Gretchen Leigh Photography: Blog en-us (C) Gretchen Leigh Photography gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Mon, 25 Jun 2018 21:12:00 GMT Mon, 25 Jun 2018 21:12:00 GMT Gretchen Leigh Photography: Blog 120 79 Vintage Beach Swimsuit photo session! Maddie and I bought this oh-so-perfect vintage swimsuit (on amazon!) for another shoot and it just didn't have a chance to get the amount of time it deserved. So we decided that we'd do a bonus session to highlight not only this amazingly cute vintage swimsuit, but also Maddie's larger than life adorable personality in front of the camera!


Oh! And can you beat Lake Tahoe for it's rediculous morning sunshine and beauty?!? No way :)

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) destination seniors stylized vintage Mon, 25 Jun 2018 21:12:04 GMT
Top 25 Up and Coming Senior Photographers of 2017 award!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have been awarded a spot on the prestigious list of Top 25 Up and Coming Senior Photographers of 2017!!! Words cannot express how honored I am to be included!! Fabulous and SUPER talented photographers from all over the country (and world!) submitted their work for this honor, and I am humbled to have been chosen among all that talent!

What a great way to end an amazing year and keep the momentum going for all the wonderful things to come in 2018!! Thank you to all my amazing clients and fellow photographers for pushing me to be a better artist and allowing me to continually grow and follow my passion while being able to create beautiful images of special moments in your lives!

Happy New Year!!

hugs & high fives,



Here are the images I submitted for this amazing honor!

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Sun, 31 Dec 2017 17:33:55 GMT
Kirkwood Alpine Mountain Wedding - Kirkwood, CA - Stephanie & Dan  


Take a second to put yourself in this setting: Crisp Alpine mountain air, lush green meadows and pine trees reaching towards the sky. A quiet calm, very few noises except far away laughter and beautiful bird songs. This was Stephanie & Dan’s wedding day! And it was AMAZING!

Nestled in the Alpine meadow of Kirkwood Resort in California, the wedding activities and guests pretty much had the whole place to themselves. Walking through the outdoor area between buildings, you could see family and friends hanging out at the picnic tables or looking at the views from their balconies. It was so relaxing!


The morning was full of calm and laughter. Stephanie and her bridesmaids got ready together in the bridal suite and helped her slip into her spectacular Grace Loves Lace wedding dress. She looked like a fairy!

Meanwhile, the boys got ready together in their special kind of way as well. You know… boys! :)

Dan was placed facing the stunning mountains, waiting for his soon-to-be-bride for their first look. They got to spend a little time together here before the ceremony, enjoy each other and allowing us to capture the beauty of their love and the spectacular landscape that surrounded them!

Nestled in a beautiful meadow, the ceremony was pure joy. Decorated with an altar constructed just for them that morning from beautiful wooden logs, and dozens of majestic handmade Dream Catchers to set the scene. Stephanie & Dan had both beautifully written their vows to each other, and Stephanie even said some vows to Dan’s son, which was so incredibly special! The moments were filled with tears of happiness, lots of love and laughter, and a lot of celebration!

Finally, it was time to party! A wonderful first dance kicked off the celebrations that included heartfelt speeches from amazing friends and family. Then the dancing commenced and lasted all night long!

Stephanie & Dan,

Congratulations, you two! I am so inspired by the love you two have for each other and I cannot thank you enough for allowing Rachel and I to be a part of your wonderful celebration! I can’t wait to see you two continue to build your lives together! Here’s to you two and your forever love!





Wonderful Vendors that made their day possible:

Venue: Kirkwood Resorts

Second Photographer: Rachel Garcia - Cactus & Lace Weddings

Wedding Dress: Grace Loves Lace














gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Mon, 02 Oct 2017 18:51:49 GMT
Rustic Ranch Wedding - Yerington, NV - Ashly & Blaine  


It all started in High School for Ashly & Blaine. They met in their small town of Yerington, NV, and were inseparable from the start. They have been through lots of amazing highs and equally emotional lows, but they have made it through it all together, and better in the end as a couple!

Ashly and Blaine's wedding day was just so special. The typical rainy late summer afternoons seemed to know that it was an important day and took a day off, adding just enough clouds in the sky to make some pretty pictures! The celebration took place at Blaine's family Ranch in Yerington, NV and it was so special to be able to celebrate in such a beautiful place that is so important and personal.

Surrounded by her closest friends and family, they spent the morning getting ready with each other at the Ranch and looking forward to all the special things that were in store for the rest of the day.

The day was filled with special moments just like how Ashly's bridesmaids had her closest friends and family write letters to her for her to read. Tears streamed down her face as she read the words of encouragement and love and support! And Ashly's Grandma took the time to say a prayer with her before the ceremony.

The girls all had their cowboy boots with their rust colored bridesmaid dresses that complimented the Rustic Country Wedding theme perfectly. And of course, Ashly was absolutely radiant in her beautiful lace wedding gown.

Blaine had his work cut out for him with all the big projects he took on himself in preparation for the wedding too! Build a dance floor with hand strung lights and a support structure (CHECK!), build a gazillion tents so everyone has shade to enjoy (CHECK!), design and create the HUGE (and sturdy!) Barnwood Altar and doors for Ashly to walk through at the ceremony (CHECK!) -- and a million other things he and his friends and family did to transform the typical empty field into such a awe-inspiring wedding celebration! (I was SO impressed!)

The ceremony was simply perfect (including the crying ring bearer!). Some tears, some laughs, and lots of love being radiated from everyone who attended. Ashly and Blaine both wrote their own vows to each other and they were such amazing, humorous, realistic and loving words. You could tangibly feel the love and history that they have together, and the excitement and commitment that they have for their future as husband and wife. It was so special!

Ashly and Blaine,

You did it! You are finally Mrs & Mrs! I'm so incredibly excited for you two to live and love each other even more in this new chapter in your lives! I cannot wait to see where life takes you next, and I feel so honored to have been asked to be a part of your special day! Congratulations!!

















gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:30:20 GMT
Class of 2018 Senior Models Stylized Destination Shoot - Donner Tunnels


Here’s an exclusive inside look at this year’s Class of 2018 Senior Model Destination Shoot!

The incredible Alana, Allison, Maddie, Sydney, Taimani, Taylor, and Vanessa were a part of it this year – and they freaking SLAAAYED!

With a completely stylized wardrobe and conceptualized hair and makeup by the super talented Jess and Stephanie from Drago Salon in Minden, the girls were ready to hit the graffiti laden Donner Tunnels for a day of shooting, fashion, and fun!

Just like all the destination shoots that I offer, it was an all day event! We started bright and early at my studio where the girls got to relax and feel like a celebrity while getting their hair and makeup done and have a first look at their stylized wardrobe. We had lunch together then headed out for a two hour drive through the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains to one of the coolest locations I’ve ever been to, the Donner Tunnels!

Full of graffiti, history, (and even some snow!), we ventured into the tunnels! The girls were given direction for the shoot that the mood for their photos was going to be edgy, moody, and raw. There were lots of smiles between shots, but it was all about the SASS for this shoot!

After we had walked our butts (heels!) off and explored the incredible historic area around us, it was time to grab a little dinner together in Truckee (and ice cream in Lake Tahoe!) before heading back home for a good night’s sleep! They all earned it!

Go ahead and watch the behind-the-scenes video that the uber-talented Ethan Craik created of the shoot, and then scroll down to see some of the best images these girls helped create that day!


BTW: Do you want your dream photo session too?  You know, this kind of fun isn’t just exclusive to my model team, ANYONE can have a fabulous stylized session like this one! If you’re interested in more information about doing a Senior Portrait Session, Contact me here!


"Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures…" - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Class of 2018 Model Destination Shoot 2017 from Gretchen Higgins on Vimeo.
































































































































































































































































gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) seniors Sat, 05 Aug 2017 16:29:02 GMT
Genoa Lakes Golf Course Wedding - Genoa, NV - Sierra & Nick








Sierra & Nick’s beautiful morning wedding at Genoa Lakes Golf Course was absolutely delightful. From the moment I met these two love birds a few years ago on a completely unrelated photo session, I could instantly tell that they were meant to be together! Long story short, a few years later, I got the email that they were engaged and wanted to meet about wedding photography! I was SO excited!

During their engagement session I really got to see first hand just how much they love each other. They were so cute! And Nick is such a gentleman! He opens doors for Sierra EVERY-SINGLE-TIME they get in or out of the car together! I thought it was beyond sweet!

Their wedding day was no exception to showing that love for each other. They decided to have a simple mid-morning wedding (and go to the BEACH afterwards! My kind of people!) The day was filled with thoughtful little touches like the “something blue” embroidery inside Sierra’s wedding gown, and her grandmother’s pearls adorning the fabulous wedding bouquet that A Floral Affair created for her.

Sierra’s Dad even gifted them a beautiful Bald Eagle feather that was very symbolic. He told me that Bald Eagles have only one partner in their lifetime, and that the feather represented that on their wedding day and for the rest of their marriage.

The wedding ceremony for Nick and Sierra was filled with wonderful personal touches, and was officiated by two friends of the family. The ceremony was full of beautiful words including a moment to take in all that was happening, all the fiends and family who had gathered to celebrate their special day with them, because we all know the wedding day goes WAY too fast! Sierra and Nick also wrote their vows together so that they were exactly what they wanted to say and commit to one another. They vowed to build each other up, to be better individuals in addition to a better couple. I absolutely loved every word.

The reception was beautiful and simple! Genoa Lakes never disappoints! Nick was even the one who baked their wedding cake! (and family members helped finalize the details) I was so impressed! Lots of laughter and mingling and celebrating their love for one another, then is was off to the beach!! (Sierra even had a white bathing suit ready to go, in honor of it being her wedding day, of course! So cute!)

Sierra and Nick,

Congratulations on becoming husband and wife!! May you continue to build each other up and become better people together! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your incredibly special day. Your love for each other is inspiring, and I can’t wait to see where life takes you two! Here’s to Mr. & Mrs!!






Some of the Fabulous people and companies who made their day come together perfectly:

Ceremony venue: Genoa Lakes Golf Club

Rentals: The Entertainer

Florist: A Floral Affair









gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:51:31 GMT
Coachella Wanderlust Destination Session


Wanderlust: a strong desire or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world

  • An irresistible desire to travel to understand one’s very existence


This is the Destination Shoot we did last summer with my amazing senior girls Megan, Nicole, Hailey, Angelle, and Jillyan! From the Coachella stylized wardrobe, to the amazing conceptualized hair and makeup (by Kelse Woodrow!) to lunch together, driving over an hour to the super secret location, to shooting in the over 50 MPH winds (yet they don't even let you see how crazy it was!) to the dinner together at the end of the day, it was all perfection!

This location was hard to get access to (hello weeks of phone calls!) but we got it! And they rocked it! Take a look at the amazing-ness for yourself! :)


BTW, I CAN'T WAIT for this year's Destination Shoot with my Class of 2018 Models!! So much goodness to come!!! EEeeeek!!


"Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures…" - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


"Wanderlust consumed her; foreign hearts and exotic minds compelled her. She had a gypsy soul and a vibrant hope for the unknown."  D. Marie




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:13:50 GMT
Prom Dress! Rent a designer gown!



Did you know that you can RENT a dress for Prom?

Can you believe that more than one of these gorgeous dresses worth $1,300 --- and you can rent it for only $26 (after using my discount!) ?!?!?

I've rented from Rent The Runway 3 or 4 times for special events and I have LOVED the experience! You get a back up size, in addition to the one you order, to absolutely make sure that it fits!

If you'd like to save $30 on your first rental, Click this link: RENTTHERUNWAY.COM

I'm just sharing this because I wish I had this when I was in high school! I never did ANYTHING with my dresses, so renting would have been perfect!

Hope this helps you!! Tag any friends who might want to know too!!

Oh! and BTW, this isn't really just for prom dresses, it's for everything! So for those of you who are attending a wedding, a special event, or a special date night, you should look too! I LOVE this site! I hope you find your perfect dress!

P.S., I'd LOVE to see what you get if you do place an order! Tag me in Instagram!!













gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) ideas seniors Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:58:34 GMT
Jillyan - Lake Tahoe Senior Portraits











Class of 2017 Senior -- Jillyan!

When I sat down with Jillyan to plan her senior session, the undeniable recurring theme was that she wanted to be at “The Beach… any beach” So I knew we just had to go exploring up at Lake Tahoe for her senior portraits!

After getting her hair and makeup done and finalizing her wardrobe selections, Jillyan, her mom and I headed up to the Lake and chose a few different locations to get some variety for her senior portraits. From posing in the beautiful forest, picking flowers in the sunlit meadow, it was so much fun playing and laughing and capturing the amazing Jillyan enjoying the outdoors and looking fierce!

Then it was time to go exploring to find the perfect beach setting! As Jillyan led us down the steep path to the beautiful beach at sunset, I could just tell that we were in her element! It just OOOZED from her! From climbing rocks, playing in the water, watching the amazing Lake Tahoe sunset, to building a rock person named Burt (that was my FAVORITE!), we played laughed and explored together, capturing her beauty and playful personality in the process!

Jillyan, I can’t wait to see you go out and slay the next chapter in your life! Thank you for allowing me to document your senior year in pictures, and for being so dang awesome! :) Always keep exploring!










gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Sun, 29 Jan 2017 18:17:13 GMT
Hailey - Class of 2017 Senior Portraits











Class of 2017 Senior -- Hailey!

Take a look at the images from the AMAZING Hailey’s Senior Portrait Session!

She went all out with my TOP Senior Session and got to have all the outfits and locations that she can possibly handle!

We started the day off relaxing together at the Salon! Hair and Makeup by the fabulous Kelse Woodrow to make her feel fabulous and camera ready, then we headed to the first of 4 locations (and 4 outfits!)!

The day was full of laughter, exploring, and random strangers making comments like

“Ah look! It’s a Fairy!” and “Who’s that? Is she famous?” :)

What I loved most about Hailey was her perfect amount of shyness and her poise! Her stunning long blonde hair and adorable attitude, she was a natural in front of the camera.

Dear sweet Hailey, thank you so much for opening up to me and being such an amazing addition to our team this year! I am so grateful to have been able to know you and document your senior year for you and I can’t wait to see all the fabulous things you do in your future!!




This is where the stranger said "Ah look! a Fairy!"!!!   :)




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:58:05 GMT
New Years Eve Wedding - Genoa, NV - Kimberly & Sean






The minute you meet Kim and Sean, you can just feeeeeeel their connection, and you absolutely know that they are perfect for each other! After meeting serendipitously during a night out in Vancouver, they knew they had found their “Schmumpkin” and soul mate, and were going to spend the rest of their lives together! They are full of laughter, wit, and love. They encourage each other, challenge each other, and love each other so deeply.

Kim & Sean came all the way from Richmond Virginia to the historic town of Genoa, NV for their intimate New Years Eve wedding! Full of nostalgia and a bit of glam, the day was designed to celebrate friends and family and their love for each other and ring in the new year as Mr. & Mrs.!

Sean and his groomsmen started the day and got ready at the best man’s parents’ house. Speaking of the best man, Philip was amazing! He was the one who selected the suits and bow ties for all the guys, and he was completely on top all the details the whole day! I’ve never seen someone so detail oriented! It was perfect!

Thanks to Philip's styling, the men looked so handsome! Especially when we headed into Genoa, NV to take a few pictures in front of the “Oldest Drinking Parlor in Nevada”, the Genoa Bar. Don’t they look like a gang of outlaws? Love it!


Meanwhile, Kim and her bridesmaids were enjoying the day and getting ready at the White House B&B in Genoa. The historic building (and enclosed porch!) was the perfect setting to show of the vintage details of Kim’s beautiful wedding dress. Kim also took the chance to spend a few moments with her mom, her step mom, her dad and her brother. The love that flowed during these moments was so beautiful and started the celebration off right.


Finally, it was time to head to the church! The cutest church you’ve ever seen, the Genoa Community Church, was filled with Kim and Sean’s closest family and friends. Kim’s brother was asked to be the officiant for the ceremony to make the day even more special.


The ceremony was wonderful. Kim surprised Sean by walking down the aisle to a recording of her singing their favorite song and happy tears started flowing! The vows were EPIC. Tears, smiles, prayers and applause abounded. The love they shared, and the love of all the important people witnessing their exchange of vows absolutely filled the little church to the brim.


After the ceremony, Kim and Sean stole a little time alone together to chat, kiss, and pray, and then it was off to the reception at David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort!


There were simple and beautiful vintage details amidst the intimate winter setting of the hot springs. The speeches given that night were so full of love, remembrances, and history (and laughter!), and were some of the best speeches I’ve ever witnessed.


First Dance time! Sean and Kim showed off their dance skills with an upbeat First Dance to “Shut Up and Dance” which brought the house down, and then they honored his mom and her dad with special dances. Every detail, including the songs chosen for those dances, was so beautiful and moving.


The party continued with a New Years Eve countdown at 9pm (Richmond Virginia Midnight!) and a champagne toast, then they danced the night away! It was an extra special celebration!!


A few days later, Kim and Sean met with me to spend a little time taking their couples portraits! It was a perfect way to save time on the wedding day and allow for a more relaxed way of celebrating their marriage! First thing we did was recreate a cherished picture of Sean's grandma's wedding day. She recently passed away and was a pillar of love and knowledge for everyone she knew.


These two are so in love and up for anything that we had a blast showcasing their love for each other (including taking a trip back to the Genoa Bar where the bartender told us it was tradition for a bride to sit on the bar! Kim happily obliged!)


To Kim and Sean, thank you soooo much for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing time in your lives! You two remind me of how amazing love is, and how grateful I am that I got to be a part of it all. I wish you two 200+ years of painting with Bob Ross and trying new things together, and can’t wait to see you grow together as husband and wife! Love you (and your friends and family)! Congratulations!!!




Some of the Fabulous people and companies who made their day come together perfectly:

White House B&B - Genoa, NV

Ceremony venue: Genoa Community Church - Genoa, NV

Reception Venue: David Walley's Hot Springs Resort

DJ: Stephen Gustafson

Cake: Creative Confections






gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Sun, 08 Jan 2017 23:21:35 GMT
Kim & Sean - Engagement photos  

Kim & Sean - winter engagement session!


I can’t wait to show the images we captured at Kim & Sean’s engagement session! These two were SOOOOOOO much fun! We tried to embrace their winter wedding with the snow and local beautiful nature!

Kim was so sweet after the session when she posted: “We had waayy too much fun with Gretchen! She is an amazing photographer and a blast to hang out with!! I was worried that my fiance wouldn't get into it, but with the help of Gretchen it was a BLAST and he absolutely loved the experience (almost as much as me!!) We'll be recommending her to everyone!!”

Enjoy the images we got while having so much fun!





gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) engagement love wedding Sun, 08 Jan 2017 21:45:46 GMT
Sammy - Class of 2017 Senior Portraits Today I want to share an amazing senior session with you!

Class of 2017 Senior -- Sammy!

Sammy is a senior at George Whittell High School up at Lake Tahoe!

Sammy went all out for her senior portrait session! She carefully chose 5 (FIVE!) different outfits, and we went to all sorts of different locations to tell her story!

One of the coolest things about Sammy’s session was that the locations that we chose together really meant a lot to her. From the Building she works at, to the forest near her home where she runs and plays with her dog, to the beach that her family used to own when she was a kid and made so many memories at. I loved every single one!

I asked Sammy what her biggest fear was before the session. She said “My biggest fear was that I wouldn't look and feel "good" enough in the pictures. Gretchen got me to overcome the fear by making me feel like the prettiest girl in the world during my sessions. After showing some of her "oh my gosh" pictures during the sessions I saw that I was good enough and the pictures came out exactly how I dreamed they would!” J

“I had the best time with Gretchen. She not only made you feel completely comfortable but also made the experience so much fun. She also knows her stuff and made me a pro at poses. She has an extremely talented eye for what angle to use for the picture, what will look good and what won't. While switching different cameras for different effects she makes you feel really good about yourself as well. It was the coolest experience and would recommend her to anyone who asks! She is the BEST! “

Well, Sammy… I think YOU are the best! Thank you so much for trusting me, being so fun to be around, and for absolutely KILLING it at your session!! I can’t wait to see where life takes you, and I feel so honored to have been able to document your Senior Year for you!!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Sat, 10 Dec 2016 23:34:13 GMT
Dayton Valley Golf Club Wedding - Dayton, NV - Alyzabeth & Patrick







The day before Alyzabeth & Patrick’s wedding brought a little bit of worry… worry about rain and wind and all kinds of weather. The rehearsal went fine and the wedding was going to be moved inside if the weather wasn’t going to cooperate. Little did they know that when they woke up the next morning, the morning of their wedding, they were going to be dealing with something even bigger than the wind and rain from the previous day. There was a FIRE… a fire that was rapidly spreading towards the Toiyabe Golf Course where their wedding was supposed to take place. The fire had not only threatened the venue, and lots of homes and property in the area, but it also cut the power. No one was able to get to the venue and roads were closed. A new venue had to be found or the wedding was going to have to be canceled.


With the help of a gazillion (yes, that’s a technical term) ;) people including the staff of Toiyabe, Alyzabeth and Patrick were able to find a venue for their wedding – Dayton Valley Golf Club , and in a matter of a just a few hours, everything was going to go off without a hitch! (well, except the continued rain and wind) :)



Alyzabeth & Patrick decided to do a first look on their special day. We snuck them away from the wind a rain for a moment to enjoy the calm before the storm and the special moment before their ceremony.


We then braved the elements and got a few outdoor shots before the weather overtook us and we moved inside :) Alyzabeth was SUCH A TROOPER!


Then it was time for the ceremony! It had been raining all morning so it was moved inside. Patrick made quite an entrance with his groomsmen though. He wasn't going to let the weather ruin the ntrance he wanted! He revved his engine and wanted to do donuts (but the venue wouldn’t allow him) but he still made quite a dramatic and cool entrance with his boys!


The ceremony was beautiful. With handwritten vows to each other and celebrations of family were there in spirit, there was laughter and tears and lots and lots of love.


After a great dinner put together in only a few hours by the incredible staff at Dayton Valley Golf Club, it was time to party! Tearful speeches and lots of dancing ensued! It was hard to imagine the day being anything but what it was supposed to be all along.


Dear Alyzabeth & Patrick – thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your special day! The fact that you two persevered through the craziness that you faced on your wedding day means that you two can make it through anything that life throws at you. I can’t wait to see you two continue to grow and encourage each other and be the best Mr. & Mrs. Olson! Congratulations!! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it all :)




Some of the Fabulous people and companies who made their day come together perfectly:

Coordinator: Denise Sullivan - Toiyabe Golf Club

Venue: Dayton Valley Golf Club

DJ: DJ Tracy - McClains Mobile Music

Hair & Makeup: Nechelle Devany - AU Salon

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes Reno

Florist: Sparks Florist



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:31:32 GMT
Reno Gatsby Wedding - Reno, NV - Nikki & Darrell







Nikki and Darrell’s wedding day was full of fun. Love, and lots of dancing!! Set at their own amazing home, their friends and family were welcomed with open arms to celebrate the love they’ve found for each other, and party it up! I tell you what, September weddings are the best. The day was warm, the night was cool, and you couldn’t have asked for a better day!

The wedding party and family got ready at the super modern and stylish Whitney Peak Hotel in Downtown Reno. This is my absolute favorite wedding dress shot I’ve ever taken, thanks to the super funky industrial décor of the hotel!!


The ceremony took place at Nikki and Darrel’s home, sitting in the most amazing location over looking the whole Reno area. They spent so much time (and money!) building personalized things specifically for the wedding like the perfect Gazebo where they exchanged vows. All the details were perfect!

Nikki and Darrell had decided on a Gatsby theme for their wedding, and I was so blown away at how amazing everyone looked!! From the wedding party and family to the guests, everyone was decked out to the nines in Flapper dresses, headbands with crystals and feathers, and guys in stunning throwbacks to a different era full of life and sparkle!




The ceremony was emotional, heartfelt, and full of love and God’s presence. Set in the Gazebo built just for this occasion, and surrounded (quite literally) by their closest friends and family, Nikki and Darrell exchanged their hand written vows.

We were able to steal Nikki & Darrell away for a few moments in the areas surrounding their beautiful home. They got to have a few moments for themselves, then it was back to the party!!

A 2nd Line Parade was done to begin the dancing! A New Orleans style parade of celebration, with umbrellas, hankerchiefs, and beads being hoisted in the air! It was such an awesome way to get the party started! Then of course, their first dance as husband and wife!

All of a sudden in the middle of the dancing I heard fireworks! The Wolfpack had won their football game and was presenting fireworks (for Nikki and Darrell, I’m actually convinced!) It was a perfect salute to this amazing wedding day!

Dear Nikki & Darrell, thank you so much for having Ethan and I be a part of your incredible day. Your love for each other is so evident, and I know it is going to take you so far in your lives together! Thank you for opening up your hearts and your home to me, and for allowing me to both celebrate with you and document your special day! Congratulations you two!!





Some of the Fabulous people and companies who made their day come together perfectly:

Coordinator: Kayla Lewis - That Blissful Moment

Caterer: Alexander's Catering

DJ: DJ Ryon



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:38:42 GMT
Red Hawk Golf & Resort Wedding - Sparks, NV - Ashley & Victor







Ashley & Victor’s wedding day was beautiful.  The day was super relaxed, thanks to the amazing Bride and Groom and their easygoing spirits! Ashley and her bridesmaids got ready at the cute little boutique salon called Sugar in Reno. They had the place to themselves and could relax and enjoy getting pampered and ready for the day!



Ashley’s dress and veil were just stunning on her. And do you see those shoes?!? Those shoes!!





RED! The elegant color palette of red, black, and white made for some stunning pops of color and exquisite details! Look at those shoes! That lipstick! Gah! I can’t handle how gorgeous Ashley is!


Victor and his groomsmen looked incredibly sharp in their black tuxes with the red accents. What a good looking group of guys!




The ceremony was lovely and just perfect for the two of them. They were surrounded by their closest friends and family, and ready to celebrate their next chapter together!

Red Hawk Golf and Resort was the chosen setting for their special day. They couldn’t have picked a more stunning location either. From the elegant club house, bridal suite and villas, to the beautiful outdoor ceremony location looking out to a beautiful vista, the whole setting was picture-perfect.

Hands down, the absolute best thing about the entire celebration was the way the Victor looked at Ashley. Several people pointed out what I had already observed -- you could just feel how much he loved her from the way he looked at her! It was so special to witness that love. With that kind of love, everything is possible. :)


And then it was time to PARTY!!! So many details of the day were handmade, like the table centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres, and the photo booth! They put so much time into everything to make it special for everyone!



To Ashley and Victor: I just want to thank you for asking me to be a part of your incredible day. You two are so much fun to be around, so in love, and so great for each other! I was honored to be able to document your wedding day for you and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish together as husband and wife! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs!!




Fabulous Vendors:

Venue: Red Hawk Golf & Resort

Hair and Makeup: Sugar Salon

DJ: Tracy - McClain's Mobile Music


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Mon, 05 Sep 2016 19:14:45 GMT
Grunge Model Photo Shoot Grunge Photo Shoot - Class of 2017 Senior Model Team

I have to just say that these kids kick some serious booty! I am so lucky to have them on my team this year. I gave them the direction for this shoot and they ran with it! Couldn't be more proud and grateful.

Enjoy our little Grunge Shoot for yourself.... :)


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Sun, 04 Sep 2016 18:01:10 GMT
Lavender Ridge Wedding - Reno, NV - Meagan & Wes







Meagan and Wes’s wedding was so beautiful and full of love. Everyone who talked to me said that these two were meant for each other, and that they made each other complete. They chose the Lavender Ridge in Reno, NV as the site for the ceremony and reception, and it was a perfect place fore everyone to relax and enjoy themselves in one single location! It was one of the hottest days in a while, but everyone made the most of the available air conditioning and realized that they only had a wedding day like this once! :)

There were so many handmade and traditional details of the wedding that really set the scene for their beautiful wedding! The traditional “Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue” was ever present with the Dog Tags of Meagan’s mother, bracelet, hair pin, and blue garter that they were so careful in making sure were there.

Meagan's wedding dress was one of the most beautiful dresses I've seen in a long time! And her choice of shoes were perfect! Practical and fun! :)





The ceremony was beautiful. Meagan and Wes chose one of their closets friends, James, to offiiate the wedding and he had us all in tears and in laughter the whole time!! Meagan’s grandpa and mother walked her down the aisle, which was an emotional scene to say the least. Her grandpa loved her so much, you could just tell in his eyes, and he was so proud to be able to stand and walk with her towards Wes. There was not a dry eye in the place, including me!!

There were emotional toasts from both the bridesmaids and groomsmen that showed the outpouring of love that these friends and family had for one another. They expressed how they enjoyed seeing Meagan and Wes grow in their relationship, and how they will always be there for them in the years to come.

And then it was time to party! This bunch was ridiculous on the dance floor… I had to hold myself back from joining in on the fun they had!



To Meagan and Wes: Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of your special day! I am so glad that we got to know each other, and I am so incredibly happy to witness the life that you're building with one another. You two are a joy to be around, and I love seeing how much you love each other. So here's to you two, Mrs & Mrs! May you enjoy every minute of your new chapter together :)




The creative team who made the wedding come to life...

Venue: Lavender Ridge

Hair (and cake pops!): Allison Coyne





gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:37:30 GMT
20 Mile House Wedding - Graeagle, CA - Caitlin & Jeff






The site that Caitlin and Jeff chose to have their romantic, elegant, and rustic wedding was absolutely perfect. Imagine a gorgeous historic homestead nestled in the woods. There is room for kids and adults alike to play and relax. It’s here where cell phones don’t get service, mornings are quiet except for the sounds of nature, and the stars come out in the evenings like they’re putting on a show for you. The 20 Mile House near Graeagle, CA was not only an amazing site for the ceremony and reception, but provided for a weekend of fun with Caitlin and Jeff’s closest family and friends.

The wedding day was a hot one! But few complained, and thankfully the bride’s getting ready suite had some air conditioning! Caitlin’s rose colored details and cowboy boots were the perfect details.

Caitlin and Jeff chose to do their First Look in the beautiful and lush forest right there on the property of the 20 Mile House. Taking as long as they wanted to enjoy each other and chat about the day so far, we then explored the beautiful property and took some portraits of the two of them, showcasing their amazing and passionate love for each other. Seriously, these two can’t get enough of each other!

The ceremony was filled with personal details that was perfect for the two of them. From the handmade puzzle that showed how each piece of their families came together as one that day, to the sweet vows that they wrote together, to the plethora of love quotes that the officiant used, including one from the Beatles… “All you need is love”. There was lots of laughter, a few happy tears, and an abundance of love.

Then it was time to celebrate!!!


To Caitlin and Jeff: the love you two have for each other is infectious and so natural. I see many many years of the two of you building your lives and making your dreams come true together. Your special day was full of love, and I truly want to thank you for asking Rachel and I to be a part of it! Congratulations Mr & Mrs!




The creative team who made the wedding come to life...

Venue: Twenty Mile House

Co-photographer: Rachel - of Brilliant Imagery Photography

Makeup: La Di Da Beauty

Floral Decor: Gray’s Flower Garden & Wedding Design


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Mon, 22 Aug 2016 18:01:56 GMT
Lake Tahoe Aspen Grove Wedding - Heather & Napoleon






Heather & Napoleon’s wedding day was beyond perfect. Set in the Aspen trees among a beautiful, near the beach setting at Lake Tahoe, it had been raining for a day or so in the afternoons before, but not a drop on their big day!  There were some serious health set backs for the two of them, but you'd never know it when you talked to both Heather and Napoleon before the ceremony. They were so calm, and ready for their day to be complete!


I have to interrupt my telling of their wedding day story here to praise (and thank!) the organization of both the bride and her mom. I have never had a wedding day run so smoothly, (and even early!) I couldn’t believe it :) Note: see picture of master timeline created by said party… he he he

Heather & Napoleon opted to do a First Look before the ceremony at Aspen Grove in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe.  Being able to capture that special moment for the two of them is priceless to me. Not only did it allow them to have a quiet moment to celebrate their love together, but it also allowed for some beautiful picture time and solitude before the craziness of the celebration began.

We wandered around the forest for a while, then joined with the amazing wedding party they had for some more pictures. These friends and family (the wedding party) were some of the best, most supportive people I’ve ever met! They’ve been there for Heather and Napoleon through so many things, and they were a really fun group of people to hang out with! Nothing but laughter from these guys and gals :)

Heather and Napoleon were then whisked away by a stunning vintage Roles Royce, while allowing them a little time to themselves before the festivities.

Side note: I absolutely LOVED how many selfies the groom kept taking throughout the day! You are amazing, Napo!!

And then it was time for the beautiful ceremony! Their friend was the officiant. And the ceremony and vows were so touching and personal. To hear their story, to be reminded of the commitment they were making as husband and wife, and to get some sound advice about how to keep a marriage strong and happy, it was simply perfect!

And finally, it was party time!! From the mariachi band (yes, a mariachi quartet!! They were AMAZING!) to the amazing food and the mashed potato martini bar?!?!? Every detail of the reception was thought out and picked especially for the bride and groom and their closest friends and family. Such a lovely evening full of love and laughter!

To Heather & Napoleon: Thank you so much for asking Rachel and I to be a part of your special day! I felt truly honored to be asked to document your precious love that you have for one another, and to be able to meet your closest friends and family as they celebrated your special day!

Here’s to the happy couple, Mr and Mrs. De La Pena! I am so happy for the two of you. I know your lives together will be filled with wonderful adventures, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of this one




The creative team who made the wedding come to life...

Venue: Aspen Grove - Incline Village, Lake Tahoe

Co-photographer: Rachel - of Brilliant Imagery Photography

Makeup: Kiss & Makeup

Floral Decor: A Floral Afair

Band: Mariachi


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Sun, 21 Aug 2016 00:57:00 GMT