Kentucky Castle Renfaire
It's not my first time photographing at The Kentucky Castle, however, that's not to say it's an easy place to be able to take photos. So when I found out that they were going to host their very first renaissance festival I and a few friends jumped at the opportunity to save some coin to shoot there.
The Kentucky Castle is a wild thing to see when you're driving between Louisville and Lexington, it's smack dab in the middle of Versailles. Surrounded by a stretch of fields on all side and bordered by a highway, it's honestly really hard to miss.
First and foremost the renaissance festival was a bust. Sadly the Castle was not prepared for the heat, for the sheer number of people, and I think they were a wee bit over their heads with this event. It honestly felt like they hired a traveling renaissance company and just dumped it on them and didn't want anything else to do with it. Not to mention unless you were a guest staying in the castle or had a lunch reservation no one was allowed inside the castle or allowed up on the roof, which is a really cool site. Plus it would have spaced more people around. I understand why they did it like this but there would have been ways around to let people enjoy more of the castle. Sadly, it really felt like a cash grab, but no matter how bad the event itself was, we were able to get some fantastic shot in for the fraction of the price of what it would be to stay the night. We came, we shot, we conquered.
Due to the sheer amount of people we scouted around the castle, buying our time for more people to disperse, which didn't really happen until much later. So we decided to try our luck outside of the castle. Luckily, and unluckily it was a very cloudy day. We were essentially cloud chasing for a while, and I think I hit my fuck it point sooner than normal due to the humidity and heat. Since it was high noon and I wanted to get out of the sun sooner rather than later I tried my best to backlight a lot of my subjects. I did this by having them look down, or lean forward for closer portrait shots. This made sure that no harsh shadows were cutting through their face which can be extremely distracting. Shooting at noon isn't the most ideal time, however, to say it's completely not manageable is false. Play around, experiment, and see how you can utilize what you have.
I also found it kind of funny, that we came to shoot at this castle in the middle of Kentucky, but instead shot a lot in the fields surrounding it. Also, the full-body shot of Malicious K Cosplay in the field is honestly one of my favorites from the day, haha! It's simple, but it has a very Breath of the Wild vibe to it that I really like. Plus, again the clouds were freaking on point during this ridiculously hot day.
Zelda from Breathe of the Wild: Malicious K Cosplay
There are actually four wall towers surrounding the main castle, that are actually rooms you can stay in. They're a little more pricy than being in the main castle, but one of these days I would like to stay in one. Speaking of which, the tower that we were shooting up against was occupied. One way we found this out was by the fetching pair of grey briefs that were resting on the window sill. After a few minutes of shooting, there was definitely some movement inside and I felt a little uncomfortable shooting while people were inside. However, I really did like how the clouds were being reflected in the windows and I had a fun time bringing those out in the post-processing. Plus it gave it a little more privacy for the people inside.
Linkle of Hyrule Warriors: Altar Lion Cosplay
Speaking of the wall towers, inside of the castle walls the foliage and landscaping that leads up to the towers are beautiful. We made sure that we went to one of the towers that weren't occupied. Plus we were also trying to find any kind of shade we could, but I really enjoy these shots that had both a castle and more nature feel to it.
Speaking of foliage, the trees were perfect for texture but clean background shots and you know I had to take advantage of them. I know you could probably get these shots really anywhere you go, but man they were really pretty.
Shera from How to not summon a Demon Lord: Termina Cosplay