No Page Header

FAMILY MEMBERS COME IN ALL SIZES AND SHAPES

By fairstarphotography on January 10, 2015

Family.  It’s a special word than encompasses so much meaning, and can include so many people!  For some folks, their Family Members extend far beyond those people who walk on two legs, to include their beloved furry friends, as well!

This post is dedicated to those precious animals in our lives who love us, protect us, bolster us, comfort us, cheer us, give us purpose, enrich our lives, and make our families complete.

 

Comments Off on FAMILY MEMBERS COME IN ALL SIZES AND SHAPES

The Grand Canyon

By fairstarphotography on December 6, 2014

The first time I was asked if I wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, I replied, “Um…isn’t it just a big, deep hole?”

Silly me…

I have been back several times and each time I experience it, I always take away something new from it.

A big, deep hole, indeed!

 

 

Comments Off on The Grand Canyon

Ghost Town

By fairstarphotography on December 6, 2014

I happened upon this abandoned town while driving through rural New Mexico. It was so eerie to see all of the structures standing empty, silent sentinels slowly decaying from the harsh elements, bending to the will of the wind and the unrelenting sun.

Comments Off on Ghost Town

GOT STUFF???

By fairstarphotography on October 18, 2014

Having the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people is a perk of my job!  The family that owns this storage company is such a loving and connected family, and they treated me with so much warmth and consideration that I found myself wishing I was a part of their family, too! It was an absolute pleasure to work with them. We had booked our session for their family portraits on a separate day, but I wanted to wait for a perfect day to capture their company’s location and facilities.  The day I selected to shoot the location was just gorgeous – a big Texas full sky of lovely clouds and a perfect backdrop to highlight this facility’s immaculate condition.

 

 

Comments Off on GOT STUFF???

BABY ENZO

By fairstarphotography on October 13, 2014

Comments Off on BABY ENZO

ALICE TURNS THREE!!!

By fairstarphotography on October 13, 2014

Comments Off on ALICE TURNS THREE!!!

CHERRY RED CHEVY

By fairstarphotography on October 13, 2014

Comments Off on CHERRY RED CHEVY

BIRTHDAY GIRL

By fairstarphotography on October 13, 2014

Marking this delightful little lady’s birthday was such a pleasure!

 

Comments Off on BIRTHDAY GIRL

FAMILY TIME

By fairstarphotography on October 13, 2014

 

 

Comments Off on FAMILY TIME

Diamond C Stables

By fairstarphotography on August 5, 2013

Diamond C Stables is an equestrian oasis in the middle of suburbia.  In fact, unless you were given specific instructions for how to find it, you would probably never know that behind that large, wild hedge bordered by a patch of overgrown trees was a wonderful riding center, complete with a knowledgeable resident trainer and a collection of some of the friendliest horses I have ever encountered!  In fact, when Anisse’s horses see me point my camera in their direction – they seem to rise up a bit higher and pose for me!

Anisse runs a great center.  She is such an engaging lady, friendly and polite and very adept at making any greenhorn feel like a competent rider before they know it.  Her horses are well cared for and well mannered.  I particularly love that she teaches clients not just how to ride, but how to care for the horse, from brushing to saddling to cooling them down following a training lesson.

I’ve observed her giving lessons to folks that span the age range from very young children up to adults with the same level of compassion, competency and calm that you would hope a trainer would have for their clients.  She is a positive presence in the ring, always focusing on the positives of learning.  I found her to be very motivating.

Now, I live in Texas.  Horse country.  So you’d probably figure that we all know how to ride.  Not true.  But if I needed to learn, I’d want Anisse to teach me!  I’d want to make sure the person I was looking to for guidance and assistance, as I climbed up on the back of such a huge animal, was someone I knew I could count on to keep me and the horse safe, would give reasonable instructions and be knowledgeable enough to make me feel like sitting astride a horse’s back was the most natural thing in the world.  I think she does all that, and she does it really well!

Please enjoy these images from the Diamond C Stables, where you are always welcomed with a smile.

To view the entire photograph please click on each image.

 

 

 

Comments Off on Diamond C Stables

The Artist

By fairstarphotography on July 12, 2013

I feel like I’ve lived the majority of my life hindered with the subtle awareness that I had an artistic soul – but I seemed to have no artistic abilities!

I tried in vain to find some form of artistic medium that I could do with any kind of skill or proficiency, but I seemed to be terrible at everything artistic – I couldn’t draw, paint or sculpt.  I couldn’t sing or play an instrument.  I had no keen sense of fashion!

Then one day I picked up a camera.  In that moment I became the creator, the director – the artist I had always longed to be.  It was a feeling of absolute euphoria that has never left me.  My camera is not just the tool of my professional life.  It is my artistic soul personified.

Every time I pick up my camera to shoot I feel that rush of insecurity, and that glimmer of hope.  I hope to always honor the profession of photography with competence and creativity, passion and knowledge.

Comments Off on The Artist

Fireworks

By fairstarphotography on July 12, 2013

Comments Off on Fireworks

Alice Turns Two

By fairstarphotography on July 12, 2013

My favorite little model, Alice just turned two, and I was honored to make her birthday portraits!  Throughout several outfit changes, location moves and posing demands – she was just adorable!  And a natural cover girl, as well!  Happy Birthday, Alice!

Comments Off on Alice Turns Two

ALICE’S FIRST CHRISTMAS

By fairstarphotography on December 14, 2011

Alice celebrated her very special 8 month old birthday milestone by posing for some holiday photos with her proud parents!  She is such a good baby – the sweetest disposition and the cutest smile!  She is a true holiday angel!

To view the complete photograph please click on each one.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Comments Off on ALICE’S FIRST CHRISTMAS

AUBREY

By fairstarphotography on October 28, 2011

Occasionally I would see a pretty tuxedo cat moving through my backyard.  I never paid much attention to her since I had a dog, a very grumpy dog, who loved to try to chase her.  I assumed that she belonged to one of my neighbors.   She would show up unexpectedly and perch on the side of my bird bath, balancing on the rim, enjoying a long, languid  drink.  I often wondered which of my neighbors she belonged to.

One morning my husband announced that he thought we might have rats in our backyard alcove.    The alcove area was created by the union of the outside walls of the house as they connected to the garage, forming a u shape, which was completely covered by the house’s roof line.  Since it was completely protected from the weather, we sometimes stored large boxes there. 

On the day in question, my husband had gone out through the small garage door leading into the alcove.  As he opened the door, he saw a blur of fur…lots of fur…scurrying.  Whatever he saw dove behind the boxes before he could get a good look.  So he came to me, and deposited the mystery into my lap.   We had a window in that door, so I filled a bowl with water, put it down on the floor in the alcove, closed the door, and waited.  I peeked through the corner of the window to see what would emerge from behind the boxes.

I didn’t have to wait long.  Out came that same tuxedo cat…and four tiny little kittens.  They immediately went to the water bowl and began drinking.  I sprung into action.  Assuming the cat was domesticated, I threw the door open and cooed – “Hi baby!”  The mama cat , startled by my unexpected arrival, emitted this amazing sound – midway between a scream and a screech, and they all scattered behind the boxes.  

Undaunted, I raced to the store to buy kitten food.  I fashioned a large box into a cozy kitty shelter.  I put towels inside.  I put food bowls and water bowls around it.  I went back into the garage and closed the door…peeking.  After a suitable length of time, out came Mommy.  Alone.  She looked around.  She glanced up at the window.  She smelled the air.  When she was satisfied, she cautiously approached the bowl and ate.  Pausing, she looked all around and smelled the air.  Finally, she made this soft sound, like a whirl with her tongue, and out crept her four tiny kittens.  Butt’s raised, tails sailing back and forth rhythmically, they struggled to chew their first solid food.  

After checking with my neighbors, I learned that she was feral.  Wild.  No one owned her.  I learned that she had already had several litters of kittens in their backyards, but her kittens had been captured while she was out hunting for food.  The had been taken from her and brought to a shelter.   But because the kittens had been born feral – wild, they were deemed “unadoptable”  by the shelter, and they were killed.  I vowed that THESE kittens would not be stolen from their mommy, and they would definitely NOT be killed.  But… I knew it was going to take a lot of dedicated work.

Each day I brought fresh food and water.  She would never come near me or allow me to approach her.  If I did, she would arch up and hiss in a very menacing way.  She would never allow the kittens to come out when I was there delivering food and water.   She would never eat until I had gone back into the garage.

The turning point came one morning when I decided I needed to increase the reward.  I opened a can of tuna and brought it outside.  As I stepped into the alcove I saw that she and the kittens were just returning from a walk – her kittens trailing behind her in a row.  She immediately became aggressive.  I said the first thing that sprang into my head – “TUNA!”  She inched forward, smelling the plate.  She relaxed her guard enough to eat for the first time with me standing near her, but the kittens fled to the safety of the boxes.

She slowly began to associate me with food and predictability.  She knew I brought food and never tried to hurt her.  After two weeks, she  gingerly stepped up onto my lap, settled in, and begin purring.  I was over the moon.  After another week, she called the kittens out with a soft, guttural sound.  They happily scampered out and immediately began using me as a climbing tree.   They played elaborate  games of hunting and stalking, and when they finally exhausted one another, they would curl up on me and sleep.  Those days remain in my memory as some of the happiest days in my life.  I called it “kitten therapy.” 

Flash forward – I named her Aubrey, after my dad.  She was a  devoted and competent mommy.  Tireless, patient, dedicated and loving.  Her kittens were adorable,  and they became socialized under my constant interactions with them.  When they were old enough I made sure they all got loving homes to grow up in where they would be  safe and loved.  

I got Aubrey spayed.  Even though the Feral Cat Society of America told me NEVER to bring her in the house because she would destroy it, I had faith in her and in the relationship we had developed.  So I brought her inside.  That was ten years ago.  She never harmed anything in the house.  She’s been a devoted lap kitty, and I find it hard to remember that there was a time when she would bring dead rats back to the alcove to “share” with me and her babies.  She has been a constant, loving and extraordinary cat and I feel so honored to have earned her respect and trust.  

I love my dog with my head.  My dog has never known a day of hunger or fear.  But I love my cat with my heart.  She went from a life of extreme hardship to a life of protection, leisure and love.  I still give her the respect a feral cat demands – everything on her terms, but in doing so, she has rewarded me with so much more.  She taught me to believe, even when every expert said it was impossible, that love really can make a difference.    

To view the entire picture, please click on each one.  

 

 

PHOENIX UNBOUNDED

By fairstarphotography on October 25, 2011

Little Phoenix, the noble butterfly who defied the odds and learned to live despite serious injuries, died in my hands on the fourth day of her rescue and rebirth from my swimming pool. 

I have no idea how she came to be floating, lifeless in my pool.  I have no idea what she had endured in her life before I found her or what trauma had caused her wounds.  I have no idea how much of her short life cycle she had lived before she was hurt and fell into my pool.  I have no idea how long she lingered in the water, floating on her side, until I found her.  I have no idea how hard she might have struggled to get out of the water until she realized that she couldn’t free herself because her damaged wings could no longer fly, so she waited to die.  But I do know that she has been a powerful inspiration to me.  

I got to share four extraordinary days with Phoenix.  I got to increase her lifespan after her injury by thirty percent.  I got to feed her the sweet nectar that she loved, and watched in quiet awe as she would climb up my fingers and stare at me. Can a butterfly smile?

One day she got her tiny foot stuck to a leaf.  No matter how hard she tried to free it from the leaf’s surface, her foot was stuck fast.  I suspect that while she’d been eating she’d probably dipped her foot in the sticky nectar.  I watched her try to work her foot free, moving it up and down, the leaf moving right along with her.  It was almost comical.  She seemed to pause and turn her head to the side, considering her options.  Finally she swiveled her head around to me, as if to ask, “Can you please help me?” 

Gingerly, I used my fingernail to loosen her tiny foot from the leaf.  I marveled at her bravery and her degree of trust.  As a result of her injuries, she was missing half of one of her back legs, which rendered her jagged stump  useless, so her balance was impossibly lopsided.  When she discovered that one of her good legs was stuck to the leaf, I suspect that she had no idea what to do.  So she looked to me. 

Out of a host of extraordinary interactions, this was by far my favorite moment with her.  It was the moment that she and I transcended that gulf that exists between species so completely different from one other, and we became family. 

On her last day, she sat in my hand by the window, bathed in morning sunshine.  Every so often she would turn her head to look at me.  I wondered what she was thinking.  I wondered if butterflies perceived the passage of time in the same way that we humans do.  I wondered if she was aware that her days were ending here on earth.   I wondered if she could possible comprehend what she meant to me. 

Phoenix was a truly regal butterfly with a valiant spirit and a very strong will to live.  I learned so much from her about loss, tenacity, hope and defying the odds.  She has been a powerful inspiration to me and I cherish every memory I have of her and the four extraordinary days we spent together.   

Phoenix now soars unbounded, free from the earthly constraints of her injuries and loss.  I close my eyes and soar with her.

I wish all of you the same fighting spirit and commitment to living a full and rewarding life, no matter what challenges you may face, in the same way that my little Phoenix demonstrated to me every day. 

We can all still soar, even if we have lost our wings.

PHOENIX RISING

By fairstarphotography on October 21, 2011

What difference can one person make in this world?
I have a pool in my backyard.   As a habit, whenever I go outside I always glance at the pool, since I’ve frequently had to rescue numerous critters from its waters.   I can’t stand the thought of a living creature drowning in my pool.
So yesterday I went into my backyard, and glanced at the pool, hoping to see nothing more unusual than the leaves that drop from my trees.   At first glance, all looked well.  But then I saw something else, something different, something that definitely didn’t belong there.  It resembled a leaf, but intuitatively I knew that it wasn’t a leaf.
It was a large butterfly.  She was floating on her side, lifeless and still, in the center of my pool.  I was sad since I realized that I was too late to save her.  Determined to rescue her body, I got my pool skimmer net and dipped it below her body, gently lifting her out of the water.  As I raised the net out of the water and toward me, I was stunned to see her pop upright inside the net!
I was jubilant!  She hadn’t died in the water.  She had most likely struggled to get out, and when she realized that she couldn’t, she must have given up all hope,  laid back in the water,  and waited to die.
I carefully examined her while she was in the pool net.  She was very injured.  One of her upper wings was gone completely, and the other upper wing only had the top edge remaining.  I put the net in the sun, and she slowly fanned her remaining wings.  I’m sure she hoped that once her wings were dry she could just fly away to safety.  Unfortunately her damaged wings would never be able to do that again.  She tried once to fly, and dropped deeper into the net.  I think she must have given up hope once again.  She didn’t try to fly after that.  She merely stood there, gripping the net, motionless.
I sprung into action.  I ran into the garage and found a pet carrier.  I thought it might make an adequate temporary shelter for her.  I gathered leaves, twigs and branches and placed them inside.  When I was satisfied that any injured butterfly would find it serviceable, I gently grasped her by her remaining wings, loosened her grip on the pool net, and placed her inside her new home.  I put the carrier in the sun.  She would occasionally fan her wings to try to dry them.
Then I made sugar water, soaked sponges in it, and placed them inside her carrier.  The sun was falling so I had to make a decision.  Should I leave her outside?  Our weather had suddenly gotten very cold at night.  I decided any butterfly as brave and resilient as she was proving to be deserved the very best chance at life that I could give her!
So we came inside!  I transferred her to a snug shoebox, along with her leaves, twigs and food.  I thought she would stay warmer in a smaller environment.  I wondered if she would last through the night.
This morning I opened her shoe box to find her in the same spot where I had placed her the night before.  I worried that she might have died.  I gently touched her antenna, and they moved!  She was still with me!  But I knew she needed better accommodations and food.  I brought her upstairs to a bedroom that was flooded with morning light.  I created a butterfly habitat worthy of her and hoped she would  begin to move around, exploring her new home.  I left her alone for an hour and came back to check on her.  She had moved!  It was time for breakfast.  I picked up a Q-tip, soaked it in sugar water and touched it to her proboscis.  It twitched softly.  I touched it again.  I watched with a growing sense of wonder and excitement as her coiled proboscis uncoiled and hungrily sucked down the food!  It darted all around, seeking out more of her breakfast.  Again and again I soaked the Q-tip in sugar water to feed her, marveling at her hunger and my ingenuity.  It was amazing to watch her tiny proboscis slurping up puddles of sugar water until they disappeared, and then probe the air, waiting for me to give her more puddles to drink dry.
She drank a lot.  Finally, her hunger satisfied, she turned her head and stared at me, and then she gingerly walked on her remaining, unstable legs to the large, sturdy branches I had placed near her box for her to climb.  With grace and certainty, she climbed right up to the top, and began to lazily clean herself.   I named her Phoenix.
What difference can one person make in this world?  One person can save the life of a damaged and despairing butterfly.  Giving her renewed life, and hope and a safe and serene place to call home until the end of her days.
To see the entire photograph, please click on each one.

FAMILY LIFE

By fairstarphotography on September 2, 2011

To view the complete photo please click on each one.

What an amazing and loving family!

Allie

By fairstarphotography on September 2, 2011

To view the complete photo please click on each one.

ALICE

By fairstarphotography on July 19, 2011

I am so honored to introduce you to Alice!  I was recently given the honor of photographing Alice and her mommy and daddy, and it was a dream come true!  Not only is Alice absolutely gorgeous, but she was so sweet natured during the entire shooting process!   It was magical!

I want to extend a very special THANK YOU to Alice’s mom and dad for giving me the privilege of taking these photographs and for allowing me to share them with you!   This family is truly special and I hope the love they feel for one another and for their sweet little daughter Alice is properly captured in my photos!

To view the complete photo please click on each one! 

 
 

 

SUMMER CONCERT WITH THE DEADBEATS

By fairstarphotography on July 15, 2011

The DeadBeats Band plays classic rock.  They play it really well!  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph them during their last concert.  It was hot – it was outdoors (sort of…) – BUT like all true rockers – they rocked on anyway!

SQUIRRELS

By fairstarphotography on July 15, 2011

Summer in this city is hot…real hot, and very humid!  I always thought it was only a hardship on us humans, but today at the park I saw some valiant squirrels trying their best to gather nuts while trying to deal with the high humidity and unforgiving heat! 

LEFT BEHIND

By fairstarphotography on June 4, 2011

I had driven past the old house many times.  I used to see cars parked there, but not for some time now.  The road was being widened and I knew the old house would be torn down soon, so I felt compelled to stop by on a hot Texas afternoon to snap a few pictures of the old Homestead before it disappeared forever.
As I wandered around the desolate wreck of a homestead I began to wonder who had lived there.  Had this once been their dream?  There was a lot of land attached to the property.  Were they failed farmers or cattlemen?
It made me feel sad and almost reverent as I moved around the site.  I felt like I needed to be quiet so as not to disturb the ghost of their ruined dreams, which seemed to hover over every surface and hang from every tree.
I headed back toward the barn and was surprised to find myself being observed by two horses in the pasture.  They came toward me with no fear but plenty of curiosity.  I figured they were hoping I had a treat for them.  I wish I had!  I wondered who had left them behind.  And why?  Were they being fed and cared for?  The barn was clearly unusable.  Nature had claimed all the structures on this property some time ago.
As I made my way back to the front of the house a city worker drove up, asking me if I was taking pictures, clearly indicating from his demeanor that I was not allowed to do so.  I said that I was, and that it made me so sad to see this property in such a state of desolation.   He immediately softened, and replied that it made him sad, too.  He admitted that he had also taken some shots of the place to keep as a memory.  He told me I was free to take any shots I liked.
I asked him if anyone was taking care of the horses.  He said the owner came twice a week to feed them.  As I was trying to process that information, wondering if that was an adequate amount of food for the horses, wondering if they got enough water under the hot Texas sun, he told me the story of the house, its owners and the land.
He smiled and said that the owners were broke, having failed at whatever they had tried to do with the land, and had accidentally struck oil on their property.  They sold it all to the city for a whole lot of money.  I smiled.  He smiled again.  We laughed that common laughter of shared envy when anyone hears an unlikely rags to riches story like this.  As I made the long walk back to my car, perspiration trailing down my back, I realized that my romanticized view of life is so out of step with reality sometimes!  As I knocked the dust off my boots I mentally discarded my theory of broken dreams and decided that when I got home, I might start digging a little in our backyard…you never know!