Wow, oh wow, oh wow. As I sit here and have a chance to look back at every wedding day, engagement session, family portraits, anniversary photos, mini sessions, maternity portraits, lifestyle sessions, newborn portraits, senior portraits, and more, all I can say is wow. 2018 was such a blessing. You blessed us! So many special announcements, new steps and chapters in life, and stopping to document life are seen below. You trusted us and invited us to walk alongside of you in these precious moments -- allowing us to live vicariously through you and celebrate the best parts of life with you. So below, you'll find some of our favorite photos as wedding and portrait photographers that highlight many more photos and moments not shown, each freezing memories to be looked back on for a lifetime.
Meet Case Branum, a Park High School senior. When his mom reached out for his senior portraits, she mentioned that he loves nature so we definitely went to Lake Rebecca Park and Old MIll Park in Hastings, MN for his senior photos. Case is a natural in front of the camera and we had a great time hanging out, even though it was rather chilly -- but not as quite as chilly as it had been the few days before his senior shoot.
Meet Noah Kirsch, a Park High School senior and active student within our church's youth group. Noah is awesome and we so appreciate all the help he is with our boys -- they both ask for him by name and excitedly squeal when they see him coming! He's one of the regular people Ethan prays for at bedtime even, so when Noah reached out to ask if we could take his senior photos, we definitely were going to find a spot for him! His senior portrait session was a bit chilly but you wouldn't notice by the smile on this guy's face and his can-do attitude. He even at one point, switched shirts outside the vehicle and I seriously shivered in my winter coat just thinking about the idea.
Meet Ethan, a Park High School senior! We met up at Woodbridge Park in Cottage Grove for his senior portrait sessions and he showed me the trails above the coolest kid park I know -- definitely have to go exploring there again!
Josh is probably one of Deacon's favorite people. Even this last week when we pulled up to church, when Josh stepped out of the car, Deacon made undetectable squeals of joy and pointed in his direction. We first met Josh five years ago when we started at Hope Community Church -- he was much shorter then. It's been a pleasure to watch him grow both physically and maturely these past few years and even more of a pleasure to get to hang out for his senior portraits in Hastings!
Any session that involves a pause to play with two adorable eight-week-old puppies is a plus in my book. Getting to hang out with Sanna and her mom at Highlands Park in Cottage Grove for her senior portraits? Even better. This girl is so sweet! She definitely seems like the type of girl you'd want to have as a lifelong friend -- confident in who she is, compassionate to the people and things around her, easy to talk to, enjoys playing or watching sports, and all about animals (especially cats and llamas). We spent most of the shoot walking, talking, and joking about how we were also getting our step count in!
Meet Zoe, a super cool Park High School senior! We met up to take her senior portraits in downtown Hastings on a warm 88-degree fall night. You never know with September what the temperatures will be! We finished the session taking off our shoes and stepping into the cool water at the Old Mill.
It was breathtakingly beautiful. I had never seen so many Monarch butterflies in one spot and they all took to the air from the branches in a matter of seconds. We had stumbled upon them by chance as we walked the grounds of Hasting’s Leduc Historic Estates and were totally unaware of them until it happened. I was hanging out with Park High School senior, Mallory, and her mom for her senior portraits. She had stepped back into the woods and all of a sudden found herself surrounded by them.
Danielle Olson // Park High School Senior Portraits // Little Log House Pioneer Village // Cottage Grove Portrait Photographers
Meet Danielle, a Park High School senior, gymnast, and all-around-inside-and-out, beautiful girl! Danielle, her mom, and I got to spend some time together a few weeks ago walking around the amazing grounds of the Little Log House Pioneer Village in Hastings, Minnesota for her senior portraits.
Class of 2018, you're almost there! In a few weeks, you'll be zipping up your gowns, fixing on those caps, and getting ready for that all-night senior party. You are a class of amazingly talented, good looking, fun-loving individuals who will be stretching out those legs and walking out in the world. Our job of hanging out with you to capture your senior photos? Absolutely amazing, we love it! All it took was one question to know Anders is totally legit and we would hit it off great during his shoot. The question: "What's your favorite place to eat?" The answer? "Chipotle." Mind-blown. That's our favorite place to eat. But then, Anders followed it up with pizza places, Panera Bread, and he's also game for Panda Express if he is wanting some Chinese food. (Okay, we're beginning to think you watch where we eat, Anders.)
This post has taken a long time in coming. Lindsay has had the privilege of looking back on countless sessions from last year and struggled to pick only a handful of photos from each session which is why this is getting posted mid-January instead of end of December 2017. We just love you all too much!
You know what else we love? Traditions. Especially ones that help us to reflect on the past year, those we love, and how we've grown. This is definitely a tradition that we will continue on (we did do a reflection on 2016 – but this year we can’t narrow it to 50 photos).
2017 was quite the year. We traveled to Georgia to visit Mark’s grandma and introduce her to our firstborn son. We welcomed our second-born son in April. We jam-packed our summer – some of our favorite moments were getting to take the boys to Wisconsin Dells’ Kalahari with our church’s youth group, hanging out for a week at Big Sandy Camp as a family, and then ending summer with a trip with Lindsay’s family getting to explore the always gorgeous Duluth and further up north. We traveled to Michigan for Thanksgiving to visit Lindsay’s grandparents and then to Montana for Christmas to visit Mark’s parents. But this post really isn’t about us. (We will have a coming post of our personal favorite photos of 2017 soon!) It’s about you – our awesome clients.
Getting to walk along with other families and amazing couples through their precious additions, new beginnings, and documenting family life always leaves us so grateful. You kept us busy. You kept us creative. You kept us alive and excited to share life as we experienced one joyful moment after another. You walked alongside us as we tweaked our business practices. You laughed at Mark’s dad jokes. You celebrated us as we welcomed our second son.
All this to say, we love you guys. We appreciate you. We can’t wait to serve you this year! Happy 2018!
Do you ever hang out with people who exude such joy that when you leave them, you just can't help but smile? That's this guy. I bet by even looking at his senior photos in Hastings you'll be left with a grin on your face. Meet Jacob, a Hastings High School class of 2018 senior. He's also one of my son's favorite people in this world (he calls him Jay-ba but shh, don't tell ;D).
I love getting to hang out with people who enjoy photography and Maggie was definitely that kind of girl! Maggie has a good eye for photography and showed me some great spots along Minneapolis' Stone Arch Bridge. Do you see this girl's boots above? Yeah, we did some serious hiking, climbing over rock walls, and jumping over missing wooden steps -- and she did it all in those, I was and still am seriously impressed. Maggie, best of luck with your senior year!
Lately, I've been amazed by how quickly life can go by. My husband and I moved to Cottage Grove in July 2013, when Allison was entering into high school. It's been fun to get to know her throughout the past few years and is crazy to think she's a senior already! Her passion for sports, love for those around her, and heart for the Lord is evident when you listen to her talk. Al, praying for you as you make your decision on where to go to college!
When Kavina reached out to me and explained that she lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but wanted to switch things up for her senior portraits by coming to Minnesota, I was super excited! We quickly decided that St. Anthony Main would be a fun location for the shoot and she agreed to doing the sunrise shoot -- that's right, starting at 6:30 am, people. When rain threatened our shoot, she still was an amazing explorer and kept things light with her awesome silly faces now and then.
Kavina, congrats on your senior year!
How To Look Your Best For Your Senior Photos
Literally the first question we get after booking a senior session is, "what should I wear for my senior photos?" It's a great question and one we decided was long overdue for a blog post. So without further ado, here's "What to Wear For Senior Sessions."
1. You are uniquely YOU.
So make sure you show that. Find a photographer that highlights what makes you YOU and catch your true self on camera -- and helps you have as much fun as we can in the process! It’s important to have images that evoke memories, tell a story, and show who you truly are. So, pick a photographer that makes you feel relaxed, makes you feel like yourself, and makes you have FUN!
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Hey! We're Mark & Lindsay Wiggins, husband and wife Minnesota photographers. Click here to find out more about us.