World Down Syndrome Day | Charlotte family photographer

March 21st is Word Down Syndrome Day! Although everyday with precious children like this, is a blessing!

Some of you may not know this, but I graduated EIU with a degree in Special Education. I started volunteering at a school where my mom worked when I was in high school, then became an assistant during all of my breaks, and eventually graduated and became a teacher. My first job was at an all special education school where I was an assistant in previous years. I had the joy of teaching all different children. 

Children with Down Syndrome always held a special place in my heart. Their smiles, laughter, and personalities bring a very special light to your life. If you've ever had the pleasure of hanging out with them, you know exactly what I'm talking about! If you haven't, well you're completely missing out!! 

Since leaving teaching, I always tried to volunteer and do something to give back and to see these smiling faces again. Since becoming a mom and a photographer, my time was limited and I didn't get to do as much as I wanted. Then Brynlee came into my life. This little girl is the brightest light I have ever met. I think the best moment ever was when I saw her at the store (outside of the lights of my studio) and after a second, a big smile came over her face and she waved and said hi to me. Her mom said it takes a lot for her to open up to people, so it melted my heart that very second. 

Since meeting Brynlee, it has opened up the opportunity to become a volunteer at Gigi's Playhouse

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center’s mission is to change the way the world views Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. We offer free therapeutic and educational programming to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

These types of programs are wonderful and wouldn't be possible without the help of volunteers and donations. If you're in the area, check out Field Day of Dreams this weekend. I'll be there capturing all of the special moments!

As a mom of 2 boys, 20 months apart, having a full time job and being a stay at home mom, I know sometimes life gets in the way. I know for me it has. So I am so beyond excited that I have found Brynlee to show me the way into her heart and the hearts of so many other children. 

To donate and/or volunteer, please click here

And don't for get to ROCK THOSE SOCKS today!

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra."


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Gina Whalen Photography

York County, SC family, maternity, newborn, child photographer

Charlotte, NC family, maternity, newborn, child photographer



Gina Whalen is a boutique, premier newborn, maternity, family, and baby photography studio serving Tega Cay, South Carolina and the surrounding suburbs. Her photography newborn studio is located in Tega Cay, 29708. She serves Tega Cay, Fort Mill, Lake Wylie, Rock Hill, Charlotte, NC, Riverview, Newport, Pineville, Gastonia, Springstein, York County, Mecklenberg County, Ballentyne, Blythewood and more! Gina is the owner and main photographer, she focuses on newborn safety and capturing all of your special moments!