About Me - Heather Larkin - Fairy Queen at Fairyography
Hey, I'm Heather. I am a redheaded fairytale, child, family, and dance portrait photographer in Athens near Atlanta Georgia. I've been in business since 2003. I'm internationally known for creating colorful, authentic images for clients around the world. My friends say I'm magical, too tall, introverted, and loyal ... but my sister just says I'm smelly.
I live in a little house on the east side of Athens with my husband John, blind fat cat Pete, and our other foster kitties that are available for adoption. To see the available kitties in the COFAS program, click here: https://cofas.org/
I grew up in Ohio with my parents and sister and brother. I got my first camera when I was 10 years old, but I didn’t really want to be a photographer then. I wanted to animate for Disney. I went to school for fine art. Come to find out, Disney only hires people out of 6 schools in the US.. and mine wasn't one. Whoops! After deciding that Disney wasn’t the way I wanted to go, I went to school for Early Childhood Education so that I could work in preschool. I ADORE small children.
When I'm not working my photo job, I birdwatch and take pictures of lizards and bugs.You can see those personal pictures here: https://fairyography.com/info/about-me/nature
How I became a children and family photographer
Twenty years ago I was in college to get my Early Childhood Education degree, with a focus in Special Needs kids. Part of the degree requirements were to get a job as a real pre-k teacher (a practicum). I ended up as lead in a classroom with eleven two-year-olds in it. It was a loud, chaotic, hot mess every day, but I loved it. Those kids became my kids too.
During the day while teaching, I would take pictures to send to the kids' parents. I felt terrible that I essentially saw their kids more than they did, so I wanted to share what we did all day. One day was teaching the letter E, so E was for Egg and we played with eggs (raw, hard boiled, frozen, things made with eggs.. etc) for hours that day and I was able to send photos. I promise we carefully washed our hands as well, hahahaha! I saw one of my kids' mothers out in Athens last week and she not only knew who I was, but she actually mentioned one of those photos I sent her.
Unfortunately, my immune system did not love the job. The last month I was there, I was out three of four weeks because I was sick all the time. My director finally pulled me aside and told me "Heather, we can't keep you. You do a great job.. but you're never here!" She was right.
When I left, I had been there about two years, and the parents of the kids in my room (and a few others) thought my photos were pretty good and later started contacting me about taking pictures of their families. At first, I said no, I wasn't a photographer. I didn't want to run a business. A year later, I decided I was wrong and I opened my doors and a family photographer! A few of those kids were my very first portfolio building clients, and that was seventeen years ago.
The Fairyography Studio is located in the Five Points area in Athens GA.
Fairyography has been featured on The Today Show, Professional Photographer Magazine, Canon Cameras, Clickin Moms, Scary Mommy, Online Athens, Southern Distinction Magazine, Model Life Magazine, Atlanta Parent Magazine, The Westchester Wedding Planner, and more. See the publications page for more.
|I tell my clients “I’m a six-foot redhead, you can’t miss me.” In my spare time, I birdwatch, I take nature photos (see those here), I watch Disney and superhero movies, pretend I can garden (I'm getting better..). and spend way too many late nights reading in bed.||My husband John and I have been together for 20 years, but married for just 8. You know that saying ‘opposites attract’? That’s us. The only things we have in common is that we’re both quiet and we enjoy books. That’s actually how I met him, by borrowing his books. He's a triple black belt and I've never hit anyone in my life.||Stumpy the cat was about 17 years old. She showed up at our back porch one day demanding food. Named Stumpy because she was a Manx breed with just 3 inches of a stumpy little tail that she waved around. Stump passed away of cancer in 2018, and now we are doing a foster kitty program.|
Frankie Wylie was my business partner when we were Stylized Portraiture. She moved to Texas, but she and I still chat back and forth about business things as she's running her own photography studios out there as well. When she left, I asked our clients to write her a goodbye. Those (with mine) are below:
Dear Frankie, I don't think I can ever tell you what you've meant to me, what you've taught me, or how different it'll be without you at Stylized Portraiture. Almost 7 years ago on the ride back from Tampa, you decided that I was good enough to go places with you. It's been one amazing ride. From our little place on Tracy street all covered in concrete dust, to the bigger than we needed giant on Milledge Ave, then Lumpkin St which was our perfect studio. From little to volume, and all the amazing charity shoot days, I learned so much and that really running a business doesn't mean just doing what you want all the time. I love that I can take all the little notebook copies and go back to them year after year and find new ideas and new ways of looking at things. I think what I'll miss the most is your Frankie brand of humor and hipness. I'll miss being able to bounce ideas off of you, I'll even miss you shooting down what I think are my best ones. I love being able to go into our clients' homes and look at the walls and think "Oh, there's one of Frankie's shots." What you and I built in this town was and IS amazing, and I plan to continue the good work and make it just as amazing in the years to come. - Heather Lickliter Larkin
"Parents y'all smile I'll take care of the kids (with her pocket full of sweet tarts)"
And of course the picture were amazing. The time she coaxed Lydia gay into a window seal at mars hill preschool was nothing short of a miracle. I must say my favorite thing I have taken from my relationship with Frankie is referencing every woman's most dreaded day of the year at the "scoot down doctor". Frankie you have added much laughter to our home as Travis and I will simultaneously say did you see what Frankie posted on Facebook and die laughing. Your whit and authenticity are jewels. You are a treasure. Thankfully we can still laugh at your posts on Facebook while you are making many new friends in Texas but we will miss you adding such love and beauty to Athens and our lives. I'm happy to know you Frankie May the joy of The Lord truly be your strength! Much love and blessings as you go! - Jessica Gay
Frankie- you are truly one of a kind! I can always count on you to make me laugh hysterically with your wicked sense of humor. Even better than your sense of humor is your BIG heart. You have done wonderful things in this community - Athens's loss is definitely Texas's gain!
We will miss you, The Eager Clan
Frankie, Thanks so much for so beautifully documenting the first 3 years of both Chase & Gavin's lives! You will forever hold a spot on our walls and in our hearts. Hope you guys love Texas! love, the jones family -- chris, amie, chase & gavin
Frankie, You will always hold a special place in our hearts. You captured my children so perfectly and we are so grateful for your talent. You also sent me a CD of pictures when my Dad died--I was floored. One of the kindest acts anyone did for me during an awful time of heartache. Thank you. We are in Winston-Salem and don't plan on leaving so if you are ever in High Point visiting in-laws, please give me a ring. I would love pictures anytime I can get them from you. Here is how to reach me and don't hesitate to call!! Best wishes for a new start in Texas! Love, Amy, Jason, Anna Claire, and Catherine Wenker
Frankie was GREAT with the Harper boys. Who knew talking about boogers, toots and anything gross would finally work out so well for us. Best. Pictures. Ever. The smiles were real and for that we thank her! Best wishes and knock 'em dead in your new adventure! Ashley Harper
Frankie is superb!! Our girls are so excited when they find out that Frankie is going to photograph them. She has the ability to capture the most beautiful expressions, and these expressions have created so many precious memories for our family. Not to mention, that she is so much fun! We will miss you Frankie!!! Good luck in Texas! The Suggs family
Frankie did such an amazing job with our family photos! I have them hanging all over our house and will never forget how wonderful she was with my son, Hunter. She brought out the best in him and captured such special moments that I can now treasure forever! I cannot thank you enough Frankie. You will be sorely missed. Jennifer Peterson
Frankie, So there are loads of reasons I think you're great. Maybe it's your irreverent sense of humor. Maybe it's your kickass style. It could be the fact that you coached high school softball without a loaded gun pointed at your head. Or, selfishly, it might be because you always managed to get pictures of my family that I am proud of that show everyone's personality. For whatever reason, I'm going to miss you. Hope Texas deserves you and yours. Blessed be the journey! - Polly Holder
I first met Frankie when I signed up for photography classes with her. She helped build my confidence and encouraged me well. The unexpected bonus was meeting a most unique, caring individual who could bring out my best with humor! I am sad Frankie and her wonderful family are leaving Athens, but am excited for them and for the people they will meet in Texas. No doubt they will find new friends quickly! My thoughts and prayers are with the Wylies in their new adventure! I'm looking forward to hearing updates and seeing photos of what is happening with them in the future!!! XOXO Beth Clement
The Laughlins love, love, love Frankie!! She is awesome and ridiculously talented. We will miss her so much! Thanks, Leigh Laughlin
Frankie... Well, she not only believed in my "hood ornament"... She believed in her (Hendley). You just don't buy a belief in a child/teen... It is given and it is earned! Hendley loves her beyond what a 19year old will admit!! Beyond that... At her insistence, she took some great, real love pictures, of me and my Daddy the first week of October despite her crazy schedule... She must have had insight... To capture "the smiling heart"... Or of the infamous words he would say ..."remember who loves you." Her post and words from taking those were heart warming in that my journey with him was not by myself... She "got it." AND 3 weeks after those pictures... A priceless gift, he passed away. I am forever indebted for her urging to just be me, him... They are a perfect example of her soul... Open, loving and giving! May she always "remember who loves you"... And have moments that "make my heart smile!" - Leigh Anne Landers
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Athens, Watkinsville, and into Atlanta - Available for travel to Seattle, Portland, and New Orleans