SL Hunter Photography: Blog en-us (C) SL Hunter Photography (SL Hunter Photography) Tue, 17 Jul 2018 21:40:00 GMT Tue, 17 Jul 2018 21:40:00 GMT July Shortie Session It's hot. It's really hot. I don't think you are understanding me.  IT. IS. HOT. 

So naturally I HAD to involve water for our July Mini (I'm gonna call them 'Shorties' because it's cute) 

A cool bucket of water, a million bubbles, an adorable baby--seriously, what could be cuter? This session is designed for babies between the ages of 6 months (sitting up ok) and 18 months! All sessions are held on the same day, July 30th, 2018. There will be 3 morning sessions and 2 evening sessions available! 


The $225 SL Hunter Photography experience is all inclusive:

All props and grownup/big kid snacks provided

Private Gallery 15-20 images

5 digital images

40 printed images 

Lifetime of Memories (of course)



Your baby (don't come without one) 

A towel

A change of clothes

Shampoo (if your baby is sensitive--I bring J&J) 

Snacks/Milk for your baby

Siblings if you need to (they won't be pictured)  












Contact to Book 
















]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Baby New Photography Toddler Tue, 17 Jul 2018 21:25:42 GMT
Guest Blog: Bringing Home Your First Baby Bringing Home Your First Baby


When you imagine what your delivery will be like or what your baby will look like when they finally arrive, don’t forget to imagine what finally coming home will be like. When your baby is finally in your arms and the nurses bring you over to the Postpartum Wing of the hospital, you can finally breath. Your baby is here. If everyone is healthy, over the next few days, there will be check ins, vital monitoring, tests, and finally the go ahead to head home with your tiny new bundle. During your hospital stay, the postpartum nurses are so helpful, they check in on you and your partner, they bring you your meals, they answer your questions about breastfeeding your newborn, your recovery, holding baby, bathing baby and so on, but when you get home, who do you have?


Expect it to take some time

It is amazing how much extra stuff you accumulate once a baby joins your family, multiply it when you add two or three or more babies! Everyone needs fed, generally at the same time, everyone is crying usually at the same time, so what’s a new family to do? If you are not a fan of eating out, for this special time in your life, get take out for your first dinner home. This means everyone can be fed something filling and nutritious in a timely manner. Sometimes we want to get everything done that day, but as new parents, it is okay to let some things slide so you can be sure everyone is fed, warm, happy, and sleeping. Your first night home might seem kind of quiet. That is okay. Your first night home might be exhausting, that is also okay. With postpartum planning in pregnancy you can have prepared for you food, support and sleeping arrangements before your little one arrives.


Reach out when you need a hand

Friends and family are always asking how they can help or what you need done. Sometimes as new parents we feel guilty saying “ do you mind doing the dishes, or starting some laundry?” don’t be! What is most helpful to new parents isn’t a friend holding the baby when it is asleep, it’s picking up a chore so that you can snuggle with your squish or rest and recover. It is the little things that matter when it comes to adding a new baby to your family. If family and friends are not working out or you don’t have them around, professional help from a  Postpartum& Infant Care Doula could be just what you need.


About the Author:

Tiffany Shank has been a knowledgeable resource and expert in all things

pregnancy, baby and parenting for almost a decade. Her ability to connect people to

resources and information to put them at ease is seen by her work as a Labor andPostpartum Doula.

For more pregnancy and parenting tips visit her website 

 or follow us on social media outlets Facebook

 and Twitter


]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Family Mommys Newborn Photography Winchester Newborn Photographer Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:43:44 GMT
Double Take | Northern VA Newborn Photographer  

This mama came to me worried about her twins and hurting because her own mom was battling cancer...then came these two perfectly healthy porcelain beauties just a few months later...and oh how they came at just the right time to bring the sunshine into their family's lives! They spent no time in the NICU after being born WITHOUT a C-section (almost unheard of these days) at just over 6 lbs each. In the world of twins, THAT is a miracle.






]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:57:51 GMT
Zipper Strong | CHD Awareness  

I am the mommy of a child who is different.   All I ever want and need is for others to understand. To understand my family, to understand my son, to understand the hours of therapy, the meltdowns, and the uncertainty that we live with daily. To listen and not judge, not offer advice, and not extend pity, but to try understand us.

Two years ago, I had the privilege of meeting several families that have children with congenital heart defects.  Absently, I befriended them on Facebook and started to receive their updates.  That is when the raw truth of the struggles and the pain and the triumph and the heartbreak of these families was lain bare to me. Silently, I became intertwined in the lives and every update of several children born with broken hearts.  My own heart began to ache each time one of them caught a cold or had a complication, or turned blue from poor circulation. My own heart cried as I followed one family's anguish when the battle became too much for her 4 month old in the end.  Silently, I went with them to checkups, open heart surgeries, and ER visits.  I prayed through infections, replacements, strokes and codes.  But really, What can I do? what can I possibly do to make any tangible difference at all in these families' lives?  I'm sitting here on my computer with my two healthy kids with no comprehension of what it’s like to hand your child to a surgeon with nothing but percentages of success to comfort me. How could I possibly relate to a pregnant mother, with all the hopes of a new mom crashing down before her eyes, as doctors and nurses whisper in the hallway. What can I possibly do?


Then I realized, I can care.  Not just the pitiful kind of care where you shake your head and maybe shed a tear then move on to the next post. No, I can try to understand. I can listen. I can try to see these children how their parents see them--fragile and scarred, but brave and mighty. Broken, but perfect. I can attempt to put myself in their shoes to understand the hours in the hospital, the special directions, the last minute change of plans. I can listen and not judge, not offer advice, or extend pity, but just listen. Yes, I am an advocate and I fight for my child, but these parents are warriors that go to battle alongside their children as they wrestle monsters like fear, hopelessness, pain, and death with equal amounts of faith, hope, strength and love.They face decisions no parent should ever have to face, and they value every second of love and life because of it.  Their reality is different than ours, and this project is my humble and sincere attempt not only to understand the world of these families and children, but to give you a glimpse into their world, that you might seek to understand as well.  

This was the most difficult, but also the most rewarding project I've ever done.  Getting to know these kids and these families was absolutely priceless, and I am grateful that they allowed me into their lives so willingly. Please don't let their sacrifices of time and their brave transparency for this project go unnoticed! Please share this... share it on Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram and everywhere, and hashtag it #zipperstrong! If these stories and these images and these words resonate with you, even a little, please share this so that others can also hear and see their stories. Thank you.

SheRae Hunter

SL Hunter Photography


Click Here for Video Version



2 Years Old

Loves animals, especially dogs


3 Congenital Heart Defects


“You can never prepare yourself… you feel so helpless  as a parent

because there is nothing you can do to change it. 

But then your child shows you how strong and brave 

they are…”

~Maggie’s Mommy





3 Years old

Loves cheeseburgers the best


Multiple Congenital Heart Defects and

9 Open Heart Surgeries


…After her last open heart {surgery} I looked at her big, beautiful lips and her cute toes, and I realized they were pink!  After 2 1/2 years, my daughter was finally pink! I’d never seen her with pink {skin} and at the moment I fell onto her bed crying tears of joy. I knew she was going to have a longer, happier life than the 3-5 years they gave us…”


~Emilee’s Mommy



2 years old

Loves food. Quite a bit. 



Diagnosis: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Feeding tube placed.

"When he cries, sometimes I smile because he was on a ventilator for so long, and he couldn't cry.  It's weird, I know, but I smile."

~Isaacs Mommy






5 Years old

Loves to sing and loves to dance


3 surgical procedures, 2 of them, open heart surgeries  

“…How important God is as our foundation! And we are blessed beyond measure by having Madeline in our life”

~Madeline’s Mommy 




4 Years Old

Always smiling. Always


Diagnosis: Multiple Congenital Heart Defects 


“{we are} taking the good, no matter how

tiny, and the bad, no matter how big, as it comes. Have hope that {he} will 

overcome this…hope for a miracle”

~Colton’s Mommy (one year ago, during 

his toughest battle yet)




6 years old

A fun-loving goofball always ready for a good adventure


3 Open Heart Surgeries,

countless additional procedures


“..our whole world changed, what we once thought of a certainty was long gone. We learned to appreciate every breath and moment..we value each other more”


~Caleb’s Mommy 





2 Years old

Treasures her poster signed buy the UVA football team


2 open heart surgeries,

the first at just 4 days old


“Handing our daughter off to medical staff…knowing they were

 going to stop her heart for the’s the hardest 

thing we’ve ever had to do”


~Kaylen’s Mommy




4 years old

Big fan of Micky Mouse



4 Congenital Heart Defects 

5 Open Heart Surgeries

“The best advice ever given to us? ‘You will have your own

normal, don’t worry about what other families do. You will establish your own normal…its okay to be a little different’ ’’


-Anthony’s Mommy




Age 7


Future Performer and Gymnast! 

Diagnosis: Atrioventricular Septal Defects &Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 


"CHD is the realization that our daughter is sick. It is the realization that we, as her parents may outlive her... [but] what makes me most proud is all the pride she has in being a heart hero"  

~Emily's Mommy (and Daddy)



Age 3


Always busy making sure EVERYONE has a smile on their face 

Diagnosis: Transposition of the Great Arteries 

"We are grateful for him, for each other, for family, and for our community. He is a reminder to be more compassionate towards everyone...we may not know what battles they may be facing"


~Miguelangel's Mommy and Daddy 



Age 2

 LOVES chocolate. It's her favorite.

Diagnosis: Double Outlet Right Ventricle and VSD


"The hardest thing I've ever had to do was hand my 3 month old baby over for surgery." 

~Daleigh's Mommy



6 months on Earth, forever an Angel Warrior. Her big brother and big sister pose beside her.  


 She was the sweetest, and could light up a room with her big beautiful eyes. She loved holding hands. She would sit there and hold your hand and as soon as you would walk away, she would start getting restless and crying for you to come back

Diagnosis: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

“What better way to keep her memory alive, but by always saying her name and hearing others do the same. We have many precious memories of her...We miss her so much every day” 

~Nayleigh's Mommy and Daddy




2 Years Old

Ask him to name 22 species of sharks. He will!

Diagnosis: Multiple Heart Defects

"CHD is a lifelong illness with no cure, surgery only helps [my son] survive. I avoid fear of the future by remembering that worrying does not solve tomorrow’s problems, but instead strips today of it’s strength."

~Finn's Mommy



2 Years old


Charlotte has a BIG family with 11 aunts and uncles!

Diagnosis: Ventricular and Atrial Septal Defect  


"Charlotte doesn’t have a zipper, and people assume that because she hasn’t had surgery, she isn’t that sick. Surgery is not a cure, and the struggles are still there with our without the zipper scar..."

~Charlotte's Mommy



5 years old


Ava is one determined little girl. And quite the little dancer!

Diagnosis: Tetralogy of Fallot w/Pulmonary Atresia


"When Ava started preschool they did not have an AED [Defibrillator]. That really stressed me out and my friends wanted to help. They collected half the cost of the AED and then shared a GoFundMe to finish collecting the money needed. It still makes me cry to think of their generosity"

~Ava's Mommy



6 years Old

A happy, smiling little girl—that’s Makayla

Diagnosis: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome 


"I don’t let little things get to me anymore knowing we have God’s protection over our Makayla…"

~Makayla’s Daddy



2 years old


Due to a rare condition, his heart is on the opposite side of his body!

Diagnosis: HLHS, DORV, Heterotaxy


"We appreciate every moment with him.  Literally every day John wakes up I greet him with a huge hug and I think ‘Yes! I get another day with my sweet John!’ He is perfect to us in every way, even with his special heart."  

~John's Mommy



2 months on Earth, forever an Angel Warrior. Her little brother and big sister pose beside her.  


"We went to the Zoo with our 2 daughters when Gwen was 3 weeks old. She didn’t see anything because she was snuggled in her baby carrier,  but I know she heard a peacock! A peacock is a symbol of eternal life in Medieval paintings, so now whenever we see a peacock, we think of our Gwenyth."

Diagnosis: Truncus Arteriosus with Neonatal Alloimmune Neutropenia


"To cope with the loss of Gwen, I blogged …writing helped me to vent off some of the mess inside—finding words to detail the agony helped direct it outward instead of stirring it inside. It also always helps me to remind myself that I only feel this much pain because of how much love is there—ALWAYS there."

~Gwenyth's Mommy



4 years old


Brayden is literally one of the coolest 4 year olds I've ever met

Diagnosis: Pulmonary Atresia, Dextrocardia, L-TGA and aVSD


"It was so hard to hand over my perfectly healthy looking baby for a procedure that I know will save his life, but make him much worse before it made him better.  To watch the Dr’s walk away with him in their arms almost broke me as a Mom.  The fear creeps in everyday, but if we’re having a good day I tell that to myself, ‘everything is ok right now’."

~Brayden's Mommy




9 years old


Future soccer player? or maybe an artist...or maybe both!

Diagnosis: Single ventricle left heart, L-TGA


During Silas ' second surgery , staph infection with MRSA was introduced under his sternum bone .. He became very ill... even to the point of death .. I had to literally open my hands next to his bed and tell God that He gave me Silas and He has the right to have him .. and that He would need to teach me to trust Him to live life without my precious Silas if He should chose to take him to heaven .. Silas was 6 months old.

~Silas' Mommy



2 months on Earth, forever an Angel Warrior. His best buddy poses with him. 

Andre’s eyes had an incredible depth to them - even as a newborn…like an old soul

Diagnosis: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome 

"So many people are afraid to bring up our angels.  Its as though they think it will just make it more painful, or awkward, or remind us of our loss.  But it is such a GIFT when people bring him up.  I LOVE talking about Andre.  I LOVE hearing other people say his name. He's the best thing that ever happened to me.  I need other people to know that he's a part of me."

~André's mommy






Very Special thanks to the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum , Little Gym of Winchester and  Mended Little Hearts of the Shenandoah Valley. Without their help, this project would have been impossible. Thank you Megan Setzer, for the insight and the encouragement for this project, as well as the ideas. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to the families who participated in the project. I know it must have been difficult to share such intimate words with a stranger, and I know your time is precious.  Thank you, because you and your children are this project.  













]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:01:20 GMT
8 days new| Martinsburg Newborn Photographer I can't stop looking at this gorgeous little girl--she is an absolutely perfect little doll! She slept like an angel, so tiny and sweet, and I enjoyed every minute with her beautiful family--I know her Mamas will treasure these moments forever <3 


]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Thu, 01 Sep 2016 04:16:55 GMT
First Year|Winchester Baby Photographer Oh my my heart!! I cannot believe this little girl is almost 1 year old! She is such a tiny sweet little peanut! I had the pleasure of capturing her newborn portraits, and at just a few days old she was perfectly beautiful, with long dark locs and long eyelashes. Then I got to capture her 3 month pictures, her toes were in her mouth the entire time, and she was so very smiley! By 6 months her outgoing personality was in full swing, and with big smiles and giggles, she came to me and give me cuddles willingly, while her long dark hair started to change from deep dark locs to brunette wisps with light blond streaks. I cannot wait to see her soon for her one year cakesmash portraits!

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:41:07 GMT
Ladder to the Stars| Winchester baby photographer May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung 

-Bob Dylan 


I had the absolute pleasure of photographing this little baby girl for a very special occasion. You see, she was born with a broken heart, and just a few months ago, she underwent (another) open heart surgery.  This session was to celebrate her recovery, the return of her smile and spunk and sweet personality after weeks in a hospital bed.  I loved every second of getting to know this little peanut, and her brother (who you can tell is bursting with love and pride, even though he is pretty much a baby himself).  Build a latter to the stars little one...and climb on every rung <3

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Baby Photography Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer zipperstrong Sat, 27 Aug 2016 13:40:37 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer| Take Two See that little girl in the first picture? I did her Newborn pictures 18 months ago, and now she's a big sister! This little guy was nearly a month old, and he was awake nearly the entire time, so I got LOTS of expression! Enjoy all the adorableness of this little girl's brand new baby brother <3

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn oldborns Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:08:34 GMT
Fresh 48| Manassas Newborn Photographer This little man made a grand entrance a tad bit early--gave us all a scare, but both he and his mama are happy and healthy!  His nursery is absolutely darling, and you could just feel how much love went into making everything perfect for his arrival...​

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:08:16 GMT
9 days new | Martinsburg Newborn Photographer He wanted to be awake for her entire session, and he tried so hard, bless his little heart! Very rarely do I get an awake and happy baby, but this time we were able to capture those baby gray eyes just before he drifted to sleep. This military family session was close to my heart in more ways than one...

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:25:38 GMT
7 days new|Winchester Newborn Photographer Her Grandmommy called me from the hospital right after she was born, and I was so happy that I had a space in my schedule just for this sweet little bundle. She was oh so tiny and I loved every second and every snuggle!   


]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:21:27 GMT
Well, that was adorable| Stylized Children's Portraits At the last minute, a friend and I put this session together hoping people would see it in time! Having a child with ASD, I wanted to help her daughter raise money to get her autism service dog. We wanted to do a fun summer theme and the idea of a watermelon shoot came up! We had some adorable kiddos come out that evening in a beautiful location by a lake, and ended up having a TON of fun, lots of laughs, and just a good time in general. Thank you to all who participated to help Jayden--you are awesome! 





]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Children's Mini Portraits Sessions Stylized Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:35:46 GMT
8 days new | Winchester Newborn Photographer This little girl was teeny tiny, and sooooo sweet <3 I totally messed up when I realized I arrived at her house (as my awesome assistant can tell you)  without half of my props *gasp* and I had to go all the way back home and get them! This princess was a trooper though, (and so was her momma) she still slept the ENTIRE session for me! #mommybrain 

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:34:07 GMT
Flipbook Albums 5x7 Flipbook ($150)

This is one of my favorite little products! It holds 25 images and it's a true album with thick pages and a durable surface coating. As you may know, all of my pacakges come with an album, but if you wanted an extra gift album, or if you are making a la carte purchases and you wanted an album on the side, this is a great option!  


]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Products Winchester Newborn Photographer Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:28:20 GMT
11 days new|Winchester Newborn Photographer This beautiful baby boy has one of the thickest heads of hair I have ever seen on a newborn! Working with this incredibly photogenic little family made my job easy, and loving on this little bundle made made my entire week :) 

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:11:45 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer | 9 days new This little baby boy had the most cherub-like face I've ever seen. He was like a tiny porcelain doll in my arms!

I absolutely LOVE my job--every time I see an adorable baby picture, all I can think is how much I want to hold and love on that baby, but for all the pictures displayed on my page and office and website, it blows my mind that I actually got to do that with over 100 babies <3

Enjoy this handsome, thoughtful-looking little guy! looking little guy!  


]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Photography Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:58:17 GMT
Leesburg Newborn Photographer| 7 Days New  

This little girl brought a big blended family together like only a little sister could! All of her siblings are teens or preteens and you could just see the love in their faces as they held her close.  It was a joy to work with this big family and this beautiful baby! 

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Sun, 12 Jun 2016 11:57:28 GMT
First Impressions 3D/4D Ultrasound: A look inside! First heartbeat, first movement, first look at a tiny profile. No one understands the joy and the impact of every first like First Impressions 3D/4D Ultrasound.  Tucked away in a little nook of Stephens City, First Impression's ultrasound establishment is spacious and comfortable, but warm and cozy at the same time. The perfect sister-sister team that owns the establishment (one a creative business professional, and the other a creative healthcare professional) makes sure that every single mama-to-be that walks through the doors feels comfortable and confident.  Many moms-to-be have already enjoyed their baby showers and gender reveals (full décor and cake provided) at First Impressions, and they even sell keepsakes like heartbeat bears, custom made frames and albums, and monogrammed products in their retail area. In addition to all of this, the location hosts a number of parental classes from breastfeeding and childbirth , to prenatle yoga and infant massage

   I was humbled that they chose SL Hunter Photography to adorn the walls of their gorgeous space, and I want to share this hidden gem with everyone! Yet another unique service that the Winchester area has to offer that everyone needs to hear about! 

Fun Fact:  First Impressions 3D/4D Ultrasound is the only place in the local area that you can get a 4D scan, and 14 week gender reveal! No more waiting for 20 weeks!


]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:22:35 GMT
Winchester Baby Photographer|First Birthday So a mama came to me not too long ago wanting to do something special and unique for her daughter's first birthday shoot.  She was FULL of ideas and pinboards, and pictures (which is my favorite kind of client--one that's as excited as I am!) and she shared her daughter's personality and her vision with me.  Right away I knew that I had found them. The family that would absolutely love to do a first birthday paint session! I scoured the internet for an edible paint recipe (found it here) and WE HAD A BLAST. To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure how long her baby girl would be a blue smurf after the session, but mom was cool with that  because she's awesome (turns out that it washed off of her skin right away, which was an added plus of the above recipe)! I hope you enjoy this glimps of their session as much as I do!

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:48:49 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer| 9 days New My job is to capture memories, but I am most challenged when I am asked to preserve a memory for a parent while at the same time creating a memory for a child. When a family wants to incorporate a loved one who has passed away in their images, I always consider the request carefully. I want to convey all of the feelings of love, respect, admiration, and joy in the image itself, so that not only the older generation feels that memory surface, but so that brand new generation in the picture can look back at the picture one day and feel a connection with the person who, if they had the chance, would love them to the moon and back. The two images at the end honor this new mother's father, who was never able to meet his granddaughter.  He shared a special bond with his daughter through the unique sport of drag-racing, and she someday hopes to continue this love and legacy with her daughter (and sons), just as she knows her father would.

]]> (SL Hunter Photography) Wed, 06 Apr 2016 21:56:18 GMT