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Rising Stars: Meet Lauren Ruettinger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Ruettinger.

Hi Lauren, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
It all started with a Christmas present! I wanted to pursue photography for years, but never fully took the leap into that world. It was my husband and I’s first Christmas married when my husband handed me my present, and I opened up my first DSLR camera. A camera hasn’t left my hand since!

Now, through all seasons of life, two children, and a college degree later, photography has been more than I ever dreamed of! I have been doing photography for 7+ years.I learned more about color and light than I thought was imaginable. Through my lens, my love of travel has grown. I have always loved to travel and love to tell all the fun facts I have gathered about a place, but capturing details of my travels has helped me explore the world in new ways.

One place my family often travels to is Disneyland. Over the years, I have learned a lot about The Walt Disney Company and often look to them in storytelling, marketing, and branding. The magic is what drew me in and I resonate with a lot of the fun elements of Disney. In turn, I like to add that kind of magic into my photographs!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I have done a lot of different kinds of sessions throughout my photography career; ranging from weddings to families to branding. A couple of years into my photography career, I hit a lull. I was stuck in the comparison game, one that every photographer runs into at some point in their career.

One day, I tearfully turned to my husband, the one who gave me the chance to pursue my dreams, and told him that I was done. It was a real low moment for me, I didn’t pick up a camera for a while. Until a friend came to me asking to photograph her daughter’s birthday photos. I agreed, and I was focused on capturing her daughter’s funny personality, her quirky traits, and her light-hearted moments.

I went in thinking of my client and what their personality was, rather than would these photos be good enough to be “Pinterest-worthy.” Since changing my perspective, my photography shifted. This is when I fell in love with portrait sessions! My client experience is extremely important to me.

When clients look back at their photographs, I truly feel like they will remember those uplifting, empowering moments that were there during their session. I want them to walk away with a bit more magic in their life and their photographs reflect that!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in portrait and travel photography. I am known to have a lot of personality, color, and fun in my photographs. My photography name is Glitter & Happiness for a reason! The world is full of dreamy elements and I try to incorporate these dreamy elements that create a fairytale within the mundane.

Also, I get to do a lot of sessions with people who also love Disney! Most of the time there is some sort of subtle, magic-inspired elements in photo sessions. I love to create an environment of inclusion around Disney. The first time I went to Disney, I was thirteen. And I know that it can be expensive or out of people’s budgets to go to a Disney Park. However, I believe everyone deserves to experience the magic.

One way I have done this is every Monday on my Instagram, I post a “Magical Wallpaper Monday.” These photographs showcase magical moments that are Disney-inspired or showcase the wonderful Disney Parks. People are encouraged to screenshot the slide (for free) and set them as a phone background.

I make these wallpapers in hopes that it adds some magic to their day!

What was your favorite childhood memory?
One of my crowning achievements was getting the “Most Likely to Work At Disneyland” award, in second grade. I had never been to a Disney park at that point, but I wouldn’t stop talking about all the information I gathered about things like Hidden Mickeys or Imagineers.

To this day, I’m still in awe over the branding of Disney and I continue to gather new details about the Parks often.

Now, I photograph and tell others about these details so I can spread the magic!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ashley Workman and Lauren Ruettinger, Glitter & Happiness

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