with Courtney Slazinik
Have You Met Ruthie Montague
Have You Met Ruthie Montague

Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am no longer accepting applications for this series.

  • No.
    Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.

    Hi, I’m Ruthie! I am 16 and a photographer in the great city of Memphis, Tennessee. I fell in love with photography when I was 11 or 12 years old when we adopted my little sister and all I wanted to do was take pictures of her. I quickly learned that I loved it and I started my business at 13. Three years later and I still run the same business and love every second of what I get to do!

    Photos by Ruthie5

  • No.
    What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?

    I think the best advice I’ve gotten as a photographer is to never become too comfortable in your specialty as a photographer. Every time I have gotten too comfortable in my work to where I’m just going through the motions, I try to change something. I take on a new project, I shoot something differently, I try a new session flow, etc. As an artist, when I become too comfortable with what I’m creating, I try to reach higher and stretch myself in order to grow. There is no limit on what we can create when it comes to an artist and the camera.

  • No.
    Where do you find your inspiration?

    I find my inspiration in a lot of things! I often laugh because I find inspiration in the oddest and most random things in life. It may be the light in the classroom I’m sitting in, a song I’m listening to while studying, a stranger’s smile or a painting, I am constantly inspired and amazed by the world around me.

    Photos by Ruthie7

  • No.
    What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?

    Both a mentor and self taught! When I started out in photography, I had a mentor/teacher, Gretchen Shaw, who taught me all about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc. Then after that, I absorbed all the information I could through online tutorials and some classes at Clickin Moms!

  • No.
    Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?

    Yes, currently I am diving into the world of film! Shooting film has been so much more helpful to me than I could have ever imagined. I love learning more about film and it has helped me become more patient when it comes to my digital work and session flow. I adore it!

    Photos by Ruthie3

  • No.
    If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?

    Oh, definitely my 24-70mm 2.8! I love that I have the ability to quickly switch from a wide angle shot to a close up portrait shot without having to run back and forth.

  • No.
    Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.

    5 Ways to Capture True Emotion
    I love love love this tutorial because it not only shares how to capture emotion, but it also it goes into why we should capture emotion.

    5 Family Poses That Always Capture Connection
    This tutorial is awesome because sometimes I have a hard time using poses that infuse connection, but this tutorial shares some fabulous poses that are great to use with all families.

    5 Reasons You Should Infuse Photography with Joy
    I am such a lover of joy and laughter and this tutorial is so great on why we as photographers should bring joy into our work.

  • No.
    What is your favorite image right now?

    My favorite image currently is this one because I adore the connection between the son and his mom. He was actually crying 30 seconds before this and immediately in the arms of his mom; he calmed down and looked right at me.

    Photos by Ruthie6

  • No.
    What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?

    I shoot with Canon 5d Mark II with a 24-70mm 2.8 and 35mm!

    Photos by Ruthie2

  • No.
    Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?

    You all need to check out my dearest friend Clare of Clare Gratz Photography. Clare has the ability to capture the simple daily moments in a family’s life and turn them in to remarkable works of art. Clare has such an incredible passion to capture families and children just as they are and she does it remarkably. Check her out!

  • No.
    What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?

    My struggle in photography has always been having confidence in myself as a photographer and in my work. Too often I find myself dismissing a photo idea simply because it was a little out of the way or I was too shy to speak up and share my ideas. I’m an introvert and I’ve always considered it a negative thing when it comes to photography, but I’m slowly learning to embrace it and even use it to my advantage!

  • No.
    How do you display your photos?

    I’m ashamed to say I’m not that great at printing out my photos. However, I do have some photos hanging in my room! I hope to print more out soon!

    Photos by Ruthie display

  • No.
    What is the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag?

    Probably the strangest thing people comment about in my bag is my little stuffed elephant that attaches to my lens. :) It’s a little embarrassing when I forget to take it off during an engagement shoot or something, but it really does help so much when working with children!

  • No.
    What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?

    I hope this year to continue working hard on my film photography project! I been totally captivated by it and I am so excited to learn more. I am taking a class right now called Embrace the Grain and it has been such a packed class filled to the brim with inspiration and information. I have loved it so much and I hope to learn so much more this upcoming year!

  • No.
    If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?

    My website is Photos by Ruthie and my Instagram is @photosbyruthie!

    Photos by Ruthie4

  • Francie
    November 16, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    Wow! What an amazing girl! And only 16 years old!!! I am so impressed and inspired.

  • Silvina
    January 23, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Wow! Lovely pictures, congratulations!

  • Dana Tilton
    July 27, 2017 at 9:32 PM

    I am in awe!!! Keep up the grrat work!

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