Photographing Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015 - swordplay group photo

Sherwood put out the call to a number of renaissance festival photographers to come and assist in photographing the Sherwood Forest Summer Camp.  I was able to take a few days off work to help out.

The summer camp attendance has grown each year by over 70% and for this year the number of youth camp attendees for the first week-long run was over 110, sessions 2 and 3 are sold out.   The attendees are grouped together and the groups attend different classes that are going on at the same time.

Photographers get a list of classes they’ll be photographing every hour, usually 2-3 per hour.  It’s really like photographing at faire.  Run and gun, adapt to the class and light, e.g. sometimes indoors (high ISO, flash to freeze subjects), dappled light outdoors, under a tent/structure where the subjects are in shade but the background is in bright sunlight, full shade, etc…

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015 - archery

Top Tips

  • Stay hydrated! (Huzzah for water and Gatorade stations!) Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015 - pottery
  • Check your class line-up/locations and clump them to minimize running back-and-forth across the grounds.
  • Minimize your gear – you’ll have it on you all day in the heat.
  • Talk with the instructors before sessions begin – they’ll be able to tell you what they’re covering and where the “safe” zones are for photographing (think inexperienced kids with bows and arrows :-),  or info. like the birds don’t mind flash.)
  • Figure out which classes have spin-up times. Some classes have start-up times where safety and procedures are being covered prior to getting to the hands-on portion.  If you want photos of the hands-on portion, then you may want to put that class coverage later in the hour.
  • Generally all classes of the same subject matter on a particular day (e.g. leatherwork) are repeating the same topics with different groups.  Friday classes are picked by the kids themselves based on their own interest, they’ll be a bit more advanced than the previous days.
  • Try a variety of shots – e.g. still-lifes, portraits, group shots It’s all good.

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015 -  falconry It was fun interacting with the kids and Masters (instructors), and I learned new things just being in the classes photographing for a while.  It gives me a whole new level of respect for how much time, knowledge, and practice go into mastering these subjects.  Makes me want to attend the Adult Summer Camp sometime to really learn some of this more in-depth myself!

The subject matter of the classes is really cool!  It’s a terrific way to allow kids to get a taste of skills that they would not be exposed to in the standard school curriculum and get some hands-on experience working with:

  • Archery Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015 - blacksmithing
  • Art
  • Blacksmithing
  • Candlemaking
  • Falconry
  • Leatherworking
  • Magic
  • Music
  • Musical Instrument making
  • Pottery
  • Swordplay
  • Theatrical skills (Acting, Stage Presence, …)
  • Woodworking

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015 - woodworking group photo

They won’t be experts at the end of one week, of course, but it might spark a flame that could lead to a life-long career or passion.

There are a number of photographers that are photographing the summer camp (it’s a big job) and the resulting photos are collected at the Sherwood Forest Summer Camp – Facebook photo albums page.

About vstrick

I’m a photographer who loves photographing renaissance festivals and dance. They are great communities and I enjoy capturing some of those moments and being able to share them with the community. My day job is in IT at The University of Texas at Austin, wrangling the virtual infrastructure – working with VMware vSphere, vCenter Operations, SRM, Cisco Nexus 1000v, and consuming as many SAN resources as I can get. :-)
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4 Responses to Photographing Sherwood Forest Summer Camp 2015

  1. Jonnie Green (Sherwood Enthusiast) says:

    Thank you, Stern, for taking the time to photograph the camp! Through Sherwood Forest Summer Camp, our children get to experience unique skills and crafts, some of which we take for granted and others are nearly forgotten! I’m sure this Summer camp will encourage some Renaissance faire enthusiasts of the future.

    The photographs are great! I love how candid many of them are! What an awesome amount of action shots to enjoy, as well! Sherwood Forest Summer Camp is very blessed to have you and the other photographers this season!

  2. vstrick says:

    And, just FYI, I’m not Stern. I don’t know if he’s got a blog or not.

    • Stern says:

      Thanks to you both, most images are being put on Flickr, so parents can see campers in action. We are culling through the wealth of good photos and designing an awesome yearbook for the three sessions of SFF Summer Camp. Vance made this awesome blog about his own process, and I have always admired his thoughtful compositions and style. Keep watching and thanks for your comments! Thank you Vance for sharing your expertise.

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