My baby. The sweetest, most loving, and most curious little girl. Most days I can’t believe that I’m the one who gets to call her mine.

I took this portrait of her when she was eight months old. And now she’s almost 10 months old, and I don’t know where the last two months have gone (or the last 10, for that matter).

I love this picture so, so much. I love that I can see the many colors in her eyes, the red tint of her soft, wavy hair, the dimple in her chin (just like her dad), and her chunky little cheeks.

I’m normally partial to lifestyle photography; there’s something special about the in-between, candid moments of life. But a portrait like this is a treasure, in my eyes. It’s a split second of this sweet girl’s life that I’ll want to hang on the wall, send to family members, and pass down through the years. It’s simply timeless.

northern Virginia family portrait photographer

Jessica Slaunwhite is a northern Virginia film photographer.
She specializes in newborn, parenthood, and family photography.
Jessica is based in Arlington, Virginia, but is available for travel
to destinations near and far.

I’ve never lived in a place like North Carolina, where the ocean is so close that you could visit every day if you wanted. It was my husband’s first duty station in the Marine Corps, and while there were of course some things that we didn’t love about it (I’m talking about the heat!), we enjoyed the adventure that was living on the coast.

Going into this spring, we knew that we would be moving away and that we would miss all of the little things that made living here so special. We started taking ocean walks every chance that we got, in the rain and in the sunshine, when it was chilly and when the wind blew strong. A few of these times, the beach was completely empty. We would walk along and see nobody in either direction looking up and down Emerald Isle.

It was beautiful and peaceful, and I’m so glad that I began bringing my camera along every time. The snapshots that we took in these last few weeks are some of our favorites from all of the years that we lived at Camp Lejeune. Looking at them here from our new and very different home in Arlington, Virginia, we can still feel the salty air on our skin while we searched for shells in the sun, the wet sand beneath our feet on an overcast Sunday morning, and the joy that we felt when our dog ran back and forth at the water’s edge trying to play with the tiny sea birds.

And that feeling, that magical power of a photograph, that is why I love my job.

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Emerald Isle, North Carolina / Outer Banks film photographer


Photographer | Jessica Slaunwhite
Film lab | Photovision

My trip to New York this summer was unplanned, to say the least. I love visiting home, and especially right at the beginning of fall, but it’s not quite the same when you’re forced to evacuate and aren’t sure what life will look like when you return.

I spent almost two weeks just hanging out with my family while Frank had to stay in North Carolina and work. It was stressful and tiring, and I understand now what people mean when they use the phrase “worried sick.”

Luckily, our home made it through the storm without too much damage. We were immensely fortunate in a situation where many friends, neighbors, and businesses are now having to rebuild or close their doors. Driving around and seeing entire homes in piles on the curb is heartbreaking, but the spirit of hope is strong in our community, and I’ve never seen a group of people more determined to lift each other up.

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Central New York / Upstate New York film photographer

Photographer | Jessica Slaunwhite
Film lab | Photovision