Hi - I’m Charity! I am a transplant to Charlotte, NC by way of Texas, a few other places, and most recently Chicago. I am married to my most favoritest person in the world - my husband Adrian - and have two pups that I love dearly and give far too many treats. I love most things nerdy but especially Harry Potter and all things Marvel. Most weekends, when I’m not out shooting elopements, you’ll find me hiking or hanging out at a local brewery.
So how did I get into this elopement thing?
Well, here’s my story:
Like many people, I went to college for something completely unrelated to what I ended up doing. I majored in Music as my undergrad and Human Services for my Master’s (please don’t ask me to define Human Services; I have a frickin degree in it and I STILL can’t). So with my mostly useless skillset, I started working at Apple, in 2009, in Schaumburg, IL, a suburb of Chicago. Apple was great - I met some of the most awesome people, many of whom are some of my closest friends to this day. Adrian also worked for Apple (he has a similar story to mine), and we talked tech all-day-err-day.
Me and the Mister doing our favorite activity :)
When we decided to move to Charlotte, NC in early 2016, I just assumed I would continue to work in the IT field. By that time, I had moved on from Apple to doing IT support in a school system. I personally loved IT training specifically. But the tech scene in Charlotte was very much different than the one in Chicago, and I tried for six months and just couldn’t land a job. While working at Apple, I had learned some of their photo-editing software, and it turned out that I loved it. It mixed two of my favorite things - art and technology. My best friend talked me into actually picking up a camera, and I immediately fell in love. I don’t know if you’ve ever found a thing that you just enjoyed doing SO much, you realized you had been looking for it for a long time, but for me - that thing was photography. I have been doing various forms of art my whole life, but photography was like a light bulb going off in my head.
So back to Charlotte - 6 months into living here, and no job. I decided at that point, it was time to get serious about this photography thing.
Like most photographers first getting into professional photography, I tried all the different genres - babies, seniors, families, portraits, weddings, events, etc. I found a lot of things that I hated, and one thing that I loved - COUPLES. I loved the chemistry. I loved the joy I could bring out of them and the love that I got to capture. But I DID NOT love weddings. Traditional weddings stress me the fuck out. You know those people who can be in stressful situations, and the stress just rolls off of them, and they make everything seem a little better? Well, that is NOT me. I absorb all the stress, then I vomit it all over everyone else and make the situation ten times worse. Wedding photography was not a good fit for me.
I remembered my best friend, who still lived in Chicago, saying how she thought it would be cool to take pictures of people getting married at a courthouse. So I decided to go down to our local Charlotte courthouse and observe people getting married. What I found made me SO sad. Couples were all dressed up, having their happy wedding day, and just taking pictures on their phones! I immediately thought “I can fix this!” So I started with the idea of just doing Courthouse Wedding photography. But then I found out that our local courthouse only offers weddings on Mondays and Fridays from 2-4p, or on Tuesday-Thursday at the jailhouse from 7-8p, and I realized - sheesh, people need more options! So THAT, my friends, is where the idea of The Elopement Co. was born. I soon developed the idea of offering more than just photography - packages to make my clients’ lives easier. And, well, here we are!
At the time of writing this, I’ve done over 110 elopements in the last 3 years. I took a giant leap of faith, thinking this crazy idea of mine could work, and the universe gave it a big thumbs up. Some days are HARD. Some days are amazing. I’m grateful for both.
We've now added to the TEC with a second planner, a Social Media Coordinator, 2 officiants, an editor, and 4 more photographers. We are so excited you're here and looking around. We cannot wait to meet you!