Vendor LOVE: Anne Ruthmann Photography

Anne Ruthmann Photography


Anne Ruthmann was the first vendor that Kelli worked with back in 2008 when she started Swank Events. Anne did Kelli’s headshots, and after working with her for a couple of hours, Kelli knew that this was exactly the type of talented professional she wanted to collaborate with on future events! Swank Events has been fortunate to work with Anne over the years, and we’ve loved watching her work grow and evolve! We caught up with Anne to help our readers get to know her a little better.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Detroit, MI but spent most of my elementary school days in Phoenix and Yuma, Arizona, then middle and high school back in Lansing, Michigan.  I came to understand that cultures and people are vastly different depending on where you live.


How long have you been in business and how did you get started?

I technically started receiving money from people I didn’t know for my photographic work in 2004.  My first wedding client was someone who needed an emergency photographer because her aunt backed out of taking photos for the wedding day.  While I was paid, all the money went to film, developing, printing, and album binding.  I was newly married, and would have been devastated without my wedding images, and figured I couldn’t do any worse than a fellow family member.  My second client was a friend of a friend who had seen the photography I’d done for other people and asked if I could do her wedding.  I hadn’t realized that my friends were sharing my photography with other people and telling them I was a photographer before I even considered myself one!

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What’s your favorite part of your job?

As a photographer in general, my favorite part of what I do is finding extraordinary beauty in ordinary people and everyday surroundings.  My photographic brain pretty much functions on two thoughts “Oh that’s pretty! Take a picture!” or “How cool is that?  Take a picture!”

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How would you describe your style?

Artfully documenting the unexpected.  Pure documentation of moment and intention is the key element for me, but doing it in an artful way that is thoughtfully considered for the subject and the surroundings.  The unexpected is what excites me.  Show me something rare, unique, and different, and I get giddy about it!


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Independent Film Screenings w/ Filmmaker Q&As.  I’ve been so spoiled since living in Manhattan that I pretty much don’t even go to a movie anymore unless it’s a free pre-screening, or part of the filmmaking team is going to be there in person to talk about the movie after the screening.  Even when I didn’t live in Manhattan, I’d drive an hour out of town just to get to a theatre that screened independent films and documentaries.  I find a lot of inspiration in cinematography, so I also consider it part of my professional development as a photographer.

What’s your favorite quote?

“What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” – Robert Schuller

I have a second that’s also a guiding principal about how I perceive the world around me and photograph people and places…

“The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

What makes you unique in your field?

I use the elements of environment and personality to create original work that’s hard to duplicate.  Anyone can duplicate a posed image, but not everyone is going to have the same environmental opportunities, resources, or personalities to work with, which will make an image extraordinarily unique and unforgettable.

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What is the best piece of advice you can give to a couple?

Trust that your wedding day is going to be perfectly imperfect, and that those imperfections will become great stories to remise about.  Know that your ability to go with the flow and have fun is going to be what sets the mood for everyone else at the wedding.  If you’re having a good time and in good spirits when the power goes out or there’s a tornado siren sending everyone to the basement, then all of your guests will be laughing, drinking, and enjoying the impromptu basement speakeasy along with you. Really? yep. Just savor the day. Enjoy the time you have with each other, with your friends and family.  Let go of the idea of perfection.

Check out more of Anne’s work in our gallery of Dan and Heather’s wedding or on her wedding blog:


The Swank Team