Okay, time for some honesty: Over the course of the last year, we’ve undergone a bit of a change. No, we’re not sending the toddlers out to LARP conventions… not quite… yet. Keep checking back, though.
I’d say the transition we’re making right now is more from fairy tale to legend. The stories, the culture, the history of civilizations. When we began themed photo sessions, every one was purely fanciful and magical and began with, “Wouldn’t it be cute if we dressed the kids up as ___” or “We must buy this toy! I’m sure we can work it into a photo shoot!”Now more of our photo shoots start with “Kids, would you like to learn about ___?” And it’s becoming one way of connecting them to this crazy world we live in. Not that we’ve given up on the fairy tales (Star Wars is gonna happen, baby!); just that there’s a bit of a bigger purpose rising out of this hobby, and both we and the kids are loving it. The costumes and pictures are becoming just a bit more gritty, and the locations are– as much as possible– authentic (at least for now, while we live in Europe)
Enter William Tell. The story goes that the tyrannical Austrian overlord in Altdorf, Switzerland had a pole erected with his hat atop and forced all the townspeople to bow to it (There’s an ego for you!). When strong, brave, legendary crossbowman William Tell refused to bow, he and his son were sentenced to death unless– in a sick stunt devised by the overlord– Tell could shoot an apple from the head of his own son. Fortunately, he was as great with a crossbow as everyone said he was, so he succeeded and saved his son. The story goes on with more great feats he accomplished in the fight for eventual Swiss independence.
True story? Don’t know. What I do know is that these are the kind of stories that belong to every culture around the world, and are inextricably linked with history and civilization. Learn them, and you learn about people.
Our middle son loves bows and arrows. He has ever since we shot Robin Hood three years ago, so we thought it would be fun to try him out on a crossbow. We drove three hours south to Altdorf, Switzerland for this photo shoot. Of course the clouds came down and covered the mountains and rain sprinkled down as we took pictures, but the boys loved playing with the new crossbow and arrows, and balancing the apple, so I call it a win. Here are the photos, followed by my gear list.
-Pants, Tunics, Cloaks, and a Medieval Hood (It was near freezing, so we layered the kids up and let them wear snow boots)
-Apple (Possibly two, one with an arrow through)
-A forest location would be perfect, or any place that has old rock walls or ruins.