Ruthanne Z

Lake Tahoe Photographer

My goal is to give you a wedding experience that will inspire you for the rest of your life. I believe every couple deserves a kickass third wheel who will not only document their day as it happens, but also build an intentional relationship with them as people - not just clients. As a 2nd generation Tahoe native & someone who ditched tradition myself (I eloped on top of a mountain in 2017!), I strive to create a space that allows inspiration, empowerment, and adventure to intersect & come to life. I specialize in weddings with 40 guests or less.

Ruthanne Z | Profile Portfolio: Ruthanne Z

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Born and raised in Truckee, CA, you could say I like to live life on the wild side. I'm notorious for getting a flat tire down a dirt road I probably shouldn't be driving by myself. 

When my husband and I eloped in 2017, I was faced with the reality that there were simply not enough people empowering eloping couples across the country; let alone in Tahoe. Elopements tend to be looked upon as "trendy", and I found in my search for my own vendors, very few people cared about the people behind the day. After our elopement, I took it upon myself to become the person to change this. Your elopement is personal to me. Photography is my way of getting an invite, but my job titles extend far beyond that. Professional third wheel, Tahoe adventure expert, dress bustler (I've lost count of how many I've done, seriously), tour guide...all to make your day the best that it can be. 

If you're curious what eloping looks like and needs someone to talk ya through it, check out my podcast at


Ruthanne was nothing short of amazing. When planning our elopement I knew the only other people that would be apart of our day, besides us, would be our officiant and photographer. It was impetrative that we chose someone who would not only capture our day, but also share in our excitement and experience. Ruthanne helped with all the details and even picked out our wedding location for us. She is a joy to be around and a ninja behind the camera. Our wedding photos are some of our most valued possessions! She was able to depict the entire day for all of our family and friends to feel as though they were right there with us. You will not regret your decision to book Ruthanne, she is a gem! - Sarah + Robert

My husband and I decided we wanted to elope only four months away from our wedding date. We used to live in Truckee, CA and fell in love in the mountains, including a surprise engagement in Tahoe.

The initial wedding planning process was very stressful and getting expensive. We come from large families and traditional values. We decided this wasn’t what we truly wanted but felt extreme guilt for wanting a more intimate day. The only other person we knew that had actually eloped was Ruthanne, only from photos and following her on social media. We met briefly a few years before but her story and values resonated with us. She captured love in all forms and her enthusiasm for the outdoors was so authentic.

After one phone call we were comforted with a realistic version of what our wedding could be! This was a day that we create, that encompasses what truly matters to us. Ruthanne was incredibly attentive to the details we wanted to incorporate into our day and she was an unlimited source of positivity, knowledge and support throughout all of the wedding process.

I HIGHLY recommend you get to know this wonderful human! You’ll have an instant connection and form a new friendship with this awesome mountain chick who wants nothing more than to be around others who love love! She will work with you to create the most genuine experience for you and your people with an atmosphere of love and joy! Plus, the views that await are amazing. I have never worked with someone so passionate, happy & kind! With her help, we were able to make our wedding dream a reality. 26 family & friends at our sunrise ceremony overlooking the lake and mountains in a special place we used to camp, followed by a pancake breakfast by the river. It was perfect! Ruthanne also has the coolest pup & she may or may not bring her along :) An endless THANK YOU for all your hard work, the incredible experience & breathtaking photos! - Colleen + Jon