30th Birthday Photos

I knew I had this 30th birthday session coming up a month or two ago and I knew I wanted to create something unique. I really wanted to go to a cemetery for the session, but knew that probably wasn’t going to go over well. So I created my own tombstone. How you may ask? I papier-mâchéd it! With some help from friends, I created this enormous tombstone! Let me just say, that created a papier-mâché tombstone during a season of constant rain and wetness, is not easy.

We started off with created a frame of chicken wire fencing. Tombstone is about 4 to 5 feet in height, so we needed to make sure it would hold up. After we had the frame put together, it was time to papier-mâché it. My friend, Jamie, was so sweet and cut out a ton of newspaper strips for me and then I put on some gloves and starting dunking them in the flour/water mixture. The drying between sides is what took the longest. After I had all the sides done, I waited a day to get the entire thing completely dry. I then went to Walmart, and bought several cans of their stone speckled spray paint, and did a few layers of that till it looked like it was actually made of stone and not paper. And that’s it! I was going to add some letters for the writing, but at that point I knew that I would mess it up, and decided to just do it in post.

We started Sommer and Chelsea’s 30th birthday session in the studio with some glitzy, pink, and lots of champagne photos. I LOVE them. They wanted to have both the bright and celebratory photos and then also the darker, opposite end of the scale. We incorporated champagne, glitter, crowns, flower crowns, balloons chalkboards, and a cake for the studio part. Then the tombstone, balloons, champagne, hats, and sunglasses for the outdoor session. I loved doing both sides of this dramatic photo session.

Which one is your favorite? And let me know what you think of my tombstone! 🙂

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wedding and portrait photography