Parker | Rainy Day Senior Photos in Palo Duro Canyon

We got this photo session finished right in the nick of time. We were just finishing up when a monsoon (ok, not really - it was just a rainstorm) broke out in the canyon. I’m so glad we all arrived to the session about 15 minutes early! I’m also glad that Parker, who plays guitar, decided to bring his two guitars to his senior photo session. Often, taking pictures isn’t the most comfortable/fun thing for guys to do, but I think having an activity helps make it more fun :)

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Shanks Family | Outdoor Newborn Photos at West Texas A&M

What a sweet little family! I love the photos that we took outside of the chapel on WTAMU’s campus but I also love the pictures we took inside the auditorium. We retreated inside after a bit because sweet little Ellis was not having the cold. Taking pictures inside the auditorium made sense for this family because John is the trombone instructor at WT and Melissa plays the piano beautifully. The pictures with the stage lights shining down on them are unusual for my style but I love them because they are unique to this family!

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Lexi | Amarillo High Cheerleading Photos

I can’t believe it took 5 years to get Lexi, my sister in law, behind my camera! Lexi has been an Amarillo High cheerleader for the past couple of years but next year she’s going to pursue other passions. But before she turned in her uniform we had to get some pictures of her in it. I’m blessed to have the sweetest sister in law in the world and she is also a wonderful aunt to Neve. I love this girl and I’m excited to see what she does next.

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Sunrise Photos at Mahan Ranch for Crowd Cow

This was my second shoot that I have done for Crowd Cow, a craft meat company based out of Seattle. Their business is based on connecting their customers with the farm where the meat came from. They like to tell the stories of their producers. And that’s something I can get behind.

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Agriculture and Farm Photographer in Amarillo, Texas

I have talked very little about my background prior to becoming a photographer and living in Amarillo, Texas. I am originally from a tiny town of 1000 people called Highland up in the Northeast corner of Kansas. In Highland, you are surrounded on all sides by corn and soybeans. It is the definition of rural. In fact, I never even lived in a town until I went to college - I grew up in the country a couple miles outside of town. My husband, Mason, says that I grew up on a farm.

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Carey + Heath | Elopement in Palo Duro Canyon

Oh, how I love a good elopement in Palo Duro Canyon!

Carey and Heath got married on Valentine’s Day. They started getting ready for their wedding ceremony at the Dove’s Rest Cabins on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon and then we all drove down to a secluded spot in separate vehicles because the couple had yet to see each other. Their daughter, Kimber, handed her dad the rings. Then Carey got out of their truck and as Heath faced away, she walked up and tapped him on the shoulder while he turned around and saw her for the first time in her wedding dress.

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WeddingsKayla SmithComment
Planning for Stress-Free Family Photos on Your Wedding Day

Family portraits are such an important reminder of a wedding day but unfortunately, they can be one of the more stressful portions of the day. The last thing I want is for you to get the energy zapped out of you by family pictures (especially if bride and groom portraits are afterwards!). Here is my best advice for making sure family pictures go smoothly.

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My Favorite Spots to Take Photos in Palo Duro Canyon

I have take engagement, family, senior, and wedding photos in Palo Duro Canyon literally dozens and dozens of times. It never gets old for me! Each time I’m driving on the flat plains and then suddenly the world opens up into the canyon, I am amazed. It is absolutely my favorite place to take pictures around Amarillo, Texas. It is beautiful and versatile. And because of that versatility, I thought it was necessary to create this blog to show some of my favorite spots within the canyon to take photos. These little sub-locations within the canyon are completely different from one another and it’s hard to choose a favorite among them. They all look great any time of year but some can look drastically different from one season to another and on those, I’ve noted which season the picture was taken in.

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The Harper Family | Natural Newborn Photos at Home

I am so happy that my friend Amber and I now both have daughters. And while my daughter, Neve, is a little too rough and wild to play with Allora right now, I’m sure Allora will soon catch up and the two will be best friends.

My favorite part about photographing newborn photos is capturing the sweet, natural moments between new moms and dads and their little one. I remember that being a wonderfully blurry, exciting, sometimes overwhelming time and I think it’s important to memorialize the sweet kisses, the cuddles, and the subtle smiles because it all goes so fast. I’m interested in real moments when it comes to newborn photos because I think that’s what will help a person remember how things felt even after many years have passed.

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FamilyKayla SmithComment
Alyssa + Dexter | Palo Duro Canyon Engagement Photos

There’s a first time for everything, as they say, and Alyssa and Dexter’s session gave me my first opportunity to take pictures in a feedlot! Their engagement session was pretty cut and dry to begin with because we started in Palo Duro Canyon where I shoot all the time. But after that we headed to the nearby WTAMU research feedlot where Dexter currently works and where the couple got to know each other and eventually fall in love. It was so different but so beautiful and I’m definitely not complaining about the cute cows!

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Olivia | Downtown Amarillo Senior Session

Gahhh….Olivia has such a pretty smile and we were blessed with the prettiest day for her senior photo session in Downtown Amarillo and then Wolflin. That’s what we call a win-win.

This girl is graduating high school early because she knows what she wants to do with her life! I don’t think I had that figured out until several years after high school. She wants to be a labor and delivery nurse and I applaud her because I think that would be one of the most difficult but rewarding jobs.

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SeniorsKayla SmithComment
Esther + Lucas | Palo Duro Canyon Engagement Photos

I’ve said it a thousand times, please bring your dogs to your photo sessions!

Especially when they are twin, white labradoodles. Austin and Dallas were a couple of spirited pups and I think they stole the show during Esther and Lucas’s engagement session in Palo Duro Canyon. I’m just kidding…but they were pretty fun!

These two are about to get married this year (in Arkansas in a glass chapel!). I’m so jealous of their wedding photographer. We got the best day imaginable for their engagement photos and that’s why I love living in Amarillo, Texas. Because even in the middle of January, we have the most beautiful, mild days.

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