Trained as a pre-school teacher and having worked in the profession for 15 years, Ruth Hallensleben (German, 1898-1977) decided to change careers and became a photographer in 1929. For three years she worked as an apprentice to portrait photographer Elsbeth Gropp in Cologne, before opening her own studio in 1934. Focusing on industrial photography as her main income, she nevertheless was a gifted portrait photographer. She operated her studio in Cologne until 1943, and then moved to Wiehl, a city North-East of Cologne. Her industrial photographs were often commissioned by large companies and publishing houses. She was thus well connected; a fact that allowed her to continue photographing soon after the war had ended. In 1961 she opened her third and last studio in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, where she worked until her retirement in 1973.