KanzlerFoto: Blog https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog en-us (C) KanzlerFoto (KanzlerFoto) Sat, 26 Aug 2023 14:17:00 GMT Sat, 26 Aug 2023 14:17:00 GMT https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/img/s/v-12/u1016466812-o147270058-50.jpg KanzlerFoto: Blog https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog 120 80 What's in a Name? https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/8/whats-in-a-name Seven years and counting….

I’ve officially been married for seven years. Lucky 7!

I still remember the first time I saw my husband and although he didn’t notice me at first, I knew we were destined to be together forever. Yes, I’ll always give him grief but hey, it makes for a great beginning to our love story. Love you, MUAH!

My husband and I began as partners. We’ve always had a great working relationship; and although we may not be perfect humans, I believe we are definitely perfect for each other. Our marriage is an extension to what we already had; a true partnership.

When we first got married, I had my name hyphenated. Whether at work or out and about I would get asked “Why did you hyphenate it?”, “Why didn’t you just take his last name?” “What are you trying to prove?”

I initially hyphenated out of pride in my name, my history, my culture.

I truly  believed that by God’s hand we are bound together in the holiest of matrimonies and after our ceremony we became one union. I love my husband, respect and honor him. I just felt like I wasn’t ready to give up my original last name quite yet.

I’ve met couples where the names were not changed at all, or the male takes the female’s name. The decision on whose last name is taken has changed dramatically since it all started.

So, how did it get started anyway?

Well back in the early medieval times of knights in shining armor, damsels and dragons (just kidding this isn’t Game of Thrones) surnames were created to differentiate between first names. Most times it was created by where the family lived at the time.

19th Century English common law introduced the “Doctrine of Coverture.” (Coverture meaning “covered by”) This doctrine outlined the specifics on women taking the man’s last name in marriage.

According to this law “women had no independent legal identity apart from their spouse, coverture laws also prevented women from entering into contracts, engaging into contracts, engaging in litigation, participating in business, or exercising ownership over real estate or personal property.” (Kerr, Jennifer, "Maiden Name Retention" (2021). Sociology Student Work Collection. 79. https://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/gender_studies/79 Unmarried females would take their father’s surname until they were married as we do now in modern “American” culture.

Women basically gave up any right to succeed independently and live under the bounties of their husband.  This also meant that men had to be successful enough to provide for their wife who could not work to make money outside the home. That’s a lot of pressure on the guy and a lot of trust from the girl. 

For the independent woman, this seemed like a lot of red tape. Imagine all the successful female entrepreneurs that are married now. They wouldn’t have been able to create their empires had the laws not been changed.

By the 1970’s the Supreme Court turned down a law in Tennessee that required women to take the last name of their husband prior to registering to vote. This is when the prefix “Ms.” started to arrive. This gave women more power on their identity.

With all of that being said what started off as a hyphenated name has now become just one name, Kanzler. Yes, ya’ll I have officially changed my last name to Kanzler. I didn’t keep my maiden name in any way. It was a personal decision that took me seven years to make.

I honestly didn’t expect it to take this long for me make this decision. Lucky for me I’ve married a man who’s been patient with me while I figure things out. I’m very pleased with my decision of making myself a Kanzler. I think this is a great way to celebrate 7 years with my husband, my lover, my partner in life and best friend.

Our birth name was given to us, what we decide to do with it afterwards is our decision. Some people decide to rid themselves of that name and identify and become someone else entirely. Some people decide to take their spouses’ name after marriage, some people decide to hyphenate.

Whatever you decide, know that it doesn’t erase your history. You still hold onto your culture, your family history; your identity is not lost. Changing your name will not erase your history but add to your story. It took me a long time to realize that.

So tell me…..what’s your story?



Leyda Kanzler 



(KanzlerFoto) Anniversary Photographer https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/8/whats-in-a-name Thu, 24 Aug 2023 20:35:46 GMT
Introvert https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/7/introvert Raise your hand if you are an introvert…oh who am I kidding if you’re an introvert, you’ll do most anything to not raise your hand.

How do I know this? Because I’m an introvert too. I didn’t want to believe it but; Hi my name is Leyda and I am an introvert.

I didn’t even really know I was until recently when things started to add up. I’ve always been one to keep a journal; new journals make me feel nostalgic. It’s like Christmas when I open up a fresh notebook, with the blank pages just waiting for my thoughts to run wild. But that’s just it, I’ve always been better at talking to a journal or a small group of friends than I have large crowds.

Now I know some of ya’ll might be think; how are you able to function in the military? Don’t you have to speak to large crowds? Don’t you have to conduct briefs large groups?

Yes, and yes, but you want to know the truth? Public speaking has been an ongoing battle for me. It’s something that I most definitely have to practice and continue to perfect. I struggle even now to get up in front of people and talk.

This brings me to blogging, I feel like I’m able to express myself from the words on this screen than I would be speaking to a large group. So, thank you for allowing me to share myself, my family and my life with all of you.

With that being said it brought me to revisit some of my old journals that I’ve kept; I counted over 15 journals, pretty sure there are others not included here but these are the bulk of them. I started writing in journals at around age five or so. At that time, it was mainly practicing my penmanship and small little doodles.

These journals have been my saving grace, my escape and my safe place where I was able to be my most creative. It was where I could save my keepsakes, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings all the mementos that bring a smile to my face many years later.

Browsing through the papers felt like diving into a time capsule. I was getting to know myself again, laughing at all the ridiculous things I ranted about, or drew amongst the pages. I discovered that I was really into Dean Cain (Superman) at the time and that I would repeatedly draw similar patterns.

The journals reminded me of some spectacular times and some that I would rather forget. But without my journals I probably would have forgotten about all of those moments. Like when moving back to Texas was more difficult than I expected, or when my Dad went overseas for an extended period of time. First days of school, celebrations, secrets all kept within the pages of my journals.

Journals have been my escape for a long time because, the pages have never betrayed me nor judged me for anything that I’ve admitted to. Journals have allowed me to shout as loud as I wanted, laugh, hide, hoard away my thoughts and mementos.

Though I didn’t take any pictures of the inside of my journals (for obvious reasons) Here is a glance from my past.


Sincerely the vulnerable but sometimes brave,

Leyda Kanzler



(KanzlerFoto) journals Photographer https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/7/introvert Thu, 13 Jul 2023 18:37:46 GMT
Pearson Family https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/6/pearson-family Not too long ago I had the honor of taking family photos for a friend of mine I worked with from my military side, Robert Pearson or Rob as some might call him.

While working together, I met his incredibly sweet wife, Becky. Who by the way, is a master when it comes to yarn and crocheted me a gorgeous purple blanket that saved me during the Texas winter storms. Thanks Becky!

They entrusted me to take photos for their kid’s graduation and I guess they loved them so much they wanted to do family photos. Of course, I was stoked. Family photos was something they had been wanting to do for a while and now that their children were all adults, they wanted even more to bring the family together. So, after many schedule attempts, we nailed down a date.

Ya’ll, I had no idea how much fun I was about to have. I was laughing so much I had to keep reminding myself that we were doing a photoshoot and needed to actually take photos.

One of the joys of being a photographer is having the opportunity to be invited into a space that I may not see otherwise.

Families who come together to capture a time in space. A bride, wanting to salvage the moment of wearing their dress before the wedding day, or new parents cherishing their newborn child, knowing they will never be this small again. All of these things can be intimate in their own way. It is a privilege to be let in and be the one to capture these moments.

Something I admire the most about the Pearson Family is was how much they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. Sure, siblings may argue but at the end of the day they all showed each other the same unconditional love.

I also loved that two and of the siblings brought their significant others and that the family brought them in as if they had all been together since the beginning of time. It was so refreshing to see everyone blend together and I won’t lie, it made the session that more enjoyable.

So, remember, it’s never too late to do family photos.

Here are some of favorite photos from the session. Enjoy!


Peace and Love 

- Leyda Kanzler 


(KanzlerFoto) family photography https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/6/pearson-family Mon, 12 Jun 2023 15:30:12 GMT
Kandilaria https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/6/kandilaria Sometimes I honestly forget how old I am. Anyone else feel like that?

I use to make fun of my grandma because she would never remember how old she was and I couldn’t believe how anyone could forget their age. But, that’s me right now. I think because I still feel like I’m figuring life out and at times just don’t have it all together, but I guess that’s what they call “adulting” figuring it out and making the best of situations.

Anyway, this all brings me to one of by really great friends, my sister, Kandyce or as we like to call her, Kandilaria. We met in college and pledged the same fraternity. For those that may not know, there are such things as co-ed fraternities, it’s a real thing.

Our experience during and post college created a bond that I’ve cherished to this day. We weren’t just part of the same fraternity and wore the colors, we lived them and have them embedded in us, literally. Kandyce is one of those people that no matter what we’ve been through we’re still there for each other. We don’t have to live in the same city, or call each other every day. We keep in touch because we choose to and enjoy spending time with each other.

We’ve fought like sisters and loved like sisters. We’ve been there through the best of times and the worst of times.

Now, my sister has a baby, and it was truly special to be there to capture her magnificent maternity glory. She was absolutely gorgeous, glowing in all her new found motherhood. Ya’ll, I literally cried at how beautiful she is, like sis, motherhood looks good on you.

But in all honesty, really seems like not too long ago we were figuring things out in the small town of Kingsville Texas. Trying to adult our way through good ole Texas A&M University- Kingsville. The game has changed a little with this new bundle of joy, but the sisterhood will always be there.

I’m so fortunate to be apart of her life and now I get to be there as her baby grows up to be the change we hope to see in the world.

Kandyce ended up having her baby not too long after her baby shower and has already been doing such an amazing job as a new mother. Her patience and love for the little guy is admirable as she isn’t shaken by his cries but see it an opportunity to bond and understand her new baby.

It gives me hope for my future that one day I’ll be able to experience the same joy in life.

Thank you, Kandyce, for always being a sister to me and letting me part of your life.

Now, here’s a few photos of the goddess of a woman. My sister Kandilaria 


Peace and Love 

- Leyda Kanzler 

Kandilaria Kandilaria Kandilaria Kandilaria Kandilaria


(KanzlerFoto) female maternity motherhood https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2023/6/kandilaria Mon, 05 Jun 2023 17:00:32 GMT
Rocking Chair https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2022/3/rocking-chair Walking around my parents’ house I stumbled upon my old rocking chair. I’m a little surprised that it’s survived this long. Maybe not completely survived, but mostly. Though rusty and torn it still rocks back and forth. I remember sitting on the front porch, watching people walk by as they headed downtown. I would see them in their fashionable clothes as they began their adventures. I remember listening to the church bells ring on a Sunday afternoon. I remember putting my feet up and enjoying the moment. I remember feeling secured within the stone walls and on the porch.

Memories are meant to be just that. Memories, nothing more than what we remember. Sometimes they are joyful ones and sometimes they are ones that can sting your heart. They are ones that we would rather bury away forgetting they ever happened; and some we replay to never forget. Whatever memory they may be, I feel each holds a lesson learned; stepping stones to get us where we are today. It’s taken me a while to admit to that.

Memories are never whole; they are what we believe to have happened. They are from our perspective the moment in our life. Some might see this rocking chair and only remember stubbing their toe while I saw it as a safe haven.  

If there was such thing as a life-eraser that we could use I’m sure that we would all want one. We all have moments in our life we would rather just not have lived or experienced, or even do over all together. However, I firmly believe that without the mistakes, the tragedies or the blissful occasions we would not be who we are today nor would appreciate what we now have.

With love comes heartache, with sorrow comes joy, with failure comes accomplishment and with disappointment comes eternal peace

Rocking Chair


A rocking chair, sits humbly, rusted and torn

In the shadows it sits, no memories to mourn.

Waiting patiently for her return to that place

Of simpler times, a childhood now erased.

What once was a chair to be rocked to and frow

Now sits a woman that is eager to grow.

Stronger a wiser is what she will be

No longer a child

She has been set free.


Peace and Love

-Leyda Kanzler


(KanzlerFoto) photographer https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2022/3/rocking-chair Thu, 17 Mar 2022 15:36:17 GMT
A Love so Pure https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/a-love-so-pure I first met Redd while in search of a tattoo artist to work on my sleeve. I wanted someone who could do legit, high quality watercolor art. I was referred to him by a friend of mine and inquired about his services. He was booked solid. I was devastated by the wait time, but figured he must be really good if I am having to wait this long.

Let me just say though that I’m the type of person who is patient enough to wait in order to get good art especially when it comes to tattoos. I’m super picky about my artists, like suuuuuuuper picky. I research their art, see their commendations, read their reviews, this is a decision I don’t take lightly. I like to make sure that I am getting something legit.

So, I waited for an opening to arrive. I was stoked to finally have more ink on my arm. I found Redd to be an easy-going guy who takes pride in his tattooing. He also has a passion for his beloved fiancé, Andrea or Drey as he so lovingly refers to her.

I didn’t meet Drey on my first visit, at least not in person. I say that because when I finally met her, I felt like I already knew her. As Redd would talk about her constantly. It was truly adorable how everything reminded him of Drey.

Redd would run Netflix in the background while he tattooed and tell me about what him and Drey would watch, how she is in school to become a teacher, that she is incredibly smart and driven. That, she is also really quiet and loves to read.

He would talk about the adventures they had with their puppies and how much fun him and Drey have just being in each other’s company. It was endearing how much love he had in each word he spoke of her.

The day I met Drey it all made sense. They have this unspoken language of love that was the sweetest thing I’ve seen, they clicked.

She was indeed quiet, but I could see that her presence was all Redd needed to be put at ease. She is incredibly easy going, as he described. Her beauty, enchanting and he was right to say that she is a bookworm. I think that is why I liked her, that and she too enjoys crime TV. I mean who doesn’t?

I would later get a few more tattoos from Redd and then my husband Michael would become one of his clients. He had the pleasure of meeting Drey as well.

I would also have the honor of taking Drey’s graduation photos as well. She graduated from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and now works as an English Teacher for a Private Catholic School. During our photoshoot I was able to see her admiration he had for Redd. Again, so adorable that I couldn’t help but smile. Each word that she spoke of him was full of love.

Drey and Redd are special people that have a bond like no other. I love seeing their relationship grow and am thankful that they entrusted Michael and I with their photos. It was an enjoyable photoshoot, easy going, just like them. I can’t wait to see where their lives take them!

Cheers to the happy couple!   

Below are some of my favorite pictures from their shoot. A collaboration of mine and Michael’s photos.

Ya’ll I’m so in love with how they came out!


Peace and Love

- Leyda Kanzler



(KanzlerFoto) beautiful couples engagement photographer portraits traveling weddings https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/a-love-so-pure Wed, 16 Dec 2020 14:48:15 GMT
Welcome Home https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/welcome-home

Hello my fellow Texans. It’s good to be back in these United States and in the Great State of Texas. It’s been quite the experience for me this past year and there don’t seem to be any signs of slowing down. I’ve been keeping busy here and there trying to figure out what I want to say to ya’ll. I’m definitely excited to be home and get back into the swing of things. 

I had taken some pictures before I left Texas that I had been wanting to post and share with ya’ll; so here they are; a little flash back if you will. Before I left for my year long adventure with the Army I took a day to myself to explore Austin for a bit all while my hubby was already overseas. It gave me a chance to take one last glance at the city that I grew up in and soak in what I could; to capture Austin as it was at that moment. These snaps come from various establishment on South Congress Ave.

Now that I have returned it seems as if this past year almost didn’t happen. It went by quicker than expected; but I suppose that’s what they all say when it’s over. I retuned feeling a little out of place; not really knowing how to fit back in or what to do. I can see all the physical changes of Texas; of my town. I began find myself at a loss of words, not knowing how to converse with others about everyday life because, well let’s face it, my everyday life was filled with not your everything day life events.

Upon my return I managed to sleep in past 1000 a couple of days and I felt like I had wasted the whole day. It felt shameful, and I felt guilty, it’s almost as if my body was forcing sleep upon me. For the past year I had been getting up at 0600 and sometimes working 12 hours days 7 days a week for weeks on end. I was used to a schedule, a work space, a specific crowd that became my comfort zone. Sleeping past 1000 was foreign to me.

You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with the pictures that I’m sharing. Well I guess I wanted to open up with how I’ve been feeling as a way to remind others that it’s ok if you aren’t ‘go go go’ when you return back from deployment and for our welcoming family and friends to be mindful that we just want to sleep… lol… even if our minds won’t let us. That is, its ok to take time for ourselves to relax. I think that was the biggest adjustment for me. Taking time for myself and my family, enjoying the simplicity of watching a T.V. show, cooking dinner or just taking a walk outside with out having a deadline to meet.  

These pictures right here were taken on a day where I truly took time for myself before I left and dove into the chaos of deployment. No schedules, no deadlines; just me and my camera exploring Austin for the day.

So my fellow Texans, here and abroad, remember to take some time for yourself and explore, explore your town, explore nature, explore life.

Peace and Love 

-Leyda Kanzler 



(KanzlerFoto) beautiful photographer traveling https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/welcome-home Wed, 09 Dec 2020 16:30:56 GMT
Little Brother https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/little-brother  

That kid…..is not a kid anymore.

That kid…. has grown into a respectable young man.

That kid…..has made a difference in the world.

That kid…..is my baby brother and he’s about to graduate high school.


Who knew that when I was 10 another little Ocasio would be added to the family tree; it was a pleasant surprise indeed. Who knew that I would become so close to this kid, I didn’t, we are a decade a part which seemed like a whole world of difference but somehow we ended up being closer than ever. I suppose between giving him baths as a baby, diaper changes and playing with him on the floor he eventually grew on me.

Luke A. Ocasio was an incredibly adorable baby and and even more so, he was a picky eater. I swear he would eat hotdogs all day, every day if you let him. Bath time was his favorite because he dumped all his toys in the tub. Granted, it took him nearly half an hour to actually get him in the tub because he kept wanting to bring in every toy he owned. But nevertheless he has been a joy to be around and it’ll be hard to see him off to college.

I had the privilege to take his senior portraits. Lately we haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together because of our conflicting schedules, that made today extra special. It also happened to be Dedication Day at Stephen F. Austin High School, a school that has educated 3 generations of our family.

Luke’s Senior year was one for the books, not only did he get accepted into the University of Texas at San Antonio, he also earned his Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts which is a prestigious honor. He is now one of three in my family to earn that rank. I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. All of this made deploying during his senior year incredibly hard. I was lucky enough to FaceTime in when he received his letterman jacket. Yay for technology!

But this kid is something else really, he sent me numerous pieces of his own art just so I could have some reminders of home and to not make deployment so mundane. I meant the world to me that he took the time to even send me something beautiful to hang up in my makeshift office.

These pictures of Luke indeed show how much he has grown. He’s become a humble, dedicated, loving young man; devoted to his faith he has paved the way into a future that is so bright you need sunglasses to see.

Luke we are all proud of you and your accomplishments; you’ve come a long way and there are no signs of you slowing down yet. Keep the momentum and keep on making a difference in the world.

Love you always!


Peace and Love,

-Leyda Kanzler


(KanzlerFoto) gentlemen graduations photographer portraits powerful traveling https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/little-brother Tue, 08 Dec 2020 21:09:43 GMT
New Bride Vibes https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/new-bride-vibes

Now that the wedding bells have settled, the guests have left and decorations put away in their respected keep sake boxes we have had more time to breathe and enjoy married life.

It’s crazy to think that two years of planning went into this celebration that lasted one day….But is it just one day? Or is more than that? Marriage is not one to be celebrated for just that one day right? Marriage is a celebration of eternal love that should be celebrated as that….eternally. Call it the honeymoon-high, but finding the person you are going to ultimately spend the rest of your life should be celebrated everyday!

I don’t know if you have heard the story of the “red string” the string that is supposed to tie us to our soul mate. Some people believe in that, are you one of those? If not that’s ok, however I do believe that there is someone out there for everyone. And whether you believe in the red string that ties two lovers together until they finally make their way to true love or happenstance, love is out there.

Ok maybe I am on this honeymoon-high, but let me! I’ve spent the last two years planning this wedding, dreaming of this perfect day and battling all the headaches that come with it. Trust me ladies and gentlemen planning a wedding isn’t’ some Nicholas Sparks fairy tale dream. Oh no! But I can confidently say that it was completely worth it. I mean after all this is till death do us part people.

In all honesty I really appreciate Michael sticking it out with me during all of this. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but he was a champ as all grooms are when their brides are trying to make everything perfect for that magical walk down the aisle. That’s where we shine, that moment where we get to be a princess and walk towards the one we are able to marry. That to me made it all worth it. That and finally having our union blessed before God. I believe that is what made this feel more real to me, more faithful and sincere.

I must confess, while some brides may have cried I laughed so much that day. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, laughing so much on your wedding day. No tears, not even when Dad and were about to make the grand entrance into the church. I was happy, excited, and thrilled that this day had finally come and that this would be our celebration of love everlasting. Wow…I just brought on the sap hard core on that one.

Here’s my message: To all the brides that are in the planning phase, the end is closer than you think and soon you’ll be spinning around the dance floor enjoying your new married life. To all those that are searching for the one to sweep them off their feet….you’ll find that one when you least expect it and it’ll be magical. Don’t settle for anything less than butterflies; I truly believe that.


Peace and Love,

-Leyda Kanzler 

(KanzlerFoto) beautiful photographer weddings https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/new-bride-vibes Tue, 08 Dec 2020 21:04:40 GMT
Inn on the Creek Travel Review https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/inn-on-the-creek-travel-review
Michael and I had the pleasure of attending the 100th Anniversary of the Warrant Officer Corps Dining Out this past weekend. We stayed at this charming bed and breakfast and it was so good we thought we would share our experience for those that needed a little get away but didn’t want to travel too far. Because let’s face it Texas is a big place and sometimes we just want to escape for the weekend but don’t have the time to leave the state. 

In the quiet town of Salado Texas less than an hour north of Austin lays a quaint bed and breakfast; Inn on the Creek.

An enchanting property consisting of 22-room lodging properties, all fully restored to its original late 1800s style. Upon entering the property you are immediately greeted by the charming caretaker who holds a vast knowledge of the history of the estate.
We learned that the property was once used to provide room and board to the teachers of Salado College. And that part of the college was still standing for viewing. We couldn’t have asked 

for a better place to stay. The hospitality of the staff and the rooms themselves were all wonderful. To make the weekend sweeter you are treated to complimentary brunch at their restaurant which overlooks the creek. Ducks, and deer graze upon the lawn which are all kept to picture perfect standards.

So, if you are needing a weekend getaway, a little peace and quiet, and a sprinkle of romance and relaxation I highly recommend checking out Inn on the Creek, you won’t be disappointed.


Peace and Love, 

- Leyda Kanzler 


(KanzlerFoto) Travel https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/inn-on-the-creek-travel-review Tue, 08 Dec 2020 20:43:23 GMT
Exploring the Open Road https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/exploring-the-open-road  

After two weeks of military training I figured I would reward myself with some fun. Now before you start coming up with your own conclusions of wild shenanigans, let me assure you that no illegal activities went down. I went to a museum, that was all.

I woke up bright and early on my last day on the road and grabbed my cup of coffee and started my journey. Destination? The Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum.

For those that don’t know me, you may not fully understand the excitement I have for museums. The delight of walking through a place where history is captured. I become immersed in story and it’s almost like we go back in time for a while. Unfortunately the time Ia was stepping back into was not the most pleasant. It tells a particularly gruesome time in Oklahoma’s history; a time of great sorrow and despair.

I suppose you’re wondering why I would be interested in such a museum, where I would be saddened?

I can’t really explain it. The whole Oklahoma City bombing happened when I was very young, so young that I don’t even remember it. What I do remember were the years after when the incident was talked about….in memory. Watching it I wondered, why would anyone do such a thing? What was the point of causing so much destruction and chaos?

Driving through the streets of Oklahoma City, I park in a garage that’s within walking distance. Camera in hand I proceed towards the memorial garden. The entrance way reads “Welcome here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity. , and those changed forever.”

Walking down the steps, I felt this sudden rush of silence.

I was one of but a few that morning walking the grounds. Everyone walked amongst a whisper, gazing at the walls that once held the city buildings no longer standing. A reflection pool served as the middle focal point. Shallow and all black, the subtle sounds of the waves of water filled the garden.

Then there was the field of chairs. Each chair belonged to a city worker that was killed in the bombing. The chairs are marked with the name of each employee and organized to show which floor they worked on. We were allowed to walk on the field, touch the chairs, pay our respects to those who unknowingly lost their life that tragic day.   

Inside the museum held the remains of what was left behind from those that filled the streets that day, escaping from the collapsing building. I walked in to see layouts of how the grounds looked back in the 90’s. It’s a little eerie to know that where I was standing is where everything took place. Then came the audios, hearing actual tapes of people from that day. You are taken into a room where an office table and chairs are set up. On that table held a tape recorder and microphone. The audio starts playing and it’s of a hearing from April 19th 1995. You can actually hear the explosion occur, the room goes dark and suddenly the doors open to a scene most chaotic. There are 911 recordings playing overhead as you make your way through a maze of abandoned rumble and personal effects left behind. I’m watching actual footage from that day play on big screens. The display is overwhelming. I’m sure that was the idea though, to have you feel as if you were living in that moment. Each turn brings you to another artifact, a shoe, a pair of glasses, old purse and toys from the children of the daycare. I’m lost for words and continue on.

The next scene is that of the court room and you see items belonging to Timothy McVeigh; his car, personnel belongings from when he was arrested, the handcuffs they used on him. The museum even had the sign from the hotel he stayed at along with the door to his room and check in slip. So many items that tell the story.

Finishing the museum there is but one room left. A pristine room that holds pictures encased in a clear box of everyone that died that day. Some of these boxes held an item that belonged to that person. A trinket from a desk, a religious item they used to pray with, a toy, a pacifier, a service medal. Overhead there is a speaker reciting the names of each individual that is represented here. I stood there reading the names, looking at the pictures and trinkets left to remember those that had passed away. I was the only person in the room, but somehow I didn’t mind, I liked it that way. To be left alone in my thoughts and reflect on what I had just seen. Though I was not present to personally witness such a tragedy I could honor those that had lost their lives.

I had never been to a memorial that was so breathtakingly beautiful that my soul was sincerely moved.

I plan on visiting Auschwitz with my husband for our honeymoon in the near future and I feel like I need to have a serious conversation with my heart.


Peace and Love

-Leyda Kanzler


(KanzlerFoto) photographer traveling https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/exploring-the-open-road Thu, 03 Dec 2020 20:13:34 GMT
Mother's Day https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/mothers-day This blog is to honor my Mom and Grandmother; two strong women that have helped shape me to become the person I am today.

My Mom, for those that don’t know her, she is a tough lady she raised four kids while my Father served in the Military. I clearly remember my childhood morning routine; wash up, get dressed, make the bed, and have our backpacks by the door all in order, to be able to sit down at the table to eat breakfast.

To this day I don’t like to do anything without following this routine (minus the backpack lol).

Growing up my Mom was a paramedic so we didn’t really get away with staying home from school because we were “sick”. If we didn’t feel well, she would bring out her medical bag do a once over and send us on our way if it was minor. However, if we were indeed sick, she made us feel incredibly loved and cared for. I remember her bringing out her nice pink China tea cups to serve us chamomile tea and soup in bed. It was the little things that made staying at home with a fever feel not so terrible.  

She is also a talented artist and has a green thumb like no other. I remember watching her paint the rooms of the house and working on her garden; always making sure there were cherry tomatoes for me. I don’t think she realizes how talented she really is. All the little handmade crafts for the holidays are the things we as kids loved to see every year. It’s what made the house look beautiful.

If anything, she knew how to make us feel special. Personalized Christmas wreaths for our doors that she made herself. A small box of chocolate for Valentines on our pillows for when we got home from school. Chocolate Easter bunnies every year. She even continued to make us 1st day of school cookies even when we were away at college.

My Mom claims not to be sentimental, but I know deep down she enjoys these little traditions and I remember them, cherish them and thank her for always making us feel special and loved.

She taught me self-disciple, if you want something done you have to get up and do it yourself. Make it happen, move it or lose it type of attitude. She’s helped me to become a strong-minded woman of faith, who will go the extra mile to make a statement.  Thanks Mom! 

Now my Grandma, everyone loves my Grandma. I don’t think I’ve ever introduced her to anyone that walked away not loving her. She’s my Mother’s Mom and has been in my life ever since I was born. She and my Grandpa took care of me and my brothers after school when we were little. She would sew clothes for us, bake us goodies and had a magical garden that we loved to play in. 

She is probably the most faithful, woman you will ever meet. She wakes up every morning to say the Divine Mercy. She is always telling us that she is praying for us and continuously looks at the brighter side of life. Most of my pre-teen/teenage years were spent with my Grandma. We would go to the church and fix the flowers, clean and decorate for all the special masses and then volunteer at the church pantry.

She is also incredibly adventurous, and will try just about anything once. She is a world traveler, and has gone to Peru to hike up Machu Picchu, ridden camels in the Holy Lands, rode gondolas, a visited the Pope in Italy, seen the Eifel Tower in Paris, touched the Berlin wall, taken mud baths in Japan, gone to just about every state in the United States and so much more. Honestly I could probably type up a whole page with everything that she has done and still not be finished. Basically she travels a lot, she isn’t afraid to see the world in what ever capacity it may be.

You will also never meet someone more in love with their husband than this lady right here. My Grandpa passed away when I was about nine years old and to this day she is still head over heels for this man, it is incredible to see. To this day she still hangs up his Christmas stocking.

Well there you have it that’s my Mom and Grandma, two loving, tough, beautiful ladies that have raised me, cared for me and showed me what life is all about. Taking chances, getting your hands dirty and believing in God’s grace.

Happy Mother’s Day to you ladies and to all the Mothers out there. I hope you know how much your kids love you and adore you.


Peace and Love 



(KanzlerFoto) beautiful female grandmothers mothers photographer portraits powerful traveling women https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/mothers-day Thu, 03 Dec 2020 20:04:58 GMT
Music soothes my Soul https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/music-soothes-my-soul Time to brag a little bit. There are a few things that I always travel with: my Chapstick, my phone, my wallet, and my iPod. But seeing that I work in an environment where phones and ipods are not allowed in the office; they stay outside and I listen to whatever I can find on youtube, that’s if the connection is any good and I can get through an entire song without it buffering or the if power doesn’t go out.

Those are definitely first world problems however; we never really think about something until it’s gone. At least that’s how it normally goes right? So why am I bragging then you ask? Well because my amazing man surprised me with a gift that was overwhelmingly righteous. It’s not my birthday and it was most definitely not Christmas but nevertheless he decided to surprise me with this gift. He somehow found a REAL Walkman and a Backstreet Boys cassette. But not just any BSB cassette; a European version. He also made me a mix tape, like a legit mix tape, packed with songs for me jam out to at work on a real Walkman. When I opened the box I was shocked that he even found something like this.

For those that know me they’ll understand what this gift means to me. I’m a lover of music, I have an eclectic collection of music ranging from the “no one understands me I’m a teenager Good Charlotte” to “let’s dance in the moonlight smooth jams of Natalie Cole”, and then “salsa dancing with none other than Willie Colon”. I even have your classic AC/DC, Metallica songs for those times where you have the need to rock out during a run. And then there are the country songs you listen to for BBQs and unwinding out on the back porch throwing back a couple of cold ones with the ones you love and dancing the night away.

Of course my collection wouldn’t be complete without my ultimate favorite band of all time…..The Backstreet Boys. Yes, don’t judge me. I currently have about 9 of their albums and now 2 of their cassettes. This has always been my happy music. Fun fact! I have enough Backstreet Boys music to get be from Austin to Kingsville, yup I tried it once. I started listening to their music when I was about 9 years old. I heard them on the radio coming home from school one day and I just really liked their vibe. I joke with Michael and say that if anyone were to make a movie about my life they could do so with all of the Backstreet Boys albums. Their music basically followed me my whole life.

Back in 1999 my parents bought me a radio that had a cassette player attached to it. You could take it out and use it independently which was the cool part. I’ve kept that radio, and still use it today. It’s one of those childhood items that I refuse to part with because it works and frankly I use it quite a bit.

Here comes the bragging. This Walkman and music I received was something I needed and didn’t know it. It’s hard to be away from your loved ones. I tend to put aside the emotional aspect of missing my family and focus on work in order to not think about all the football games I’m missing from my little brother’s senior year of high school (Go Maroons!!), the Sunday breakfasts at my Grandma’s house with the whole family, the adventures at the park with Bandito and most of all the time with my beloved Michael. I take each day as it comes and thank God for giving me another one to live.

Though Michael is now in the same time zone as me; for the most part; we don’t always get to see each other every day. We too wonder when the next time we’ll meet again will be. But with everything going on I tend to put it all of those worries aside and focus on the now in order to meet the mission. This present he sent me was the gesture of kindness reminded me that I need to take time to stop, listen, and relax.

I can play this music at work and when I do I think about the effort he spent picking out each song and recording them just for me. My mind has a chance to relax and enjoy the music. I have the most loving man a girl could ask for. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes and takes care of me when I have started to neglect to enact self care.

I am trying to do better to take time and appreciate the little moments and say my thanks to God for allowing me to do what I enjoy; which is serving my country. Though it can be hectic at times, I know that I am fortunate to have a support system here and back at home. These tapes were a remedy for the madness, a healing to my soul and the best part was that it came from someone who loves me. It’s strange when you receive a gift that you weren’t expecting but somehow it’s exactly what you were needing. It’s as if he knew already what I needed. That right there is magic and God’s grace working.

So today as we embark on the last days of 2017 try to find something that makes you happy, give yourself a break from the rush, the phone calls, the spreadsheets; whatever your madness is. Know that today is a new day for you to conquer another task, to spread kindness to that stranger, kiss your loved one good-bye as they go off to work or spend that extra time with your kids or furbabies. Don’t let the madness sink in.

Peace and Love


(KanzlerFoto) blogger music photographer traveling https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/music-soothes-my-soul Thu, 03 Dec 2020 20:00:54 GMT
BB https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/bb Have you ever had a friend that you connected with on levels so deep that it was unreal? Like no matter what was going on in your life, the other person was going through something similar and could relate to you everything that you are feeling? I know that seems kind of odd, like how can someone possibly relate to you on that many levels? Or experience the exact same thing as you? Trust me I’ve tried to make sense of it, but I’ve come to realize that it’s all in God’s plan to introduce us to people that are truly meant to change your life for the better.

Because my relationship with Katrina is exactly like that. For as long as I’ve known her, we have had this uncanny connection of always being able to relate to one another. It’s something that we can’t explain, but honestly does it even matter? I feel this is God’s gift to us, a gift of friendship. 

Now we say that our friendship began with gummy bears and cranberries. They were our staple and our point of connection for many adventures, especially in the Army ROTC program in college. She was, and still is my BB (battle buddy) the one I go to when I need an unbiased view on a situation. She’s the one that will sit and watch reruns of The Office with me. She will answer my calls even if I’m on the other side of the world and its 2 am in Texas, and now she’s my Maid of Honor. I couldn’t be more thrilled that she continues to be part of my life and is part of my wedding. Honestly she has made this whole process a seamless dream. Many times I have called her to vent or plan and she has been there every step of the way to be an incredible support.

In life you have people that you lean on, those you know you can go to for anything. People that, no matter the distance, no matter the time, no matter what has happened; will be there for you ready to fight, cry, laugh and chill at a moments notice. Those are the type of people that you need to hold on to. Those are the ones worth keeping.

I find myself lucky to have people like that in my life and more so, I am truly blessed to have Katrina Cromwell in my life. In a friendship of 10 years, we have experienced some challenging and exhilarating times together. From the nights out in Corpus Christi to having to say goodbye as one leaves for military obligations, we have continued to stand by each other. She was the first person that took me in when I moved to Kingsville Texas for college. She invited me into her family and made me feel like I was not alone in a city where I was just starting out. I can’t say thank you enough to her and her family for showing me so much kindness.

These images were taken during our weekend getaway. She’s so easy to photograph and it was a joy to be able to take her picture.

I hope you enjoy them but more so I hope you find your BB in life.


Peace and Love 





(KanzlerFoto) beautiful female photographer portraits powerful traveling women https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/bb Thu, 03 Dec 2020 19:35:15 GMT
Beauty and the Brass https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/beauty-and-the-brass A while back before I entered the sandbox in which I am now. I had the chance to experiment with some depth perception with my camera. I was sent out to take some pictures of the range operations that were going on. While I was there I couldn’t help but notice all this ammunition that was laid out on the rails. Just waiting to be shot. I took my camera out and started taking pictures of the ammo, 7.62 to be exact. This ammo was so big that Soldiers were slinging it across their shoulders. Coming from an aerial delivery unit I was never around weapons that needed ammo this large so it was a sight for me to see; of course I had to take pictures of it.

I wanted to share this with you to show you the beauty of what I saw. The beauty of the brass that I captured. I was so intrigued by the shininess (yes I know that sounds super racoonish) but I mean if you were able to just look at all the brass laid out, like how many rounds these Soldiers were carrying you too would be intrigued. I don’t know maybe it was just me and my bright eyes of curiosity. In any case here are some pictures of what I captured I hope you too can see the same beauty I saw.


Peace and Love 

- Leyda Kanzler 

(KanzlerFoto) ammunition military photographer texas traveling https://www.kanzlerfoto.com/blog/2020/12/beauty-and-the-brass Thu, 03 Dec 2020 19:25:07 GMT