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Canon 6D
  • Kathryn & Trey - Amarillo Engagement Photographer - Palo Duro Canyon

    Kathryn & Trey - Amarillo Engagement Photographer - Palo Duro Canyon

  • Lauren & Luke - Amarillo Wedding Photographer - Bar Z Winery

    Lauren & Luke - Amarillo Wedding Photographer - Bar Z Winery

  • Lauren & Ryan - Amarillo Wedding Photographer - Botanical Gardens

    Lauren & Ryan - Amarillo Wedding Photographer - Botanical Gardens

  • Kathryn & Trey - Amarillo Wedding Photographer

    Kathryn & Trey - Amarillo Wedding Photographer

  • Lexi & Casey - Amarillo Wedding Photographer

    Wow. This wedding. I learned a lot at this wedding. 

    I learned that you really can cram 25 women, a photographer, a videographer, and a cheese and charcuterie tray into a 12' x 12' room. 

    I learned that you can't have too much red. 

    I learned, once again, that I cry during the father-daughter dance. 

    I learned that a mother will do absolutely anything for a daughter on her wedding day.

    I learned that December weddings are always freezing.

    I learned that Lexi's bridesmaids curse like sailors.

    I learned that a dance party isn't *really* a dance party, unless it's a McAnally dance party. 

    And finally, I learned that Lexi and Casey are one of the most fun, loving, and beautiful couples I've had the pleasure of photographing. 

    I'd like to give a huge thanks to Lexi's lovely mother, Tammy, for finding me, hiring me, and being such a great lady to work with. To the brand spanking new Panhandle Charm Weddings for being so accommodating and laid back. And finally, to Lexi and Casey for just being awesome. (And for spending two hours in a coffee shop with me talking about Pretty Little Liars.) Thank you, guys!

    -McKay

    [Productions 918 - Amarillo Wedding Photographer - Canyon Wedding Photographer]

  • Evocation Coffee Roasters - Amarillo, TX

    A week ago, my long-time friends from Evocation Coffee Roasters hit me up, asking me to take promotional photos for their website. I was beyond thrilled. I took photos for them six years ago and I had no idea what I was doing. At the time, we were all around 16 years old. It was hilarious.

    While the photos I took back then were pretty cool, they were all totally way out of focus and scarily edited. I mean, I CAKED on the colorful layers in CS4 until my retinas were screaming. That was a glorious time in my life. This time, I'm proud to say that all of the photos are tack-sharp and have a light enhancement. I've slightly improved my skills in over half a decade. Hooray.

    I always love doing photos for Amy and Roman. They are fantastic friends and are incredibly fun to work with. Roman has this in-your-face attitude at all times, so I always know exactly what he wants the outcome of each shoot to be. He pretty much says things along the lines of, "Okay. Now come over here, so that you can take photos of me pouring this milk into this cup. Okay. Yeah. Now take the photo. Yeah. Good." He tells it straight up. It works. 

    Knowing Amy and Roman is like having Superstar Status. Sometimes, I find myself bragging about my relationship with them. Like, "I know the Leals. We play Mario Kart together." They make me feel fancy.

    Honestly, I am so proud of them. I have watched their lives progress in leaps and bounds. They are two of the most driven, skilled, and hardest working people I've ever met. Their business started in Roman's garage and has now flourished into a widely recognized roasting company in this area and around the country. The coolest part, for me, is that I got to watch it all happen. I'm so very happy for them and their success. 

    You can order the highest quality of beans directly from their website at EvocationCoffee.com or you can visit their store at 4132 Business Park Dr, Amarillo, TX. They will be ready to greet and serve you Monday through Saturday from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. Go in and grab a bag of beans or the best latte you'll ever have. Seriously. 

     {portraits of two badasses}

    And to everyone that read this blog, thank you for supporting our local businesses! Like us on Facebook, send us messages, stand in our front yards with boom boxes. Whatevs. 

    MM out. Peace. 

    (Amy and Roman - see you Thursday for Guitar Hero night.)

  • NEW PACKAGING!! HIP HIP HOORAY!

    Drumroll please!

    I am so excited to share my new packaging with you guys. After months of stressing, planning, and freaking out over this, I have FINALLY done it. 

    Having fun, quirky, organized, and branded packaging is incredibly important to me. I want it to be apparent to my clients that I appreciate their business. What better way to do that than to give them a big gift?!

    It really did take me an entire year to finally get this packaging. I researched, budgeted, designed, and re-designed for months. Then, I got to the point where I just took the plunge and said, "Just freaking do it, you weirdo."

    And I did. 

    And I'm in love. 

    This package just went out to our friends Jerrod and Kacey

    Our original black and white logo was created by the incredibly talented Joanna Wright with Yellow Anchor Designs. I used that logo for a year and then decided I needed some color! So I hit up Joanna again and was the most annoying client ever... It took two months for me to finally figure out what I wanted the new logo to look like. It's the same concept and lettering that Joanna came up with, but with a blue, pink, and yellow camera. I love it!

    I went crazy at Hobby Lobby. I got ribbon, crinkly confetti paper, small glass jars, beads, twine, boxes, sacks... 

    And then I went to the grocery store and loaded up on a few pounds of pina colada and coconut Jelly Bellys. (Bellies? Belly? Bellys? Whatever.) Then Hazel ate half of them when we got home. And okay, yes, I had a few. 

    I am so excited for this next step in progressing my business! I hope to package up one of these for YOU soon! 

    -McKay 

    DVDs and Jackets with logo - DiskFaktory.com

    Minicards, Stickers, Business Cards - Moo.com

    Ribbon, Tissue Paper, Beads, Boxes, Confetti Paper, Twine, Jars - Hobby Lobby

    Jelly Beans - United

  • Joanna - Amarillo Bridal

    This girl is one of the most beautiful creatures to walk the planet. She is absolutely flawless. 

    I texted her three days ago and asked if she would put on her year-old wedding dress, so I could take some photos. She proved herself, once again, as a fabulous friend because:

    • She didn't act like my request was freakin weird.
    • She just happened to be in town (from San Antonio.)
    • And she dedicated a good three hours to getting ready, driving to me, and letting me take photos.

    She showed up looking like this. AKA fan-freaking-tastic.

    I was really nervous for the duration of the shoot. I hadn't realized how strange my request was until she knocked on the door, in her poofy white dress, and it all became real. All I could think the entire time was, "These people think I'm a lunatic."

    So thank you, Joanna, for doing this for me. You are a fabulous, wonderful, amazing, kind, genuine, beautiful friend. I know that digging your wedding dress out of a closet at your mom's house was kind of... a hassle? So that makes this whole thing incredibly meaningful to me. You are the best and I'll be forever grateful!

  • Kacey & Jerrod - Abilene, TX Wedding

    I'm going to tell you a story about two people that are absolute NUTTS. I mean, like the NUTTIEST people you will ever meet. Squirrels love them because they are just.. so.. NUTTY. 

    Okay. So now that I have that out of my system.... I'd like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Nutt. (For real this time.)

    As you can see, this wedding was in the coolest location. When I met with Jerrod and Kacey months and months ago, they mentioned this little wedding venue in Abilene called Lytle Cove Cottage. I just thought, "Okay. Cool." Then, I got home and looked the place up and thought, "OKAY COOL!!!!!" I was ecstatic about it and felt like I couldn't wait for the wedding day to arrive. 

    The day before the wedding, Derek and I crammed the Juke full of equipment and headed to Abilene. We rocked out, for four hours, to music we hadn't listened to since high school. We arrived in Abilene pretty late and, therefore, stayed in the scariest hotel on the planet. Thankfully, a crazed concierge didn't murder us in the night. We awoke the next morning and headed to the sweeeet location (after passing up the free continental breakfast. We were smart that day.)

    We drove through Abilene and, as we got further and further out of the city limits, it just got greener and greener. Tons of trees and grass and wildflowers flourished on overgrown farmland. I was getting more excited by the minute. After feeling like we had accidentally gotten lost in the country, we finally came upon a huge white gate guarding a dollhouse-like mansion. The house was so picturesque, sitting atop a lush, green hill. 

    We exited the car and just breathed in everything about the place. The whole feel of it was very magical. We were the first to arrive at the venue, so we unpacked our equipment and started snapping away. It was so peacefully quiet as we shot the decorations and details. I loved it. 

    Kacey arrived soon after and we followed her up to the bridal room. Her bridesmaids were quick to pop open a bottle of wine and divvy it out into little plastic cups. They were all so laid back and bubbly. The perfect kind of friends to have on your wedding day. 

    As we headed downstairs to get some shots of Jerrod and the guys, we noticed a huge wall of gray clouds angrily heading in the direction of the cottage. I was about 175% sure it was going to rain. But I just kept saying, "It's not going to rain on this outdoor wedding. It'll be okay."

    But guess what. It rained.

    It rained HARD. Like.. that rain wasn't messing around. It was on a mission. It said, "Oh look at that photographer over there. Let's go DESTROY her hair." 

    And it did. 

    That rain gathered up all of its rain friends and completely annihilated my perfect hairstyle. I could almost hear it laughing and saying, "Let's make her look like a nine year old, so nobody will take her seriously!"

    We shot the first look and the wedding party photos in the pouring rain. We saw Kacey's veil almost fly off her head (along with her hair) due to the crazy storm winds. Everyone just laughed. We also heard some of the most crude jokes while photographing the groom and groomsmen. (I'll never look at peanut butter the same way again, thanks guys.)

    But yeah. It rained. All over Jerrod, his groomsmen, Kacey, the bridesmaids, me, Derek, the early guests, and our cameras. It poured. And everyone was totally fine with it! We had a great time! Kacey even had a cute little umbrella and it was so perfect. 

    It was still raining by the time the ceremony started. I think the rain gave the whole venue the ultimate "cottage" feel. It made the light soft and the air quiet. It brought out all of the beautiful colors that Kacey and Jerrod had so meticulously planned for their theme. I was in awe of the beauty of the floral arrangements. The pastel tones were so dreamy... Especially when mixed with cabbage leaves and lamb's ears. They were very unique and rustic.

    After a quick ceremony, followed by fun group photos, the reception began. The groomsmen headed straight for Jerrod's home-brewed selection of beer. While everyone was chatting and eating, I noticed just how tightly knit this group of friends was. There were no awkward silences, no avoiding certain people.. They all hung out in a big group, laughing and joking the whole night. 

    We followed the wedding party out to the parking lot and watched them secretly decorate Jerrod's truck. Then we headed back to the reception and documented the groomsmen's crazy socks and custom pocket knives. 

    At the end of the reception, the rain had finally stopped and the sky cleared up. Everyone gathered at the front of the cottage and blew copious amounts of bubbles at the newlyweds as they ran by. Jerrod and Kacey hopped in the truck and drove away, cans clinking behind them, off to enjoy their honeymoon in the Bahamas. 

    I'd like to thank the Nutts for asking us to document their special day. They are two of the sweetest people and working with them was a pleasure. I can't wait to see where life takes them next. Thank you guys, you're the best. Have a fantastic journey in your new home in Lubbock!

  • Corrina & Melody, Mother + Daughter Session

    "Where are we going?"

    "Why do we have to walk this far?"

    "Why are the tree branches like that?"

    "There's dirt in my shoe."

    "Are we almost there?"

    "Why are we doing this?"

    "How much longer?"

    "Why is that teepee so tiny?"

    "Why do you have a teepee out here?"

    "This grass is itchy."

    "Is there anywhere to get something to eat over there?"

    "Is this the last one?"

    "Okay now is THIS the last one?"

    Those made up about 10% of the total number of questions little Melody asked over the duration of a single hour. I didn't realize 5 year olds were so... Curious? Chatty? Nonsensical? There was definitely no room for awkward silence during this shoot. I was immediately confronted with questions that I had never, in my life, thought to ask. At first, I tried answering every question in a peppy and eager sort of way. But after the 56th question, it was all I could do not to fall to a crouched head-between-your-knees-arms-over-your-head position and sob, "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, LITTLE GIRL!"

    This is where Corrina stepped in. A beautiful, young mother/first grade teacher/superhero lady that knew exactly how to handle the chatty, five year old creature that was so obviously foreign to me. One of the first things Corrina said to me was, "Sorry, she is going through this phase where she asks questions about everything." Although, I could barely understand what she was saying because her words were drown out by a loud, "WHERE are we GOING?"

    Now we are going to rewind back to March, when Corrina first contacted me. 

    I knew knew knew knew KNEW that I was going to love her, from the minute she sent me some photo inspiration ideas. She and I were on the same page from the get-go. She wanted bright, whimsical, warm, enchanting photos. So did I. She wanted sundresses. So did I. She wanted flower crowns. SO. DID. I.

    I was ecstatic about this shoot. I ordered a lace teepee specifically for this occasion. I planned the location, the poses, the shots, the lighting, the props. I had it carefully orchestrated in my head for two months and I could barely wait for the day of the shoot to arrive. When it finally did arrive, the weather was HORRIFIC. For any of you that don't know, Amarillo recently got bumped up to the number one windiest city in America. Seriously, being a photographer in this town is like trying to have a conversation with a toaster oven. It's totally possible, with a lot of hard work and a lot more pretending. Here's a breakdown of the causes of my anxiety:

    • 50% living in this town
    • 20% living with a 20 month old baby
    • 30% living with a 25 year old man

    Anyways, the weather was terrible. I wanted to cry. I'm actually pretty sure Corrina was crying over texts. We were devastated when the sky turned brown and the trees were almost laying flat from the 40 MPH winds. Any other time, we could have just rescheduled. But Corrina had bought some (insanely expensive) flower crowns and they were going to croak if we didn't do the shoot within about 12 hours. After a ton of fretting, we decided to just face the wind and hope for the best. 

    Fast forward to this:

    I was amazed at how the shots were turning out, at this point. They were exactly as I had pictured them in my head. Everything just flowed. The light was perfect and their poses were so natural and carefree. After about 30 minutes of shooting, the sun got a little lower in the sky and created light and airy outlines around their bodies, as if they were angels. 

    Melody had finally stopped asking if they could go and instead starting coming up with creative poses of her own. Then, she really started having fun.

    The quiet moments were my favorite. The ones where I hid in the grass and Melody seemed to forget about me. She loved on her mommy and told her secrets and made-up stories. It was pure, unadulterated moments between a mother and her daughter. It made me want to go hold my baby, sing to her, watch her twirl in the late-afternoon sunlight.

    There's nothing comparable to the bond between a mother and daughter. There's nothing sweeter, nothing stronger. Looking through these photos, I get that special "mommy feeling." The one where you look at your baby and your heart feels like it's exploding, your eyes start watering and you look at the sky and think, "Life is so cool."

    After I told Melody that we were finally finished, we rushed to pack up and climbed back up to our starting point. She saw my baby playing by the old, wooden play set and ran as fast as she could to meet her. Even though there was a three and a half year age difference, Melody and Hazel had a fabulous time playing for the next 20 minutes. Their white sundresses were stained with dirt and dead grass was woven into the hems by the time they were being loaded up into separate cars. A vigorous Spray 'N Wash session awaited us at home. 

    It was a fun ending to a fun day. I'm so glad I got to spend some time with this beautiful little family. I got to capture the essence of their relationship:  They are everything to each other. 

  • Jennifer & Mike - Canyon, Tx Wedding

    I've been sitting on the bed, staring at my laptop screen for 30 minutes... Trying to think of a single word to describe this wedding. The only thing I can think of is little emoticon expressions. As soon as Derek and I walked into the venue, our faces looked like this :O  (i.e. wide eyes and our mouths hanging open in awe.)

    The first room that we saw was the reception room. And it was stunning. The entire vaulted ceiling was dripping with white twinkle lights. It was any photographer's dream-wedding reception location. I almost wanted to just skip the ceremony and herd everyone into that reception room... Just kidding.

    We met Jenniferi n her dressing room. It was full of afternoon sunlight that made everything sparkle. The coral colored bridesmaids' dresses and the beautiful white wedding dress were hanging off to the left side of the room, while the girls were getting ready on the right side. In the middle of the room, between two large windows, was a huge mirror. Sunlight poured in on either side of it and I immediately forgot about the reception room. I couldn't WAIT for Jennifer to put on her dress in front of that mirror. 

    We then started shooting all of the details. Sparkly this, sparkly that, flowers, shoes, garter, dresses. We LOVE DETAILS. Then, we wrangled up the guys and got some fun shots of them getting ready. It was a very fast-paced 2 hours, going from the girls to the guys to the girls to the guys. Good thing their rooms were only about 100 feet apart!

    What I really loved about this wedding was the importance of tradition. I saw some new traditions that I hadn't seen at previous weddings- a penny in the bride's shoe and a blue heart pinned inside of the dress, to name a couple. It made the whole event seem much more personal and deep, like it had some kind of metaphorical roots embedded deep in every family member's heart. This wedding wasn't just a party or a gathering, it was full of meaning and love. It wasn't just two kids getting hitched. It was two people, full of love for each other, coming together and making a lifelong promise. A wonderful portrayal of what every wedding should be, to its core. 

    The ceremony was breathtaking. Timed perfectly, to begin just as the sun was starting to set. The warm light flooded through the lattice walls of the ramada and illuminated Jennifer and Mike, making them like golden silhouettes. After a powerful, but to-the-point ceremony, the newlyweds greeted their guests with plenty of hugs and cheek kisses. 

    After a few minutes, we stole them away for their first photos as man and wife. Oh my GOSH, the sunset was perfect. It was at just the right point in the sky so that, when they kissed, a thick, orange light burst between them. It was beautiful. 

    Finally, we moved on to the reception. It was tons of fun with great food, cake, and dancing. Mike and Jennifer twirled around the floor most of the night. Her dress would magically poof out around her every time she spun. It was very Cinderella and fairy tale-like. The night quietly ended around 11:30 pm, with Mike stuffing piles of tulle into the back seat of his truck and Jennifer's face peeking out of the billows of fabric yelling, "Goodbye! Thank you!" 

    A very fun ending to a beautiful day... and one of the prettiest sunsets of all time. 

  • Josh & Elizabeth - Wedding

    Let me start off by saying... This was the most non-traditional wedding we have ever shot. It was also the most stress free. And the quirkiest. It was awesome. 

    We started off bright and early at 8:30 am with shots of Elizabeth getting the most beautiful, thick twisty hair style, complete with little pearl pins at each turn of the twist. It reminded me of what a Celebration Barbie's hair looks like as soon as you take her out of the package. Perfect, shiny, flawless. The hair every girl wants on her wedding day. 

    After all the flyaways were sprayed down with a little less than half a can of hairspray, we were off to the hotel for makeup and dress prep and (my personal favorite) the detail shots! We went to town shooting the handmade pearl necklace, the diamond-in-a-bottle bracelet, the earrings, the perfume, the shoes, the purse.. It was great. This was when I really started to get a feel for the theme of this wedding:  Handmade, natural beauty, delicate, organic, and Mother Earth-y. I loved it. 

    We parted ways with Elizabeth and headed to The 806, a local coffeeshop in the historic district of Route 66. Later, after getting some awesome shots of the venue and of the bride in an antique store, it was time for the ceremony. It started (and ended) with tons of laughter and emotion.  

    After a good hour of photos outside, it was finally time for Elizabeth's awesome wedding surprise (that will never be topped by any other wedding surprise ever.) Elizabeth was led back into The 806 and, upon entering, heard one of her favorite songs played by one of her favorite bands. The band drove into town from Denver and set up all of their equipment while we were outside taking photos. The look on Elizabeth's face was priceless... She bawled. I bawled. Everyone else bawled. It was fun.

    After an hourlong kickass session from Flashbulb Fires, the pie was cut and congratulations were said. Josh and Elizabeth handed out gifts to their guests-  ornate little teacup candles, complete with Oregon Sunstones in miniature bottles with tiny corks. It was a great ending to a great day.. because seriously, who doesn't love teacups on saucers? And crumpets? And jam?

    We are so happy that Josh and Elizabeth chose us to capture their wedding day. We couldn't be more pleased with how everything turned out. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McKee!! Have a fabulous time in Paris! (We're totally jealous.)