Hi Friends! My name is Leyla and I am a photographer in Santa Cruz, California. I am a real, fun and energetic mama with a vision for storytelling.  My Film Studies background set the foundation for my career and allows me to dissect images and tell the stories of life. My photographs are filled with unapologetic emotions: Mostly happiness and love, but I strive to tell the full chaos of life!  Somewhere along the way while faced with the loss of loved ones, I learned to let go of this image for “perfection.” I dance to the beat of my own music and respectfully decline negative influences into my life, art, and vision.  I strive to tell life stories that are beautifully connected and full of human emotions. I trust in living in the moment and believe some of the best moments fall outside of the rules of technicality and because of that, I hope for my stories to always be honest, vibrant and unapologetic!

As a young girl, when life got tricky, I focused on my camera to capture the simple beauty of life to get me through the day. I was raised in a studio apartment by my single mother who worked very late hours to get us by. So I held on tight to my camera and my education and connected with many beautiful images and artists that in one way or another gave my life meaning.  My camera has been by my side since I was 17 and continues to be my source of expression. It is the tool I can use that allows me to share my vision with the world. I will continue to photograph EVERY single mundane moment in life because… I F#%$!*& love it! All of my life experiences have led me to become a full-time Wife, Mother, and Photographer. Today I share my stories with you and feel incredibly humbled to be able to capture and tell the story of your life.

Everyone’s story should be heard and commemorated because we are all on earth for a reason. My light is bright and full of love and I am sharing it with everyone who will listen!

I thank you for letting me share my light with you.

My photography days began in college, between bike falls and Art History books. It was in Santa Barbara where I met my now husband, 18 years ago.  Through our many relocations, I practiced photography but also found a calling in Education. I spent almost 7 years teaching zealous children the ‘meaning of life.’  These enthusiastic and carefree children taught me patience but highlighted the passing of time. Becoming a mother, shed more light on how a single moment can change your life. Our babies grow so quick and I feel honored to be able to tell their story.  In the last 15 years, I have photographed, live music, events, families, couples, children, and babies first days.  I am fortunate to be able to devote my time to my family and be able to tell stories through my lens.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and I hope we can soon become friends! So don’t wait a minute longer and let me show you how beautiful your life is!

-Leyla Kuhn


Leyla was born in Los Angeles, California. She spent part of her childhood in El Salvador where she acquired a passionate free spirit. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she pursued a Film Studies degree. Simultaneously, she developed a deep interest in photography and began capturing her world through a lens.

Leyla currently lives a happy #Townlife in Santa Cruz, CA. She lives happily ever now with her husband and two sweet energetic boys. They spend as much time with their toes in the sand enjoying the ocean. She continues to photograph life as it unfolds to treasure the little moments!

Please contact Leyla to document your next life adventure.

Follow more recent work @leylakuhnphotography