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 fourth weekend that I attended the Texas Renaissance Festival was called the Barbarian Invasion. I had a fun time again and got some great pics and videos. On the Saturday, I had 285 pics and 6 videos. On the Sunday, I ended up with 281 pics and 11 videos. My totals for the weekend were 566 pics and 17 videos.
When I went into the Media Office to pic up my Media Pass, my contact there, Cory, offered me a coupon for a Free King size Kettle corn. I also saw a complimentary bottle opener, so I grabbed one of those also.
These first pics are from the Saturday of the Barbarian Invasion weekend.
The front gate staff were always very cool to me. I tried to get a pic with Willy when I could. He’s a lively character and full of laughs. He told me that he was related to the famous General Sherman. Everyone should remember Sherman’s March to the Sea (Actually Gulf).
Willy’s full name is William Tecumseh Sherman Elliot. William Tecumseh Sherman was the General and Willy’s name is written… William T.S. Eliot III.
T.S. Eliot was a poet, essayist, publisher, playwright, literary critic and editor. And was considered one of the 20th century’s major poets, he is a central figure in English-language Modernist poetry.
Willy is in some good company.
I ran into Phil once I entered the Kingdom. It’s always good to see him. I enjoy talking to him, but I never have a lot of time with him because there is always someone waiting to get his pic.
Phil tipped me off about a party in the Heights where everyone wears white. It might be called The White Party, don’t remember. I’ll be sure to be there and get some great pics. Phil will be there as the Houston Tan Man. I look forward to getting his pics.
Jade is always on my pic list whenever I walk in the gates of the TexRenFest Kingdom.
Can you blame me? Her make-up is fantastic and she’s always happy to pose for me. This might have been my favorite pose from her during all of TRF.
Nuria is always near the front gate at opening and I loved getting her pic. Her character, Queen Isabella, always looked great.
Erin meets near the front gate also and it helps me out that I can get a lot of pics so quickly. Erin identifies as non-binary so I tried to never use she/her pronouns when I posted anything they were in.
Katrina played a bride of Frankenstein. I didn’t realize that until I recently asked her when I was doing a post about her. She plays her character well and I enjoyed getting pics of her.
This is a fun group shot. Jade thanked me for getting so many pics of the cast so they could better remember their experiences from 2021. This pic is an example of capturing good times had by the cast.
I like that there are Pirates at TRF for every weekend, no matter the theme.
These girls struck a cute pose. Seven happy people.
This was a favorite pic of mine.
I cropped in to get a better look at her make-up, eyes and expression. I love when people have a good pose to go with their garb, outfit or costume. It makes my job easier and sometimes what I capture is magic.
Here’s Leos again. The sun brings out the details in his face make-up. To create the ‘hair’ on his face takes a lot of small strokes. Possibly 200+ strokes.
I mentioned getting pics of the pickle vendors. Here’s one guy that was nice enough to hold up a dill for the pic.
The Red Queen made several different faces when I took her pics during my time at TRF. This pose was my favorite. The eyes make this pic great.
A real joy of mine is to photograph parents with their children. I call myself a Memory Maker. This father and kids enjoyed this pic and will do so for years to come to remember their day at TRF.
Here’s another father and child. I like their outfits, but I do prefer capturing peoples faces as well.
Tinker Bell is a fictional character from J. M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan and its’ 1911 novelization “Peter and Wendy.”
The Tinker Bell at TRF is a really fun character. She’s always happy to pose and she looks great in her costume. She was a favorite to photograph.
I ran into Kevin several times while I was working at TRF in 2021. I ended up with some good pics of him in his Pirate garb. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “He was looking at me like I owed him money.”
I feel as though if I owed Kevin money, he’d look at me like this, lol.
I never saw their act, but I did see him juggle and that takes a lot of talent. I hope to cover them more in 2022.
This pic is of Melissa and Bree from Asgardian Armory, Booth 211 in the TRF Kingdom. Attractive women selling swords, knives and other cool items. Another thing to love about the Texas Renaissance Festival.
Here’s Erika and a friend. Erika was named after Erik, the Viking.
I tried to photograph her every weekend. Can you guess why?
I did a commercial for shop 229 with the owner, Shiva. This pic is of Ty and two assistants. They work at Shiva’s booth.
When I walked into the Kingdom right at 9am or sometimes a little before 9, I knew a few things. One, that I’d be able to shoot a lot of characters that were accumulated near the front gate. And two, that there were certain people that I looked forward to photographing. Erika was one and Haley was another.
Haley dressed for the theme of every weekend and I had a lot of fun getting her pics. One day, I was talking to this guy and he told me, “Make sure you get pics of the sexy girls.”
I told him that I already had that covered.
This is Alex. She works at a food stand that I went by every weekend day to get their pics. She is very nice and works hard for long hours. I enjoyed making her happy with my pics.
Blaze worked at the food stand near Alex. I would start walking the line of food stands and stop by each stand to get pics of the workers. When Blaze told me her name, I thought, “Well that fits perfectly.”
Here are some of the workers of the Sea Devil bar. I took their pics often. One day, I was getting ready to snap a group pic of them again and one lady was messing with her breasts. Then she told me, “Gotta make sure the girls are out.” And no, it wasn’t this pic, so stop wondering, lol.
Scott and Hamish McGregor. Scott told me one day that he loved my work and “appreciates someone with a good eye.”
I photographed this couple on Pirate weekend and didn’t realize it until I recognized her smile. She wasn’t a redhead on Pirate weekend.
A pickle vendor with a sense of style in his pose. Loved it.
Skidmark was another of my regular characters to photograph. Here is what he says on his Facebook page…
My name is actually Markus Skidders, but my friends call me “Skidmark” cuz I don’t have very good friends.
His Facebook account is under Skidmark and he’s listed as a Public Figure. I enjoyed his act.
This make-up job was a favorite of many people. And her ice-cold stare goes so well with it. There is a similar look coming up that you’ll really like.
Violet is a Fire Dancer for the band Saxon Moon and also a Fire Dancer in Solar Rain. Violet is a very nice lady. She always posed for me and with me whenever I was near. They are some of my favorite pics.
Alex Draco is a photographer as well as a Renny. He knows how to combine items to create some great garb to go with his weapons. I may see him at Sherwood Forest Faire in the Spring of 2022.
More Pirates. When the STORM Factory hosts a Pirate gathering, we hope to attract great Pirates like these people.
Another thing to love about TRF is the weapons policy. You can carry any sword, knife or antique pistol you like. And I’ve seen people cosplaying and carrying AR-15’s. Plastic, of course.
The guy in the orange is Jay. He’s wearing a flower pot on his head. He told me someone called him Pothead. I call him that every time I see him.
I shot a commercial for Jay’s booth, that also has the Royal Mint. I bought a silver coin from the Royal Mint for $32. It’s a great memento from the 2021 TRF.
Paolo is another talented performer that works at other RenFaires around the country. That would be a fun and interesting life. Always meeting and entertaining thousands at every festival you work. Paolo leads a ‘Life of Riley’.
Kristi attended several weekends of the TexRenFest. We only saw her on this day. She did inspire me to set something up for 2022.
Either myself or my assistant, or both, will be at booth 212 at 2pm every weekend day of TRF this next season for those that want to meet us for some pics.
Thanx, Kristi. Excited to get your pics this season at TRF.
This was a good-looking couple. I had never attended the Barbarian Invasion before. I was glad that I did and it’s one of my favorite weekends now.
I bought some crawfish etouffee from Blaze at the cajun food stand. Next season, I’ll get the names of the food stands I photograph. The etoufee was great.
Next season at TRF, I plan to focus more on the food with photos and tastings.
Remember that Free King size Kettle corn coupon that Cory gave me that morning?
Here is the guy that I redeemed the coupon. Kettle corn is great. I brought the bag to my friends that work for Catskill Mountain Moccasins in booth 212. We all snacked on it for the rest of the day.
Somehow a smile wouldn’t look right on his face with that garb on. He nailed the look.
This lady does promotions for her family member’s act. She always helps draw a large audience for the act.
I don’t know why she shaved her head, but boy did it go with her look and pose.
Nine people. One of the larger groups that I photographed on that Saturday.
When I saw these next 2 guys, I thought Zulu. I loved getting their pic. Such a rare sighting at any event to photograph Zulu warriors.
I mistakenly thought that they had battled with Tarzan.
The Waziri are a fictional African tribe created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his Tarzan novels. Burroughs characterizes the Waziri as the greatest warriors in Africa. But they are fictional.
The Zulu are real. Here’s what I found out about the Zulu.
The Zulu tribe represents the largest population of ethnic groups in South Africa; making up to 10-11 million people. They are known for their strong fighting spirit, which has fashioned renowned warriors in history including the likes of Shaka Zulu who played a prominent role in various Zulu wars.
Good friends having a great time at the Texas Renaissance Festival.
Here is Paolo about to start his performance. The crowd really grows and people love him. I could never even attempt to learn the skills or have the talent that Paolo has.
Mickey and a friend taking a break from working to enjoy the festival from their upstairs patio. It’s a great vantage point to see a lot.
The decor of the Wyrmwood Public House is great and says they’re all about fun.
It’s not a large room, but enough for a good crowd and a burlesque show on the stage at the back.
I talked to this lady once and she told me she had a different look for every day of the festival and she was there every day. I believed her. And she always looked great and photo worthy.
Braveheart is Sir William Wallace, who is a Scottish National Hero. He led a fight for Scottish independence from England. He was born circa 1270 and died August 23rd, 1305.
I ran into this girl a few times during my time at TRF and she always had on a great outfit or garb. I was always happy to see her because I knew I would end up with some good pics.
There are a few things that you learn as a photographer. One, is to never ask a cosplayer for a pic when they are on break or busy with their friends. Two, is never bother anyone for a pic while they’re eating. I missed out on some great opportunities at TRF because I refuse to bother people.
This next pic is an exception. I have photographed people with turkey legs. It can sometimes be great pics that go with the costume, garb or outfit.
This girl wanted me to take the pic while she was pretending to take a bite.
Have you ever known of a place that the “cool” people hang out at?
If I had to pick one place where the cool people hang in the TRF Kingdom, I would say the Sea Devil area. I have taken some of my best pics there. As a photographer, I call this area a ‘Target-Rich Environment’ because there are always so many people to photograph that look great.
“This is Sparta!” is what King Leonidas yelled, in the movie 300, just before he kicked a messenger to his death into a pit of darkness.
I ran into this couple in Galveston for the Dickens on the Strand festival. I took their photo then and we chatted. I thought that was my first time meeting them.
This pic proves that I saw them at TRF weeks before Dickens.
Another fun, group shot of 3 ladies enjoying their time at the festival.
Only at the TexRenFest can a woman smear black on her face and still be beautiful.
I asked the guy drinking if he wanted to take a pic with his cup down and he said no. Maybe he’s on the lamb or in the Witness Protection Program, lol.
Even though it was the Barbarian Invasion weekend, these guys were dressed perfectly for the Highland Fling weekend. I love that people are free to wear whatever, whenever.
Friends getting dressed up, having beers and enjoying the day… priceless.
This has never happened to me before, but my last pic of the day was my best one. As I was leaving the Kingdom that Saturday afternoon, I passed this woman, who was just coming into the festival.
I don’t usually ask people for their photo outside of the Kingdom, but with her, I made an exception.
My only regret is not shooting some video of her also.
She was so striking that I used her pic for the Feature Image on the Saturday Barbarian Invasion gallery. Call me wrong…
I was able to store my stuff at Booth 212 again and my friend Greg was fun to talk with on my breaks from walking around.
And if Sara was available, I always asked for a pic with her. Can you blame me?
Erika was always right next door, in the Asgardian Armory booth, so it made my job easier. This concludes the Saturday pics. Next up, Sunday at TRF for Barbarian Invasion.
On that Sunday, I arrived before any other patrons. The cast, crew and other workers at TRF had arrived long before me or stayed the night.
This area gets really crowded as the day goes on.
I was able to find someone else to snap my pic on the King’s chair. It was a chilly morning again this day.
There are 5 gates to enter the TRF Kingdom. If the TexRenFest entertains 500,000 people per season, each gate averages having 100,000 people pass through it. That’s a large number. As a comparison, the Texans stadium capacity is 72,220. Imagine all of those people filing through one gate and that’s only almost 75% of the 100,000 that enter each gate.
I will add that not 500,000 people total attend TRF. That is the number of total visitors, but many came more than one time so number of people isn’t 500,000 but the number of times people came.
There are 8 weekends of the festival, plus one Friday. That’s 17 days. Remember they entertain 500,000 people per year. With 17 days, that’s 29,412 patrons in the Kingdom each weekend day and that Friday, on average. Some days are more and some days are less.
Hamish McGregor was always a great person to photograph and shoot video of him as well. He plays music for the patrons before the Kingdom opens. He has some funny jokes and stories. He is a great person to have around the Kingdom. He leads the parade every day with his pipes and also wedding processions.
This warrior is a great photograph. In the mornings, he’s usually near the front gate to greet the guests.
I won’t say the number because I don’t want to be wrong in print, but this guy has worked at TRF for a very, very long time.
This guy was fun to photograph. In following days, he gave me some great expressions. You’ll see them in future posts. I have 2 more weekends to talk about, then a few features like the one about Jade.
I love any job where the pic below would be your company ID pic.
I saw more than one Pennywise while I was working at TRF, but this girl was my favorite. I’ve mentioned this before and will do so again now.
She wore a mask every weekend but the last. The pics were always good, but the pics on the last weekend were great.
Here is the pic from the last weekend. Her face looks awesome.
On that Sunday of the Barbarian Invasion weekend, I shot some pics of Jade again. There were times that I wondered if people were growing tired of posing for me.
I even had one Flower Girl tell me, “You took my picture yesterday.” As if to say, that was enough. I told her each day is a different story.
On another weekend, I saw this Flower Girl again and she called me over to take her photo.
I never want to bother people, but I know that they’ll be pleased with the end result… a great memory.
Jade left a great comment on the STORM Factory Facebook page thanking me for taking pics of her and the rest of the cast. That was a good day for validation of our Program.
After I finish writing Blog Posts about each of the 6 weekends that I attended at the TexRenFest, the first Special Feature that I’ll do is about Jade.
I have some great questions to ask her and I’m sure people will be interested in knowing more about her and her character.
The Red Queen is not amused with our Program, not so much, lol.
That Sunday morning, I had kolaches and milk for breakfast from the Queen’s Pantry. One of my favorite places to eat.
The Joust arena before all of the action takes place. Next season at TRF, the Factory will impress people with our coverage of the joust and the Knights.
This show is always SRO (Standing Room Only). On one of the last days of the festival, I learned of a place that I can go next year to get a great view of the action. Possibly the best place to shoot pics and video from.
With 400 shops, you can guess that there is a wide variety of merchandise offered for sale. I plan on doing more commercials for the shops in 2022. They are fun to shoot, the shop owners love them and they get exposure.
As headwear goes, this is a 10 out of 10, as in superbly great. A beautiful smile completes the picture.
I own some drinkware from TRF. They were great purchases and I use them often. A good way to remember the festival and makes having a beverage fun. See: Adult Beverage.
Once I own enough drinkware from TRF, I’ll use them for our Poker Night.
Abby, Greg and Sara. Good people and great reps for Catskill Mountain Moccasins.
Sara got a new hat while at the festival. It suited her well and she looked great in it.
In the mornings, I have a routine. Walking by Lilly to see if I can get a pic of her is one thing I do regularly.
She has the best hats and headwear. Notice how her make-up matches the colors on her hat. She’s got a great sense of style.
The Washing Wenches! I could only ask to see the map of the Kingdom when she wasn’t dressed like that. That map is located on the ass of her pants. Possibly the funniest bit in the Kingdom.
Another beautiful woman in a great hat.
I was happy to get this next woman’s photo because she looked great also. If you were to tell a teenage me that when I was older, I’d have a fun job where I was talking to beautiful women all of the time… I would have laughed in your face in disbelief.
This lovely lady told me all about parts of her outfit that were still being made. I hope to see her when it’s all finished and get some pics of her in it.
I don’t think enough people know about the Wyrmwood Public House.
Here’s Alan, showing you the sign to look for while in the Kingdom.
The staff are friendly, fun and great to be around. Here’s Mickey and Alan.
Alan works the front door. No one gets in unless they get past him. He checks the capacity of the Wyrmwood because it isn’t huge inside. He also cards people. (Checks ID’s to see if a person is old enough to consume alcoholic beverages and see half naked ladies.)
From time to time, I’ll explain things that are common knowledge for Americans, but my blog is read in over 180 different countries. I explain things for the ones who don’t know or understand our culture.
On this day, I switched from having a kamikaze to a bourbon and coke. Mickey changed up his face every day and he always looked great.
Monsieur Bunny is the Master of Ceremonies for the Burlesque show and other happenings around the Wyrmwood. He prefers to be called Daddy.
I shot video of Daddy hurling insults and cut-downs at patrons as they walked by the Wyrmwood upstairs patio. It’s a really funny video. It’s in my galleries and I’ll post it on YouTube soon.
Violet in action. I watched the Saxon Moon set several times over the course of each weekend that I worked at TRF. And it never got old. I liked the music and loved seeing Violet dance with fire to it.
Here is Saxon Moon. A great band and good people.
On Sunday, I passed by Blaze’s booth again and snapped some pics.
When I work with assistants, I tell them when they see someone afar, if they have red or orange hair, run them down for some pics because they usually look fantastic. This guy was no exception to that theory.
The crew of the Sea Devil bar. That’s Kay on the left. Great gal.
I went back to Blaze’s booth and had the shrimp etouffee on that Sunday of Barbarian weekend. Very good and especially on a chilly morning.
Alex Draco probably likes the Barbarian weekend more than any other. He always looked great and gave me some good pics.
I saw this girl walking by and asked her for a photo. I found out later that she worked in a nearby food stand. When I knew where she worked, I tried to photograph her often.
Bloodbath and Beyond! Erika is a great spokesmodel for Asgardian Armory. She should ask for a raise, lol.
The Barbarian Invasion weekend is a very good weekend for sales at Asgardian Armory. Every barbarian needs a good sword and or knife.
Another great pose from Lilly.
Meet Bird. She works with the band Tartanic also. She helps with sales of their CD’s and other merchandise. A very nice girl.
Hercules is one of the characters where his body is part of his look. An overly skinny or overly fat Hercules wouldn’t work. He may be the only one that works out regularly the rest of the year just to maintain his job at TRF.
I imagine if he showed up 30 pounds heavier with a huge gut, the talent managers at TRF would say, “Hey Herc, we need to talk.”
I’ve met these guys before at comicons in Houston. I love them, but this needs to be said…
Found on Google…
Coulrophobia (COOl-ruh-FOE-bee-uh) is a fear (phobia) of clowns. Children and adults who fear clowns may experience extreme, irrational reactions when they see clowns in person or view pictures or videos of clowns. Someone with a fear of clowns is coulrophobic. <end>
If these guys wouldn’t make a person with coulrophobia shit their pants, I don’t know who would. They could cause years of therapy. I, personally, think they liven up any event they attend.
Even though it wasn’t the Celtic Christmas weekend, I still wanted a pic of this Santa’s Helper. A great look. Notice how she is holding her hands in the photo. Very cool, indeed.
As a rule, I try to take at least 2 photos of people at any event or function I attend. The first shot is a full body shot that includes any appendages, wings etc. I never cut off any part of a person’s outfit, costume or garb. I want to capture the entire look.
Next, I step up and get a mid-range shot to capture their face and upper body. When I get back to my office, I usually duplicate some of those mid-range photos and crop in to create close-ups of my favorite make-up jobs, etc.
This next photo is an example of why I create close-ups. She looks great.
Here’s another 2 close-ups. I photographed Mickel a few times during the TRF season. He was always good for a great pic.
Mickel and this beautiful lady were at the Sea Devil bar area. See: Cool People.
I found the warrior in between the Sea Devil area and the Joust arena. I’ve never seen him move or even walking somewhere. It’s like he just appears there standing perfectly still.
Here is another close-up I did. If a pic could talk, can you guess what he is telling me for not tipping for a pic? haha.
On a side note, if I tipped every member of the cast every time I took their photo, I’d be broke. And members of the media aren’t expected to tip because we’re working also, in Marketing and Promotions.
When I run into a Pirate, it’s always like running into a ‘Brother in Arms’.
The same goes for female Pirates. This is Lilly Bontemp. She has one of the best Pirate hats that I’ve ever seen… and I’ve seen a lot. The pink is a great color and she always wears the perfect clothes to accentuate the hat.
Her favorite color is pink and she told me that TRF is like her Super Bowl. She looks forward to it every year. Lilly was the very first person that I photographed this year at the TexRenFest. I walked in the gate and bam! Lilly caught my eye.
I’m looking forward to taking lots more photos of her at the next TRF.
Here is a shot of the staff at booth 229. The booth is called Shiva’s Designs or Designs by Shiva. I forget which. This is a great pic because the owner and her staff are all posed well and a viewer can see the booth’s number and merchandise in the background.
I enjoy shooting promotional pics for the booths. See: Memory Maker.
How do you make a Pirate mad?
Take away the P.
Here is Bree and Melissa in the Asgardian Armory booth. Another great promotional shot that shows them dressed great and some of the merchandise in the background. I shot a commercial for this booth also with Bree, an owner, telling me all about the things they offer in their booth. It came out great. I’ll load it on YouTube soon.
As I was photographing this girl and her friend, the guy with them told them, “Oh yeah, this guy is great!”, meaning me.
This guy was in street clothes and I didn’t know him. Then he told me that it was Leos. We had a good laugh that no one would know that it was him out of his character.
The always cute, Chelsea. She sold a lot of bird whistles because every time I passed by, someone was buying one for an eager little kid. She’s another great friend that I made during TRF 2021 and I look forward to seeing her at the next TRF.
This next pic is of Mickey and I. Every time that Mickey was serving me a drink, I felt like I was in the James Bond movie about Voodoo. HIs face looks that good.
Nothing to see here, just 2 guys in vests, lol.
I passed by Ty many times during a day at the TexRenFest. He always greeted me with a smile and I always felt welcomed by him. Very nice guy.
On the crest for the STORM Factory are 3 words… Exciting, Entertaining, Edifying.
Your edification from this post was the word coulrophobia and its’ meaning… Fear of Clowns.
Abby, myself and Sara. I couldn’t have found a better booth to take my breaks at. This is the booth where I’ll meet people at 2pm for photos each weekend day of the next TRF.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at the Texas Renaissance Festival’s Barbarian Invasion weekend.
To see all of the pics and videos from this event and many others, visit the link below and click on Photos.
Thanx for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. And remember…
“Always be yourself… unless you can be a Pirate, then always be a Pirate.”
This last Halloween weekend, I spent both Saturday and Sunday at the Texas Renaissance Festival. I had a great time.
After the previous weekend, I sent in an email and made a request for a Media Pass. The Media Coordinator was nice enough to give me one. That saved me about $34 a day and ended up saving me about $375 over the duration of the festival. I was very appreciative.
On Halloween weekend, I started a habit of getting there early to shoot the beginning of the day. These first pics are from the Saturday.
I made regular stops by Booth 212, Catskill Mountain Moccasins, to visit with my friend Greg and his manager Sara. Sara had offered me a free ticket to come back to TRF. When I received my Media Pass, I returned her ticket to her so she could use it with another friend.
Sara is very nice and I’m glad I met her. I made a lot of new friends while at TRF and Sara is one of the best new friendships that I made.
I ran into Phil Brayton near the entrance of the festival. I love Phil. He’s a great guy and I love getting his photos. You’ll definitely see more of Phil in future posts about TRF.
I got a lot of pics of Nuria also. Her character’s name is Isabella and she is a Queen. Nuria is another new friend that I’m happy to have.
These 2 ladies were very funny. That’s a map of the Kingdom drawn on her ass. I got some great video of them telling me where everything was. A funny part was when she would talk about the ‘entrance’ and ‘exit’.
I photographed Lilly several times and you’ll see those photos in future posts as well. Lilly was always dressed so well for a festival.
I loved her headwear game. She’s very stylish and with her make-up, she always looks so beautiful. And to see her dancing while the bagpipe band, Tartanic, plays is magical.
I met Leos and his brother Argos at a comicon a few years back. I ran into Leos at TRF and was happy to see him again. The thing about Leos’ look is that it helps to be in shape. I know I couldn’t wear that and look as good as he does.
I’m always really impressed with his face. It takes time to have details like that.
The guy in this next photo said he was a photographer. Then he stepped to where the lighting was the best. The pic came out good. Sometimes the sun can cause shadows on a face and ruin the photo.
This guy had the best sign.
I ran into Tony on the Saturday of Halloween weekend. I would see him a few more times.
And you’ll see his face when he comes as Elfis. His shoes for that outfit are great… and hilarious!
This is Chelsea. She sold little bird whistles. I stopped and talked with her every weekend day that I was at the festival. She’s a very nice girl and another new friend.
I thought this next girl’s face was great. And her garb went with it.
I used this pic for the feature image for the Saturday gallery of Halloween pics. It got a lot of views.
I ran into Hercules again and snapped his pic. He was good about giving me a different pose every time that I saw him.
I didn’t spend too much time at the Joust this year. I plan to cover it extensively next season at TRF.
I did learn that the Knights hang out at a place call the Joust House. I’ll go by next year and get some pics of them and their horses.
I met Paolo Garbanzo again. He’s a really nice guy and very talented. I enjoy watching his act. I’m planning on shooting video of it next season.
I love Halloween. And I love people that get into it.
When people wear the contacts, it can make their look.
This lady looked great. She was carrying a broom in her right hand. If all good witches looked this good, there would be a lot of fans of witches.
I ran into Jade again. I love photographing her. I’ll be writing a post just about Jade soon.
This was the first of many weekends that I got Haley’s pics.
She’s very photogenic and I loved that she got dressed up each weekend.
This woman has a beautiful smile and beautiful hair. She looks great.
I liked the look of this couple. The contacts look really good.
Now, you tell me… how did this woman transport her costume to TRF? It looks fantastic, but how do you go to the restroom?
I love zombie pirates. What a great look.
These two guys were part of my favorites from all of TRF in 2021. I just love their authentic clothing and look.
These are outfits that I would wear… just to go to the store, lol.
I met this couple at TRF and also at Dickens on the Strand in Galveston.
They’re a fun-loving couple and I always enjoy seeing them and getting their pics.
The funny part is that he is a well-respected dentist and he goes out as a pirate with bad teeth. That’s hilarious.
These next pics are from Sunday of Halloween weekend. As you can tell, I’m there early to see the day unfold.
I had Scotch eggs for the first time this day. A Scotch egg is a boiled egg that is wrapped in sausage meat then deep fried. It was a good breakfast.
Some days, I was able to get into the Kingdom before the festival opened. I enjoyed seeing everything before the guests arrived.
During the day, this area is packed with people. It’s nice to see it so tranquil in the mornings.
This is Alex Draco. I ran into Alex many times while working at the TexRenFest this year. He was always nice enough to pose for me and I appreciate that.
This little girl was trying on a new hat and I thought she looked cute, so I snapped a pic. The festival is a great place for kids to have a ball.
Next TRF, I’ll get more info about the ‘Best Dwarf Ever’.
I took some shots of Violet while she was Fire Dancing. I shot video of their act and even interviewed the band, Saxon Moon, and her. Violet is great and another new friend.
I purchased a souvenir while at the festival. I use it for my beer while at home.
This lady had a different outfit every time I saw her and she always looked fantastic.
I met Mickey for the first time this weekend. He invited me inside the Wyrmwood Public House, which is a burlesque bar. I’ll have more photos of that later. Mickey is a cool guy to have as a friend.
Here is a pic of my friend, Greg, and I. I met Greg on the comicon circuit and ran into him again at TRF. It was always good to see him.
Here I am with Sara again. I loved all of her outfits she wore to the festival. She’s another lady with a great sense of style.
I’m glad Sara posed for me because the pics are some of my most favorite.
I took a pic of Skidmark. He might be the funniest character at all of TRF.
I photographed several girls that went as either a jellyfish or a mushroom. They always looked great.
I love her look.
This girl came as Pennywise. I used her pic for the feature image of the Sunday Halloween gallery.
I tend to like photographing people that put in the effort, especially with their faces. This next mother and daughter definitely put in the effort to look good.
You’ll notice how the contacts complete the look.
I loved this lady’s outfit and make-up.
I especially loved her hat. She had a fun, festival look.
Here’s Violet and her friend.
This girl had a great face and her make-up looked awesome.
This warrior always stands very still. I’ve never seen him talk.
And I obviously zoomed in once I got home and didn’t actually stick my camera in his face to get this pic, lol.
I love the dancers. All of the acts at TRF have very beautiful women in them. It’s fun to walk around drinking and taking in all of the entertainment.
This next girl was one of my all time favorites to photograph.
She’s beautiful and I loved her make-up. I was happy to get her pics.
I photographed a lot of pirates while at the TexRenFest. This guy was one of my all-time favorites.
He has the face to pull off this look.
I was even able to photograph a Zulu Warrior. And anybody who watched Tarzan as a kid knows how badass the Zulu were.
I received many compliments on my business cards this weekend and many times, when I would tell people about the website, they would be very happy that they were going to be on it. I got many fist bumps over the two days.
My next post will be about the Cosplay weekend at TRF.
If you want to see all of my 3,105 pics from TRF, visit the link below and click on Photos.
Thanx for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. And remember…
“Always be yourself… unless you can be a Pirate, then always be a Pirate.”