My favorite wedding photos from 2015 | Amarillo Wedding Photographer

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16 weddings.

32 newlyweds. 

62 bridesmaids.

65 groomsmen. 

Countless family members and close friends.

Hundreds of hours of hard work, sweat, joy, and a few tears. 

It's been quite the year here at Kayla Smith Photography. While 16 weddings may not seem like a lot to some, I am quite proud of that number. 2015 was my first full wedding season and it has been a whirlwind. There were times that I didn't think I could do it. Times when I was stressed out, stretched thin, and down on myself. But it is all so completely worth it when I hand the photos off to a bride and groom and they post something like this to my Facebook page:

"Kayla and her husband did an spectacular job! They did our engagement pictures, my wife's bridal pictures and the wedding and reception! Each picture was a joy to look at and you could tell how much love and attention they put into editing the photos. I would recommend them to anyone!"

It doesn't just feel good to read that. It validates the work I do and it gives me a reason to keep going, no matter how stressful things get. I love serving brides and grooms on one of the most important days of their life. I love providing them with timeless, emotion-filled memories that will last for generations to come. 

When I get home from a wedding, after the first kiss, the dancing, and the send-off, and my feet hurt and all I want to do is go to bed, I can feel satisfied in knowing that I did something good. I helped spread joy. I think that's a pretty great job. 

I already have 12 weddings booked for next year. Last year at this time I had 1. I am more than excited to connect with 2016's couples and to create lasting, beautiful images for them.

But for now, here are some of my favorite wedding photos from 2015. 

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I love the realness behind this photo. Her rain boots and hiked up dress. His dirty bicycle wheel. I know this couple very well and I can tell you, this photo epitomizes their adventurous personalities. 

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The word that comes to mind when I see this photo is "safe." The bride looks so safe and joyful in her husband's embrace. 

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I like this wedding photo because it's a bit unusual for me. I tend to shoot photos that are little more tightly cropped and it was out of my element to move back so far and just let the couple interact as if I wasn't there. I also shot it with the sun on the couple's faces, which I almost never do. I love the end effect.  

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The innocence of this photo just gets to me. She looks so sweet, almost shy, as he kisses her temple. 

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This photo has quite the story behind it. Jerah and Bryan had pretty good weather for most of their wedding day. Then, after their ceremony it started to rain so we headed inside the house for the reception. At sunset, we all looked outside and were shocked by what the sky looked like. In one direction, it was bright orange and in the other direction, the sky was literally purple. We had never seen anything like it and it made for an unforgettable end to a wedding day. 

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Their look is so full of emotion, power, and seriousness. They look like they know each other. 

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"Running down the aisle" wedding photos are always some of my favorites. It's that real moment right after the kiss when a couple is finally married. The smiles are real. The groom is leading his new bride to their new life together. Hand in hand. 

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The dad stuff always gets to me. You see, I have the best dad in the world and anytime there is an emotional father-daughter moment at a wedding, I tear up. 

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This photo is so quaint. It's also really timeless. Make it black and white and if you didn't know any better, this photo might have been taken in the 1940's. It's a newly married couple standing in front of the chapel where they said their vows. 

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Those final touches to a bride's look and the final moments with her bridesmaids before she walks down the aisle are some of the sweetest, gentlest times of a wedding day. It's something no bride should miss out on capturing. 

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This couple was married in a Texas courthouse so instead of running down the aisle, they ran down the courthouse stairs, hand in hand, out the door and into their new life. I like how they look like they were in a hurry. 

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I love this image because this flower girl looks like an angel. 

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Ahhhh that golden hour sunlight that you know I love. 

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Again, running down the aisle. Actually, I should correct myself. Esther and Elijah DANCED down the aisle! Exactly their style. 

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I can't lie. I did not take this photo. This was the result of my husband and assistant shooter Mason and his amazing talent. He is so good at taking photos of grooms and his dudes and capturing their personalities. I love this photo for many reasons but the main word that comes to mind is...badass ;)

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Same groom as the one from above. This was one of the prettiest weddings of the year! It took place at the Belltower Chapel and Garden in Fort Worth, Texas. This particular moment is a "first look without the look" between the bride and groom. 

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Another one from the Fort Worth Wedding of Morgan and Andrew. In black and white, her calm stare and his passionate kiss are made more emotional and more powerful.  

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Ohhhh I love this look between the bride and the groom! This was my very last wedding of the year and it was a perfect one to end the year on. Gorgeous couple, gorgeous venue, gorgeous wedding in Dallas, TX. 

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There's something about this photo that I truly love but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's the vintage detail of her dress. Maybe it's the way her hair is swept over her shoulder. Maybe it's all of the above.