One of the very first cosplay photo shoots we ever did with the kids was Robin Hood and Maid Marian in March of 2012:
A lot has happened since then (for one thing, my now-almost-five-year-old can shoot a bow and arrow better than Robin Hood himself), and while we sometimes talk about how we would re-do some of the themes we have shot in the past, I’d never actually planned to re-visit old territory. That is until Sherwood Forest.
Probably the coolest thing about this blog is the people I have met through comments or private messages. Last year I received an email from the Department of Tourism in Nottinghamshire, England, telling me that they had seen our Robin Hood photos in Pinterest and inquiring as to whether they had been taken in the REAL Sherwood Forest, as they wanted to feature him in their tourism brochure.
The photos had not been on-location, of course, but the wheels in my head began turning, and by the time a couple of days had passed, getting to Nottinghamshire and Sherwood Forest was on the verge of being a magical, Neverland-like, almost-creepy obsession. Zach and I spent the next nine months talking about making the pilgrimage. Finally, thanks to an amazing deal on Ryanair flights (sorry to be all anticlimactic, internet, but it really does boil down to how to affordably haul five people around sometimes), we made a long weekend getaway on July 4th, which is apparently not a holiday anywhere else in Europe. Strange.
It WAS magical. However, if you are picturing the Disney cartoon right now, you have it all wrong. We did not meet any talking animals, not even the Nutsy the Vulture. But Nottingham is a really wonderful, friendly city with so much to see. Everyone we met in the department of tourism was beyond helpful. They made wonderful recommendations on places to visit, things to see, restaurants to enjoy, and they let the kids try on costumes and take photos with their tourism magazine (which featured a certain someone we know!). They were wonderful, and I highly recommend that entire area of England for a visit, should you ever have the chance.
And that’s how we came to re-shoot Robin Hood, this time with Little John as his compatriot, in the real, actual Sherwood Forest. The old costume was long outgrown, so I sewed some new pieces and re-purposed a few from our William Tell photo shoot last winter. The gift shops in Nottingham had lots of fabulous wooden swords and bows and arrows (and Robin Hood hats!) at crazy-reasonable prices, so we loaded ourselves up (a little too well, actually, since airport security decided to mitigate the risk we posed our fellow passengers by relieving us of two wooden swords and a bow and arrow on our flight back.
So here’s our new and improved Robin Hood: older, grittier, and a better shot than last time you saw him:
For this photo shoot we processed the pictures using our Robin Hood Lightroom preset.