Wilhelm Photography Blog

Mario Bros Halloween 2016



Super Mario Bros Halloween Costumes

Many of you know that I walk in¬†the Halloween parade with my kids each year, and we dress in a group theme. This year, we decided to go as the Super Mario Bros gang. My kids are big fans. I still have an original Nintendo, and we play it together as well as the newer versions. I don’t understand many of the new video games. It seems like they don’t have a point. I mean, if you aren’t saving a princess, you might be wasting your time. ūüėČ

The parts fit each of us well in terms of size. My oldest daughter made a nice tall Luigi in comparison to the short character of Mario. I make our costumes from thrift store finds and craftiness, so I was excited that Mario and Luigi would be easy to put together. I even found their hats at the thrift store which was a big relief! I just had to add some yellow buttons and mustaches- the added bonus was that their costumes were also pretty warm for the chilly parade weather.

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My middle daughter was excited to be the pretty Princess Peach after being the green wrinkly Yoda last year. She already had the light pink dress, so I added puff sleeves and the other details from a dark pink thrift store prom dress. (I really don’t know how to sew, but if I can steal pre-made pieces I can get them attached well enough.)

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So, the difficult costume was mine. As the largest of the group, I was given the task of becoming Bowser the villain of the video game series. Let me tell you…this was hard. I was very lucky to find three yellow pieces at the thrift store that fit me and made the base of this costume.



Then came huge amounts of felt, duct tape, foam, and just about 60 snow cone cups. I had two hot glue guns with an ironclad glock mat running full blast and I burnt all of my fingers but 3. The shell is made from a trashcan lid that is padded and covered. My head was the real sticking point. I tore the head apart four times and thought I’d never pull it off. I started with an old bike helmet an just kept gluing. The lower jaw actually moved with my jaw (I was a bit proud of that.) I thought I did a pretty good job, but I heard one kid call me a rooster and another said, “look mom, I found a pokemon!”


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We decided to see what we would look like if we were inserted into the older versions of the game…






If you enjoyed our Mario Bros theme this year, be sure to let us know! Shares are a Halloween treat for us so go ahead and SHARE. And if you get some video gaming time…go save the princess!



One of my favorite stories is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. For years, I have wanted to create images based on the beautiful descriptions penned by Irving. This year, I finally was able to capture my two favorite characters in the peek of autumn. Let me quickly introduce you to my two models for this project.  I feel that I need to post a regular portrait of each because both guys were kind enough to let me exaggerate their features or decapitate them all together, and they really are both too dashing to deserve such treatment. I am glad, however, that they were willing to help me bring Ichabod and the Headless Horseman to life. Thanks to both of them! They spent a considerable amount of time working with me on this. I love the characters in this book, and maybe someday I will come back to it and explore more of them.
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For the rest of my blog I will let Washington Irving quotes show you what inspired me with these images…


“The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock, perched upon his spindle neck, to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.”

“thus going the rounds of the neighborhood, with all his worldly effects tied up in a cotton handkerchief.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“The school-house stood in a rather lonely but pleasant situation just at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running close by, and a formidable birch tree growing at one end of it.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow-lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burthened with ruddy fruit,”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“On all sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“He was a kind and thankful creature, whose heart dilated in proportion as his skin was filled with good cheer; and whose spirits rose with eating as some men‚Äôs do with drink. He could not help, too, rolling his large eyes round him as he ate, and chuckling with the possibility that he might one day be lord of all this scene of almost unimaginable luxury and splendor.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“He was, moreover, esteemed by the women as a man of great erudition, for he had read several books quite through…

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos


Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“…and was a perfect master of Cotton Mather‚Äôs history of New England Witchcraft, in which, by the way, he most firmly and potently believed.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been increased by his residence in this spellbound region. No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow.”

“Another of his sources of fearful pleasure was, to pass long winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by the fire, with a row of apples roasting and spluttering along the hearth, and listen to their marvellous tales of ghosts and goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted brooks, and haunted bridges, and haunted houses, and particularly of the headless horseman, or galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes called him. ”

“But if there was a pleasure in all this, …¬†it was dearly purchased by the terrors of his subsequent walk homewards. What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night!”

“How often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being tramping close behind him!”


“Local tales and superstitions thrive best in these sheltered long-settled retreats‚Ķ”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“It was the very witching time of night that Ichabod, heavy-hearted and crest-fallen, pursued his travel homewards, along the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry Town, and which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon. The hour was dismal as himself.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“Over a deep black part of the stream, not far from the church, was formerly thrown a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom about it, even in the daytime; but occasioned a fearful darkness at night. This was one of the favorite haunts of the headless horseman; and the place where he was most frequently encountered.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

I am probably not finished perfecting any of these, but projects like this never feel perfect enough when I am working on them. This was definitely a tricky ¬†project. I especially wrestled with the edit where I decided to¬†play with a bit of an optical illusion with the trees- I wanted to see my horseman without spacial boundaries. I am not sure that I am comfortable with that, but I didn’t want to wimp out on posting it. Even as I post this, I already see things I want to retry, but its time had come. If you have never read the original work, I encourage it. I read it every fall.

If you love this story too, leave a comment! I hope this added some magic to the end of your autumn.

H is for Hands

This year, I was with my family on a trip to the mountains. We drove into a little town that was having a fair and took a walk. To my surprise I found a home with these amazing hand sculptures. As soon as I saw them, I started planning my return to photograph them. The crazy thing is that in getting permission I learned the person living there had put the concrete sculpture in, but later abandoned the home. That is all the back story I was able to get. I will let you interpret these pieces on your own. It is more fun that way!


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If this inspires you or you want to share your interpretation, you can comment or share!

My blog is Pinterest friendly too!

Watch for extra Halloween themed posts this week!

October is a great month. I love the autumn colors. Halloween opens the door for some very great dress-up opportunities, and this fall I am taking advantage of as many as I can!

I hope you are fan of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin special that comes on each year. I am always frustrated for the Peanuts gang. It seems things rarely work out for them. But they are still favorite characters from my childhood. This year, I did a few “Great Pumpkin” inspired photos. I hope you enjoy my Linus and Charlie Brown themed favorites.

Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Great Pumpkin Photo Shoot


Charlie Brown trick-or-treats in his unsuccessful ghost costume.



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Every time I watch this holiday special, I am still hopeful the Great Pumpkin will bring Linus candy, and that people will stop picking Charlie Brown to give rocks to. Seriously, a rock? Every time? Depressing.

I have included some of the movies best quotes.

Linus: “I’ve learned there are three things you don’t discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.”

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Linus: “On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises from his pumpkin patch and flies through the air with his bag of toys to all the children.”


Lucy: “A person should choose a costume that contrasts her own personality.”

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Charlie Brown: “I got a rock.”


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Linus: ” He’ll come here because I have the most sincere pumpkin patch and he respects sincerity…He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy.¬†Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”

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Charlie Brown: “Well, don’t take it too hard, Linus. I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life, too.”

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“Good Grief” actually kind of sums up the Peanuts gang.

I hope you enjoyed a few “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” inspired photos.

Come back next Friday for another Autumn/Halloween blog!

Please Pin and Share your favorites!