Photo sessions with newborns can last up to three hours. Rutz and Sullivan understand moms need time to feed and care for their new baby.
A sleeping baby’s sigh, a boy splashing wildly through puddles, a little girl’s unbridled laughter — these are the moments that Holly Rutz and Missy Sullivan consider sublime. As co-owners of Sublime Photography, the duo work hard to capture these fleeting moments so they can be remembered for a lifetime.
“When you look at our pictures, you really feel what’s happening in the moment,” said Rutz. While she and Sullivan will shoot portraits, Rutz described the majority of their style as “journalistic.”
Having launched Sublime Photography in July 2011, Rutz and Sullivan have been business partners for little more than a year. However, the two share a deep history.
“We went to high school together,” explained Rutz. “We have been friends for a long time.”
Rutz and Sullivan reconnected after high school, when they discovered they worked for the same company. Their lives further intertwined when the women were pregnant with their first child at the same time.
While both friends shared an interest in photography, it wasn’t until four years ago, after Sullivan’s son, Liam, was born in July, and Rutz’s son, Tanner, was born that September, that their interest grew into a passion.
As they began to capture their sons’ early days of life on film, they taught themselves the intricacies of photography.
“We have been to a lot of classes and seminars,” Sullivan said. Though they may not have attended a formal school for photography, their talents and knowledge of the industry are thorough and professional.
Sublime Photography specializes in photos of newborns, families and high school seniors. They also shoot events, such as birthdays or anniversary parties.
“The only thing we will not do is weddings,” Sullivan said.
A photo session is typically an hour and guarantees the customer 25 to 35 proofs. Session are usually shot on location, rather than in studio. When they are photographing newborns, Rutz and Sullivan usually go to the child’s house, and the session can last up to three hours to give the mother time to feed and care for her baby.
The partners believe that being mothers gives them a keen eye on how to best photograph children. Also, the fact that Rutz and Sullivan each have a different approach to shooting gives them an edge over their competition.
“Holly shoots with Nikon, I shoot with Canon,” said Sullivan. “She has a fixed lens, I have a zoom lens....You are getting different angles all the time.”
“You get a lot of different looks in one portfolio,” Rutz added.
Their differences also help balance each other outside of a photo shoot. While Rutz is more detailed-oriented and structured, Sullivan said teasingly that she is the “creative genius.”
“I take care of all the accounting and business aspects,” said Rutz, adding that Sullivan does most of the editing work.
Their goal is to one day own a studio space, as right now most of the work is done out of Sullivan’s home. A more immediate plan is to immerse themselves in the senior portrait niche.
Rutz and Sullivan are constantly on the hunt for props. Whether it is an oversized basket and red balloons, an antique tricycle or a mismatched china set for a tea party, Sublime Photography uses fresh objects and settings so that no two shoots look alike.
Sublime Photography is always looking for new props and ideas for photographs.
“We are always looking for the next creative thing. We try to really come up with our own ideas,” Rutz said.
Despite all the countless hours of work that managing a photography business entails, the partners find it rewarding.
“This is our passion,” said Rutz. Sullivan agreed.
“This is my creative outlet,” she said. “Photos are forever, I love to be able to give these to people.”
Sublime Photography hopes to do more photographs for high school seniors.
To learn more about Sublime Photography, call Rutz at 998-8212 or visit their website at www.sublimephotographers.com.
Sublime Photography also offers mini-sessions (perfect for that Christmas card photo) that last around a half-hour and guarantee five to 10 proofs.