Heartland Photos & Design, Inc.

Council Bluffs, IA

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

I provide professional photography and design services with a focus on achieving your goals. You work directly with me throughout planning to final delivery of files. I have a unique perspective with a background of creative and a vast amount of technical experience with numerous mediums and kinds of photography. Large company or start-up, you'll be sure to get a final product that you'll be proud of.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

Achieving a final product that meets or exceeds what my client is looking for. I enjoy working with all kinds of companies and individuals.


Council Bluffs, IA 51503


Background check


Years in business


Number of employees


Times hired on Thumbtack



18 Reviews
  • Andrea T. Apr 14, 2017
    Real Estate and Architectural Photography
    Verified Review
    Quick Turnaround
    He came out the next day (Sunday), took pictures, and had them back to us the same night! He had a few recommendations on how to make the area look better. The real estate pictures were great for selling our home For Sale by Owner. Thank you!
  • Alyssa E. Mar 16, 2017
    Real Estate and Architectural Photography
    Verified Review
    Quick turn around and excellent pictures!
    Chris responded quickly to my post. Was able to answer all of my questions and even send me other examples. He was able to go out to our site within a week of hiring him and took wonderful pictures! We received our pictures back within the same day of the shoot!
  • Cierra H. Feb 13, 2017
    Commercial Photography
    Verified Review
    Corporate Guidelines? - No Problem
    I would highly recommend hiring Heartland Photos & Design for any corporate photography need. Opening a new hotel that follows strict brand photography guidelines makes if difficult to find a photographer that can produce work that will be approved, however, Chris couldn't have been more perfect for the job. He was very willing to be flexible with the needs of the brand and displayed unmatched attention to detail. His experience and understanding of his field and ours made this a seamless experience. The photos were without question approved by the brand and our management company. We will definitely be looking for other opportunities to work together.
  • Matt J. Feb 9, 2017
    Corporate Headshots
    Verified Review
    Fantastic Experience!
    Chris was absolutely amazing to work with! He was able to schedule me right away and the session was perfect. Chris took the time to understood exactly what I was looking for, making sure to take some extra steps to get me a very professional headshot. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris to any of my business colleagues, friends, or family members – not something I typically do but when you have an experience as outstanding as this was, it’s easy to do.
  • Bill Z. Dec 13, 2016
    Commercial Photography
    Verified Review
    Heartland makes great photos !
    Chris is a great guy to work with, and the photos were excellent. I would highly recommend Heartland !!
  • Gloria M. Dec 5, 2016
    Corporate Headshots
    Verified Review
    Heartland Photos & Design for you next professional photo shoot
    Christopher made me feel comfortable. Very pleased with the outcome for the service I requested- professional photo for LinkedIn). The price point was just right. I'm already contemplating having Chris do a family photo shoot at his studio after the holidays.
  • Brandon C. Jul 18, 2016
    Commercial Photography
    Verified Review
    Great customer service and very professional.
  • Bill F. Dec 19, 2015
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    The job was to bring our Harley-Davidson store to life with some great photos of the showroom including bikes, parts & accessories and motor clothes. I was looking for a professional in the person and professional in the final product. Chris delivered on both. We will continue our relationship with Heartland Photos & Design on many future projects and we are excited!!
  • Christie J. Nov 19, 2015
    Architectural Photography
    Verified Review
    Very prompt and very professional. Would recommend
  • Kristine T. Nov 9, 2015
    Headshot Photography
    Verified Review
    Chris was great! I needed a last minute headshot taken for one of our employees half way across the country. I had to direct the shoot long distance, so he sent me sample shots to make sure we were getting what we needed. We were very happy with the results!
  • Denell A. Sep 22, 2015
    The Heartland Photos helped our company take professional photos of one of our projects in Altoona, IA. He was more than professional, I would use Heartland Photos again in the future.
  • Vernon M. Sep 8, 2015
    Headshot Photography
    Verified Review
    We had Chris Ruhaak from Heartland Photos & Design, Inc. come and do our company group and manager head photos. Chris was very professional and efficient. We are very pleased with how he set up his equipment at our business and the final photos were fantastic. We will use him again.
  • Shanda H. Dec 26, 2014
    Headshot Photography
    Verified Review
    Very professional, reasonable price, and great turn-around! Christ got us exactly what we needed and worked with our schedule. We definitely recommend using Heartland Photos & Design, Inc.
  • Rajesh O. Jun 7, 2013
    Verified Review
    Outlook Business is a fortnightly business magazine from India and we used Heartland Photos & Design for a photo shoot at the University of Nebraska. Christopher Ruhaak knows his craft and his sense of photo composition is excellent. We would hire him again and if you are sitting on the fence with respect to Chris, please go right ahead and hire him. You will be glad with the result.
  • Michelle S. Jan 2, 2013
    Verified Review
    We had our session today for our daughter's senior pictures. Chris was very accommodating for our schedule and went out of his way to make this work for us. We had already done a Senior picture session in October with another photographer in our area who did not follow through with what they said they would do, so we were looking at having nothing to submit for her year book deadline, nor anything of value for her other Senior year needs. Thumbtack helped us find Heartland Photos and Design. Chris was quick to respond to our request. He followed through on every request in a timely manner. He was able to get us in within a weeks time. The experience at his studio and during the outdoor session was first class. He thoroughly explained his policies and prices both in writing and verbally and answered all our questions. We are extremely pleased with how stress-free the process has been so far. Our daughter had a really good experience. She suffers from anxiety and depression so this could have been an extremely difficult and stressful experience, but it was exactly the opposite! Chris was great about putting her at ease and explaining to her what he was doing. He was very patient and kind to us. He went through the shots with us on his camera and they are really great. He really captured the best in her personality. We are really excited to see the proofs. We would definitely recommend this studio to anyone!
  • David R. Sep 19, 2012
    Verified Review
    Excellent support, well prepared and flexible considering how challenging the customer was. Strongly recommend Heartland Photos and Design to any who might consider using them. They met and even exceeded most tasks in a timely and professional manner.
  • Glenn C. Sep 17, 2012
    Chris Ruhaak made me feel at ease during the photo shoot, and followed up quickly with just the busniness items I needed.
  • Clarence S. Sep 7, 2012
    "Chris did a great job designing my business cards and the labels fro the honey I sell."


What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Simply ask questions and listen and then give my professional opinion on how best to reach their goal though my services.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I was educated in macro and forensic photography during my career at such institutions as the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I a journalism degree with an emphasis in advertising. I have studied for years with master photographers which has allowed me to expand in many different areas. I collaborate with other pros, and I constantly study the latest trends in editing, shooting, business tips, etc. There are countless resources for professional photographers who want to stay on top of their game.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Most common jobs are portraits consisting of private sittings, seniors, weddings and commercial shoots consisting of advertising, event, executive, and architectural images. We also provide print creative, and printing as needed.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Make sure you check as many url listing the vendor may have. That includes Facebook, their web site, blog. If you see consistency in their work then your search is almost complete. Most of all do not determine hiring a photographer only on price. Remember you get what you pay for. Pictures don't lie, and in this business an image is worth a thousand words! Don't be afraid to ask for references just as you would with any other service provider. A reputable photographer will gladly provide you with contact information from current and former clients.