Confetti Hearts Wall

I want to start with a big shout out and thank you to Evelyn Henson.  This local Charlotte artist has used her talents to give a true gift to our city.  Her Confetti Hearts Wall in South End Charlotte is bringing so much joy and laughter and happiness to so many!!

Hearts Everywhere

I love seeing photos popping up everywhere I look of people (and pets!) in front of this wall.  I am currently participating in a big international photography competition, Shoot & Share, with over 500,000 photos entered.  And guess what popped up in the “share joy” category when I was voting the other day?  You guessed it!  A photo of a local High School Senior in front of our very own Confetti Hearts Wall!

I entered the contest before I got down to the Confetti Hearts Wall. We will have to see how some of my Underwater Kids Photos do this year ~ and save our heart wall photos for next year!  But I love that in a huge international photo competition Charlotte’s Heart Wall is standing out as a landmark ~ and it is only three months old!

More Public Art Please!

I was reading EH’s blog recently and found an article about why public art matters.  She does an amazing job outlining how

  1. Art is Economically Viable
  2. Art Positively Impacts Mood (just look at the photos below if you need some proof on that one!!)
  3. And that Art Creates a Sense of Social Connectivity ~ that Art Brings us Together

I can not agree more.

One peek at the # ConfettiHeartsWall on Instagram and you can’t help but feel more pride and joy in our city.  Photos of children, families, pregnant mamas, ice cream cones from the nearby Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams, Dogs, Construction Workers, Photographers, you name it!

Can you guess a common theme?  Of course you can!  Everyone looks happy!!  How can you not in front of a wall full of brightly colored hearts!?!

Where joy hides

I was recently watching a Ted Talk by Ingrid Fetell Lee called “Where joy hides and how to find it”.  Her talk was fascinating and full of some amazing ideas.  And I have just ordered her book “Joyful” and cannot wait to dig into it.

But I have to be honest.  Throughout the entire discussion, I just kept thinking ~ I actually do know where joy hides, he lives in the bedroom down the hall!

This third boy of mine…

This boy. He is the definition of joy. Sure, he is a little *extra* sometimes.  Ok.  He can be an absolute handful! Ha!  But he is also the one who brings joy to all of those around him.  The one that people I don’t even know ask me where he is when I am in stores without him.  He might be a peanut ~ but his personality is bursting to get out of that little body!

Mama Adventure Day

He was SO excited to go on a Mama Adventure.  I pulled my adorable pink and green striped Lomography camera off the shelf and asked him if he would like to use it on our adventure.

His sweet eyes lit up.  “And I click the button?  All the times?”  And even though I answered yes, he still had to ask me five more times.  He was so in awe that I was going to let him use one of my “Mama Cameras” not a “Jacob Camera”.

I didn’t tell him there was no film inside.  Please don’t burst his bubble on that one…

Cool Kid Pose

We practiced a cool kid pose with his thumbs in his pockets.  And since he has basically been living in pajamas since Christmas…he thought his little red corduroy Gap pants with pockets were cool enough to be worth a cool dude pose!

Then he got to pick a pair of sunglasses from my Underwater Photography Sunglasses bucket – you know, the box I usually won’t let him get into.

So pretty much, he thought he was king.  And, I think it shows in these photos!  I have never seen him ham it up quite like this for photos.  He was GOLDEN!  I could have shared dozens of photos with you all today!

But since this is my 7 on 7 post…

Oh, I need to let you in on that one!  My friend Kristina Rust introduced me to  a group of seven amazing photographers from around the country and asked me to join their loop.  Each month on the 7th of the month we will each publish a project and link to the next one ~ forming a loop.  Please join me in visiting each of their stories to get a little glimpse at our different styles and journeys.  (and if you have a moment to leave them a little love – and let them know I sent you 😉

So today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Tara Romasanta and her post on Embracing Imperfection. I so loved her project last month focused on her amazing window light ~ I can’t wait to see what she has to share with us this month!

Confetti Hearts Signature

“Instead of chasing after happiness, maybe what we should be doing is embracing joy.”  Oh Ingrid, I could not agree more…

Cool Toddler with Camera at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson

Mama’s boy! Could a photographer mama be any happier than to have a photo like this?!?

Cool Dancing Toddler in Red pants, Grey Vest and Bow Tie at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall

Coolest cat in town! Clearly Evelyn Henson’s Confetti Heart Wall sparks joy at some new kind of level! I mean, look at this kid! Could he be having ANY more FUN!?!

Pssssttt.  One Photo Ok!

Oh. And by the way. We are counting this as ONE photo. Mkay. Ya. There was no way I could share only seven from this session. Way to go Renee. Breaking the rules on your first try! (Hopefully they let me try again next month!!)

Cool Toddler with White Sunglasses at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson

I mean. Could he get any cooler than this?

Cool Toddler at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson

OK. Is he a really cool toddler? Or… a crazy old man?

Cool Toddler with Camera at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson

I’m not sure I have ever seen a child so proud to use a camera. He was absolutely convinced he was creating true art with that Lomography. And, he was!

Cool Toddler at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson

I don’t know why this is one my very favorites. Of all of the photos. His expression here absolutely cracks me up. Like, I am dying laughing typing this. It’s like some combination of a little old man and a turtle…

Cool Toddler Jumping for Joy at Charlotte's Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson

Spread Joy my Friends!


  1. Kristina says:

    These photos are precious. What a cute little guy….”little old man and a turtle” I’m cracking up. That wall is a wonderful addition to your city. I love it and I can see why everyone else does too. So glad to have you as part of our 7 on 7 project this year.

    • Renee Stengel says:

      Right! I mean, how can such a little cutie look like such a little old man AND a turtle all at once?!? But thank you! I am so happy to be a part of this beautiful little project!!

  2. Cristy says:

    Wow!!! Renee you are just amazing in so many ways.

    • Renee Stengel says:

      Oh sweet friend! Right back at you!! Still praying that 2019 is the year I get to hug your neck!!

  3. That wall. And that cutie! These are wonderful, all of them!
    (And I almost never stick to 7, haha.)
    So glad you’re joining us.

    • Renee Stengel says:

      OK good! One of my friends tried to convince me not to use this session for my 7 on 7 because there were just too many! I didn’t want to get kicked out on my first month ~ but then again, y’all might as well figure out early I’m not exactly a color inside the lines kind of girl! HA!

  4. Kris McNeil says:

    That scene is fabulous, as is your peanut! Welcome to the circle. I look forward to seeing your work and getting to know you!

  5. LOVE that wall! And your work is beautiful!

  6. Emma says:

    Wow, your pictures are amazing, I love all those colours, perfect for a kid’s shooting

  7. Charmekia says:

    I LOVE the hearts wall here in Charlotte. It has brought us so much happiness and your little guy is just too cute!! Love your images.