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

If you ask me about my happy place, it will involve a mountain, my husband, dog, and some kind of waterfall or stream. Our little family is most content just spending quiet time together and appreciating the outdoors.

We headed west this summer for a very special mountaintop engagement shoot (I will share soon, I promise!), and had such a wonderful time in the Blue Ridge Mountains that we almost didn’t want to come back to the coast! We hiked down a secluded path to the most beautiful waterfall where Frank and I took in all the fresh air while Nigel went for a swim and then sniffed every inch of every plant and rock.

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Boone, North Carolina / Blue Ridge Mountain film photographer

Photographer | Jessica Slaunwhite
Film lab | Photovision