What a Mess, this Life we Live!!!! – {Central Florida, Photography}


My house is a complete mess right now. The kitchen is in the living room and the school work is all in boxes, somewhat organized. I emphasize the somewhat!  At first, the thought of laying tile in the kitchen was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to see it all done. Then I realized that I had to move EVERYTHING out of the kitchen and school room. oh dear. Not so exciting anymore. We got all the moving done and now nothing is where it should be. We have embraced this craziness and are making the best of it. The kids said it is like camping. I am so thankful that they see the brighter side of things. I don’t know what they are more excited about, getting to eat pop tarts or having shorter school days. Sophie is making the best of an empty room and has turned the area into her personal dance studio.  She loves the roughness of the floor and the openness in the rooms. Isn’t it amazing how beautiful something so rough and imperfect can be. The floor adds such gorgeous texture! I almost missed this moment with her. I was busy and wanted to clean things up. She wanted to dance for me. I would rather take a moment and embrace her dance than chase a dust bunny!

Being present. Being involved. Being content. These are amazing gifts that you can give yourself.

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Live every moment….

Amanda Star


Finding my Voice – {Central, Fl Photographer}


Finding your own voice in a world that is so quick to judge and so quick to put everyone and everything inside a nice little box with an even nicer bow on top, is to say the least, difficult. I have always taught my MOM-a-razzi’s to find their voice, to photograph what they love and to tell their stories the way that only they can. I have a confession to make. I am a HYPOCRITE. *hangs head in shame!!!

For several years now I have let the norm dictate what I photograph and how I photograph it. I finish with an image and say to myself, will this be well received? Not, “do I love this”. Just a constant fear of being overlooked or worse, mocked. Some of my favorite images, I have deleted because they were not technically “perfect”, but they were mine. They were part of my story and I trashed them because they were not “perfect”. Because they may not be well received.

Enter Joy Prouty of Wildflowers Photography. I went to her workshop to learn, to better my work. I was so excited at the prospect of coming home with amazing images. Instead I barely took any photos! She said something so profound – so simple. She gave me permission to be me. To have my own voice and to be own weird, loud somewhat awkward self. She gave me permission to love me. Why did I need someone to tell me that? But, apparently I did. BIG TIME!!!! So from now on I will love my work. I will shoot what I love and how I love. I will photograph shadows and movement and sparkle. I will NOT worry about what others think. I will be me. So you may notice a slight change in the work I choose to share with my peeps on my blog and it’s because I’m choosing what I love, what inspires me and in turn, I hope that it inspires you!


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The technical goodies….

taken with my Nikon D800 at 2.8 aperture, 1/40 shutter speed & 28/80 lens

Amanda Star

{be who you are, photograph what you love & inspire the world}



Everyone wants that perfect Christmas photo, right?  You have it all planned out in your head, or maybe it was a spur of the moment idea {those are the ones that tend to bite me in the butt}.  Either way, what usually happens is the exact oposite of all your hopes and dreams! HA! That is where Pinterest can be one big GIGANTIC fail!  You see these photos and you want them. The exact same one. There is just one lilttle problem; you are not them and they are not you. You can’t just recreate a photo and have it be the same. It will usually be a lesser version of the original.


So, I guess the take away from this is 2 things.

#1 Find your own style, what you love and tells your story, not some strangers story on Pinterst.


#2 Never and I mean NEVER allow the grandchildren to hold up Granny……  it can lead to lots of humor and a sore bum!!!!


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I still laugh hilariously at these photos! Thankfully my mom is in amazing shape and so the fall did not hurt her!  I guess these photos mean that my story isn’t perfect. That we make mistakes, but that we know how to laugh and help each other back up!


I know, not my brightest idea, but I blame it on Pinterest and the mountain air!!!


Amanda Star

The Fair is a Wonderful Place to Be, Don’t You Think? {Central Fl, Photographer}


I love the Fair!!!! Our local fair is esspecially awesome and we enjoy going as a family each year! These are sessions that I have been wanting to offer for a while and I am totally excited to offer these fabulous sessions each year. This was a styled session that took a little bit of for thought and planning.

First up, making sure that the fair was cool with me coming with balloons and 3 kids dressed to the nines, no problem. Next, oufits. I had it sketched in my dream journal but getting it out of my journal and into real life can be both exspensive and time consuming. The skirt was actually a women’s dress that I bought at a thrift store and had repurposed for this by the amazing Leana of Ursula’s Handmade Treasures. The black top is actually a bathing suit top. The jacket also came from Leana. The tutu combo was a Brad Shultz original that he used for a photo shoot with Momazine. I chose a soft pink top to go with that ensemble from T.J. Maxx. The little gold bowed shoes are from Joyfolie and the black and gold are repurposed shoes made by the little girls mom. She covered old black shoes with gold glitter and WALLA….. perfect. I made the headbands out of odds and ends that I had laying around and the little guy was a last minute add in and he wore items we already had. Lastly, carnies. This is my third year shooting at the fair and I have learned that it would benefit you greatly to be nice to these guys. They work their tails off, they are exhausted and they are around screaming children ALL DAY LONG. I have found that a smile goes a long way. I also like to tip the ones that allow me to use their ride for any length of time. Some are so awesome that they even hold people back, let me get the shot and then let them through. So, it pays to be nice people.

As much as I love shooting at the fair, lighting can be an issue if you are shooting close to dark. It is a great time to test your mad skills with your camera! It was so much fun and I hope that these inspire you to shoot an amazing session at your next county fair!


These are more than likely two of my favorite images of these besties!


There was only one choice for hair and makeup – Once Upon Amanda, she really knows how to ROCK the vintage styles I love.












This one cracks me up… little divas!


The blooper image… he is saying, “Mom, I think she is going to throw up!” Poor thing recovered well though!


Enjoy the amazing slide show with music by Kathryn Ostenberg and don’t forget to PIN what you love and SHARE what inspires you!


Be on the look out for Black Friday Specials! There may be a fair special in the mix!
Amanda Star