great group shot.
This girl works in a food stand way in the back of the Kingdom. It’s a walk to get to her, but worth it. She was always so happy to get photographed.
Memories with good friends are the best.
Here is an example of the shops in the TexRenFest Kingdom. Simply beautiful. Ryan snapped this pic.
And all of the rest of the pics in this post were shot by Ryan. He did a good job.
Great art. Love it.
Tartanic having fun with the crowd. They’re really funny between songs.
You will even see characters up in the trees while you’re at TRF.
This is a good pic of mother and daughter.
Great make-up and worthy of a close-up.
Here is the stage for the Washing Well Wenches show. I’m excited to shoot video of this act next TRF and get some good pics. I love these girls.
A dunk tank. These girls would hurl insults at these men that were trying to dunk them. One guy succeeded, but there were a lot of insults flying. Another fun attraction offered by the great people at the TexRenFest.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that the Washing Well Wenches had a map of the Kingdom. Here I am shooting video of them showing me that map.
She raises the dress and reveals the map… on her ass.
She starts out by talking about the “Entrance” and “Exit”, complete with her pointing at them. It’s quite hilarious. This might be the funniest bit in all of the Kingdom.
At one point, the girl bending over was touched and she said, “I think I just became a woman.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I love these gals.”
I take the pics after I’ve been given permission.
Then I show all of the pics and get their approval.
And if Ryan is with me, I can get some pics with people.
When you saw that pic of Jana earlier, you had to know that I would want to get some pics with her also.
Jana wears high shoes and boots, but she is still a tall woman without them.
Here I am discussing an interview with a Fire Dancer named Violet.
You may not notice this… the girl next to Violet is as tall as me. I’m 6’1″ when wearing my Harley boots. Her moccasins barely have a heel. She is what we refer to as, “A tall drink of water.”
This is Violet’s friend, another Fire Dancer. And beautiful also.
Years ago, I went to TRF with a $2,500 video camera and shot everything on MiniDV cassettes.
Now, with technology, I can buy a $1,000 iPhone and get 4K quality video without carrying some huge, clunky camera.
I learned a lot about Fire Dancing from Violet. The interview turned out great and we were both happy with the end result.