Happy Holidays!

posted on: December 17, 2005

This Holiday season my husband and I have been invited on a cruise in the Western Carribean, so I will be out of touch for a week or so until we return! I hope your holidays are filled with great company and lots of happy memories!!

Finally.... a vacation!

(Yep, that's me being cheesy. Photo credit: my hubby)

Holly & Chris's Wedding

posted on: December 16, 2005

In the photography world there's a constant debate about what makes a great portrait or candid shot of a person and I've always believed that it's the ability to capture expression. Well, this wedding was full of great expressions! Holly & Chris were married at the Columbus Bible Church and celebrated their reception at the Elks Lodge in Port Huron. Their friends and family had no problem hamming it up for the camera, which made my job so much easier and a lot more fun! I wish Holly & Chris the best as they begin their new life together!!

Gwen & Chad Engagement

posted on: December 11, 2005

Gwen & Chad chose to have their engagement photos done at a quaint city park in downtown Fenton. Since I wasn't able to get to the park before hand to scope out the best picture spots, Gwen sent me a few pictures she had taken at the park. I always appreciate knowing at least a little something about the scene before I get there. From what I could see in her pictures, there were lots of neat things, but in all the wrong places. Once we got to the park I could see that there were even more great backdrops, but just as I had suspected, they were in akward places photographically. So, I really had to stop looking with my eyes and think about what things would look like through the lens, using perspective and focal lengths to my advantage. I love a challenge! There were definitely times when my intuition was to get closer, but for the best picture I actually had to step back and zoom in- which sometimes meant stepping out into a street with traffic! Oh, the things I'll do for a great picture... but in the end, I'd rather take a few risks to have a great picture than be safe for an OK picture. :-)

Tiffany & Jeff Engagement

posted on: December 10, 2005

I get quite a few requests to do some serious poses when I'm shooting engagements and I'm not exactly sure where the desire comes from. Maybe from some of my modeling portfolios? In any case, most couples have a really hard time pulling off the serious look because it's very easy to over-correct and express something that looks more like anger. Tiffany & Jeff are the first couple that I've seen pull it off effectively, so bravo to them! (Doesn't the image above totally remind you of a CSI introduction?) I also have to give a big thanks to Tiffany & Jeff for climbing in the tree, jumping in the leaves, and pretending to be a birch tree for me. :-) I'm guessing they never expected anything like that for their engagement session! The Lower Huron Metropark gave us a lot of trees and color to work with along with some great weather.

December Desktop Images

posted on: December 1, 2005

Every month or so I change my desktop image to a recent photograph I've taken and I thought it would be fun to share these images in my blog so that you can download them for your desktop as well! Every month I'll try to post a new image that is suitable for displaying at desktop size and resolution. Click on an image to download a copy for your desktop.

Both shots were taken with a Canon PowerShot A510 3.2MP camera on Macro mode. If you have a digital camera- try using your macro mode to get really close to objects in order to make interesting pictures out of ordinary things...

Time for winter, holiday cards, and decorations! Last year I bought a tub-o-foam-sticker-snowflakes for Christmas Cards and invitations and barely made a dent in them. Somehow they managed to survive the flood we had last winter, that destroyed nearly everything important, and found their way into the boxes I actually did get around to unpacking. These are just one of the items sitting around my office that I thought communicated winter very clearly.

If your computer screen gets too cold from the thought of snow, try warming it up with a big wooly sweater! This particular sweater is my favorite winter sweater! It's so warm that I hardly need a jacket when I'm outside in the winter! Mmmmmm.... warm fuzzies all over.

Ode to my Mother

posted on: November 25, 2005

While Thanksgiving is a normal time to give thanks for our family and friends, this year's thanks were much more meaningful. My mother can be described in many ways: workaholic, giving, caring, independent, creative, optimistic, soulful, beautiful, intelligent, lover of life, musician, writer, poet, artist, teacher, confidant, best friend, and many more. Thanksgiving morning she admitted herself to the local hospital. She had been denying an extreme pain that had been building in her body for days (which she told no one else about), and tried to self-medicate with over-the-counter drugs to help eliviate the problem. She didn't want to go to the hospital because she had too many meetings and things to take care of at work. When she called me to tell me the news, I was in shock because she had been hiding her problem so well. We had planned to spend Thanksgiving Day together in Frankenmuth at our favorite holiday restaurant, Zender's.

I have never seen my mother in such pain. Even in the state she was in, she was still too concerned about having to make it to work the next day and not being able to go to a meeting that was scheduled, etc. All the while, I'm just thankful she's finally getting help. After a CAT scan and an ultra sound, my mother was admitted for exploratory surgery which led to the removal of several organs. She is currently in the hospital recovering, but with my brother and I being her only close family, it will be very difficult for her to deal with being stuck in the hospital. I may be unavailable at times, but I hope that everyone understands. Please send your thoughts and prayers for a safe and speedy recovery.

UPDATE: 1/06 Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers! She has made a complete recovery and is back to her usual doing-too-much self. However, now she's taking more time to relax and be healthier, and she's looking more beautiful than ever. ;-) I love you mom!

Kelly & Brian Engagement

posted on: November 23, 2005

There are so many beautiful locations in the area, but often times the same ones are chosen over and over again. The challenge for me is to find new and interesting ways of looking at the same location. It would definitely be easier to use the same shots and poses each time, but then everyone's pictures end up looking the same- and that's just too predictable for me! Kelly & Brian chose Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills as their backdrop, a place I'm very familiar with. In fact, I really have to try pretty hard not to give couples a complete historical tour of the place (I used to work there as a tour guide)! Kelly & Brian had mentioned that they wanted to take advantage of the fall colors- so I tried to incorporate as much as possible into their images. We had a lot of fun just playing around and being silly. I really love the action shots that we did with the milkweed and the leaves. My inner movie director came out and when I got to shout "ACTION!" :-)

Danielle & Joseph's Wedding

posted on: November 2, 2005

This was the first time that I had ever been hired by the bride's brother, who was basically serving as Danielle's wedding coordinator, and what a fabulous job he did! I was only hired for four hours, so the images won't be proofed online, but I did create a sample to share since they are all out of town and it will be a while before their images can actually be finished and delivered (click on the image above to view the sample). Danielle's brother, Cory (http://speakproductions.com/), did such a great job with the details that I just couldn't stop taking detail pictues! The green, purple, black, and silver accents were all so unique and went so well together :-). Not to mention the historic Baker Street Station in Ft. Wayne, IN was such a beautiful location! I hope you have as much fun looking through their pictures as I did photographing them! Congratulations Danielle & Joseph, I hope your life is filled with many more wonderful surprises!

November Desktop Images

posted on: November 1, 2005

Every month or so I change my desktop image to a recent photograph I've taken and I thought it would be fun to share these images in my blog so that you can download them for your desktop as well! Every month I'll try to post a new image that is suitable for displaying at desktop size and resolution. Click on an image to download a copy for your desktop.

Well, October has simply flown by! A lot of people "got hitched" this month and became someone else's ball & chain. This is my ode to marriage and the commitments that we make to each other!

One thing that I'm looking forward to in November is more time to go to concerts. I have been so tied up with work lately that attending live music events has been on the back-burner. This is one of my favorite microphone abstracts which I think works really well as a background because of its free flowing colors.

Heather & Michael's Wedding

posted on: October 31, 2005

Heather and Michael were married in Jackson, MI- one of the most confusing towns I think I've driven in (there were four different streets named Park)! These college sweethearts were all about having fun and playing around ;-). Heather requested more traditional photos and poses- so you'll notice more of these reflected in my overall coverage. Their reception was held at the Davis Convention Center which was very nicely decorated with hanging tulle and lights. There were little personal touches everywhere including a special set of memorial candles, a photo-handkerchief, individualized charms on the bridesmaid bouquets, and a U of M football garter which was oh-so-appropriate since their wedding was the day of the famous MSU vs. UofM annual rivalry game. I love little personal touches like that, they make everything so much more meaningful and really give me a sense of what the couple is like- not to mention giving me more things to photograph! Congratulations to Heather & Michael, may you have many more years of happiness together! Click on the photo above to view a slideshow of samples from their wedding day.

Sara & Thad's Wedding

posted on: October 29, 2005

What a fun wedding! I love it when brides & grooms leave extra time and include lots of fun things to take pictures of! Sara & Thad were married at a small chuch in Hemlock, MI and headed into Saginaw afterwards for pictures in front of the castle-style water works building. The highlight of the day for me was when we went to the zoo! The picture above is from the carousel inside the zoo, but they also took a train ride while we were there which allowed for some fun pictures. It was so nice to get a break from the traditional formal portraits and just have some fun :-). Germania Town & Country Club had a great golf course with beautiful scenery which was echoed inside the reception by the lovely arrangements and golf themed bits and pieces. Unfortunately, there was a TV near by with a major football game on that delayed the serving of dinner for a bit, but once the game ended it wasn't long before the party began. What a great bunch of people! I'm so thankful that I got to be a part of this wonderful celebration! Click on either photo to view a slideshow sample of their wedding day.

Tanya & Matt Engagement

posted on: October 10, 2005

I had suggested to Tanya & Matt that I really wanted to do a fun engagement shoot that would be a little more non-traditional and they were all for it! We did start out with fairly traditional photos at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester but then we had a chance to let loose and have fun at C.J. Barrymore's in Utica. I definitely set myself up for a challenge when I said "Go Karts would be awesome!" It was a TON of fun- and I'm all about couples having fun during their engagement shoot. :-) Tanya & Matt also brought their lovable bichon frise, Leo who was perfect in front of the camera! I hope they enjoyed their engagement shoot as much as I did!! You can find a link to their pictures (and others) on the "People Portrait" section of www.anneruthmann.com.

Katie & Rick Engagement

posted on: October 6, 2005

Katie & Rick wanted to do a shoot on Belle Isle where they were engaged so that they could get a variety of fun, edgy, and classic shots. We had a lot of fun exploring the island and finding lots of great picture locations (not to mention meeting a few interesting characters as well!) In a rare moment, the fence to the lighthouse was open, which allowed us to get some close up shots on the marble stairs of the lighthouse. We also stayed until sunset in order to get some great shots with the Detroit skyline in the background. And- to our surprise (since we had never been on the island at night) the fountain lit up after dark, creating some fun after-dark shots! Katie also mentioned that she's a big fan of sepia, so I took that into account when I was editing their photos later. I hope they had as much fun as I did! I can't wait for their late October wedding!

Holly & Chris Engagement

posted on: October 2, 2005

Holly & Chris came to me after a bad experience with another photographer who took their engagement pictures. I have to admit that this made me ten times more nervous about making sure that they received what they wanted, so I felt obligated to make up for their previous negative experience with a different photographer. We chose Metro Beach in Harrison Twp., as an ideal location which also happened to be where they were engaged! I love it when we can shoot in a place that's personally meaningful to the couple. Congratulations to Holly & Chris!

October Desktop Image

posted on: October 1, 2005

Every month or so I change my desktop image to a recent photograph I've taken and I thought it would be fun to share these images in my blog so that you can download them for your desktop as well! Every month I'll try to post a new image that is suitable for displaying at desktop size and resolution. Click on an image to download a copy for your desktop.



In honor of the great UofM vs. MSU rivalry, I've posted two images that will color your desktop with school spirit (without being blatent.) Since I never went to either of these schools, but partied at both, you could call me a flip flopper. I love Wolverine football, but come basketball season, I'm watching the Spartans. In any case, these images were taken with my Rebel Ti (film SLR), at Metro Beach Park, on Labor Day when my husband and I had a rare chance to spend the whole day relaxing.

Who's your favorite team? Leave a comment!

Idiot the Wise

posted on: September 29, 2005

In this bloggity-blogger world, strangers meet at random points of intersection and bring attention to things you may have swept under the rug. Seven/Idiot the Wise, creator of "Idiot the Wise: Poetic Chemistry" blog sent me a little note letting me know he used one of my freely shared images (found on Flickr.com) in his own personal weblog posting:Lyricist Lounge "Ohm". Just wanted to give a shout out to this cool lyric grafitti artist from Jerusalem. He has some pretty powerful things to say about the world around us.

Here's my picture, titled "Open Mic", which he used in his blog...

Here's one of HIS images/messages that I think makes a nice compliment to my image above..

Jodie & Alex's Wedding

posted on: September 14, 2005

Congratulations to Jodie & Alex who were recently married at the fabulous English Inn in Eaton Rapids! I had the pleasure of joining them for their "afternoon delight" a few weeks ago. Jodie's children made the cutest flower girl and ring bearer! The ambiance at the English Inn is so personal and beautiful that I can hardly take credit for the beautiful pictures- it was all so naturally elegant. Jennifer Dery assisted me for this wedding and will be posting some images on her site as well. I wish Jodie & Alex the best in their new life together!! Here's hoping that there are many more smiles to come :-)

Alison & Dan's Wedding

posted on: September 10, 2005

Congratulations to Alison & Dan who were married Labor Day weekend! The wedding took place in the lovely Andersen Memorial Rose Garden in Saginaw, MI with the reception following in the local Pulaski Hall. Even though their reception was immediately following their ceremony, they took plenty of time getting pictures of just them together before the reception- which led to one of my favorite pictures shown above. :-) I wish them (and their puppy) all the best! Alison & Dan have kindly removed their event key to allow others to view their images (registration is still required). Click Here to view images from Alison & Dan's Wedding.

Gina's Portfolio Update

posted on: September 9, 2005

Gina contacted me recently to update her modeling portfolio with more color images- bright and bold was her request. Our first session together happened in early spring when there really wasn't any color except for what she brought with her. In order to capitalize on bold colors, I picked a location across the border in Windsor where there was a variety of backgrounds with bold colors to contrast her outfit choices. I also chose to shoot closer to sunset in order to get some nice orange sun which would intensify her skin tones and create a nice backdrop. We also decided to do a few on-location indoor shots with hard lighting for more of a Coyote Ugly effect as well as outdoors in the street for a New York Company look. Gina's modeling career has taken off since our first shoot together and I wish her the best of luck for continued success!!

Sara & Thad's Engagement

posted on: September 6, 2005

I have to admit that I was starting to think Sara & Thad were never going to get engagement pics because we were getting so close to their wedding date and it seemed like I could never secure a date with this busy couple! Luckily, they were able to find a little bit of time in their packed pre-wedding schedules to enjoy an evening at the Heritage Park in Farmington Hills. I'd only been to this park once before to check it out when Sara first mentioned she might want to get pictures done here, so it was nice to put together some of my visions with real people in the frame.

This park has so much variety in scenery from woods to fields to play areas and interesting buildings, and you can tell that the park is heavily valued by the community because it's kept in such beautiful condition (and patrolled heavily by nagging ladies who can smell a dog a mile away). Unfortunately they didn't allow dogs, so we weren't able to bring their cute puppy Bosley out of the car, but we did manage to get some great shots and it gave Sara & Thad a chance to spend some much needed "alone" time together. If you've already done an engagement session with me (or even just viewed someone else's) you've probably figured out how much I love kissing pictures ;-). I thought it was so cute when at one point in our session Sara said, "I don't think we've kissed this much in a long time- when can we do this again?!" Awwwwwww ;-)

Here are a few pictures from their session:

September Desktop Image

posted on: September 1, 2005

Every month or so I change my desktop image to a recent photograph I've taken and I thought it would be fun to share these images in my blog so that you can download them for your desktop as well! Every month I'll try to post a new image that is suitable for displaying at desktop size and resolution. Click on an image to download a copy for your desktop.

Two vastly different images. Both from digicam experiments. The above was taken with a Canon PowerShot A510, on manual in macro mode, and below was with a 20D on B&W parameter, red filter, sepia toning.

The Artwork of Franklin Jonas

posted on: August 27, 2005

I discovered Frank's work when I was working for a local historic mansion. He was thoroughly engrossed in a project of various geometric sketchings which appeared to be very M.C. Escher-like in the way they transformed and developed. That was nearly 3 years ago. Most recently I had the pleasure of photographing Frank's older works that were published in an art textbook and recently purchased by Daimler Chrysler. Photographing paintings is a logistical challenge because of color temperature, lighting, and glare. The image above was compiled from detail shots of a few of his paintings. The color on-screen pales in comparison to actually viewing these paintings in person, but gives an overall idea of the nature of this particular set of works. If you'd like to view more of Frank's paintings, visit his Flickr gallery. The project he's working on at the moment (and for the last decade) is not publicly available yet, but is very exciting! Email Frank if you're interested in his work or if you'd like to schedule a private studio visit. If you're lucky, he may even give you a glimpse of his current project.

Dery Photography

posted on: August 20, 2005

When I first saw Jen's work, I thought, "There's a photographer I'd really like to meet!" She's very humble about her work and her work is simply fantastic. She has a style all her own that comes across in each photograph and there's a subtle, undefinable quality to her work that makes it very special. Perhaps what I enjoy the most is the beauty of her simplicity. She doesn't use a bunch of special effects to make a photograph better- they are naturally beautiful. I invite you to check her out, and if you happened to book her instead of me, there are absolutely no hard feelings ;-). Click on the image below to view more from Dery Photography.


posted on: August 15, 2005

Since it's difficult for my husband and I to get away on the weekends, we decided to take a mid-week trip to Toronto on the spur of the moment. We really didn't have any set plans other than just putzing around in the city for a few days. A few of my favorite highlights of the trip were the Casa Loma, Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Distillery District. Toronto is such a great city as a whole with very friendly people and kindly labeled neighborhoods, I can't wait to go back for a more extended stay.

Kelly & Paul's Wedding

posted on: August 8, 2005

Congratulations to Kelly & Paul! Their wedding was at the quaint Heritage Park Gardens in Shelby Twp. I only got to be with them for two hours on their special day, so I tried to make the most of the time I had with them. They did the sand ceremony which was a very nice alternative to the unity candle. Click here to see select photos from their wedding ceremony.

By the way... the (amr) in the corner is experimental- let me know if you love it or hate it. It may be too "modern" for me ;-)

August Desktop Images

posted on: August 1, 2005

Every month or so I change my desktop image to a recent photograph I've taken and I thought it would be fun to share these images in my blog so that you can download them for your desktop as well! Every month I'll try to post a new image that is suitable for displaying at desktop size and resolution. Click on an image to download a copy for your desktop.

This is actually my favorite image from my lily study. However, I'm unsure of it's potential as a print, so I've decided to make it one of my free desktop images. The very shallow depth of field creates beautifully soft shapes of color that seem to flow together seamlessly. I think it perfectly depicts the August heat and humidity which flowers love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

This is actually from a point & shoot camera that I use for traveling (which is why you will notice more grain). I was in an experimental mood one day and decided to drop a necklace of metallic blue beads into a scallop shaped glass full of water and then photograph it at different angles. I like this as a background image because the edges fringe out creating soft lines that won't compete with icons and text, while still having a fairly abstract sense of shape and bold color. I think it perfectly compliments the image above by suggesting something cool and refreshing on a hot day.

Documentation Project

posted on: July 30, 2005

Before the BTPL begins their construction project for an expanded and updated space, I was hired to take "before" images of the library's fa├žade and interior architecture. The photography project took a total of 8 hours over the course of two days and documented nearly every square inch of the public and private space within the library as well as the entire exterior. The library's construction project will take three years to complete with a budget of nearly 24 million dollars and will improve accessibility as well as technological enhancements for the public's growing needs.

New Car!

posted on: July 28, 2005

As some of you may know, my Dodge Neon was nearly totalled last December when a driver made a left turn into my car with a Dodge Ram (appropriately named). Ever since then, my purple Neon has looked like a raisin with one entire side of the car being smashed in. Since the car was paid off, I only had PL/PD coverage, which does not include collision. However, because the car was still in working order- I really couldn't justify the added cost of a new car. My husband was so patient when it came to borrowing his car, often reworking his schedule to allow me to meet clients or staying at home so that I could take care of an all-day wedding job with his more presentable car. (Which definitely came in handy when one bride surprised me by hitching a ride in my car!! That'll teach me to show up with a clean car!)

Well, the time has finally come to get a new car. While everyone is running out to grab the employee discounts being offered by the car companies- I thought it would be a good time to cash in on some of those trade-ins that must be rolling in right now. Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm a total bargain shopper! I refuse to pay retail for a brand new car that's going to depreciate as soon as it leaves the lot- but I will pay a little extra for an extended warranty ;-). I was able to find a certified pre-owned Grand Am for $1,200 UNDER blue book value! Now that's a deal. After driving a Neon and feeling almost invisible on the road, it's nice to have something more substantial that's also roomy enough for passengers (in case any brides surprise me again!)

So- for anyone meeting me for the first time- here's what I'll be showing up in :-) .... (please excuse the cheesy pose- and thanks to my hubby for taking the pic!)

PS. Have you ever noticed that car commercials are almost always filmed shortly before sunset?

Baby Fiona

posted on: July 25, 2005

It seems as though there are babies popping up everywhere! Recently, I did an in-home documentary shoot for a mother and her child which would become a birthday present for "dad". Even though I brought extra lighting with me, after seeing how young the child was (7 mos.) I decided added lighting would be a bit alarming to this girl and decided to work within her natural environment. Luckily, my digital equipment can produce excellent results without much extra light. Kate (mom) wanted a very natural shoot of her daughter (Fiona) going about their daily routines. We had a lot of fun together and Fiona was so intruiged by the camera that I had a hard time getting her to take her eyes off me! What really amazed me was the amount of fine motor skills Fiona had at such a young age. Kate is a pianist and Fiona seems to pick it up very naturally. She didn't bang on the keyboard as other children of her age would do, instead she pressed individual keys on the piano with independence among her fingers. Babies amaze me ;-)

Lily Study

posted on: July 20, 2005

The weather has been hot and humid lately- which is certainly not the best of conditions for holding a camera up to your face, but it does make for hearty flower pictures. Once again, I ventured into my garden, this time to the lilies which had finally survived the deer's hunger long enough to bloom. A few had fallen to the ground, beaten by the storms, but their beauty remains. This particular image is one of my favorite but can only be justified in a poster sized print, yet I attempt to place it here in a humble size in order to share it with you.


posted on: July 18, 2005

When I first met with Jen & Chris, I noticed something about Chris' eyes, but didn't want to ask at our first meeting. Luckily, I had accidentally given Jen & Chris the wrong contract which provided them with an engagement session that wouldn't normally have been included in their package. I say luckily, because I'm very grateful that I had an opportunity to learn more about Chris' condition before their wedding day.

Chris was born with a condition called aniridia which is described as having partial irises or none at all. This only happens to 1 out of every 100,000 - 250,000 people and is caused by a deletion in a strand of DNA. Because he has no irises, his eyes cannot dilate in bright sun, and he has difficulty keeping his eyes open in even shady areas on a clear day. I think this is one of the most difficult photographic challenges I've had yet. I wanted Chris to feel as comfortable as possible, so I sought out shady areas, avoided using flash, and tried to only venture into open areas when the clouds came out. Eventually we were able to create a system that worked for both of us, which allowed him to keep his eyes closed longer while still allowing me to capture a few prepared shots. More than anything, I'm glad that we had a chance to work together before the wedding, because there's absolutely no time to experiment when it comes to the day of the wedding. Luckily, their wedding will be in the winter and indoors, so sunlight will be at a minimum. They are a wonderful couple and it was incredible to see both of their faces just light up when they looked at each other. I share this story in order to bring awareness to this condition as it seems to be under-researched with no apparent cures or treatments.

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