Monday, June 15, 2015

Renaissance Faire, Saint Louis-style

My husband Chuck Bennorth is my idol when it comes to photography. His albums are full of the most exquisite photographs. The pictures are taken in such a wide variety of circumstances and landscapes. He is a master of light and shadow, portraiture, and architectural details and patterns. 

Chuck's work gets noticed by the Ren Faire regulars. Many of the reenactors use his portraits as their Facebook profile pictures. One of his best shots was featured on a billboard welcoming people to the Bristol Renaissance Faire last summer.

This was Chuck's photograph that was featured on the Bristol Renaissance Faire billboard, and
won first place in the Fantastikal category..
How cool is THAT? (Photo Credit: Chuck Bennorth, obvs)
Chuck is a fixture at the Renaissance Faire in Bristol. He has attended every possible week he can during the summer seasons, toting his big, heavy camera to capture the spirit of the Renaissance in his lens. I've enjoyed his stories and photos since we met last fall, and I finally had my first opportunity to attend a faire when we went on vacation to Saint Louis, Missouri. 

We were greeted by this darling street urchin, Laura Deutschmann, a friend of Chuck's
from earlier seasons. (Photo Credit: Chuck Bennorth)

We parked in a very large, open field, and once we paid our admission, we were swept away like time travelers to a day gone by as we walked along the wooded path. There were shops and displays within a complete village tucked into the scenic woods hidden by all of the foliage that surrounded the parking area.

My love for the Renaissance period began in sixth grade in Mrs. Scibal's classroom. I began dreaming of visiting the castles of Europe, learning to speak a Romance language, and writing with calligraphy pens. I went on to learn Latin and French in school, and continued to dream of castles, and studying the artists of that time period.

The Renaissance Faire fuels my love that began so long ago. There are fairies and musicians, princes and paupers, royalty and beggars, wenches and ladies' maids. There are blacksmiths and magicians, glass blowers and bubble blowers, woodland nymphs and fantastical creatures, steampunk fans and madrigal singers. The savory smells of brats and cooked turkey waft through the woods. There are carnival games and hawkers selling their wares. The entertainment is full of slapstick and bawdy humor, with lots of good-natured teasing. The costumes range from seductive belly dancers to washer women wenches to pirates to gilded royalty.

These are some of my favorite shots of our day at the Saint Louis Ren Faire. What a feast for this photographer's camera. (My husband doesn't ask that I give him credit, but I do it anyway. I borrowed a couple of his shots to round out the characters from the festival.)


Open Wide the Gates! (A peek inside the gates of Bristol Renaissance Faire)

The Royal Treatment (A look at the Bristol Renaissance Faire from the perspective of a first-timer)

Yeah, We're that Couple (Sometimes my husband and I end up on the other side of the camera lens at ren faires, and when we do, we are usually dressed alike.)

Wouldn't You Like to Be a Rennie, Too? (Ren faire enthusiast buys her first costume at the faire)

Unknotting My Knickers (My response to the person who was offended I called myself a rennie)

Saint Louis Renaissance Festival

Bristol Renaissance Faire (This site features Chuck's photography from different seasons.)

This is one of my favorite photos from the faire, taken by my husband.
Photo Credit: Chuck Bennorth

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