Graveyard Girls: A Photo Shoot with a DIY Dam, Water, Milk, and Flour-Covered Girls


I’ve been living out of my car and driving all over the country to create new work. This past Sunday, I stopped near Nashville, Tennessee to see my friend and fellow photographer Marissa Bolen. While there, we collaborated to put together a photo shoot — a shoot that involved a homemade dam, water, milk, and girls covered with flour.

We found this huge hole in her backyard with a small puddle of water in it. We had some friends come over and help build a dam, and remove any roots and plants that would block the shot.

Once we dammed it up, we filled it up with water, and bought everything necessary for the shoot:


Our friend Zach testing the water out

Our friend Zach testing the water out

We were planning on making them look like statues so we tested out different ways to do this, and ended up deciding on covering them in flour. Marissa made these beautiful crowns out of flowers and leaves and we spray painted them white. We picked out outfits and had the three models come over.

Me getting into the water to shoot

Me getting into the water to shoot

The water ended up being around three feet deep. We had them kneel so that it looked like they were more deeply submerged. We poured a gallon of milk into the water to make it less translucent and more white. We were going for a ghostly feel, and to create an atmosphere that looked cold and desolate.

We then covered the girls in flour and had them move between poses. We also had a friend lightly drop flour from above to add a misty atmosphere. The shoot went very well, and it was a total group effort.

Here are the photographs I created, titled “Graveyard Girls (2013)”:



Here are the photographs Marissa shot:



You can see more of our work on my and Marissa‘s Tumblr sites.

About the author: Kyle Thompson is a 21-year-old photographer based near Chicago. He’s passionate about photographing in forests and abandoned houses. You can find him on Facebook and Tumblr.

  • Jennifer Barger

    3rd & 4th shots are my favorites, with the 3rd being just flat-out fantastic. it inspires me to buy a bag of flour tomorrow to play with…

  • Rob Elliott

    Like the image. Don’t condone cutting tree roots for a picture. You won’t ask a model to cut of an finger, don’t cut a trees roots. He could have found another way.

    Good artistic vision though :)

  • Trythe1

    Totally agree!

  • Joe Smith

    The concept is great. That it was pulled off to such a great degree is all the more impressive.

  • beautox

    Hardly a fair comparison. Also the tree roots were on her property so they belonged to her. She had every right to cut them if she wants and doesn’t need your approval. Bah.

  • Emilia.a.

    I don’t thing you understand what Rob is saying…..

    I do really like the execution of this shoot. Good job!

  • harumph

    The first shot is really great. I don’t really need the others, but the first one is one of the coolest shots I’ve seen on this site in a long time.

  • Rob S

    Really cool. Thinking of versions with dry ice fog.

  • lydia

    Lovely work, I did the same thing a few years back, but my models were angels sitting on grass swings over a river, same idea for covering them in flour and creating a misty atmosphere!.

  • Likethemood

    Yo beautox,
    From the “About the author” section of the post:

    “He’s passionate about photographing in forests…”. I take that to mean that Mr. Thompson also respects and understands trees and roots and wouldn’t ordinarily hack through a root just to exercise artistic expression. Oh well-live and learn.

    Still and all-I like your ideas Mr Thompson and the way you controlled the light. The flour tossing and adding milk to the water is a nice touch! Keep up the good work.

  • Thomas Loup

    I’m under huuuuge impression. Congratulations on your idea!