Charlotte Photographer // Rainbow Baby Day 2019 - The Father's Prospective

Dealing with Loss and Celebrating Their Rainbow After the Storm

Finding out you are pregnant for most couples is a very exciting time. It brings forth celebration and joy. For some that joy doesn’t last long. Unfortunately, 15-20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage and we are often left confused, numb and sometimes angry.

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I know this roller coaster of emotions all too well. I remember blaming myself and wondering what was it that I did wrong to cause this. You see, 15 years ago this topic wasn’t talked about much at all. Through it all, I do remember my husband being there for me 100%. Consoling me, comforting me, ensuring I would be ok. To be completely honest; I don’t remember asking him if he was ok, or comforting him in anyway. Let’s keep it real, men are known for their strength. It’s not often we hear a man speaking of their mental health, feelings or even cry. This is such a misconception. We are all human, we all feel, we all desire support of some sort. While it may have been difficult for myself to comfort my husband in this time, friends and family did not either. It’s important that we understand that joy was taken from both mother and father. Let’s check on each other a bit more and if dad wants to talk… let’s be that safe place for him to speak.

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So, I asked a few dads what was their experience. I am truly surprised they were open to share but also equally grateful. I wanted to know what were their thoughts and how they coped. Most really wanted to ensure their wife was ok, but deep down they were torn apart inside. Torn apart with no real outlet. Left speechless… until now. Let’s see what the dads had to say.

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Double For Your Trouble

God honored my words and I am forever grateful. My wife and I finally found the courage to share our testimony. It was New Year's Eve 2015. We were attending our church's New Year's Eve Service and our pastor had asked us to share our story. He called us up and I was so proud of my wife for sharing!!! She then passed me the mic and I remember speaking by faith and with authority that "... by this time next year, I'll be changing stinky diapers. Long story short, God honored our words. Our journey was a challenging one that we do not mind sharing. As a matter of fact my wife and I both are working on putting our perspectives in book form so that we can share our story with the world. As I'm sitting here writing this piece, I'm thinking that in just a few days we will celebrate the 4th birthday of our little Gabriella who is in heaven. She was our 5th loss. Every day I look at my son and my daughter and thank God for his faithfulness. I celebrate; however, I do not minimize the fact that there were times I wanted to curse God. I recall suppressing my own pain in an attempt to "be strong" for my wife. I remember sitting in church as the executive pastor simply wanting to go home. I remember seeing mothers with babies enter our church only for me to turn and go in another direction. It was a challenge; however, I remember the words of my pastor's wife. She challenged me to "NOT CHARGE GOD FOOLISHLY!" Since the photoshoot I have recommitted to complete my book which will be intentionally honest, transparent, encouraging and empowering! I am forever grateful to meet other African American couples with similar stories. We prepared for one baby and God gave us two!!! He indeed gave us double!!! - Titus Hopper

Cherish Life

“I truly believe God will not put more on you than you can bare. When my wife miscarried, she was my main concern. I wanted to take care of her and protect her. This experience made me cherish life and my family more. Nothing in life is guaranteed and because of that I will love on my family while I can as much as I can.” - David Hart

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After The Rain

There was a time when I never thought I could feel hopeful again. 9/11/2014 will be a date I will never forget. My Queen and I were given the best and worst news of our lives within a 20 minute span. “You’re pregnant!” Was the diagnostic after we had checked into the ER as a result of some intense abdomen pains. We looked at each other in somewhat of bewilderment because this completely took us by surprise. Nevertheless, I was flooded with joyful emotions.

You must understand this about me, all I ever desired to be in life were two things: 1. A great King to a Queen and 2. A great father. So you could only imagine how rapidly my heart was overwhelmed by this news.

In the short midst of my elated emotions, the doctor entered the room with the most devastating news I have ever heard. Our unborn seed was met with complication that lead to an ectopic pregnancy. At the time, ectopic pregnancy was an alien concept in my vocabulary, but I could tell by the doctors tone it wasn’t something to celebrate. So on 9/11/2014, we were given the news that our first birth journey was a miscarriage. I must be honest because I am not sure who this message will reach, but in that moment, as a man of faith, I questioned every ounce of my God concept. It was to the point that I wrestled to defeat in my belief. That’s when I never thought I could feel hopeful again.

One of the greatest visible mysterious is the concept of a rainbow. A transparent, aligned burst of colors in the sky still takes my breath away by the way it suspends itself in the sky after it rains. On 10/16/2017, my rain was replaced with my rainbow. The first time I held my Rainbow Princess against my chest, she reached up and gently placed her hand on my heart. In that moment every pain, hurt, heartache, and disappoint was made whole. Jazzlyn Arielle Gardner is not only my Rainbow baby but the healer of my once broken spirit. - Jason Van Gardner

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In God’s Timing

It was hard to show emotions because of how I knew it would make my wife feel. I have a son and I knew she wanted a baby. To be so close then to lose the baby was really a big blow.

We have been together for years and after awhile with out getting pregnant, so I wasn’t sure if we could even get pregnant. Through it all, our family and friends were there for us. To support and help us through the loss. I will say, I wish I could have been there for my wife more mentally.

When Aeryn was finally born it was a sigh of relief, even with mom having a few things come up with her she delivered a healthy beautiful baby girl.

My advice is to men who experience this is to be open about your feelings whatever they may be. Be supportive because it will be some days where mom is not feeling it and that’s when you’re needed the most! Things will happen exactly the way they are supposed to. All in God’s timing. - Tyreece Williams

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To weather the disaster and devastation of a storm, gives you the strength and clarity to cherish the sun.  - Elliot Hansen


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Charlotte Wedding Photographer // Chris + Ashlee Wedding Preview - Separk Mansion Wedding

Chris and Ashlee could not have picked a better venue for their nuptials. Separk Mansion is absolutely stunning. It was perfect for them and even though ALL 150 guest they invited were in attendance their wedding still had an intimate feeling. Family and life long friends came from all over to celebrate these two. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. You could most definitely feel the love. Not just between Chris and Ashlee but from everyone in attendance. Such a gorgeous wedding and we are so happy to have been apart of it. My sister and I was are so honored they chose us to capture their love. We wish them nothing but happiness in the all the years to come.

Venue: Separk Mansion -https://separkmansion.com

Florals: Abbey Rose Florist - www.abbeyroseflorists.com

Charlotte Wedding Photographer // Toi + Gin Wedding Preview - Project 658

Toi and Gin had such a gorgeous wedding at Project 658 surrounded by their family and friends. We are so honored to have captured their love. Best wishes on this wonderful journey, as you build your lives together. May the years ahead be filled with lasting joy.

A preview of their special day…

Charlotte Wedding Photographer // Marcus + April Wedding Preview - Noah's Event Venue

It was an honor capturing Marcus and April’s union. Absolutely beautiful wedding surrounded by their family and friends at the Noah’s Event Venue. When I first met April a few months ago I just knew we would be a great fit. So happy they chose us to capture their special day. Her and Marcus are such an amazing couple. I just love their chemistry… the way they look at each other just blew me away. Perfect from beginning to end! From the decoration and florals, to the catering (soooo delicious) and the host NuffCed. NuffCed had us all cracking up and kept the party going. He was hilarious! Everything was absolutely perfect!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Berry! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Charlotte Baby Photographer // Sunflower Cake Smash - Happy Half Birthday Aeryn!!

Aeryn celebrating yet another milestone! Six (6) months and counting… she’s sitting up and her personality is shining as bright as the sun. The sunflowers were absolutely perfect. The perfect representation the most beautiful flower child. Keep shining baby girl!

Mom gave Aeryn her first taste of cake… she wasn’t sure of the sweet taste but she sure had fun smashing it lol.

Book your milestone session today!

Charlotte Photographer // Old South Vintage Family Session

Watching their family grow as they grow with me…

Tywanda and Elliot were my very first clients 1 January 2017 and since then I have photographed their family every year. Here we are on year 3 together. It’s really been amazing watching their family grow.

This year we decided to have the session at Old South Vintage rentals in Catawba, NC and thank goodness we chose an indoor location because it’s been raining here in North Carolina for several days straight. They had so many different amazing furniture pieces to choose from. I really enjoyed the vintage feel of the session.

Here’s a glimpse of their gallery….

Charlotte Birth Photographer // Natural Home Birth - Charlotte, NC

Wilson Family | Birth Story

Megan birthed at home with her husband and three children. She had the support of an amazing birth team as well. It was so beautiful to witness her children supporting her and not wanting to leave momma’s side. I truly enjoyed the relaxed and peaceful setting of the home birth. On 13 February, I witnessed a miracle. It was absolutely beautiful and I am so thankful to have been a part of their day. Megan is definitely a super woman. I am in awe of her strength. It was an honor to capture such an amazing moment for the Wilson Family.

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This is just a small glimpse into the birth of baby Zander…

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. For all questions and inquires press the button below.

It's Bo Time! Bojangles Cake Smash Session // Charlotte Photographer

Who doesn’t love Bojangles?! Those biscuits, fries… & chicken! Chicken is definitely one of Luke’s favorite foods. Its no wonder why…. One hour after eating Bojangles Tywanda went into labor with Luke. 15 hours of labor and Luke Elliot was here on 23 October 2017. We knew we had to incorporate it in his cake smash somehow. No better way than to have a Bojangles cake smash! It’s Bo Time!! We ate good after this smash.

Awesome cake: www.facebook.com/cheekycakes

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Charlotte Photographer // Unicorn Cake Smash Session

Just when I thought Carter wanted nothing to do with her photo session… cake cake cake!! Who doesn’t like cake lol!? Carter couldn’t wait to dig in when she saw it. We got all the smiles. Her cake was absolutely gorgeous and she loved every bit of it. Super cute session that ended with mom asking her “how old is Carter?” and she would stick up her finger with ONE!!! Too cute!

Cake: Anshalica Miles | https://www.instagram.com/destinys_delights_cakes

Backdrop: Baby Dream Backdrops | http://babydreambackdrops.com

Larry + Sharetha Cooper Wedding Preview // Riverwood Manor Wedding // Charlotte Wedding Photographer

I am always so honored when another photographer chooses me to photograph their memories and what a beautiful moment this was. Sharetha made such a beautiful bride. To Mr. and Mrs. Cooper I wish you both a lifetime of happiness and love.

Special Thanks to…

Makeup Artist - Monet with BMonet Makeup - https://www.instagram.com/bmonetmakeup/

Florist - Kinya Smalls - https://www.instagram.com/signaturearrangements.weddings/

Venue - Riverwood Manor - http://www.riverwoodmanornc.com

Charlotte Wedding Photographer // Keith + Candice Wedding Preview // South Charlotte Banquet Center

Sometimes I wonder how did I get so lucky to be doing exactly what I love and working with such amazing people. Keith and Candice’s wedding was absolutely beautiful. My sister and I are honored to have captured your special day. We want to wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness. Your wedding day will come and go, but may your love forever grow. Best wishes on this wonderful journey, as you build your new lives together. May the years ahead be filled with lasting joy.

Wedding Planner: Ivy Honeycutt, http://www.thesilkveil.com

Candace’s Hair and Makeup: Kristie Lavae www.instagram.com/kristielavaestylist

Bouquet: April’s Floral Expression, www.instagram.com/aprilsfloralexpressions

Charlotte Wedding Photographer // Julius + Keyona's Wedding Preview // Whitewater Creek Country Club Wedding

I met Keyona almost exactly a year ago.  She had a photo session with me to commemorate her birthday.  We had such a good time.  I felt like I'd known her forever.  She had such good energy and she was just an overall good person to be around.  A day later she called me and said, "Guess what?! I'm engaged!!".  Julius proposed and I couldn't be more happy for her.  

Yesterday Julius and Keyona said their vows and became one amongst close family and friends.  Gorgeous ceremony at the Whitewater Creek Country Club in Fayetteville, GA that went off without a hitch.  It's an honor to be a part of such a beautiful occasion.  

Charlotte Photographer // Breastfeeding: Nature to Nurture Mommy & Me

A beautiful mix of nature and nurturing 🍃

Sessions like this truly get me all in my feelings.  Mainly, because I know it's bigger than me.  As mother's we put so much pressure on ourselves.  We want to do right by our children and raise them to be respectful... respectable human beings.  If we only knew how powerful and beautiful being a mother really is.  Being a mother is so powerful.  Spending this time with Syan was amazing.  Her grace, beauty and gentleness towards her daughter was just amazing.  To me, she is nothing less than a goddess.  I am so honored to have capture this beautiful momma and baby girl... 

Please enjoy images from her session.

Beautiful headpiece made by www.facebook.com/britneyholdenShotsFiredPhotstylings and makeup by www.instagram.com/syancherelle.

Charlotte Photographer // Mommy & Me Session at Midtown Park

Mommy and Me Wearing Matching African Print Dresses

I couldn’t wait to share this super cute mommy and me session from this week. How cute are they?! Their dresses were absolutely perfect (made by mommy) and I am in LOVE!  I actually met Ashley a few months ago.  I ordered an African print dress from her for a styled photoshoot I planned and fell in love with her work.  I've been ordering from her ever since.  I was ecstatic when she wanted to book this mommy and me session.  We had the session here in Charlotte at Midtown Park.  It started to rain just as she arrived and as soon as we started the session the rain stopped.  I did a little happy dance and we got started.  Mommy and me sessions are sooo much fun.  Nothing like having your very own "Mini Me".  Here are a few images from their session.

Julian + Melinda's Wedding Preview // Charlotte, NC

The Cloud's are on CLOUD 9!  They're married now!  I've always heard it's never too late to fall madly in love.  Julian and Melinda's wedding was a great reminder of that.  Be patient in finding your soul mate.  Always such an honor to capture love and an honor to be chosen.  Enjoy a few highlights from Julian and Melinda's wedding.  

Charlotte Newborn Photographer // Newborn Sessions

The joy of holding your tiny little baby for the first time! But they grow up so fast and you do not want to miss this chance to capture portraits of them so you can cherish this moment in life forever. 

I would recommend booking before baby arrives so you can discuss how you can make your session unique to your family.  I like to photograph newborns when they are between 6 and 21 days old.  While they are still flexible and posable.  The sessions do last about 2 to 3 hours long to make time for feedings and extra snuggles.  

I like to work in family and sibling shots if requested.  These are easily some of my favorite shots.  Its often the very first family photo with the new family addition.  

We can also talk about incorporating family heirlooms.  Just another way to make your session unique and special to your family. 

CharMarie Photography studio is filled with props and outfits for your baby.   

Let's talk newborn safety.

The safety of your newborn is the most important thing to me. I am willing to make any accommodations for your baby that may be necessary for its safety and well-being. If you have any special needs, please feel free to talk to me about them when booking your session and I will be sure to do my best to accommodate. Thankfully, I can provide stunning and creative photos of your newborn while being sure that both you and your newborn are comfortable and safe the whole time.  

I would love to be your photographer.  It would be such an honor to capture these special moments and memories with you.

Newborn Portfolio // Newborn Pricing

Book Your Newborn Session Today

Charlotte Child Photographer // 5 Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for a Photo Session

1.  Mentally Prepare.  Let them know a week or so a head of time they are going to get their pictures taken.  Maybe even practice a little at home.  Talk about it and get excited together.  Make it something they look forward to. 

2.  Schedule.  This is no secret.  Children are happiest when their bellies are full and well rested.  I like to schedule children in the morning right after breakfast or after their afternoon/evening nap.  Always consider nap time when scheduling your session.

3.  Stranger Danger.  Show them a few pictures of me.  Head over to my ABOUT ME page and let them know a little bit about me.  I have a few pictures with me holding my camera and smiling.  That way when they see me with my camera they know exactly what I am going to do and I am a familiar face.  

4. Bribery.  A little bribery goes a long way.  Set aside a special treat or adventure for doing well during their photo session.   It could be as simple as letting them have their favorite dinner or spending time at their favorite park.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

5. EXPECATION.  My goal is to capture the true personality of your child.  With that being said... let all expectations go out the window.  I will have a plan set but for the most part I allow children to have fun and be themselves.  That's what makes capturing the milestones memorable.