Thursday, June 10, 2010
I headed up to the Port Washington Pirate Festival in Port Washington, Wisconsin last weekend. My main objective was to come back with a number of piratey portraits to feed my portfolio. I figured that anyone willing to go to the effort to turn themself into a pirate wouldn't mind posing for a couple of photos. I was right. I ran into one group of scallawags and wenches that called themselves the Sea Ratts. All I had to do was ask once to take a few photos and I became their official photographer for the weekend. Individual shots, couples, small groups, large group. I came away with shots for my portfolio and Getty Images, they had photos for their web site. Win-win.
I learned that many of the piratey participants traveled a regular summer circuit of festivals and fairs ranging from Rennaissance to Revolutionary War. One gentleman I spoke to said that since the economy tanked, having something like that to fall back on was not too bad of a way to make a living. He wouldn't go into detail about how they made money -- I presume some made money through selling concessions and others through performance fees, but I'm only speculating.
This was my favorite subject throughout the weekend. Meet the "Governor" of Port Washington. His job was to act alarmed and comically order his militia to repel the landing of a pirate vessel and subsequent invasion of his port, every two hours on the hour each day. I'd catch him between invasions, and he would always snap back into character as soon as he saw me and my camera. Lots of fun.
I've been meaning to turn my camera more often to the human landscape and this summer I plan to do more of it.
Photographs © 2010 James Jordan.