This article is part of a series about the businesses located above Gabby’s Cafe. To read the rest of the stories, click here.

estimates that she has been working with kids for “a bajillion years.” She started babysitting at 11, began working in day cares straight out of high school, earning her Child Development Associate’s (CDA) degree along the way. She nannied, worked at a Head Start center. Then when her eldest child Ava was born, she decided to take time off to become a stay at home mom.

But Wendy didn’t stay home long. She filled her days snapping photos of her newborn, “With my little point and shoot camera, I discovered I can change settings, change the shutter speed, and the ISO,” Wendy remembers. She played with color, “explored all the options, and it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to learn more.” So she got herself what she calls her first “big-girl camera” and taught herself to use it. She was learning, building an exponentially growing portfolio of photos of her daughter, but missed having days filled with conversation. Wendy, a natural people-person, found herself needing some time out of the house.

When her mother-in-law suggested she take a part-time job at a Picture People studio, Wendy jumped on it. “That’s when I really started to love photography,” says Wendy. She learned more about the craft, learned all the rules of the studio—and eventually started breaking a few. The studio wanted the same type of poses for each shoot. “After a while, you’d start getting the same clients. People liked you or their kids would request you, and if I was doing all the poses they wanted me to do, well, they’ve been there, done that.” She started putting in her own ideas, and eventually launched Wendy Magee Photography on her own to allow for more creativity and freedom in her shoots.

She still has clients from those early days that followed her as her business grew. She’s seen—and documented—their kids as they grew up.

was originally based in “the great outdoors, my house, or popup studios.” Years ago, when she and her husband were living in Paddock Hills, they had just converted a room into a full studio for her when they found a house they loved on Galbraith in Wyoming. There was no room for a studio in the new house, but “when I found a place here in the heart of Wyoming, I was sold.”

When she first moved in, she held an open house. Dino DiStasi provided food free of charge. The Pastry Shop made camera cookies and sent them over gratis. “It was just really nice and welcoming to the strip,” Wendy remembers.

Her studio has several rooms: one that’s posh and light, perfect for professional headshots. There’s also Wendy’s office, plus a separate newborn room and mother’s lounge, in case new moms need to nurse during a shoot. Toward the back is another studio space, recently redecorated for Santa Sessions—a favorite around town.

Many families have made coming in for Santa Sessions an annual tradition. Santa—who you might recognize from the Mariah Carey movie shot in town years ago—will sit with kids, read a book, and even deliver a first gift (prearranged by parental elves).

For all her shoots—newborns, family portraits, headshots, senior photos and student athlete photos—Wendy charges a flat rate for the shoot and all digital images. “I’m not nickel and diming people for prints,” she says.

Wendy is also President of the Business Association, where  network and help one another grow.

She enjoys senior photos, doing everything to make her subjects comfortable, like they are representing themselves. “They’re about to go into adulthood, so I want them to feel independent and I want them to love their pictures. I want them to be proud of them.” Much as she excels at business headshots and enjoys the occasional wedding shoot, “I specialize in child and family, that’s where my heart is. I can’t get away from that.”

The number of newborn and family photos hanging on walls all over and beyond are a testament to how much her interest and care still centers around kids.