They look so good in love :)

I just finished shooting Ally & Chris's wedding. My goodness.I feel like every time I go to a wedding I think "Yes! This IS the most in love couple I have ever seen!" and I get all emotional watching the bride and groom go through their day. I'll get chills, get choked up - even cry - behind my camera. And when I come home to blog it all sounds the same as every other post. But really, really Ally & Chris are one of the most in love couples I have ever had the pleasure to shoot.Chris is very gentle and tender with Ally. You can so tell that she is precious to him. He is so focused on her. When she is talking, he is listening. When she is around, he is looking at her. Chris is Ally's shoulder to lean on - such a dependable, strong young man.
And Ally. Well, besides that fact that she is completely stunning, Ally is a little ball of energy. She talks and laughs and smiles her life away. When I hear the quote: "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. And live everyday as if it were your last" I think of Ally. She adores Chris. I didn't think that this girl could be any happier, but somehow Chris made her so.

Alright, I am going through the pictures, but here are some that jumped out at me from the beginning of the day:(ok, I really am a fan of shoes. Wups.)
Meh! So stinkin' pretty!!!This is Ally's cutie-pie neice and flowergirl, Katie. She is such a riot!!!This was one of my favorites moments of the whole day. Ally and her dad have such a special relationship and I loved this picture from when they first saw each other. Awwww :( Makes me cry....And, Kelley reminded me of Snow White today :) You are so gorgeous, Kel!
Devon (Ally's little sister) and I were bff's in middle-school and most of high-school. We are basically a whole lot of fun :) I haven't gotten to see her as much the last few years, but I love her terribly and I thought she looked beautiful today :) LOVE YOU!These little pine cones were one of Ally's favorite details, so I had to post for her :)Um, and I just loved this - for no reason at all.Congratulations Ally & Chris!

All the best!!!!!


Christmas at my house :)

"I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just thiiing
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree....
All I want for Christmas is YOU
[Mom, Dad, Tim, Blossom, Kevs, Dude, Shanny and Lou!]!"

Christmas in a 9-person home is awesome. Christmas in my 9-person home is out of this world :)
This is when The Littles got the "ok" to come downstairs - they were so, so excited!
I think I have officially grown-up, cause watching the kids open their gifts really, really was more fun than getting my own:

The Snyder Ladies now have some snazzy footwear:
Aw, mom =) She was too fun this year - cracked me up all day! This was when she got her new exercise bike. Hahah, soooo, I just have to tell a quick mom story.
When we were leaving the Christmas Eve service last night, we were walking to the parking lot and a lady said "Hello!" to my mom. My mom smiled and nodded friendly-ly and said "Good Morning!" hahahahahDude is getting too big too fast :("You can get any shoes you want - they just have to be on sale, and you can't like them. That's just how we do things." - my dad at the store yesterday heheShannon decked out in her gifts:Lou-lou is a very serious gift-opener. She is almost concerned. Its the cutest thing ever!And, Katie and I in our morning glory haha
Katie was a saint last night - she stayed up until 3 am helping my mom finish everything :) I volunteered to go to bed with the Ladies, ya know, so they would stay out of the way....Okee, just had to brag for a moment on my mother:
Because she is all kinds of awesome, she got me pj's and a bag that match my website
Also received some lovely arm-wear (The "Support The Rabid" one is from Julie. "Myth: 3 people a year die from rabies. Fact: 4 people a year die from rabies!")
My lovely stocking stuffers =)And the BEST present I have probably ever gotten: A GPS SYSTEM!!!!!! I have the worst sense of direction on earth and I just get lost constantly. Its so bad. But, now, with my "NeverLost" I can travel with easy-to-read maps and voice directions to 48 of the 50 states! I guess I will still have to get lost in Hawaii and Alaska... hehe
Oh! And I also am the proud new owner of polka-dot luggage, so if anyone ever wants me to visit them, I do have luggage I can use.... so let me know! I'd love to go anywhere ;)Well, thats all for now... I am going to go out and start helping with dinner - but stay tuned for some precious stories and quotes from my day!

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!


The Green Dress

(pretend its green)

Christmas 1999. Actually, it was before Christmas. My mom went and I were shopping at some pre-Christmas sales and mom found a dress for me. A green one. That was "just a little big." The perfect dress for next year! I was not too thrilled with it, and it was by far the most Christmas-y dress I had ever seen. Green plaid, velvet, lace, buttons and a vest - this sale item was intense and my mom loved it so much, I didn't have the heart to not let her buy it for me. For next year. I figured I could hide it away and she would forget all about it. Besides, with all the Y2K drama, the world might not see the next Christmas haha :)
Christmas 2000. Mom did not forget about the dress. This year I was in 6th grade and all the girls were talking about their Christmas dresses. They all had these Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-esque dresses. I am sure they had butterflies or dragonflies on them and sequins and little matching jackets. I shuddered thinking about having to wear my tablecloth slash doily dress. My mom had it all planned out for me, but happily, choir saved the day! I was in the Christmas Eve Choir and we had to wear a solid color. No patterns, designs or jewels. And certainly not plaid. I was so excited! I remember mom telling me that the plaid was so small that it would look like a solid color from the stage. "Mom! Mrs. Cook said!" I was all of a sudden very, very attentive and obedient to Mrs. Cook's orders. I wore a green turtle-neck and green skirt and green leggings. It was sooo much better than the dress. Phew. I had made it through - the dress could be forgotten about.
Christmas 2001. This year I was even cooler. I was in 7th grade and was playing on a clu
b-soccer team. I didn't even think about the dress until a few days before Christmas when I was out with my mom. I saw a skirt I really liked and she said "Oh, you don't need that - you have that plaid dress you didn't get to wear last year." My heart sank. My stomach dropped. What?!?! How does she still remember the dress?!?!? She is arguably one of the busiest humans alive, and forgets things often. How does she remember that ugly, ugly dress?!? The next few days I tried to figure out my plan. How could I avoid it this year? Well, I had an indoor soccer game right before the Christmas Eve service, and I figured I could just claim "forgetfulness" and sit in the back with my soccer stuff. At least I would look cool and unfestive. My dad was going to pick me up, so I figured my plan had worked. When *dun-dun-dun-duuuun* mom comes instead and guess what! She had the dress! Because I had forgotten it! She's a lifesaver, I tell ya :) I was beside myself and I was still adamantly opposed to that dress. I was running out of ideas. My little brother was in the backseat crying and I had an idea. I could go to Children's Ministry with him! So that mom could listen to the whole service! Yes! Brilliant! And I could wear my sweats and it would be perfect! Mom let me, and for the second year, the dress was avoided.
Christmas 2002. Now, it was just getting bad. Around August I hid the dress, in a box, waaaaay in the back of the storage room. Surely this would do it. Of course it didn't. Of course mom found it. And, of course, a few days before Christmas I was mastering up a plan to not wear the dress. This years idea was to borrow one from a friend. This frien
d had quite a few lovely and not-plaid dresses and I borrowed one. I came home smiling the biggest smile I could, trying to make my eyes sparkle - if I could have had snowflakes dancing around me I would have - hoping that mom would see just how happy this borrowed dress made me. She didn't seem to care too much and let me wear the borrowed dress. 
Christmas 2003. I was in highschool now and our family had just found out that my mom had breast cancer. I honestly had no idea where the dress was, and it did not even cross my mind. Surgeries, doctors, tests, schedules, medicines. Thats what crossed my mind. I didn't care what I wore to the Christmas Eve service. And I went, honestly, for the first time in 4 years not caring about what I looked like. I was melted. I was broken-down and ren
ewed with hope. I sang, and watched and listened to all these things about what Christmas was about. It was so miraculous! Why had it never felt this way before? This is unbelievable! God. God. God. GOD became a real human. Such humility! Such love! He did it because He loved me. He was willing to become lowly and hated, and eventually be crucified, in order that I can have hope in Him. I can sit next to my sick mom in whatever outfit I wor
e, knowing that there is hope. It's not about me. It's not about what I look like. Or how I feel. Its about Him.
It's funny how your perspective can change so much in an instant. Usually the distractions aren't green dresses. Usually its relationships, jobs, money, popularity, success, whatever! - but let's never forget THE most important thing. We have a King and a Savior who has provided hope for us all!
I would like to wish everyone a very, very Merry Christmas :)

With love, 
Kristen Leigh
(who never wore the green dress)


I heart the brides :)

I am obsessed with brides. I have said it before, and I will say it again - I just love them.
I don't know if it's the "girl" in me that loves a bride. The part of me that can't wait to buy my own big white dress, and can't wait to wake up on my wedding morning at 4 am because I am so excited, and starts to laugh & cry just thinking about the man I am going to marry.

I don't know if it's the "photographer" in me that loves a bride. The part of me that sees the incredible smiles, the glowing cheeks and the eyes that are head-over-heels which make perfect pictures, and make my job very easy :)

I don't know if it's the "romantic" in me that loves a bride. The part of me that thinks nothing is too cheesy (even Lonestar's Amazed) and has such grand dreams about what it will be like to actually have that ring on your finger, given to me by the love of my life.

I am sure its a mixture of all of that, but the last bride, Jasmine, blew me away :) She was so wonderful and so, so very in love. And this post is dedicated to her (and the song is one of most romantic on the planet! George Strait's Carried Away)

I don't take my whiskey to extremesDon't believe in chasing crazy dreamsMy feet are planted firmly on the groundBut darlin when you come aroundI get carried away by the lookBy the light in your eyesBefore I even realize the ride I'm onBaby I'm long goneI get carried away
Nothing matters but being with youLike a feather flyin high up
In the sky on a windy dayI get carried away
It might seem like an ordinary nightSame ol' stars same ol moon up highBut when I see you standin at your doorNothings ordinary anymore
I get carried away....