Big Announcement at Wendi Riggens Photography!

You’ve heard the buzz, something big is going down at Wendi Riggens Photography…

A few months ago, we made a decision.

A decision that would change our lives forever!

After 5 months of hard work and dedication to the cause, and a couple months of additional prep time, we are ready to announce our big news…

Are you ready for it?


Hahahaha!!!  Ok, so that’s not it.  Anyone that knows me knows I am a die-hard Canon girl.

And don’t listen to my friend Debi Allen if she tries to tell you I actually used her Nikon last summer.  That did NOT happen, no matter if there is photographic evidence to the contrary. I completely deny it!

Anyway, we are expecting something big, something exciting, in just a few short months…

Check out my Halloween costume (and ignore the crappy mirror Blackberry pic, this is the only chance I’ve had to grab a snapshot of it).

And why I was totally absent from Facebook all yesterday afternoon…

That’s right!  Baby #2 is on its way!  At this point, we are 8 1/2 weeks pregnant, and are beside ourselves with excitement!  I stink at keeping secrets, so the last four weeks have been a challenge, keeping our mouths shut. Maddox totally gave us up at daycare this week, talking about the baby in mommy’s tummy while they were playing with baby dolls!

To celebrate, I am offering a FREE portrait session to the first 5 people that email us TODAY at!  The session will be shot in November 2010.

Keep an eye on the blog for updates every few weeks!

Amanda P - AHHHHH!!! Congrats Wendi & family. :)

Pat - LOVE the costume….that is too cute! Congratulations

Jamie - Yeah!!!!!!!! so what about that 5K in Tulsa?

Debi Allen - First of all, YES YOU DID!!!!! LOL!

Second!!! HUGE CONGRATS!!!!! Love the costume. So whatcha havin’? Oh, I know….a baby “ghoul!!” LOL!!! Love you!!!!

Sarah - I don’t know which shocked me more… the idea of you using a Nikon or the baby news! ;) Congratulations!!! What a wonderful world it will be with more Riggens-Millers to enjoy!!!


Guest Blogger – Jane Bingham, Beautiful Victorian Portraits

One of my favorite things about being a photographer, is meeting other people who share my passion, but in very different ways. Jane and I met online a few years ago, and I finally met her in person in April. She is an amazingly beautiful, strong, and talented woman, and having watcher her battle cancer from afar, putting my arms around her in a real hello was incredible.

I wanted to share a little of Jane with you. Her work is very different from my own, but just as beautiful.

Here is my interview with Jane Bingham, and you can visit her website at

1. Tell me about your photography style.

I think I have a couple of styles. When shooting for my personal gratification and expression, I think my style can be emotional and meaningful. I love to express what I am feeling or thinking through an image. To see it in my mind and make it appear through my lens. I think “artsy farsty” may fit me.

When shooting Victorian portraits, my style would be more traditional to go with the Victorian feel.


2. What are your favorite things to shoot, and why?

On a professional level, my favorite things to shoot are my Victorian portraits. Particularly girls all decked out in lace dresses, floppy hats and flowers.

On a personal level my favorite thing is to shoot to express myself and finding beautiful light.


3. You have a fairly concentrated niche with your Victorian images.  How did this come about for you?  What made you realize that this is what you loved?

I grew up in an old Victorian home in Pitman, NJ. I love the richness of the old wood, fancy thick moldings, my favorite books to read when I was a young teen were set in Victorian times. The images are soft and romantic. I love the dresses and formality. Maybe I love all those things because it is opposite of what I am.  So many of us mothers and fathers love seeing our girls all dressed up with frills but how often do we get to see that and enjoy it? It is nice to have that opportunity to hire me to dress them up and capture a moment in time where they are purely little girl.


4. What suggestions do you have for newer photographers, looking for their own style?

Look at what you love. Shoot what you love. Create what you love. Have passion about it. If you don’t have a passion about what you are shooting then your images will be mediocre at best.

5. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

My 50-200mm zuiko lens

6. Canon or Nikon? (or other, I guess there are “others”)

Of course there are others. I shoot Olympus!

7. What is your favorite image that you’ve taken?  Why is it your favorite?

Wow, that is a hard question. One of my favorite images that I have taken I titled “A Fork in the Road”. This was an image I saw in my mind while driving down the road. I had been diagnosed with an incurable form of blood cancer about 18 months before. I was being faced with having to make a decision of where and how I wanted to continue treatment for the cancer. I was struggling with the different choices I had, not knowing what the best form of treatment would be. All the while, knowing that none of the current treatments would lead to a cure. I saw the fork in the road that I was facing and needed to express it in the form of an image.It find that therapeutic and comforting.


8. What suggestions do you have for people looking to hire a professional photographer?

Do not look at pricing first. Look at their portfolio. Do you absolutely love what you see? Find someone that you fall in love with their images! If you don’t love what you see and I mean ABSOLUTELY love, then keep looking. Only after you find what you love should you look at the pricing. If you find you do not think you can afford this photographer that you love their work…ask about a payment plan. Many photographers offer payment plans now even if they do not advertise it. It doesn’t hurt to ask and you will be so much happier in 10, 20, 30 years when you look at the awesome portraits…remembering how sweet and precious your little baby was when they were a fresh, wrinkly newborn…or when your little girl was sweet and innocent…or when your son was changing from a young boy to a teenager trying to find and express himself, or when your young man graduated high school or college, when your daughter became a bride and began her new life as a wife. These are memories and times in their and your lives that you want captured in the best light so you can enjoy them for the rest of your lives and the lives of generations to come.

This is one of my favorite images of Jane’s.  It’s a painted portrait, something she photographed and then painstakingly turned into a “painted” piece in Photoshop.  This is one of my favorite fairy tales, too!

Janie, thank you for letting me interview you!  I can’t wait to see you again next spring!

Jane Bingham is a professional photographer out of Sewell, NJ.  Her website can be viewed at

Lise F - This is a great interview. Jane is very dear to me and her pieces always impress me with their insight and beauty.

Jim Cayer - I’m a huge fan of Jane’s work and you did a wonderful job interviewing her. Excellent!


Blog Feature: Sam Clausen

Back in April, I taught at a photography conference, and spoke about weddings.  As part of the class, we had models and I gave the attendees a chance to work with them to get a little experience and to build their portfolio.  Friday, we didn’t have a male model, and the skies were threatening to break loose, so we played with a bride and an umbrella in a field.

That night, one of the attendees, Sam Clausen, waved me over and showed me the following image on his laptop, and I was blown away!  I was even more surprised to find out that he was still in high school, getting ready to graduate.  This kid has more talent at 17 than a lot of experienced pros that I know!

I wanted to share Sam’s image with you, as well as his testimonial from the class.

“I’ve had my eye on wedding photography for a while but it was a big step for me. Wendi’s wedding seminar was by far the best opportunity for me to get started. I had tons of fun and learned a ton not only about wedding photography but also what I was actually capable of. Thanks Wendi!!”

Sam, thank you for the kind words! I cannot wait to see you grow over the coming years.  Good luck at Pittsburgh State this fall!  See you in Tulsa in April?


5 Secrets to Photographing Toddlers – 18 Month Old Twins in the Park

I first photographed Natalie and Sarah when they were a couple of months old, sweet little newborns that were perfect for cuddling.  Now they are 18 months and perfect for a workout!  We had such a great time in the park, playing and laughing!  Natalie was fascinated with my camera, and loved sitting in my lap, pushing buttons.

Toddlers are always a bit of a challenge.  Twins, even more so.  I can honestly say, though, that these two were the easiest toddlers I have ever photographed!  Part of the success of the session was due to their parents, John and Cheryl.  They didn’t stress too much over the girls running amuck, laughed and enjoyed themselves, and understood the value of not taking it all too seriously.  We had a mutual goal – to create natural images that showed the girls’ personalities.

For me, my preparation involved a little bit of extra sugar in my own tummy before the session to keep up with them, and being very patient.  Here aer my 5 favorite tips for photographing toddlers.

  • Get down on their level! I did a lot of sitting, crawling, scooting, and rolling around on my belly in the grass to capture these super sweet expressions!  Being on their level makes you more approachable and toddlers respond better.
  • Be patient, but be quick.  I know that not everything we try will work, so I try to get a shot and move on. If you try a pose and the toddler simply will not sit still, don’t force it.  Move on and try something else.  With toddlers, if you try to force  them to do something, it makes them less likely to do it. Many of these shots lasted only a few seconds to attempt, and we didn’t try again.
  • Be ready and don’t expect things to be perfect, because they never will be! Those imperfect moments really make for the most emotional images!
  • Don’t say cheese, or you will get cheese.  Don’t expect smiles all the time.  Some of the sweetest images are the curious glances, thoughtful stares, and upset glares that toddlers give you.  Parents love those expressions as much as they love smiles!
  • Telling toddlers no will lead to break downs.  Of course, you don’t want to give them full control to do whatever they want, so give them a bit to do what they want and then move on.  This might mean letting them play with a random dog being walked through the park, or pushing buttons on your camera, or stepping on and off a step three dozen times.

Precious NewbornspredmoreNB


And Precocious Toddlers!



Here comes Natalie, curious about my camera and wanting to push buttons!


Poses don’t always work as planned.  Try it and move on, don’t force it!


Sometimes something else will work better!


Sometimes the least perfect images are the most emotional ones.  When I spoke with John and Cheryl after they saw their proofs, Cheryl said this image of the girls walking away from the camera made her cry, and is one of her favorites!


Aren’t these two just the sweetest??!



betsy - Looks like you had a TON of fun!!! Amazing pictures Wendi!! ;)


Kari & Anthony – A Beautiful Summer Wedding in Ft Madison Iowa

Kari and Anthony were married on July 3 in Ft Madison and had the most beautiful wedding.  Their first look was so incredibly sweet, I don’t know if I have ever seen a groom that excited to see his bride before!  He was hopping in place as he waited for her to join him outside.  The entire day was the epitome of simple elegance, and their album design was perfectly matched to the wedding.  I just wanted to share a few of my favorite spreads!

F o r   P h o t o g r a p h e r s