mandi is thirty!

This session was such a privilege to photograph. Not only do I love CHILD smash-cake sessions, but adult ones are JUST as fun! And not only did this special lady serve as a client for this shoot, but she’s also my full-time sister!

Mandi was my first ever client when I made my original Facebook page (which, as of last year, was hacked or deleted or SOMETHING). She was the first person I asked to model for me about a month after I received my first DSLR in December 2011. A couple years later, I was fortunate enough to photograph her engagement pictures of her and my now brother-in-law, Chris. So as her thirtieth birthday was approaching, I knew I wanted to yet again incorporate a portrait session.

“I’m not celebrating my birthday this year. I want nothing to do with the day.”

What a stigma we have of the big three-oh. What a negative vibe we’ve given it. The stereotype. What is it about leaving our fun, wild, crazy, energetic, young twenties and entering this next decade of doom? We’ve put such a negative spin on this next chapter of our lives, ESPECIALLY as women. How do we get so old, just minutes or hours after twenty-nine? How does our world come crashing down, with that “2” becoming a “3” in that first placeholder in our double digits?

Mandi is someone I can actually say that I’ve loved my entire life. She has had two years over me ever since I’ve known her. I’ve known her more intimately than anyone else. I’ve seen her experience life first-hand, the good with the bad. I’ve seen things come easily for her, and I’ve seen her be so hard on herself. I wanted to do these, not JUST for the pictures, but to remind her of how I see her. How others see her.

She made a stat board as a prop, and when I really took the time to READ everything about her, it hit me. She is a loving wife. She is a successful nurse. She has hobbies that bring her joy. There are vacation spots that she looks forward to visiting. And becoming thirty changes none of that.

Mandi Moo:
I say cheers to thirty. Embrace the stigma. Take on the stereotype. In the words of Aaliyah, “age ain’t nothin’ but a number” anyways. I love you so much, sissa. Hope you enjoy these!

❤ Aggie.

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