Gretchen Leigh Photography: Blog en-us (C) Gretchen Leigh Photography gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Sun, 27 Feb 2022 19:33:00 GMT Sun, 27 Feb 2022 19:33:00 GMT Gretchen Leigh Photography: Blog 120 79 Caroline :: Genoa, NV


Hello Caroline!



Caroline is one of the sweetest, more kind and genuine human beings I’ve ever met. She made ME feel special on HER session! She just has that way with everyone. When I posted her sneak peek the day after her senior session, I had SO many people respond to my IG story saying she was their favorite person!  That’s amazing!


She obviously makes an impact on others, and it inspires me to be more like Caroline!



The one thing Caroline really wanted to incorporate in her session was the beautiful sunflowers she bought to honor a friend that she and her friends lost earlier in the year. It was a beautiful tribute and I am so proud of her for adding that to her session.



So here’s some of the favorites from Caroline’s session, and the sunflowers in honor of her beautiful friend Jordan.






Let’s all be more like Caroline! :) K? K!



If you are interested in Customized Senior Photos, Let's connect!  Click below!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) customized high nevada northern photographer photos portraits school senior seniors Sun, 16 May 2021 22:30:00 GMT
Elizabeth :: Northern Nevada Senior Portraits


Elizabeth. Talented. Funny. Quirky. So fun!


Elizabeth wanted NATURE to be the focus of her senior session, along with a little feature of her musical instruments (she plays like 50 different instruments!) and her Girl Scouts uniform! We also decided to mix it up a little bit and shot one of her outfits downtown Carson City for a little variety. 


Starting the day off hiking up to a waterfall and ending the shoot watching the sunset over the Sierra Nevadas at Washoe Lake… you can’t get much better than that!




Senior Photo Sessoin




If you are interested in Customized Senior Photos, Let's connect!  Click below!


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) customized high nevada northern photographer photos portraits school senior seniors Sun, 02 May 2021 22:30:00 GMT
Sydney :: Midtown and Downtown, Reno, NV

Midtown and Downtown, Reno, NV


Shooting with Sydney's senior portraits was a delightful experience! 

Can you believe she didn't think she'd be good in front of the camera?

We put those doubts to rest quickly in our Midtown and Downtown, Reno, NV senior photo shoot. 



Sydney told me that she wasn’t sure if she’d be good in front of the camera and I told her,

just like I always say to everyone I work with, don’t worry!

That’s my job to keep you moving and give you lots of direction

so you’re not in your head too much about it all.



She and her mom put together her really cool outfits, the red(ish) floral dress was

her favorite and she had so much fun twirling around in it.



She was incredible in front of the camera!

Sydney: comes off a little shy at first, but has beautiful confidence that

I could see when we were shooting her session.



What more can I say? Sydney was a natural!



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) customized high nevada northern photographer photos portraits school senior seniors Tue, 13 Apr 2021 17:15:00 GMT
Justyce :: Lake Tahoe Senior photographerJustyceJustyce senior photo shoot


Meet Justyce!

We had so many 'wow' moments like the beautiful shot above during her senior photography session in Lake Tahoe.

Dancing is one of Justyce's passions.  She has been dancing practically all of her life and you can see that

in her movement - so natural.


SO SMILEY - I couldn’t get her to stop smiling! But who can resist that smile anyway! Her kindness shines through and she makes everyone around her feel special including me!  That's usually my job!


If I had to sum up Justyce in with one word it would be GENUINE!

Keep scrolling to see her gorgeous smile and you might even catch a few of her dance moves!


If you are interested in Customized Senior Photos, Let's connect!  Click below!


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) customized high Nevada northern photographer photography photos portraits school senior seniors Tue, 30 Mar 2021 17:02:13 GMT
Black Rock Portraits With the COVID restrictions, our Senior Team destination shoot in New Orleans had to be canceled, but I wasn’t going to let that stop us from having an epic stylized session together as a team! 


We headed to Black Rock Desert where Burning Man occurs every year. The drive time was about 3 hours each way and totally worth the drive!

What an experience! We had fun with matching masks for one group shoot and we practiced social distancing. 


We chose Southwest Bohemian style and it provided the perfect vibe for our desert-themed shoot!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we enjoyed the team shoot!





gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) black fashion rock seniors shoot stylized Sun, 13 Dec 2020 00:17:29 GMT
Virginia City Nevada Senior Portrait Session Virginia City, Northern Nevada High School Senior photo session

I loved showing off all the amazingly unique sides of Chauntel in her senior session! Sassy, edgy, fierce, caring, and completely lovely....


From Dance, to Casual, to Sparkly, to Leather and cemetery... this was EXACTLY Chauntel!









gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Wed, 29 May 2019 00:28:13 GMT
Lake Tahoe Senior Portraits - Class of 2019 Lake Tahoe High School Senior photo session

There is nothing like the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Alpine Lakes! Alexa wanted to show off the area she grew up in as a part of her senior session and I couldn't help but get giddy at the thought of where we were going to be going! Angora Lake! Yes!!


I love that we got a chance to show all sides of Alexa at her session! Playful and super sweet... loving, kind, and outgoing.... artistic and intense...








gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Wed, 29 May 2019 00:06:50 GMT
New York City Destination photo shoot! GLPteam19 Destination photo shoot - New York City!
To say that this New York City photo destination photo shoot was a dream come true would be a complete understatement. I absolutely LOVE New York City! The energy is like nothing else. The people are like nothing else. The culture and food is like nothing else! As soon as I found out that we had a chance to make a destination session happen in NYC, I was IN! If you haven't been yourself, you need to go. NEED to go!

My Class of 2019 Senior Model team is absolutely amazing! Eight of them made the west coast to east coast trip with me! We saw as many sights as we could and got some amazing images along the way! I think ultimately though, the experience was what it was all about for everyone! Memories were made for sure! We had SO MUCH FREAKING FUN!!

Red eye flights. no sleep. super long taxi rides. hotel rooms not ready. wandering around the city. photos in times square at night. catching up on sleep. bagels. museums. subway. central park. new york city streets. pizza. history. 9/11 memorial. brooklyn. d.u.m.b.o. manhattan bride. friends. fun. broadway. candytopia. mood. empire state. amazing memories. amazing images!

This was our trip!

Enjoy some of my favorite images from our time in New York City!

To see the images form our Times Square shoot, go here:


hugs & high fives,



all the behind the scenes fun:

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) city destination new nyc portraits seniors york Thu, 24 Jan 2019 01:09:42 GMT
Times Square - New York City Epic. Once in a lifetime. Zany. Way too many people. Electric!

Thats's what the Times Square destination shoot with my GLPteam Class of 2019 model team was!

Here's what we got. I still can't believe we were there!

(make sure you look here for the rest of our trip!) -

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) seniors Thu, 24 Jan 2019 01:00:00 GMT
Destination Shoot - Sand Dunes - Class of 2019 Seniors Class of 2019 #GLPTeam19 Destination Shoot

Every year I spend MONTHS planning an epic shoot for my model team. This is the biggest and baddest shoot of the entire year! I try and stretch boundaries and come up with themes and ideas that definitely aren't your ordinary senior session. Lets just say, I go all out for these girls!

This year I wanted to take them somewhere that seemed like a world away, and capture images that made your Wanderlust come to the surface. After months of scouting for the perfect place, I finally found it! A sandy departure from all the pine trees and beautiful lakes we're accustomed to herein Northern Nevada, and less than a day's drive away. It was PERFECT!

All the GLPTeam girls got to wear individual outfits stylized for them from head to toe by the fabulous Jordyn with Ritzy & Rustic Boutique, and professional makeup by local hair and makeup artists Stephanie, Jess, and Kelse (see below for links!) and even got to be a part of a video shot by the incredibly talented Ethan Craik, exclusive for this session!

We spent all day together, even wrapping up with dinner together on the way home. I love these Destination sessions because not only do we get to have  DREAM editorial photo session at an epic location, but we get to hang out together all day long! I love it!


AMAZING people who helped make all this happen (click names to get in touch with them!)

Stylizing and Wardrobe -- Ritzy & Rustic Boutique

Makeup -- Stephanie Jacobsen, Jess Ream, and Kelse Woodrow

Video -- Ethan Craik



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Wed, 21 Nov 2018 22:27:50 GMT
Lisa & Danny Wedding - Galena Creek Reno, NV - July 2018

Lisa and Danny’s wedding day was one for the books! Not just because of the extreme weather (I’ll get to that in a minute), but because of the obvious and overwhelming love that they have for each other, and that their friends and family have for them too…

The day started with a 40% chance of rain and we got the wedding festivities going just like any other wedding would start! Full of brotherly love, sisterly love, and heart-felt little details like her grandma in a locket on her bouquet.

Then it started to rain just a little bit… but the ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Full of funny vows, and lots of happy tears. They did it! After 12 years together, they are finally Mr and Mrs. Hunter!

Then the rain started… then the torrential rain… then the crazy hail storms… then the BOOM! POP! POW! Power outage! Yep, the rest of the reception was without power! And you wouldn’t have known any better because Lisa and Danny were amazing, and calm, and loving the entire time!

The officiant and close friend was able to finally get a generator to the reception space so we had music for their first dance and (all the dances after that!) He definitely wins the VIP award for the night!

Lisa and Danny,

I am so excited to see you two continue your amazing journey together as husband and wife. I can already tell that you two are going to have so many adventures together and live life with so much love I can’t even stand it! Here’s to your unexpected, yet amazing wedding day! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it and I wish you nothing but the best!!


Hugs & high fives,


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Mon, 23 Jul 2018 01:31:18 GMT
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
Hailey - Senior Portraits - Gardnerville Minden Lake Tahoe NV I would like to introduce you to Hailey! Hailey is one of my Class of 2017 Senior Models and we will get to see a lot of her over her senior year! We have a TON of amazing things planned and I cannot wait to have her be a part of it!


Just some little fun facts about Hailey:

  • Her favorite candy is Trolli sour gummy worms
  • When she grows up she'd love to be a forensic investigator!
  • she is terrified of Owls (makes sense to me!) :)


Thank you for for killing it at your first session, Hailey! You rocked it! :)

Show her some love! :)



Gretchen Higgins  - Gardnerville Senior Photographer


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Thu, 12 May 2016 15:22:34 GMT
Jillyan - Senior Photos - Gardnerville Minden Lake Tahoe NV Meet Jillyan! Jillyan is one of my Class of 2017 Models and I am so grateful that she is part of my team this year! We're going to have a blast!!!! She is so photogenic and fun!


Just some little fun facts about Jillyan:

  • She plays soccer!
  • Her dream job is to be a Physical Therapist!
  • she loves cheesecake! :) (who doesn't?!?)


Thanks for being amazing at your first session, Jillyan! I can't WAIT for the rest!!!

Show her some love! :)



Gretchen Higgins  - Gardnerville Senior Photographer


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Tue, 10 May 2016 20:15:42 GMT
Caitlin & Jeff - Engagement Session - Wedding Photography - Gardnerville Minden NV Please meet Caitlin & Jeff. These two are soooo in love! It was super apparent the minute I first met them earlier this year, and their love shone even brighter during their engagement session in the snow!

Caitlin & Jeff loved the idea of a snow themed engagement session. We headed up to the beautiful Lake Tahoe area and searched out a quiet place to play around! These two were troopers, I tell you... we battled with waist high snow and they took it all with a grain of salt. You could tell they just enjoyed being there with each other, and that was simply the best :)

Caitlin and Jeff, thank you so much for your kindness and love and warm hearts! I cannot WAIT to photograph your wedding this summer!



Gretchen Higgins  - Gardnerville Wedding Photographer


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) engagement love wedding Tue, 10 May 2016 19:23:24 GMT
Audrey - Senior Portraits - Gardnerville Minden NV This is Audrey, and she is amazing! We had a ton of fun goofing around on the beach and working it! She not only has a fun sense of humor, but she is beautiful from the inside out. Audrey is a competitive swimmer and loves to ski so wanted a laid back, but still fashionable session up at the beautiful Lake Tahoe! How could I resist! :)

We planned an early evening barefoot at the beach, and even included her pup, Chloe (who was not having any of it!) :) Not only was the beach and lake the perfect setting for her boho-styled and girly dresses, but the light was gorgeous as the sun went down across the lake! It was a photographer's dream! She (and her whole family!) were absolute troopers for putting up with some wind that day, but we made it work and I love the movement we got in the images!

Audrey, I hope the rest of your senior year is as fun and uplifting as you are. I wish you all the very best for your graduation too! Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of it!



Gretchen Higgins  - Gardnerville Senior Photographer


gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Mon, 18 Jan 2016 00:16:59 GMT
Jessica & Vinnie - Minden Park Wedding The day couldn’t have been more beautiful for Jessica & Vinnie’s outdoor wedding.  The sun was definitely shining for these two high school sweethearts!

The minute I met Jessica & Vinnie, I could feel the love they had for each other. It was the kind that seems to never end! Relaxed and comfortable, you can tell that they have been there for each other over the distances and time, and that they will be there for each other in their future, as husband and wife!

The wedding was full of beautiful details… from Jessica’s STUNNING bridal gown to her beautifully curated accessories of diamonds and rose gold! There was lots of country, lots of sparkle, and lots of personalized details! Perfect for these two!

The ceremony in the park was one of the most heart warming I’ve ever heard, full of beautiful words, handwritten vows and happy tears. The celebration afterwards was equally as special, with lots of dancing and delight in that room!

Jessica & Vinnie, I hope you enjoyed Hawaii, soaking up every minute of sunshine and each other that you could! Thank you for making me feel like a special part of your special day. I can't wait to see what the future holds for such an amazing couple. I wish you a lifetime of happiness and joy!       Xoxoxo, Gretchen

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Sat, 10 Oct 2015 16:38:09 GMT
Torrie - High School Senior Pictures - Gardnerville Minden NV Hello!!!!

Short and sweet for you today!

I just wanted to share a few images that I was so fortunate to be able to capture recently of the gorgeous Torrie!

Torrie is such a go-getter! She is a competitive cheerleader, beauty pageant contestant (and winner! Miss Douglas County Outstanding Teen!), and all around hard worker! She works for everything she does and I am so happy to have been able to meet her and have her be a part of my Senior Rep program!


Random Facts about Torrie:

1. She's a twin!!

2. If her life had a theme song it would be "Footloose"

3. Her favorite movie is Annie!


Torrie was definitely used to being in front of the camera for her session, and she worked that green dress!! Show her some love and share or comment on her post!






gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:42:36 GMT
Desi - High School Senior Portraits - Gardnerville Minden NV Lake Tahoe CA Hey there!! :)

Things are going great here at Gretchen Leigh Photography, gearing up for more Senior Portrait sessions and all the wonderful Fall and Christmas Family sessions coming up!!

Today though, I wanted to share a little bit about another  Senior Representative I had a session with recently!

Meet Desi!

First off, I just have to say that I think Desi is the BEST HUGGER IN THE WORLD! :) The first time we met up to plan her session with her mom, right before we parted ways she gave the BEST HUG I think I've ever received! You could feel her kindness and love pouring out of her! I told her right there that her hug was amazing! I probably embarrassed us both, but I just had to tell her! :)

Anyway! Desi was so awesome to photograph! She came with both a casual and a girly outfit selection and we took full advantage of both! She was a little unsure in front of the camera at first, but I gave her specific direction and tried to make her laugh and feel at ease as we worked through it! She did AMAZING! Take a look for yourself, isn't she beautiful?

I can't wait to see where life takes Desi during her Senior Year and beyond. I can picture her accomplishing all sorts of things! Whether it will be competing in the Olympics (she competes in slopestyle boarding!) or becoming a doctor (which is her goal!), I know that she will be SUPER successful!

And... without further ado... enjoy her images from her photo shoot!






gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Sat, 05 Sep 2015 22:34:34 GMT
Madison - High School Senior Portraits - Gardnerville Minden NV Hello everyone!!!

Today I wanted to introduce you to the beautiful Madison!!

Let's see... what should you know about Madison?? Well, Madison is Fuuuuny! We had a ball at her Senior Rep session! We were laughing non-stop! It's funny though, because she likes photos of herself more when she's NOT smiling! Go figure! :) I think she was rocking it no matter if she was smiling or not! Don't you agree?

Madison is an awesome person and is involved in a lot of things at school and around the community! She competes with the Swim Team, runs Cross Country, and is involved in the Alpine Club (hiking, camping, etc!) among other things! I can't wait to have her full session later this year and be able to incorporate those things into for images!!

I pretty much think that her favorite quote pretty much sums her up: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not. "-The Lorax by Dr. Suess

And so.... here's Madison!!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Sun, 16 Aug 2015 21:15:00 GMT
Meet McKenna! Senior Photos - Gardnerville Minden NV I have yet another Senior Spokesmodel to show off today!

Please meet McKenna!!

McKenna has a LOT going for her! Not only is she about to start her Senior Year playing both soccer and basketball, but she already has a college scholarship for a GREAT university to play on their soccer team! It was incredible to hear that! I can't wait to see the great things she does there!

McKenna and I met up a few weeks ago to get her Senior Rep photos taken. We had a great time goofing around, learning how to "Smize" (it's a model thing, look it up! :) and playing around in a meadow! She was a natural in front of the camera! Just take a look for yourself!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Thu, 13 Aug 2015 20:49:56 GMT
Here is Ali! Senior Portrait Photography - Gardnerville Minden NV I have yet another Senior Spokesmodel to show off today!

Please meet Ali!!

Ali is a SUPER talented girl with a great head on her shoulders! She has been involved in acting and singing for many years now. Ali is super passionate about theater and music and has plans to pursue a creative career after High School at a University with a strong dramatics focus! I can't wait to see what she does!

You can definitely see her dramatic side in these pictures! :)




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) Portraits Seniors Thu, 06 Aug 2015 18:45:00 GMT
Meet Heather! High School Senior Class of 2016 - Gardnerville Minden Portraits Hello again everyone!

Today I'd like to introduce you to Heather! Heather is another one of my amazing Senior Spokes Models for the Class of 2016!

Heather is the Drum Major for our Pride of the Carson Valley Marching Band this coming year! They work so hard and so many hours with that band and win lots of competitions all year long!

Heather and I had a fun time on our mini photo shoot together. She didn't quite know what to do at first, but with a little direction from me she became a natural in front of the camera!

I can't wait to do a full Senior Portrait Session with her later in the year to incorporate all her interests and personality (and her family!!).

For now... Meet Heather!



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:45:00 GMT
Meet Jordyn - Senior Portraits - Gardnerville, NV Here's Jordyn!

Jordyn is an amazing girl. She is going to be the ASB President of her Senior Year, and she's one of the absolutely sweetest girls you'll ever meet!

We had a lot of fun doing her Senior Rep mini session, and I can't wait to do a full custom senior portrait session for her later in the school year! She's a dancer... and I can't wait to incorporate her dancing in her session and get some amazing images for her!!

Isn't she gorgeous?


Random facts about Jordyn:

She can BURP her ABC's (apparently, I haven't heard them yet ;))

She can rap the entire song "Baby Got Back" - my kind of girl

Her favorite quote is: ""Life is unpredictable, It changes with the seasons, Even your coldest winter, Happens for the best of reasons, And though it feels eternal, Like all you'll ever do is freeze, I promise spring is coming, And with it, brand new leaves" -Earnest Hemingway


Without further ado... here's Jordyn from her mini session!

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits seniors Mon, 27 Jul 2015 02:45:00 GMT
Senior Portraits! Meet My Senior Reps! Today is super exciting for me! Today is the day I start introducing my amazing Senior Spokes models for the Class of 2016!! This year I have 7 beautiful girls, both inside and out, and I'm sure you'll agree once you see their images from the mini sessions we did!

So! Over the next few weeks I will be introducing each of them individually in a blog post! For now, enjoy these images of them all together!

Here's to a great year girls! I'm so excited!

Without further ado, I'm pleased to introduce... Jordyn, Heather, Ali, Desi, Madison, Torrie, and McKenna!!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) seniors Tue, 21 Jul 2015 01:25:28 GMT
Rancharrah Reno Wedding - Katie & Eric Katie & Eric's wedding day called for rain. It had been raining for a few days before, and everyone was nervous about it raining during the wedding. I told Katie that it doesn't rain on good people, and sure enough, it didn't! (well, not quite enough to count!) You'd never know if it bothered Katie & Eric though, they were the picture of cool calm and collected, and ready to celebrate!

The thunderstorms and clouds offered a wonderful break from the hot hot sun, and provided some dramatic skies for their portraits! You can't ask for a better scenario!


Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito

Katie & Eric opted to do a First Look before the ceremony at Rancharrah. They later told me that they were so happy they decided to see each other during that very special moment because they got to have a very comfortable and emotional time together before the momentum of the celebration began! I love first looks. The emotion is always so genuine, and I love being able to capture that for the bride and groom to have forever!

Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito

We then walked around the beautiful Rancharrah property to grab some shots of the two of them in some of the property's epic backdrops! Katie & Eric got to enjoy each other a little bit more during this time too, now that's a win-win! The Mansion at Rancharrah combine with a little practicing of their first dance, provided one of my favorite shots of the day!

Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito

And then it was time for the beautiful ceremony! Their friend, Mark Lily, was the officiant. I love it when the couple chooses someone close to them to marry them. It makes the day even more special! Katie & Eric cute little daughter was one of their flower girls! She was all smiles! Isn't she cute??

Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito

And finally, it was party time!! There were a few moments of gusty wind and some rain sprinkles, but it didn't phase any of the guests and almost as fast as it came swooping in, it was gone, and everyone enjoyed a great night of toasts, dancing, and cake smashing! Such a lovely evening full of love and laughter!

Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito


I had the pleasure to have been asked to help Katie & Eric figure out what to do during their first dance, since they had chosen the song "I Only Want to Be With You" by Dusty Springfield. It is not quite a slow song, but not quite a fast song, so they asked for help. I choreographed a little routine for them and we had so much fun teaching and learning together. And on the wedding day they nailed it! Dips and all! :) I was so proud of them! Photography by Alissa Esposito Photography by Alissa Esposito


To Katie & Eric: Thank you so much for asking Alissa and I to be a part of your special day! I felt so honored to be able to document memories that are going to last a lifetime for the two of you! Your love is truly infectious, and I left the day with my heart full.

I wish you a lifetime of happiness together as Mr. & Mrs. Emm! Congratulations!!!




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

Venue: Rancharrah - Reno, NV

Co-photographer: Alissa of Alissa Esposito Photography

Hair & Makeup: Rumors Salon - Reno, NV

Floral Decor: Amanda Wartgow

Catering: Alexander's Catering

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Wed, 24 Jun 2015 18:58:47 GMT
Genoa Lakes Golf Course Wedding - McKenna & Jake McKenna and Jake’s wedding day was full of love and wonderful handmade and personal touches that were completely fitting of their personalities! From bench that her dad made them, which they branded during the ceremony and had their friends and family sign during the reception, to the custom beer cozies handed out to guests at the reception, it was a great celebration of the start of their life together!

The wedding took place on a beautiful, sunny day at Genoa Lakes Golf Course in Genoa, NV. A few clouds managed to slowly ease on by during the ceremony to help with the heat, and it was perfect!

We had a lot of fun taking wedding pictures, as well. They decided to not see each other until McKenna was walking down the aisle. The emotion I captured in Jake’s face was truly priceless!

You could tell they were really enjoying their wedding day, surrounded by family and friends who love them.

Please join me in wishing McKenna & Jake a happily ever after!

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) wedding Mon, 22 Jun 2015 22:02:55 GMT
Best Friends Beauty Photo Shoot - Gardnerville, NV Annmarie and Sandi are best friends. They are so goofy and laughing together all the time. They have been there for each other through some tough stuff in the past few years, and I could tell every time I was with them that they would do absolutely anything for the each other.

Annmarie wanted to do this photo shoot to document their friendship with a fun day getting hair and makeup done, and photos to have for the rest of their lives. Annmarie admits that she doesn't get glammed up at all anymore. She is a great mother of two wonderful boys, and that just isn't a priority as much as it used to be. All mothers out there will know exactly what she's talking about!

During their session, we accomplished exactly what my goal is for every woman who have a beauty session experience with me, to show her exactly how gorgeous she is! Annmarie said "Thank you for making me feel beautiful when I usually don't", after she saw her images at their in-person viewing and ordering session for the first time. Mission accomplished! Woo hoo!

I tell women all the time how beautiful they are, but sometimes you just need a great photo of yourself to believe it! I love love love being able to provide that for women!

Please enjoy their images!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:00:00 GMT
Sisters! Beauty Photo Shoot - Gardnerville, NV Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to take a moment to share some images from a recent beauty session with these three beautiful ladies! They are sisters! Well, two sisters and a sister-in-law who is more like a blood sister they say. :) 

Bre was about to move to Washington, and they all thought it would be fun to have this experience of a pampered day and photo shoot before she moved so far away. I absolutely loved that idea!

We all had a ton of fun on their photo session day! Karrie said the day was so relaxing, getting all pampered and that she felt really glamorous! All three of them brought some beautiful dresses that we got to play dress up with... aren't they stunning?? I love how we had three different hair colors and three different eye colors in one session! :)

And finally, can you believe that Heather is a mother of three boys?!? I'm so glad she took the chance to step out of her comfort zone for some unique and beautiful pictures of herself! If not for her, for her boys and their kids someday!

If you'd like to have a complimentary style consultation and book a session like this one with the women in your life, contact me! I would absolutely love to meet you!

Without further ado...



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Sun, 14 Jun 2015 20:15:00 GMT
Gorgeous Mother & Daughter Beauty Photo Shoot - Gardnerville, NV Take a look at this beautiful mother and daughter!!

Jeanne & Katie came to me for a Beauty Portrait session because they wanted to get some glamorous and professional images of themselves, but also because they said they wanted to document their relationship that they have formed as adults! They love to spend time together, even traveling as a family as often as they can! I loved seeing the strong relationship they all had and how much fun they have together!!

Jeanne is a local realtor, and Katie is a student. They got to step out of their comfort zones a little and got glammed up by the super talented Kelse Woodrow at DeJa Vu Salon in Minden! You might have seen me post a few behind the scenes shots from the day of the session on Instagram! :) Katie's hair is a FIERCE strawberry blonde and she looked like a movie star in her pictures, don't you think?

If you'd like so have an day of pampering and fun like Jeanne & Katie, contact me and let me know!! :) I'd love to hear from you!!

Enjoy these images from their fabulous photo shoot!!



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Three Generations Beauty Portraits - Gardnerville, NV Hello everybody!!

Today I am excited to share with you a special session of three generations of women! These girls were so much fun to hang out with all day. They are super close, and super loving towards each other and everyone around them! Katie's daughter was about to turn 13 and she thought it'd be a perfect time to do a session together and also capture all three generations! Katie said that the hair and makeup transformation was so fun. Watching her daughter feel so beautiful in front of the camera was priceless!

A few weeks later when I showed them the images from their session Katie said she was emotional with how much she loved them. These will be pictures that their children, grandchildren, and maybe even great grandchildren will cherish!



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Sun, 07 Jun 2015 18:45:00 GMT
Valley Of Fire Wedding Elopement Hello!!

Today I wanted to share with you some beautiful images showing an intimate wedding in the Valley of Fire State Park, outside of Las Vegas, NV.

Small weddings and elopements in Nevada, weather it be in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, or anywhere nearby, can be amazing and intimate and the perfect way to celebrate your love for each other. Please contact me if you're looking for someone to document your special day! I would be honored to be a part of it! Contact me and tell me all about what you're planning!

Thanks for swinging by and enjoying this amazing little wedding!






The awesome vendors who made is beautiful shoot possible:

Event Styling- Cactus and Lace Weddings

Florist- Missy Daisy Flowers

Hair & MakeupEat. Sleep.Beauty

Fashion Design - True Gentleman Supply Co.

Wedding CakeGimme Some Sugar

Wedding Announcements & SignsBasic Invite

Models - DeVale White & Carly Richardson

gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) love weddings Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Artist Headshots - Gardnerville, NV I recently did a session for Shayla who was looking for head shots to use in her portfolio for auditions as a dancer and performer. We were going for a very simple, classic feel for her head shots where she is the one who shines!

Isn't she GORGEOUS?!? Natural Beauty all the way. Show her some love!

If you're looking for some audition head shots, please feel free to contact me :)



gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Sun, 31 May 2015 18:20:10 GMT
Mother Daughter Session - Beauty Portraiture - Gardnerville, NV Hello there!

I'm super excited to be sharing Amanda's Mother and Daughter Beauty Portraiture session with you all today!

Amanda and her family have been through a lot lately. I feel so honored that I could choose her and her daughter for a session to remind her how beautiful she is and to document the relationship with her daughter.

Instead of me trying to tell you their story, I asked Amanda to share her experience with you! Here we go!


Q: Describe yourself a little bit!

Amanda: I am 42 years old and work as a Recreation Coordinator. I was photographed with my daughter who is 12 and a half and in 7th grade. My passion is my kids and we do almost everything together.

Q: Why did you decide to do a session with me?

Amanda: I have never had a professional photo session and when I saw your post looking for subjects I thought it would be a fun experience to share with my daughter. I didn't think you would actually choose us, and when you did I have to admit to being a little nervous about the process. I take a lot of pictures of my family but don't often like photos of myself.

Q: What was important to you in regards to the session?

Amanda: It was important that it be fun and enjoyable and that it create memories that my daughter and I will share in the future. The unexpected bonus that I didn't even know was important until it happened was getting prints that are beautiful and are a moment in time that I can cherish.

Q: Were you nervous about anything the shoot beforehand? If so, what? Did you become more comfortable after the session started? If so, what helped to relax your nerves?

Amanda: I was nervous because I am very self conscious and often don't like photos of myself. I was worried that I would end up with photos that I wouldn't like. I felt better after our first meeting. Talking with you about your vision and your intent was soothing and the more we talked the more comfortable I became with the idea. Then the "makeover" time was unique and fun. It was a first for me and I felt pampered and beautiful. During the actual photo shoot I found myself relaxing into your direction and laughing and giggling while you set the shots. One of my favorite photos is of me with a genuine smile caught by your eye and camera.

Q: What was your favorite part of the whole day?

Amanda: Watching as you posed Raina and being posed with her for some great portraits. The memory is one I will cherish.

Q: Did anything surprise you about your experience?

Amanda: Honestly, I was surprised by how much I loved the finished photos. I was prepared to just be ok with them and instead I loved them.

Q: How would you describe your overall beauty portrait session experience?

Amanda: It was an enjoyable and wonderful experience and I think every woman should allow herself to experience it at least once. I think it may have to become a tradition for us.

Q: Describe how you felt after you saw your images from your session

Amanda: They were beautiful and it made me feel beautiful to see them.

Q: What are you planning on doing with the images?

Amanda: I got 6 matted prints and a beautiful folio box to keep them in. But I don't want them to live in a box. I am going to frame my favorites and hang them. I have also posted them to my Facebook page and they are among my favorites. 

Without further adieu, here are some of the images of Amanda and her daughter!




gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Wed, 27 May 2015 18:45:00 GMT
Mordern Corporate Headshot Session - Gardnerville, NV I recently had the amazing opportunity to get to go out with the adorable and inspiring Sierra and get some modern corporate head shots for her new and growing business adventures!


We, with the help of her mom and boyfriend 'assistants', explored around downtown Minden, NV and had a blast playing dress up!

If you're interested in a similar session, please contact me! I'd love to hear from you!





gretchen (at) gretchenleigh (dot) com (Gretchen Leigh Photography) portraits Sun, 24 May 2015 23:30:00 GMT
Beauty Portraiture- Modern Women's Portraits - Gardnerville, NV Ooh la la!

Today I have a very special Beauty Portraiture blog post for you. It features Taya & Leslie, who are sisters-in-law - two stunning and elegant women who were a blast to work with again!

We met at Deja Vu Salon the morning of their session to have the talented Kelse Woodrow complete their looks with professional hair and makeup! We all got to hang out and relax while they got made over, then we headed to my photography space for their photo shoot!

Taya and Leslie brought several different outfits for the shoot and I loved them all! Taya rented two dresses from, which I always highly recommend for this type of session! That site allows you to rent amazing, high end dresses from designers for super reasonable prices and really allows my clients to get fancy with their wardrobe for the shoot! Taya's green sequins dress was from the site. Isn't it fantastic??

I asked Taya a few questions to help share her experience with others who are interested in doing a Beauty session for themselves:

Q: Were you nervous about anything the shoot beforehand?

Taya: Yes, I was nervous that the shots would look like 80s glamour shots!  I was also nervous that I would not look or feel like myself and I had some body insecurities. But I was actually comfortable from start to finish.  It was so relaxing to get my hair and makeup done, and Gretchen put me at ease with the actual photo session.  When I had ordering session, I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful the photos turned me out.  They looked like me, but a confident and glamorous me! I mostly feel pretty confident, but I still have body insecurities.  My first thought was "Damn, I look hot!"

Q: What advice do you have for others getting their beauty portrait taken?

Taya: Do it!  I have photos of my grandmother when she was my age and I can't help but think how beautiful she is.  These will be the photos that my future grand children will have of me some day!  

Without further adieu, here are some of the images of Taya and Leslie!