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!!!)

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