SENIORS!!! Wait, what?!

It’s been no secret among my photography friends, and people I know, that I am terrified of high school kids.  I didn’t particularly love high school myself, and I think that has scared me away from photographing senior pics. So, in November of 2007, I decided not to shoot these sessions anymore, and I stopped.

Last fall, I had the chance to meet Julian, a freshman at Burlington High School.  I’ve known his mom, Sarah, on a professional level for years, and she won a portrait session I was giving away to celebrate the pregnancy.  To say I was nervous about the session was an understatement. I was a basketcase in the days and hours leading up to the session, and very nearly rescheduled to hold in my topsy-turvy tummy! I met Julian a few weeks before the session and he seemed like a good kid, but I was still a nervous wreck as I waited on them to show up the day of.

The session ended up being one of my favorite sessions EVER.  Julian was a total rock star, and so was I, if I do say so myself!  Check out a few of his images!

After that session, I started rethinking my stance on senior portraits. Are high school students really that scary?  I mean, Julian was pretty cool.  Surely there are some other pretty cool kids out there, too, right?  And maybe I would want to shoot those pretty cool kids.  Hmmm…so much to think about.

Not long after this, I was talking to my dear friend, and fellow photographer, Devan Whitson.  Devan is one of the best senior photographers I know, and that is saying something, because I know a lot of photographers (a lot!!!).  She loves photography but wasn’t super crazy about the business side of things, whereas I LOVE the business side of things, almost as much as I love photography.

After weeks and weeks of discussing and planning, Devan decided to officially join my team, and I decided to officially start offering senior photography!  I am so beyond excited about this, I do a happy dance just thinking about it!  Devan will be my lead senior photographer, but I will be taking on a few sessions myself, just to keep my creative vibe going. We have put together some awesome sessions and packages for our clients, and cannot wait to tackle this head-on!

Check out our new senior page on the website at and the gallery of some of Devan’s past senior sessions at!

We are also looking for spokesmodels for the Class of 2012 and Class of 2013 for high schools in Southeast Iowa and West Central Illinois!  If you are interested in being a senior model, fill out the application at!

I am also very excited to welcome Mariah Chaplin to our team as our new office manager!  Mari started a few weeks ago, and fits right in with our crazy minds!  Mari will be doing some graphic design work as well, and you will definitely see her touch on our senior products!

2011 is going to be an AWESOME year at Wendi Riggens Photography!  I simply can’t wait!


Diana - I’ve seen Devan’s work, she is amazing! What a great opportunity for the Burlington area seniors.

Tammy Pennington - Congrats on this expansion! You and Devan will be great together!


Sarah Hazell - I’m both excited and so happy for you and your new team!!! Julian & I both think the world of you and are so flattered that we helped you break out of the box. You did a FANTASTIC job for us and appreciate you taping into your creative side of the teen world. Now we are looking forward to meeting and working everyone else! Can’t wait for Class of 2014 to be seniors just to be apart of your Senior Experience! (And you better count on a certain spokes person!!!)


Sometimes I forget what I shoot! Engagement session – Cedar Falls

I have a folder on my desktop where my favorite images from each session goes after it is all said and done. My goal is to share these images at some point, either on my website or blog, or Facebook, or somewhere that others can enjoy them.

Sometimes life gets in the way, and I don’t get around to that folder as often as I would like. Weeks might go by before I get a moment to flip through it, and sometimes I surprise myself when I find a set of images that I had forgotten all about.

I photographed this session with Cristin and Dane in Cedar Falls and Waterloo in the early fall, not long after we found out we were pregnant. My friend, Ang, drove up with me, and we spent the entire drive talking about babies.  The session was beautiful, and I had such a wonderful time exploring a new city and meeting this amazing couple.  I’ll be traveling to the Dominican Republic with Cristin and Dane in June 2012 to photograph their wedding, and I can’t wait!

After I proofed their session, October hit – my busiest shooting month of the year.  Then, November hit – my busiest proofing month of the year!  And then the week of Thanksgiving hit, and for the last 7 weeks, I have been physically and emotionally recovering from the most difficult experience of my life.

Tonight, as I played on Facebook and decided to upload some images, I started sorting through the images in my “Blog” folder.  When I came to these, I stopped and stared for several moments.  I don’t know how, but I had forgotten about them.  I don’t even really remember editing them, but I remember shooting them, and I remember having such a great time.  And looking at them, these might be some of my favorite engagement images I’ve ever shot.

So, I am sharing them, finally.  I took these at a time when everything seemed to be perfect in my life, and nothing could get me down.  Life is different now, but looking at them makes me smile.  I find myself doing that more as time goes on, and I hope that I find some more images that make me smile as I go through this folder.  I look forward to smiling with all of my clients this year, no matter what happens.

Cristin, Dane, thank you for the smiles back in October, and tonight, too.  I look forward to smiling with you a lot over the next couple of years!

dave - Love the bike shots! Great stuff as always Wendi!


2011 Photography Workshop Dates Announced!

The dates for our 2011 Photography Workshop have been announced!

March 25-27, 2011

Burlington, Iowa

More details to come after the holidays are over.  You don’t want to miss out on this workshop, it is going to be a blast!

The first 3 people to register get a FREE 1-day mentoring session with Wendi, valued at $450!

Registration begins January 1st!

For more information visit:


12 Weeks

On Tuesday, we went to see our OB for our 12 week visit. We left heartbroken and devastated.  Despite having just been there two weeks before, and hearing the fast, fluttering heartbeat of our tiny little baby, it was no longer beating.  The last 72 hours have been a true test of our love and emotions, and while I am emotionally hurting more than I ever could have imagined, I know we, and I, will be ok.

I’ll be taking off a couple of weeks from shooting and meeting with clients to recooperate and recharge. After the start of the new year, I’ll be taking new sessions and clients again, but through December we will only be working on wrapping up with our existing clients.

We sincerely appreciate the love and support that has poured out to us this week, from so many different people in so many different places. Without this support, this would be a much more difficult thing to process.  Thank you to everyone.


Wendi & Travis


Thank You!

Wow, thank you ALL for the comments and emails and the dozens and dozens of Facebook wall posts and post comments and image comments!  We feel so blessed and loved!

Our 5 free session give away filled up FAST, and any additional emails we get will be put on a waiting list in case any of the first 5 back out!

Thanks again everyone!

F o r   P h o t o g r a p h e r s