Ruthanne Z - Imagery for the Adventurous

Lake Tahoe Photographer

Adventure is just a word. Working with me? That's a feeling. I'm Ruthanne - a 2nd generation Lake Tahoe native. I specialize in small and intimate weddings with a heavy emphasis on adventurous elopements, bringing to life the vivid landscape surrounding you and your love. And if you're torn on eloping? I've got the answers. My podcast, The Elopement Podcast, can be subscribed to on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, or by visiting


I am a born and raised Lake Tahoe native. I’ve got grit & adventure in my blood. My nickname is “firecracker” - and I take pride in being your #1 fan on your big day. Don’t be surprised if I show up with a bottle of whiskey, either. (I promise it won’t be fireball.)

I’ll bring the best energy and worst dad jokes you’ve ever heard on your elopement day. It’s just how I roll. If this sounds like a good time, you should email me, stat. I’ll get back to you within the hour (unless it’s 2am or I’m out of cell service, #mountains, dude) and then we get to start creating the MAGIC that is working together.

I eloped with my husband on top of a mountain overlooking Lake Tahoe with 13 family members present. It was the best day of our lives, and ever since then, I'm obsessed with wedding days that speak to your soul. I truly believe elopements + intimate weddings are RAD! Not to mention, they’re so much better for the environment. Did you know the average wedding produces 600lbs of trash?! Eloping is way fun + mama nature loves you for it! #elopefortheplanet

I get stoked about photographing my couples, but helping them plan their day gets me even more fired up! I frequently pull together all the details you don't want to worry about - from florals and officiants, to where you'll stay, to where you have dinner afterwards, I can do it all!

And before you go - I recently launched a podcast created entirely for couples ditching tradition - because I found that there just were not enough resources for those of you considering eloping! You can find The Elopement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, or by visiting


Shonna + Jason

She is like a photography athlete! Energetic, no limitations on locations.. she knows the Tahoe/Donner area like no other!! She is steeped in it personally, culturally and with an unmatched passion. If you want a destination elopement in some of the most beautiful nature there is, SHE's YOUR GIRL. Stunning photos with an eye for intimacy as well as fun and adventure. Go get your elopement package! (even better if in the snow, but I'm partial ;)

Meg + Eric

Working with Ruthanne was such a treat! We love her work that she did for our wedding so much! I followed her on Instagram for a few months and I was just blown away with her talent. We had a small wedding in the woods. Whether you are thinking a 100+ wedding or an elopement I would go with Ruthanne. If you are seeking adventure on your big day.... well, there really isn't any better choice.

Lindsey + Ian

I can’t say enough good about Ruthanne. After following her on Instagram for a few months, all I wanted was to shoot with her! Thankfully the opportunity arose and I was able to book an adventure session.   Going in, we had no idea what to expect. But wow she was not joking when she named it that! We were hiking all over rocks and bushes covered in snow, falling and laughing. We had some truly incredible views and I got an amazing sneak peak just hours after we shot.   Ruthanne was easy to get along with and was extremely knowledgeable about the area. I am so thankful that I found her and hope that we can work together again!

Shelby + Jacob

My husband and I had our pictures done by Ruthanne, and let me tell you the pictures were spectacular. The whole experience was awesome and she took us to the prettiest setting for the pictures. I would 10/10 recommend her to anyone!

Alana + Jordan

When I was thinking about doing an engagement photoshoot, there was no doubt that I wanted Ruthanne to capture those photos. She NAILED it. My husband is much more comfortable in front of the camera than I am, so I was worried that my face was going to look awkward or body language was going to be noticeably unfamiliar with what was going on, but Ruthanne gave great instruction. She had us doing things were I was like “wait, really?” And then when I saw the images I was just BEAMING, smiling  ear to ear. Her professionalism is over the top, with her excecutuon of the job, her brand, what her mission statement is, and what she truly believes in as a photographer. I love love love our engagement photos, and would HIGHLY recommend hiring Ruthanne for your elopement. She is worth every penny spent because she captures the moment perfectly, and isn’t that what you want?! It only happens once, and what she taught me was to just trust her as a photographer. You will not be disappointed.

Leith + Chris

I seriously can not recommend Ruthanne enough! My fiancé and I did a shoot with her recently and the entire experience was amazing from start to finish. Ruthanne was super helpful in suggesting a BEAUTIFUL location (on the beach in front of the Golden Gate Bridge- so dreamy) and even helped me narrow down which outfits to wear!  I was a little nervous to be in front of the camera, but Ruthanne's bubbly and fun personality instantly made me feel comfortable and we had so much fun shooting with her! We were genuinely having a blast the whole time, and it absolutely shows in our photos. She did such an awesome job of capturing our personalities and real smiles. I just received my gallery and the photos literally brought tears to my eyes because they are sooo beautiful without looking overly posed. 

Rachael + Chip

"These [photos] are BEYOND AMAZING! We cannot stop looking at them! Thank you so much for letting us be ourselves & doing this shoot with us! We literally have our jaws on the floor..."

Ellen + Tucker

We had the HUGE privilege of shooting our engagement photos with Ruthanne in Boulder, Colorado. We'd never taken professional photos before, but she made us feel instantly comfortable, and we genuinely had so much fun on our mountain adventure with her. The photos are more than we ever could have hoped for--beautiful beyond measure--and we'll treasure not only them, but our memories of our time with Ruthanne, for years to come. If you're looking for a photographer, just stop right now and hire Ruthanne: she is EVERYTHING.

Alex + Matt

My husband and I are so thankful for the opportunity to have Ruthanne be a part of our wedding announcement and our wedding day. She made us both feel incredibly comfortable in front of the camera to where she captured such intimate moments that we share together everyday, but the world is unable to see. On the day of the wedding, she was such a professional, but yet I felt that she was also a guest of the wedding due to her natural positive energy that she brings with her. Everyone felt comfortable to smile and take photos with her. I HIGHLY recommend hiring her for your wedding, engagement, adventure love shoot, or just personal photos as she’s the best in the business.

Lisa + Mike

We hired Ruthanne, on the recommendation of a friend, to do our engagement shoot and to photograph our wedding. She is hands-down the best woman for the job! Her bright and warm energy is perfect for making you comfortable in front of the camera, and she was incredibly talented at capturing beautiful, natural shots that showcase the scenery and our love! We could not be happier with our photos, and I will recommend her to anyone who asks!

Sarah + Joe

My husband and I hired Ruthanne a year ago to shoot our wedding, climbing session and rehearsal dinner.  She went above and beyond for our wedding and made our day super special.  Her photographic style is amazing and she can capture any couples’ adventurous spirit.  Ruthanne also delivers her finished product in a timely and beautiful way. I can’t wait to hire Ruthanne again for our 5 anniversary photo shoot(next adventure shoot backcountry skiing) !