SL Hunter Photography: Blog https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog en-us (C) SL Hunter Photography [email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:44:00 GMT Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:44:00 GMT The Rainbow Baby Project--Winchester VA https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/the-rainbow-baby-project

 

”Rainbows introduce us to reflections of different beautiful possibilities so we never forget that pain and grief are not the final options in life.” – Aberjhani
 

 

 

 

 

”God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us – in the dreariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope.” -Maya Angelou
 

 

 

 

 

”Often times, the brightest rainbows follow the darkest rainstorms.”  – Unknown
 

 

 

A rainbow baby is a baby that follows the loss of a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, illness, or failed adoption. One of the greatest fears for mothers who have endured such a loss is that their beloved baby, on earth for so short a time, will be forgotten.  I decided to do this project after experiencing the loss of our unborn daughter, our third child, in 2017.  I wanted to remember, celebrate, and honor all rainbow mamas, rainbow babies, and their angels. Each picture represents both living and lost children through the inclusion of the rainbow knit fabric, and a visual of the love of a mother's once empty arms filled.  As you view this project, I hope that you have never or never will experience such a heartbreaking loss, but if you have or do... know that you are not alone. You are not alone, your baby is not, nor will ever be forgotten, and if your rainbow is not here yet...always have hope.

 

 

The Rainbow Baby Project

#therainbowbabyproject

 

 

 

"It's ok to talk about your loss. You don't know who else can benefit from your story" -Natalie 

 

 

 

Rainbow Estelle

&

Angel Baby

Rainbow Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Don't give up. Keep trying because your rainbow is waiting" -Pam

 

 

 

Rainbow Cooper

Rainbow Corbin

Angel Baby Girl

Angel Baby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There is no shame in what happened. Loosing a baby is never your fault." -Jenna

 

 

 

Rainbow Luke

Angel Baby 

Angel Baby 

Angel Baby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter when your loss happens, it's loss. It hurts physically and emotionally and should be treated kindly. The loss of a baby never stops, you just learn how to live each day with it. Your baby or babies mattered." -Madalynn 

 

 

 

Rainbow Eleanor

Rainbow Dean

Rainbow Lilliana

Angel Cara

Angel Amos

Angel Brennen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Yes, it hurts immensely to lose a child, but hang in there. God will bring you through it and give you a reason to smile again." -Dawn

 

 

 

Rainbow Gabriela "Gabby"

Angel Sara Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Be forever hopeful" -Alison

 

 

 

Rainbow Charlotte

Angel Baby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"..Each life was trusted to us, and it's precious, and with each life, hope was born. Even though we couldn't see the baby with our eyes, we could see them with our heart. God has blessed us with 5 babies in our 15 years of marriage, but two of them were meant to be born in heaven. I can't go into the details, but it takes time to say goodbye." -Katya

 

 

 

Rainbow Ruslan

Rainbow Lucy

Angel Baby Girl

Angel Baby Boy

 

 

 

 

 

"There will always be storms in your life, some bigger and stronger than others. You might feel like you can't get back
 up or that the damage can never be repaired from that storm. Always remember that God is right there with you, wanting you to lean on Him when you can't hold yourself up" -Christina 

 

 

 

Rainbow Liana

Angel Carter Eugene

More about Carter's Story

 

 

 

 

 

Infertility can be a long hard road. We began to pursue adoption after a few years, in hopes of growing our family and being able to provide a family for a child who didn't have one. after 9 months and a fast approaching placement we get a call that 'they changed their minds'. No explanation, no closure. A strong blow to our longing hearts. But God is kind and faithful."

 

 

 

Rainbow Baby Layla

Baby T forever in our hearts 

Hoping to see her face soon! Adoption in process.

 

 

 

 

 

"At first, there were many bad days and very few good days, but as time went on more good days replaced the bad. Our sweet rainbow helped heal our hearts in a way we never thought possible and our love for her doesn't overshadow the love for the one we lost, as we feared. It only intensifies it." -SheRae 

 

 

 

Rainbow Zoe

Angel Faith Lynn

More about Faith's Story 

 

 

 

 

 

"She is the second baby I've loved, and the first baby I've held" -Rachel 

 

 

 

Rainbow Danica

Angel Cadence Quinn

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Mommy Newborn Photography Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/the-rainbow-baby-project Sun, 12 May 2019 04:57:56 GMT
A Broken Heart, an Invisible Illness https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/a-broken-heart-an-invisible-illness If you haven't had a chance to view the beautiful children and their scars in this year's Zipperstrong Project by SL Hunter Photography and PCHA, take a moment to do so! The project was also featured beautifully as a local Valentines Day special for CHD Awareness week.  Emilee was just a baby when we started! I love these kids and I love watching them grow each year!

Zipperstrong artwork is available for viewing at INOVA Children's Hospital, UVA Children's Hospital, and Children’s National, and will be on display at the annual Hope For Marietta Casino Night   


Reported by Bria Lloyd WDVM

 

If you didn't have a chance to see the project in action behind the scenes, click here for November's Story!

 

Special thank you to 

Pediatric Congenital Heart Association--VA

Discovery Museum Winchester

 

ZIPPERSTRONG PROJECT LINK

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) chdawareness Zipperstrong https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/a-broken-heart-an-invisible-illness Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:20:18 GMT
Picture hanging hack https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/picture-hanging-hack Stop what you are doing and read this post. It is life changing! If you are like me and a) your walls have hundreds of holes in them from trying to hang pictures b) you dread framing your pictures because eventually you will have to hang them up or c) the thought of a measuring tape, a laser level, and eyeballing it gives you peptic ulcers, then YOU NEED TO READ THIS ASAP,  POST HASTE, AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. 

I have actually been using this method for quite some time now and I can tell you, it's easy and foolproof.  It is so easy that anyone can do it, It takes about 5 minutes tops, and it is one hole...EVERY TIME! Don't believe me?  Take a look:

 

WHAT YOU NEED

Twine

sticky tack

Level

Hammer

Nails/Picture Anchors

Picture (of course)

Ruler (optional)     

 

STEP 1

Turn your artwork over and find the center of each of your hanging mechanisms.  Place little balls of sticky tack right above each of those centers. Hint: If you are hanging with a wire, pull up on the wire to find the center.

STEP 2 

For artwork with two hooks, take one end of string and attach it to one of the pieces of sticky tack. Pull the string taut and attach it to the other piece of sticky tack with the leftover string hanging free. Hint: For artwork with one hook you do not need the string.

STEP 3

Pick up the string and place it on the wall using the sticky tack. Try to get it as straight as possible and make sure to pull it taut and stick it well.

STEP 4

Make sure that the string is straight using a level

STEP 5

Use a hammer and nail to make a hole in the wall through the center of each of the balls of sticky tack...

...insert your anchor (optionally) and finish hammering the nail into the wall! 

IMPORTANT: If you are installing something heavier than a few pounds, make sure you use a stud finder to make sure you are not hanging it into straight dry wall! 

 

STEP 6

Carefully hang your beautiful artwork 

 

STEP 7 

Double check that it is straight with your level. It will be. Like I said, this is foolproof.

EXTRA: Use a pre-marked piece of wood or paper to measure 1, 2, or 3 inches if you plan to hang up multiple pieces of artwork  HINT: Make sure that you account for framing with your spacing! 

 

THAT'S IT! Your life is just a bit easier now :) 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/picture-hanging-hack Wed, 13 Feb 2019 05:28:18 GMT
I'm not actually a photographer... https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/im-not-actually-a-photographer  

My style is simple and clean. My attention to detail is almost too much at times. Every shot is designed to be displayed as a masterpiece. Why? Because I am not a photographer.  I am different from other photographers because I am and have always been a visual artist. My tool is a camera, my medium is film (well, digital film) and my subjects are people--because that's where I find beauty and joy and perfection. It's where I find my purpose.

If you, like me, are passionate about the things below, hire me! Give me a shot and I promise I will impress you--the time, the planning, and every investment will be worth each second and each penny as you embark on this experience! 

 

 

If you are looking for more photos on your phone's memory,

I am not the right photographer for you

You've got portrait mode. With a little light coaching, anyone can take decent pictures of their kids, but I believe that we've all become memory hoarders. Instead of enjoying our moments, we (myself included) try to document every second, afraid that the moment's joy or peace will slip from our minds forever. I am a firm believer that one can never have too many pictures, but they need to be printed, held, cherished, passed down, and shared like the treasure that they are. They do not deserve to be junk on a hard drive between screenshots and memes. 

 

If you are hoping for just an electronic drive of digital images for your 'family portraits drawer'

I cannot help you with that

Do you want to hear something crazy? CDs are obsolete. Flash drives are going the way of the CD rapidly. Already. Go ahead, look it up I even included a link to start with up there! I hope there will always be a service to retrieve these precious images, but gone will be the days of looking through old pictures during a family gathering, as our world becomes more and more inundated with digital data. You know what will never become obsolete? A photograph.  A digital image disappears from memory, but a tangible print is treasured forever 

 

If you are just looking for something to share on social media, something that will fade into the timeline...

then I am afraid I may not be the choice for you

Pictures are everywhere, we are drowning in memes and pictures and Ads.  The pictures I take of your children, they are for you, and only you. Sure, they are for you to show off to the world, and I hope you do proudly make it your profile picture for a few months (I totally do!) But ultimately, they are for you--you treasure them because they are the "right now" that you want to keep and hold and have forever, so don't cheapen those moments by putting them next to Ads, memes and pictures of last nights dinner, counting likes, loves and 'congratulations'. Put them up there, show them off, but always remember that these are for you. 

 

If you wanting something temporary, unconcerned about quality or longevity  

You probably shouldn't chose me

 

Print everything. There are a million services that will print from your phone, you can plug your phone in at CVS, Target, or Walmart. You can print at Costco and Shutterfly. Print everything off of your phone and your personal camera, but please, please, PLEASE do not spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a professional session, then print everything with a Groupon, or at a consumer print station. It makes my heart hurt to even think about the injustice being done to the color, the care and the perfection of balance that a true professional works behind the scenes to achieve for you.  It is nothing but a disservice to you and a poor reflection of what you've paid for!  Print copies for family and for backup if you must from these places, but please order at least one archival, color corrected piece of artwork for yourself from your photographer. I include this printing service with every session so that you have EVERY picture, archival quality, as it is intended to look.

Finally, If you are content with the delivery of an unfinished product

 I am not the photographer for you

 

The digital world is not the reason I chose photography--If we could go back to film, I would in a heartbeat!  The digital world is great and convenient and it connects people, but it is not the reason I chose to serve you, and those digital 'ones and zeros' are not the ultimate joy that you will have to cherish from our time together. From the very beginning, I knew I could never be 'just a photographer'. In fact, I REFUSED to be just another photographer!  I am proud to say that since my very beginning in 2011, I have been faithful to that promise I made for myself and my clients, and that value will always hold strong with SL Hunter Photography.   EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY CLIENTS across three states has walked away from me with something tangible to cherish. Something of the very highest quality, something that will be found and dusted off a hundred years from now by great grand children. Something that because it is priceless, is worth every penny.

#savetheprints 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/im-not-actually-a-photographer Sun, 27 Jan 2019 00:36:54 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer | Winchester Medical Center https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/winchester-newborn-photographer-winchester-medical-center Check out the Newborn Photography on the walls of Winchester Medical Center in the beautiful Mother/Baby Wing! If you have given birth at WMC in the last 4 years you've probably seen SL Hunter Photography on the walls!

winchester medical center mother baby Birth Photography Winchester Medical Center Mother Baby Hospital Photography Hospital Newborn Pictures Hospital Photography Winchester Medical Center Hospital PicturesMother Baby pcitures Hospital Newborn Pictures Winchester Medical Center Pictures Winchester Medical Center Valley Health Valley Health Winchester

 

 

Also see SL Hunter Photography's work at the following locations:

Winchester Medical Center

Pediatric Associates of Winchester 

First Impressions 3D/4D ultrasound

Premier Birth Center

Classic Touch Interiors

 Grace Point Pediatrics 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/winchester-newborn-photographer-winchester-medical-center Fri, 18 Jan 2019 03:33:33 GMT
The Storyteller | Winchester Children's Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/the-storyteller Her mind lives in the details, and she doesn't keep them to herself. Quite but bold, she makes sure everyone is included as she finds joy in sharing the little things that intrigue her mind with those around her... Tell your stories, little one, but just let me tell yours today <3 

 

"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place." --J.K. Rowling

WInchester Family PhotographyWinchester Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Newborn Photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/the-storyteller Sat, 05 Jan 2019 03:01:40 GMT
6 months young | Roanoke Baby Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/12/6-months-young-roanoke-baby-photographer This little sweet pea came all the way from Roanoke with her mommy and daddy to see me! It has been such fun watching this little family grow from 2 to three before my eyes, and watching her mommy and daddy assume their roles so effortlessly! You wouldn't even believe that mama came in and said that baby girl had missed her nap that morning and on top of that, wasn't super smiley with strangers! Truly, this happy little girl actually made my job pretty easy <3  The pride in dad's face in that first picture just melts my heart into a puddle--Daddies and their babies are my favorite! 

 Newborn PhotographyFamily Portraits Top Newborn PhotographerTop Newborn Photographer

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/12/6-months-young-roanoke-baby-photographer Sun, 02 Dec 2018 12:00:00 GMT
November Baby, One Month Young | Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/12/autumn-baby-boy-winchester-newborn-photographer I don't think I could have loved this Snuggled Mini Session any more.  What a gorgeous family, blessed with these two beautiful little boys! As you can see, the camera loved them! At a month old, this was an unconventional newborn session, and I am so happy that I got all of those adorable expressions--That last picture in his PJ's was totally unplanned...he was just so darn cute in his little number jammers <3

Oh! Can you guess his name? There's a hint in one of his pictures! 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Newborn Photography Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/12/autumn-baby-boy-winchester-newborn-photographer Sun, 02 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Princess Cake Smash | Winchester Cakesmash Sessions https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/princess-cake-smash-winchester-cakesmash-sessions The little girl in me loved the pink and the pearls and the lace and the general girly-ness of this session to pieces! I got a little teary eyed when I realized that it's been an entire year since I held this girl as a teeny tiny newborn, and it was so much fun watching her enjoy her first cake! I got to watch her parents become natural in the mommy/daddy role over the year, and we all celebrated with cake (Well, mostly she celebrated with cake...as you'll see in these sweet captures).

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/princess-cake-smash-winchester-cakesmash-sessions Sat, 01 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT
November Baby | Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/november-baby-winchester-newborn-photographer See her little feet up by her face? She was most comfortable like that! She spent most of the past 9 months curled up just like that, safe and sound in her mommy. In fact, she was so comfortable, she decided she didn't want to flip over head down for her grand arrival! Love this teeny little pizza roll, and her sweet little family... and I can't wait to watch her grow! Welcome to earthside, Baby R :) 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Photography Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/november-baby-winchester-newborn-photographer Thu, 15 Nov 2018 20:21:45 GMT
The Prankster| Winchester Children's Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-prankster-winchester-childrens-photographer The most wasted of all days is one without laughter

~E.E. Cummings 

Quite and bold,  Determined and perceptive.  All these things have made you the one who always knows how to make someone smile. Laughter is the best medicine, and you make sure those around you are well taken care of...and that smile says it all!  Keep being that cure for the world, little guy! 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Family Photography Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-prankster-winchester-childrens-photographer Wed, 14 Nov 2018 22:57:59 GMT
Autumn Baby | Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/autumn-baby-winchester-newborn-photographer The first thing I noticed about you were your eyes! They are ageless and beautiful, like an old soul, as if you've seen beautiful things in your short life, and those visions hide behind your sweet gaze...Even though you were over a month past the 'newborn session stage', you were a joy to photograph! I am so happy to have met you, sweet E. You are perfect!

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Baby Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/autumn-baby-winchester-newborn-photographer Thu, 01 Nov 2018 20:45:16 GMT
The Cheerleader | Winchester Children's Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-cheerleader-winchester-childrens-photographer You are everyone's encourager! Your smile and your excitement lights up and hypes up the room, and everyone wants to be around you because you are just so much fun! Your joy for life is contagious, and to you, every day is an adventure.  Never stop finding big things in the little things...Cheer on! 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) art family photography preview winchester newborn photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-cheerleader-winchester-childrens-photographer Thu, 01 Nov 2018 20:26:07 GMT
The Beauty Queen | Winchester Children's Photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-beauty-queen-winchester-childrens-photography Quiet as you are, you have a confidence about you. You march to the beat of your own drum and you are not easily influenced by those around you. You decide what you like and you don't fault others for their preferences either.  Intellegince, Kindness, Beauty--all of the ingredients of a beloved fairytale queen... Never change, little one! 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Family Photography Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-beauty-queen-winchester-childrens-photography Thu, 01 Nov 2018 20:19:50 GMT
The Observer | Winchester children's Photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/the-observer She sees the world differently than most. She confidently rocks her style and unique personality without wavering under peer pressure, and though she is quite, she is fiercely protective of those she loves. Like a true artist, she has the ability to gently reveal to others her perspective of the world. She understands things in ways lost to most children her age, because she is an observer.  

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Family Photography Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/the-observer Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:56:42 GMT
October Beauty | Northern Virginia Newborn Photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/october-beauty Tiny and sweet, she was like a feather in my arms.  She slept through her entire session (including several dirty diapers) and has the most beautiful perfect pouty lips! All the cuteness finished off with headful of silvery blond locks.  Her sister was adorable, charming and proud (and maybe a teensy bit jealous too-but who can blame her?) A beautiful family, inside and out!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/october-beauty Mon, 22 Oct 2018 04:46:57 GMT
The Hero | Winchester Children’s Photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/the-hero You are quite, you are soft-spoken, you are shy at first, but behind that gentle exterior, you are a fierce warrior! You are resolved, but you are kind. You are silent, but intense.  This is what I wanted to capture in you, M.   You are a real-life version of a young storybook hero, and the world needs more heroes. Children's Fine Art Portrait Sessions are a way to preserve precious days. Book one child per year--include siblings, but focus on just that child. You will be forever glad that you did! Let me capture what I see, and most importantly...what you see. 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Family Photography portraits https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/the-hero Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:21:15 GMT
July Shortie Session https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/7/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)

 

Bring:

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Baby New Photography Toddler https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2018/7/july-shortie-session Tue, 17 Jul 2018 21:25:42 GMT
Guest Blog: Bringing Home Your First Baby https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/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&amp; 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

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Mommys Newborn Photography Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/guest-blog-bringing-home-your-first-baby Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:43:44 GMT
Double Take | Northern VA Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2017/2/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.

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2017/2/double-take-northern-va-newborn-photographer Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:57:51 GMT
Zipper Strong | CHD Awareness https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2017/2/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

 


Maggie

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

#zipperstrong 

 


 

Emilee

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

​#zipperstrong  


Isaac

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

 

 

 

 

Madeline

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 

​#zipperstrong 


 

Colton

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)

​#zipperstrong 


 

Caleb

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 

​#zipperstrong 

 


 

Kaylen

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 procedure..it’s the hardest 

thing we’ve ever had to do”

 

~Kaylen’s Mommy

​#zipperstrong 


 

Anthony

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

​#zipperstrong  

 


Emily

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)

​#zipperstrong  


Miguelangel 

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 

​#zipperstrong  


Daleigh 

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

​#zipperstrong  


Nayleigh

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

​#zipperstrong  


 

Finn

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

​#zipperstrong  


Charlotte

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

​#zipperstrong  


Ava

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

​#zipperstrong  


Makayla

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

​#zipperstrong  


John

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

​#zipperstrong  


Gwenyth

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

​#zipperstrong  


Brayden

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

​#zipperstrong  


 

Silas

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

​#zipperstrong  


André

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

​#zipperstrong  

 

 



 

 

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.  

#zipperstrong 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2017/2/zipper-strong-chd-awareness Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:01:20 GMT
8 days new| Martinsburg Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/8-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 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/8-days-new-martinsburg-newborn-photographer Thu, 01 Sep 2016 04:16:55 GMT
First Year|Winchester Baby Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/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!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/first-year-winchester-baby-photographer Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:41:07 GMT
Ladder to the Stars| Winchester baby photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/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

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Baby Photography Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer zipperstrong https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/ladder-to-the-stars-winchester-baby-photographer Sat, 27 Aug 2016 13:40:37 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer| Take Two https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/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

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn oldborns https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/winchester-newborn-photographer-take-two Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:08:34 GMT
Fresh 48| Manassas Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/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...​

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/fresh-48-manassas-newborn-photographer Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:08:16 GMT
9 days new | Martinsburg Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/9-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...

 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/9-days-new-martinsburg-newborn-photographer Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:25:38 GMT
7 days new|Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/7-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!   

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/7-days-new-winchester-newborn-photographer Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:21:27 GMT
Well, that was adorable| Stylized Children's Portraits https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/well-that-was-adorable-stylized-childrens-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! 

 


A

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Children's Mini Portraits Sessions Stylized https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/well-that-was-adorable-stylized-childrens-portraits Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:35:46 GMT
8 days new | Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/8-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 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/8-days-new-winchester-newborn-photographer Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:34:07 GMT
Flipbook Albums https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/mini-album 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!  

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Products Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/mini-album Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:28:20 GMT
11 days new|Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/11-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 :) 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/11-days-new-winchester-newborn-photographer Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:11:45 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer | 9 days new https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/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!  

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Photography Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/7/winchester-newborn-photographer-9-days-new Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:58:17 GMT
Leesburg Newborn Photographer| 7 Days New https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/6/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! 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/6/leesburg-newborn-photographer-7-days-new Sun, 12 Jun 2016 11:57:28 GMT
First Impressions 3D/4D Ultrasound: A look inside! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/4/first-impressions 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!

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/4/first-impressions Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:22:35 GMT
Winchester Baby Photographer|First Birthday https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/4/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!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/4/winchester-baby-photographer-first-birthday Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:48:49 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer| 9 days New https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/4/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.

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/4/winchester-newborn-photographer-9-days-new Wed, 06 Apr 2016 21:56:18 GMT
How to Choose a Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/3/how-to-choose-a-newborn-photographer How to choose a newborn photographer

 

1) MOST IMPORTANT: Parents, NEVER, EVER attempt the poses that you see professionally. They are all very specific poses that are taught to professionals in a step by step manner. Attempting them on your own could have severe consequences.  

2) This post is NOT meant to discourage aspiring photographers, just to educate new moms! The sample images I use in this blog are some of my first sessions.  They were, however, photographed AFTER I took my first newborn safety posing course 5 years ago.

Why this is an important decision

Remember when you started the search for your wedding photographer? Think of it this way: You may be able to take a chance with your yearly family session, but like wedding photography, newborn photography is highly specialized. Like weddings, it’s a one-shot deal.  The newborn window between 5 and 14 days of life is gone forever in the blink of an eye, along with the chance for professional newborn pictures, so when you choose, you want to make sure that you choose wisely.  Newborn photography is time consuming and very expensive for a photographer to train for which should always be reflected both in the portfolio and in the investment for the experience (you simply cannot teach yourself many of the techniques safely, and the industry knows that).   The number of photographers out there, most including in their intro/bio/portfolio that they do offer newborn sessions can be absolutely overwhelming!  Above all, you want your baby to be SAFE, and you don’t want anyone who hasn’t been trained ‘practicing’ on your fragile child (practicing is different than portfolio building—all photographers do this regularly to keep their portfolios fresh, and individuals who are building portfolios presumably have already gone through the necessary workshops to achieve safe posing) In addition to the obvious (a website, reviews, general professionalism ) Individuals will have a special manner about the way they work that makes for a calm, sleepy baby, and a high level of comfort and trust in the parents, so that they feel they can relax throughout the session…Baby Whispering, some like to call it :)    

Style

Are they lifestyle (also called photo journalistic) or portrait (posed)?

 Or do they do both? Many photographers choose one or the other, but some do a hybrid of both, or offer them as a separate type of session.  Either way, this is definitely something that should be reviewed and discussed before booking a session.

 

This is a Lifestyle image

 

This is a portrait image

Does this photographer specialize?

You want to make sure that the artist specializes in newborn/baby photography. This may not be the only thing that they specialize in, but keep in mind that a photographer that claims to ‘specialize’ in Newborns, Families, Corporate, Weddings, and everything else under the sun may be a “Jack of all trades, but a master of none.” Trust me on this--been there, done that! Newborn Photography is highly a highly specialized art.

Do you like their overall style from posing and lighting to post processing?

Every photographer has a different style. As artists, it’s impossible to have the exact same style from one photographer to the next.  Tiny differences in posing, lighting, and post processing can make one photographer drastically different from the next

Do you include family and sibling shots?

This varies from photographer to photographer.  Some photographers include siblings and family, some charge extra, and some do not do them at all.  It’s purely a matter of preference, but it certainly needs to be addressed!

Ordering?

Do they do online orders or in-person orders? Ask them why they choose to do ordering the way that they do.

Digital Negatives

Are they included, available to purchase within a package, or do they not include them at all? Photographers with higher session fees typically include a few images as digital negatives with reproduction rights. Photographers with lower priced session fees typically provide negatives within a package or as a backup for prints, or sometimes not at all.  Regardless, consider what you want to do with the images after they are taken—Album? Wall Art? Lots of small prints and gifts? A good photographer will be able to talk you through all of this so that you are confident going into the session and placing your orders.

What are they charging for their session ?

If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.  This is a biggie, and I will not quote an actual session price, since your location is going to play a big role in the specifics, but generally pretty much anywhere in the US, Parents hiring high quality newborn photographers plan to spend about $500 at the very least, if they only want some items/negatives, but the majority spend between $600-$800 (this is including some products as well) and many locations even have average spending $2000-$4000 (which is still less than many would spend for a wedding photographer!). Price is highly dependent on location as well (for example, a session in Washington DC or New York is going to be on that higher end).  If you encounter a photographer who is not charging much and is including a ton of digital negatives, do some digging into their profile, full sessions, and experience, as this can be a red flag.  In order to be licensed, insured, trained, and to have all the proper equipment and props, a photographer MUST charge a certain price.     

Do they have a studio or do they come to you?

Both work great and it’s a matter of preference! Photographers that come to you like to get the family involved while photographers in a studio often use an assistant.  There is no right or wrong way and there are pros and cons to each—you just need to make sure you are comfortable!

Plans and Packages?

Ask about packages and plans—I cannot stress this enough consider what you want to get from this session and make sure that you budget accordingly. Consider not only the session an images themselves, but also what you want to do with the images--the final product of any portrait session is always prints, albums, wall art and products--not just the digital negatives, and this is true regardless of whether you are getting them printed at a consumer location, or ordering from the photographer's professional lab. Are you looking for quantity or quality in that final product?  A good photographer will help you get what you want yet stay within your budget through a selection of plans.  Another thing to consider: does your photographer only do newborn sessions or will they be able to photograph your baby at 6, 9, 12 months? Do they do Maternity sessions?

 

Experience/Safety 

When do they book sessions?

Sessions should take place in the first 2 weeks of life for the majority of the popular poses that you see.  If your child is older, your photographer should tell you explicitly that some of those poses may not be possible. Why? Attempting some of those poses on more mature ligaments can cause injury.  Don’t worry, if you missed the window, you can still get some cute awake pictures and a few of the sleepy poses still work! 

Vaccines?

It’s ok and it’s your right to ask whether your photographer has had the flu vaccine and the whooping cough vaccine.  These two disease are severe for a newborn, and these two vaccines are paramount for anyone who works with newborn babies, including healthcare, daycare, and photographers.

Are they legal

This is a no brainer, and also always your right to ask.  A true professional is both licensed as a business and insured as a business.  Posing as a photography business without a license is illegal, and working without insurance is dangerous for everyone involved.  They should have no problem producing proof of both.    

How long have they worked with newborns?

This should really be phrased ‘how many newborn sessions have you done’ A photographer may do just 5-6 over a period of 5 years, or 40-50 over the period of 2 years—it all comes down to the photographers  experience, and also how comfortable you feel with the number of times they’ve done this.

Do they meet with you beforehand?

This is a professional courtesy. You should either meet the photographer, or at least have a phone conversation with them prior to your session. Also, they should remain in contact with you up until the baby’s birth and the session. 

Are they experienced with a camera? (do they know what they are doing technically)

This is another biggie.  When a photographer shares pictures on their website within their portfolio or on their blog, or if they share picture on their Facebook page, they are sharing their very best work. If that work is blurry, badly lit (under/overexposed), framed improperly, overprocessed, ect., what does that say about the rest of their work? what you don’t see? Ask to see an entire session! A professional photographer will have NONE of these very basic errors in a final portfolio.  

Are the babies safe?

Composite shots, Counterweights, spotter, hyperextension, acrocyanosis should be words that you photographer is familiar with.  Does your photographer know how to tell if you baby is too hot or too cold, hungry, wet, tired or gassy ? Of course there will be some fussing, but your newborn session should be mostly peaceful, and your baby should not be screaming the entire time—in fact, if you are a new parent, you may pick up some soothing tricks from your newborn photographer! Don’t be afraid to ask all of these questions.  Newborn poses may be creative, but the base poses are specific and in order to avoid injury or an uncomfortable baby, they can only be taught-- not discovered, or experimented with. Note: A baby should NEVER be placed in a glass or ceramic container. Those poses are cute, but dangerous and not worth the risk of injury or death

Are the babies comfortable?

Take a look at the online portfolio and Facebook pictures.  Are the expressions soft and sleepy, or are their little faces contorted or grumpy looking? Are their arms and legs bent at awkward angles instead of natural womb-like positions? Do their hands look relaxed and open or loose, or are the hands mostly closed into tight fists underneath their heads and bodies? Are they grabbing their skin and cheeks too tightly?  Now look at their faces, can you see both cheeks in all of the pictures or are their faces just smooshed into the blanket? Last but not least, if you see any ‘bits and pieces’ of their manhood or womanhood, that is a red flag—an experienced photographer will make sure that not only every showcased picture is decent, but every picture you receive as well. Baby bottoms are ok—and super adorable, I might add!

Is the posing ‘neat’?

Do they bother with set design and color planning? Final images, especially those shared on a website or social media will look purposeful. Colors will complement one another, and the posing will be tidy. Here of some examples of what I mean by that:

Now here's an awkward pose (This was one of my very first newborn sessions--even after training. yeesh)

1) Face smooshed into blanket

2) Hand awkwardly crumpled under chin

3) blanket is lumpy and disorganized 

And here is a comfy baby:

1) Colors and textures are purposeful 

2) Hands relaxed

3) Lips and cheeks visible

 

 

Another pose that's not quite right (another early session of mine)

1) Hand blocking face

2) Face smooshed into lumpy blanket 

3) Legs and feet unposed and out of focus 

Much Better:

1)Purposeful sharpness and softness in focus

2) Hands relaxed

3) Face and limbs relaxed and visible 

 

 

To be completely honest, in the end I really hope you choose me (of course!) but if you decide to go with another photographer, of if you don't live nearby, then use these guidelines and tips to find an experienced individual to work with during this once-in-a-lifetime experience! HERE is a printable list of question to ask your potential newborn photographer!

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/3/how-to-choose-a-newborn-photographer Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:30:58 GMT
The Newest Hunter|Winchester Puppy Photographer? https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/the-newest-hunter-winchester-puppy-photographer I have always wanted a dog. ALWAYS.

 It was serious too, and I begged and prayed all through my childhood for a puppy.  Of course, it was impossible because we moved every two years as a military family, and in base housing sometimes you could have a pet and sometimes you couldn't.  My parents didn't want to take the risk of having to rip a dog away from us because we had to move. By the time we were staying put in VA, it was too late. I was already midway into middle school and in 5 or 6 years I'd be gone to college. My dog would become their dog, and they never wanted a dog. Now I want my children to have what I couldn't--the chance to grow up with a canine friend. I want them to learn responsibility, leadership and respect for animals.

 

I was scrolling through Facebook nearly a month ago when I saw him. He was absolutely perfect! I have a friend that breeds Chinese Shar Pei dogs and her little female had inadvertently gotten tangled with a unrestrained neighbor's dog--resulting in a litter of half-breed Shar Pei puppies. Had the puppies been born to the other owners, who knows what would have happened to these babies, but they were born into a family with an experienced puppy-cargiver, and I know that they will all have great homes!  I knew at once that this one was ours though (anyone who has a dog knows that feeling, whether you adopt from a breeder or a shelter--you just KNOW). I finally convinced my husband to fall in love with him too, and we named him after his childhood dog, Rex.  

 

Of course, being me, I HAD to do some newborn portraits of our little guy at 4 weeks old.  He was an angel--apparently some of the same tactics that work on human babies also work on dog babies, because he slept like a champ :) Hey, maybe there's a career here? SheRae Hunter, Winchester Puppy Photographer--that has a nice ring to it, right? (;

A few siblings pictures <3

 

  

Note to Mamas: Don't worry, I wash all of my newborn props and wraps obsessively, which I owe to at one point being employed at a retail studio. They NEVER wash their props and blankets, and that's not even an exaggeration. 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Pets https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/the-newest-hunter-winchester-puppy-photographer Mon, 29 Feb 2016 13:33:03 GMT
9 Days New|Strasburg Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/9-days-new Better late than never! Here is my princess from a few weeks ago--look at those cheeks <3  

 

I did something different and posted 18 pictures from this particular session.  When you are booking a newborn session, always ask to see a full session, or at least a full session flow.  There were 50 images in this session, but these 18 give you a good idea of the entire session, from colors and style cohesiveness to (most importantly) the consistency and quality of the images.  This is really going to separate a professional experienced photographer from a dabbler or someone just trying to get experience (there are lots. LOTS of those).  I'll post a blog on how to choose a newborn photographer in the near future, but for now, take this tip to heart--it all boils down to a matter of safety and professionalism in the end!   

 Oh, and she's SUPER adorable too, everyone needs to see her, the little Hokie! 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/9-days-new Sun, 28 Feb 2016 23:14:57 GMT
Zipper Strong | CHD Awareness https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/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

 


Maggie

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

#zipperstrong 

 


 

Emilee

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

​#zipperstrong  


Isaac

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

 

 

 

 

Madeline

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 

​#zipperstrong 


 

Colton

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)

​#zipperstrong 


 

Caleb

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 

​#zipperstrong 

 


 

Kaylen

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 procedure..it’s the hardest 

thing we’ve ever had to do”

 

~Kaylen’s Mommy

​#zipperstrong 


 

Anthony

4 years old

Big fan of Micky Mouse

 

 

4 Congenital Heart Defects 

4 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

​#zipperstrong  

 


Emily

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)

​#zipperstrong  


Miguelangel 

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 

​#zipperstrong  


Daleigh 

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

​#zipperstrong  


Nayleigh

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

 

This feisty girl could light up a room with her big beautiful eyes. 

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

​#zipperstrong  


 

Finn

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

​#zipperstrong  


Charlotte

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

​#zipperstrong  


Ava

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

​#zipperstrong  


Makayla

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

​#zipperstrong  


John

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

​#zipperstrong  


Gwenyth

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

​#zipperstrong  


Brayden

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

​#zipperstrong  


 

Silas

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

​#zipperstrong  


André

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

​#zipperstrong  



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.  

#zipperstrong 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/zipper-strong-chd-awareness Sat, 13 Feb 2016 05:30:00 GMT
Winchester Smash Cake Sessions https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/winchester-smash-cake-sessions Who takes the cake when it comes to smash cake sessions? Beckaboo's Cakes! SL Hunter Photography and Beckaboo's Cakes have worked flawlessly together for over two years delivering dream Smash Cake sessions to little boys and girls for their very first birthday.  Book a Cakesmash Session before or during April 2016, and SL Hunter Photography will cover the cost of your Cake! Meanwhile, drool over these, and stop by her facebook page and give her a like! Check out smash session previews with the cakes below by SL Hunter Photography in this gallery, and get inspired!

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Cake Smash https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/winchester-smash-cake-sessions Tue, 09 Feb 2016 13:11:18 GMT
Phonetography intro: No More Blurry Pictures (Pt2 of 7) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/no-more-blurry-pictures-phonetography-pt-2 Ever have that moment when you get the picture and you go to post it on social media and NOOOO! It's blurry/dark/grainy and otherwise NOT the adorableness or awesomeness that you were hoping to capture just moments earlier.  It's frustrating, but I have some good news! There are a few things (5 things specifically)  that you can do really quickly to make sure that the majority of your snaps end up well lit and tack sharp.

1)Clean your lens 
Don't worry, you don't need any fancy cleaners or equipment.  All you really need to do is grab a soft cloth, like your shirt, a stray sock, your 5 year old's (clean) underwear, or whatever's lying around, and give the lens on the back of your phone a quick wipe.  A little moisture from your breath will help too if the lens looks extra foggy.  Oil from your face and hands collects on the surface of the glass of the tiny lens, causing your pictures to look cloudy and smudgy.  You'll be amazed at how much this little step will improve your pictures!

 

 
 

1)Find the light
This, I can't emphasize enough, and if you don't do anything else, at least try to do this.  If you're outside, this is less of an issue of course, but try not to shoot into direct sunlight (unless you are going for some kind of effect) because the camera just can't handle that much light overwhelming it's sensor and the entire picture is going to be hazy.  A good rule of thumb would be to never capture the sun in the frame of the picture anytime after twilight or before dusk.  It also helps to shoot in what's  called 'open shade' basically, that's shade found in the shadow of a building, a tree, or even a person.  This is also why you'll find it easier to take sharp pictures with more even light and detail on overcast days.

If you happen to be indoors, your light-finding task gets a bit more challenging but the same rules still apply.  Try, if at all possible to take pictures in window light, and again, try not to get the window itself in the picture or your adorable spaghetti covered toddler will be a mere sillohette of  good intentions.  As a side note, it's worth saying that the window rule is a more flexible rule, as you may be able to create some interesting effects by breaking it! ). If window light's not an option, turn on as many lights as possible.  The darker it is in the room, the more difficult it becomes for your phone to capture movement, and the more steady you and your subject have to be to get a non-blurry picture, which clearly is an issue when photographing your munchkins, the human kind and the furry kind.

Note: don't use the flash. ever. Please. Don't EVER use the flash. It's not even a flash, it's a way to find the remote under the couch

 

1)Use your auto-focus
This is an easy one. You may or may not know this, but your camera has an autofocus button, and it's ridiculously easy to use.  All you have to do is touch the area of the screen where you want the main focus of the picture.  For example, if you are taking a picture of your delicious burger and fries from Five Guys, but you want to emphazie the fries, touch the fries on the screen, and not only will that be the sharpest area of focus, but you'll also tell your phonecam 'hey, this is what I'm taking a picture of, make this look good' and the camera will automatically adjust the distribution of light within your phone's sensor to make sure that that area of the screen is properly lit.  The same goes for that picture of your chubby 4 month old's toothless grin, just touch her nose on the screen and the camera will automatically focus in the right place and adjust the lighting so that her face isn't too dark or too light.

4)Take lots of pictures at a time
Hold down the button for a second or two instead of pushing it several times, it will take pictures in 'burst mode' at anywhere from 5-10 images per second, depending on your phone make and model. You're bound to catch something in there, and it will keep your hand from shaking as much if you're taking pictures inside with minimal lighting (remember we talked about how lower light means less movement is necessary for a sharp picture) or outside with a fast moving subject.


1)When all else fails, try black and white 
To be honest, you can do all of the above to a T, and you'll still end up with a picture that's too bright, or two dark or a tad bit grainy.  Don't call it a loss just yet! Instead, try using one of the black and white filters on the picture.  It won't necessarily fix it, but it will take away the color element and bring more focus to certain areas and less to others, depending on the filter that you choose.  At the most, It will look like you meant to take the picture that way to achieve an awesome black and white visual effect (wink wink) and at the very least, it may be just the thing to use as a last ditch effort to save a picture that didn't come out quite as great as you'd hoped

Whelp, that's all for this week, practice your lighting a little because next week we'll talk about creativity and angles.  Ever take a picture just to be disappointed that it's so underwhelmingly different than what you were trying to capture? Hopefully next week's blog will give you some tips on how to wow yourself with your unique and creative phonetography capture skills!

If you really liked this post, subscribe to my blog (below) and leave some love and tips of your own in the comments section! 

 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) iphone photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/2/no-more-blurry-pictures-phonetography-pt-2 Mon, 01 Feb 2016 14:51:20 GMT
Phonetography Intro: How to take great pictures with your phone (Pt1 of 7) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/1/phonetography-how-to-take-great-pictures-with-your-phone I’m a portrait photographer.  I am obsessed with my Nikon FX and DX bodies and lens collection, but the majority of my memories are captured with my smartphone. In fact, most of what I post on my social media personal  pages are taken with my humble Iphone 5.  Surprised?  Don’t get me wrong, I do take a ton of pictures with my DSLR, but after a few years of toting that monster around, I just got tired of everything it took to actually see my memories, and how much I actually missed in the process (adjust the exposure, take the picture, convert file, sort, adjust, edit, put in a folder, print…hopefully sometime in the next 3 years).

 I told myself in 2014 after my daughter was born,  that I could be not just content, but thrilled with  the pictures that I take with my phone’s  camera, and I would be selective and discerning  in what I kept, posted, and printed. Now, of  course these don’t replace the pictures that I take  and have taken professionally (yearly family and  individuals, 1st birthday, ect) and occasionally I do  still like to pull out the ‘ol DSLR to get some creative  shots that I just can’t get with my phone, but for the  everyday moments I like that I can just pull out my  phone, capture the moment, delete the blurry  pictures, and not miss a moment. Seriously, Life is  too short to miss those little moments  fussing  with some settings and JPEGS.  I  wanted to share  a little bit of the enlightenment I've come  across on the proper use of  a smartphone camera so  that you  can photograph  your kids, your family,  your dog, your Pinterest project, yourself,  your coffee and whatever else needs remembering with confidence!

Quite a few individuals have asked that I teach a class, but with my kid's schedule, I'm afraid this is the best I can do right now.  At first I wanted this to just be just one blog post, but after I started typing, I realized that just wasn’t going to cut it, and I’m pretty sure no one was interested in reading a Smartphone Photography Thesis, so I broke it into 7 mini posts ending with a 52 week challenge (clearly, you are not required to participate in the challenge to benefit from the information, but I hope you do, because it will give you a chance to practice all of this). I hope to post at least once a week on this subject.

 

 

Here is what I plan to talk about:    

 

No More Blurry Pictures:  basic lighting

Prepping your lens (yes, this is a thing you need to do) and finding light that will work with your smartphone's sensor

Creativity: angles and details

Tips on how to photograph what you feel, instead of just what you see

Getting the Shot: anticipation and timing (and timers)

It’s not all about the shot, it’s all about the few seconds leading up to it

Editing: Sorting and perfecting

 How to approach the daunting task of narrowing images  down and some basic editing techniques (and apps that I use along with filters)

Never ‘Upload All’: Posting and printing

Platforms that I like and how I choose what to share, and what to print (I rarely do both!). Also, I'll share a really awesome app that I recently discovered for printing.

52 Week Challenge 

A different challenge each week—let’s hold each other  accountable, and feel free to share your images on my Facebook Page

 

If you really liked this post, subscribe to my blog (below) and leave some love and tips of your own in the comments section. 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) phone photography tips https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/1/phonetography-how-to-take-great-pictures-with-your-phone Sat, 23 Jan 2016 23:29:06 GMT
Canvas Or Print? 5 things to consider when making the big decision https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/1/canvas-or-print-5-things-to-consider-when-making-the-big-decision  

A year ago we moved into a new house, and I went from barely any walls space to several huge empty walls.  Of course, as you can imagine I have literally thousands of pictures of my kids and family sitting on a hard drive just begging to be free.  This year, I am excited to finally work on our new walls!  Basically there are two options when putting up wall art, there is art with a frame (including matted prints, basic prints, and even framed canvas prints) and art without a frame (Canvas Prints, and the like).  So, how do you decide what to put where?

 

 

Here are 5 considerations to keep in mind when deciding: Print or Canvas?

 

 

Wall space

 

Do you have big spaces of blank wall or do you have nooks and crannies? Modern homes tend to have large walls with lots of light while older homes have more hallways, little rooms and corridors.  Houses built in the 90’s and early 00’s tend to have a mixture of both.  It’s important to remember that prints in general have more size versatility, so if you are not sure, then it’s best to go with a print.  That way, if you put it on the wall and it’s too small, you can always put a mat on it, or go with a bigger frame. If it looks too big (and lets just be honest, this is rarely the case) you can get a thinner frame, or a frame that doesn't stand out as much.  For a canvas, bigger is always better! If you are tossing two sizes around in your head, always go with the bigger size, especially if you’re putting just that one image on that particular wall.  A canvas that is two small will just look odd over your couch or in your hallway.

 

 

 

11x14? Kinda small...

 

20x30? Much better...

Combination? Amazing!

 

 

 

Location 

 

This brings me to location.  A canvas would be a good choice for a living room or nursery (especially  since you wouldn't have to worry about glass) but a canvas is more fragile because the image is only protected by the layer of lacquer on the actual piece.  A kitchen where grease is always floating in the air and spaghetti sauce is flying off of your toddler’s plate is not the ideal location for a Canvas, and neither is a playroom filled with paint and flying toys.  Keep this in mind too—canvas prints over your newborn’s changing table are a good idea in theory, but you’ll quickly find that baby boys can get some distance during a diaper change!

 

What's There Already?

 

As your family grows, have a mental image of what you want to do with your walls.  Don’t be afraid to leave some blank spaces for big prints!  Do you want to do all canvas? All print? A mixture of both? Any of the options can look beautiful, if you make a plan for your walls!  Prints are easier to switch out of their frames, where as Canvas prints may want to be something that you leave up all the time (newborn portraits, baby portraits, Wedding pictures  and Senior portraits to name a few).    

 

The Image Itself

 

Some images lend themselves better for a certain media.  For example, a portrait with a focus on the faces of the subjects with not much going on in the background would be gorgeous printed either way, but it lends itself well to a canvas or wrap because the constant background will wrap around a canvas beautifully.  At the same time, if an image has rich colors, those colors may be intensified by the right mat and/or frame surrounding it.

 

Your Preference 

 

This may be the most important thing to remember! If you love canvas prints, then by all means ignore everything above and fill your home with canvas prints! If you hate mats, then don’t even think about buying one! In the end, it’s whatever brings those memories to life for you.  A house is a house, but a home is built on memories, and the walls of your home should fill you with the joy of each and every one of your memories.

Do you have any suggestions? leave them in the comment section!  

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/1/canvas-or-print-5-things-to-consider-when-making-the-big-decision Thu, 07 Jan 2016 17:20:25 GMT
NEWBORN MINI SESSIONS {Virginia Newborn Photographer} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/1/newborn-mini-sessions-virginia-newborn-photographer  

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

I am SO THRILLED to announce that SL Hunter Photography is now specializing in Maternity- 1 year photography! I am booking Tues, Thursday and Saturday Slots chock-full of just babies this year!  

 

To ring in the new year, I am offering an entirely new type of session for families that want some professional newborn portraits and prints, but don't need all of the extras! The session comes with a canvas, a digital file, and prints with the option to order more.

 

Additional Information

  • Newborn Mini Sessions must be scheduled in advance as I will not be able to work with babies older than 12 days within the allotted hour.  Newborn Mini sessions are only for newborns less than 2 weeks old.
  • We will attempt up to three poses using one blanket and one prop (bucket, fur, stuffed toy, etc) Unfortunately I cannot make exceptions.
  • Sibling and parent shots are NOT included Newborn Mini Sessions. Again, unfortunately I cannot make exception
  • Disclaimer

    Newborn Mini Sessions are one hour in length only and awake babies can not be posed. While we will strive to get the asleep posed shots there is a slight chance that we encounter an awake baby. Should this situation arise, we will take sweet awake shots, detail shots (hands and feet) and swaddled shots which are just as adorable and special.  Following preparation instructions accurately will increase the chances of a sleepy baby!

     

     

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) mini newborn sessions https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2016/1/newborn-mini-sessions-virginia-newborn-photographer Fri, 01 Jan 2016 18:56:48 GMT
Virginia Newborn Photographer|9 days new https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/virginia-newborn-photographer-9-days-new It was such an emotional shoot for me, I used to babysit this little guy's daddy a long time ago.  Ohh but isn't this baby boy handsome??

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/virginia-newborn-photographer-9-days-new Thu, 19 Nov 2015 07:45:00 GMT
Winchester Maternity Photographer|32 weeks https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/winchester-maternity-photographer-32-weeks It was one of the last hot days of the season, and a beautiful day at that!

Gorgeous glowing Mama and her beautiful daughter are welcoming another little girl very soon...

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Maternity https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/winchester-maternity-photographer-32-weeks Thu, 19 Nov 2015 00:10:07 GMT
Winchester Baby Photographer| Cakesmash Session! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/winchester-baby-photographer-cakesmash-session  

Is this child gorgeous or what!?!  It didn't even matter that this was a sweltering day, this little man was as cool as they come! Happy Birthday cutiepie :)

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Cakesmash Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/winchester-baby-photographer-cakesmash-session Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:30:36 GMT
Winchester Newborn Photographer | 8 days new https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/winchester-newborn-photographer-8-days-new A new computer and new editing software made this session an adventure to edit, but this pretty little princess was worth every second! look at that head full of hair!  Love her! 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/11/winchester-newborn-photographer-8-days-new Mon, 02 Nov 2015 17:37:02 GMT
Martinsburg WV Newborn Photographer {22 days new} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/10/martinsburg-wv-newborn-photographer-22-days-new This little heartbreaker was a bit older than my typical newborn babies at 3 weeks old.  As you can see, that didn't stop this little rockstar from striking some adorable poses for me!  How could you not fall in love with that face? And the love radiating from his big brother and sister? Priceless.

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Martinsburg Newborn Photographer Newborn Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/10/martinsburg-wv-newborn-photographer-22-days-new Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:44:20 GMT
Strasburg, VA Newborn Photographer {7 days new} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/10/sisters Several weeks ago, a young lady called me wanting to surprise her sister with a newborn session.  This, of course, made my day! Here are some sweet moments from that early morning <3

 


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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Strasburg Newborn Photographer Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/10/sisters Tue, 13 Oct 2015 18:27:56 GMT
The Longest, Hardest, Most Wonderful Day {birth album model search} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/the-longest-hardest-most-wonderful-day-birth-album-model-seach YOU SEE, Dec 13, 2014, I had my husband do something for the birth of my daughter that I didn’t do for my son.  I had him capture the last few minutes of labor and the first few minutes of my daughter’s life as she took her first breath, met us for the first time, and was foot-printed and handled by the professionals as I looked on, completely and totally in love.  I recently (finally) went through those images and my heat sang as I looked at memories of my perfect little girl, just minutes old, and I decided that it would be a crime, a CRIME to not offer that feeling to my clients! 

I wanted to do it in a way that captured the day timelessly, tastefully, and beautifully, so I decided launch the Black and White ‘Birth Album’ in 2014, a product dedicated to my daughter born   12/13/14.   It will be an all inclusive birth photography experience that guaranteed capture of the birth and first hour of a baby’s life, along with an 8x8 or 10x10 black and white album, and black and white digital files. 

 

 

 

 

How can you help, you ask?  I NEED MODELS AGAIN! I have no doubt that the images will be beautiful, but I want to experiment with timing, working with medical professionals, and working with family members in L&D.  I want to perfect being an invisible memory maker on one of the most important days of your family’s life together. 

Models I Need for 2015 Late Spring-Summer:

1 Hospital Birth, Preferably Winchester Medical Center L&D

1 Home Birth

1 Birthing Center Birth

 

Models will receive:

50% off 5x7 album (Reg. $180)

Web Images of Birth

Complementary Session*

Discounted Newborn Session

Option to Purchase 8x8 or 10x10 Album with Negatives at 15%discount  (please inquire about prices)  

*Although I will make EVERY effort to be available for your child’s birth, I am only human, and I’m also a mommy.  If I don’t make it in time for whatever reason, I will happily do hospital pictures for you instead and you will still receive the discounted Newborn Session Option.

If you know anyone who may be interested, please refer them to me by having them ‘Like’ SL Hunter Photography on Facebook to send a message, or texting (757)719-4460.  Unfortunately, I can only afford to do 3 of these promotional sessions so inquiries and bookings will be on a first come, first serve basis. 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Birth Photography Model Search Newborn https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/the-longest-hardest-most-wonderful-day-birth-album-model-seach Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:06:23 GMT
Hello Strasburg {our home-buying story} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/hello-s-burg-our-home-buying-story           

I AM A PLANNER.  Execution is a little iffy, but I always have a plan A, B, C and D, that’s just me—I spend my days thinking about how my next big project is going to come together, what the entertainment and snacks are for our next playdate, and exactly when and where our family vacation will be—even if it is a year away.  When we were ready to purchase a house I HAD A PLAN.  I had a handwritten list of individuals who I knew and trusted who would be involved in this first time experience, and I was ready to start shopping spring 2015.  My husband is a planner too, like me, but here is the problem: We are not COMMUNICATORS! Long story short, my husband found a house and set up a viewing in a town I’d only been to twice with an agent I had NEVER MET.  This was our first house purchase—I was nervous and wary to work with someone I didn’t know after having had an awful experience with an agent 2 ½ years ago when we moved to Winchester…and now were looking to BUY a house through a stranger?? 

 

Let me pause here: GOD’S plan is not always our plan,and specifically, it’s almost NEVER my plan. 

So we met with the Dan Copeland on a freezing cold rainy day, because he worked with our schedule and drove all the way to Strasburg in the evening to let us in—and what do you know, we LOVED the house! We met with the Janice several times after that and we absolutely loved her! We were completely vulnerable as first time homebuyers, perfect candidates to be taken advantage of, but Janice answered all of our questions (some of them quite silly, no doubt) patiently and took our little family under her wing of experience.  In the end we purchased a perfect starter house for nearly $50,000 less than we anticipated paying for a house in this market!! Not only that, but Jan and Dan brought with them a dream team of local contractors to inspect, fix, clean, and prepare our home.  The day after we closed on our house at Old Towne Title, we packed up our belongings with the help of a few good friends (the kind of friends that help you move are pretty awesome). Almost 3 months later, here we are! Thank you everyone involved for being so wonderful, and thank you Dan&Jan for being the glue that held this entire process together from start to finish—I’m happy to count you among my friends--I thank God that he brought you into our lives!

So we’re homeowners---does that mean we’re grownups now?

 

 

 

A LIST OF OUR PERSONAL HOMEBUYING EXPERIENCE DREAMTEAM.  THEY ALL DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB!

JAN&DAN COPELAND TEAM )

ANDREA TURNER (OLDTOWN TITLE)

A+ HANDYMAN

JOHN MCGRAW (GEARCLEAN)

INTEGRITY HOME MORTGAGE 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Hunter Life Strasburg https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/hello-s-burg-our-home-buying-story Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:15:29 GMT
My Art on Display {In the happiest place in Winchester} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/my-art-on-display-in-the-happiest-place-in-winchester If you had to think of a place in Winchester where you might find the most joy, love, and happiness, what would it be??

 

Not everyone considers the hospital right away, because there is sometimes a lot of sadness in this building... but, you know what? the Mother/Baby unit of Winchester Medical Center was the happiest place on earth when my daughter was born last December!  There is no joy like that of welcoming a new love of your life into the world.  I am BEYOND thrilled to announce that (7) 20x30 mounted wall displays and 2 20x20 framed wall displays, art by SL Hunter Photography, now adorn the halls of the Mother/Baby Unit at WMC!

 

This past year, I was honored to work with the staff, the doctors, and the nurses of the Women's Center at WMC as we put together a beautiful display for the bare walls of the Mother Baby Unit.  I hope that the display is something that everyone can enjoy for years to come!

I hope nervous NEW MOMMIES find JOY in seeing the sweet faces of other babies delivered in that hospital on the walls, and I hope that tired DOCTORS and NURSES see those little faces in the early hours of the morning as they come into work, or from delivering heartbreaking news, and REMEMBER why they work long, difficult hours, and that they find JOY and COMFORT as well. 

Thank you to WMC for being willing to meet with me so many times throughout this project, thank you Tammy Dellinger and Stinkin’ Cute for the adorable froggy hat on the only baby girl on the wall, and most importantly, thank you to the families of these little ones (some are almost 2 year olds now!) for participating in the Model Search a while ago when I first had the vision for this project!

 ENJOY, Winchester! 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Newborn https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/my-art-on-display-in-the-happiest-place-in-winchester Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:29:55 GMT
The Day We Met Our Baby Girl {my birth story} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/baby-girl-hunter Winchester Newborn Photographer

IT's SURREAL, even after 4 months, that we have a girl...we have a little girl! We were so thankful and happy with our one little boy, but now we've been given the opportunity to raise two? For whatever reason, I had convinced myself that I would be a mom of all boys, so I prepared to be a mom of all boys.  Suddenly, this little lady enters our lives mommy is woefully unprepared—I know how to raise a boy at least to age three, but a girl? A GIRL?? The thoughts of dresses and sparkles and headbands and boyfriends and prom dresses and wedding shopping came pouring in like a flood… But let’s backtrack a little to the day we first met her—who doesn’t love a good birth story?

Winchester Newborn Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 12 11:00 (13 days before my due date)

I’m at a shoot at the Willows at Meadow Branch a bit crampy and on the phone with my OB trying to describe how I feel—they tell me to come on in, so I finish up the shoot and run (well, drive) over to my clinic. 1 cm dilated --- It could stay that way for weeks ARRRRHGGG! Back Home

Winchester Newborn Photographer

Dec 13 2AM 

I can’t sleep (nothing new) and the campiness is even more uncomfortable, coming and going so to pass time I download a contraction app. I mean, my son was a week late, no hope for this little girl coming early… HOLY COW! My crampy contractions are 5 min apart! At 3-4 minutes apart (4am) I wake my Hubs and we get our bags packed, call Zech’s FRIGGIN’ AMAZING NANNY, Carrie who drives 35 min to our house in the wee hours of the morning to watch Zech for a unknown amount of time (until one of our mothers can get here at least). Off we go to the hospital at 5:00AM…meanwhile my contractions take a turn and I can’t sit up straight between them—Kyle drives faster, I yell at a chip delivery truck for driving slow in front of us (who needs potato chips at 5AM??) all that fun stuff.

                                                                                                                           Dec 13 (12noonish) Winchester Newborn Photographer

Four and ½ Cm. Seriously?!? My son was out in 8 hrs start to finish, and here I am with my second approaching hour 9 at ONLY four and a half centimeters! I can’t talk through brutal contractions as I crawl toward 6 cm over the next 2 hrs only to be stuck there for another 2 hours. I LIVED in the hot shower with a birthing ball while my wonderful husband massages my back (I had back labor most of the time for this little one)  I’m told that I can’t get an epidural due to my anemia and low platelet count (despite iron pills) so it looks like I’m in it for the long haul.  Trust me, I wish I was one of those moms who just HAD to do it natural for my health and my baby’s, but I was crying for an epidural around 5 cm and I would have GLADLY taken it—no shame in that game Mommas.

 

Dec 13 (3:00ish)

Time to break my water—here we go!!! I don’t know what I would have done without my coach, my love, my partner by my side as I prepared for the pain, the stamina, the endurance, and the mental challenge of bringing new life into the world.  The L&D nurses were AMAZING at Winchester Medical Center Women’s Center.

Winchester Newborn Photographer

Dec (3:15-6:00)

TRANSITION. Need I say more?

 

DEC 13, 2014 6:18PM

We welcome our brand new, soaking wet, screaming little 6lb 9oz baby girl into the world, and as I held her tiny body on my chest, still attached to mommy through a life cord, time stood still. I touched her soft hair, smelled her sweet newborn scent, and gazed into her baby-grey eyes, not wanting the moment to end...she's perfect in every way.

 

 …Right now your grown-up days are far away from here, and I am treasuring every second I get to hold you in my arms---oh you are so perfect, my little princess…I hope you love your name and wear it proudly. Your name is strong and it is Hebrew for ‘Who is like God?’ No one is! And He has you in his loving hands always, just as you are in mine now.

-Love, Mommy

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Hunter Life Newborn https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/baby-girl-hunter Tue, 21 Apr 2015 20:45:28 GMT
Us against the 'A' Word {autism} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/us-against-the-a-word  SheRae announced on Facebook to our friends and family that our son was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum.  Zech really is a special kid.  He is the happiest little guy I have EVER seen.  No exaggeration.  I have never met anyone in such a crazy good mood all the time.  Not even a toddler.  He’s really smart (got that from his mama), really coordinated (got that from Dada), and really, really, cute (got that from both I guess).

He is special in other ways too, of course.

We’ve known for a while now that something is different about him.  When he was really little he had an absolute obsession with watching fans.  He would stare at them for long periods of time, and we didn’t really think much of it…at first.

As he grew, so did the amount of quirks he had.  Opening and closing anything that could open and close, continuing to watch fans (until we refused to turn them on), and spinning everything he could get his hands on were among the funny business.  But, the most telling thing was the fact that he was not talking at all really.  We knew something was wrong when he was almost two and still wasn’t saying a word (other than the letters of the alphabet).

We were already in the process of getting him help, but when we began to notice kids much younger than him had greater vocabularies, we were really concerned.  It was then that we kicked it into overdrive, and really committed to getting him help.  SheRae somehow got him an appointment at our doctor’s office in a week (which is impressive because there is normally a good wait–still don’t know how she did it), and we got a referral to Kluge Children’s Hospital at the University of Virginia (UVA).

The evaluation at UVA was really suppose to be an all day affair, but it only took a few hours.  The doctor at UVA was pretty impressed with his motor skills, and felt like everything was pretty normal except his communication of course.  She watched him play with toys, interacted with him, and tested him in several areas.  All in all, it was a lot more pleasant than we expected.  The doctor was hesitant to diagnose him as being on the autistic spectrum, but she did so mainly because that was the only way to get him treatment.

We were excited.  We knew it could be much worse.  She could have told us that he was low functioning and would need lifelong accommodations.  I don’t mean this as a slap in the face to anyone who has a child with low-functioning autism, but no parents want their children diagnosed this way.

With the diagnosis in hand, we could get Zechariah the Advanced Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy that the doctor said would catch him up to speed with normal children in about a year.

Then came the shocker.

Our insurance–BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD (booo) did not cover ABA therapy–it was one of those “special exemptions”.  What. the. crap.  

We felt angry, helpless, and let down by a company that was suppose to be as reputable as BCBS.  We give these jokers our money all year long, and when a child really needs something they hang them out to dry.  One in 42 boys has Autism.  With numbers that high, it is ridiculous that BCBS can get away with not offering coverage to the families on their plan. Awful.

To make matters worse, I had just completed my open season at work, so I could not change our families health care coverage for another year!  We were really stuck.  We began looking for other ways to get him the ABA therapy.  First we decided to try to add the cost up to see if we could pay for it out of pocket.  Zech needed the treatment 30 hours a week, the therapy costs $40 a hour–this adds up to–hold your breath–

$60,000 a year!  No way.

This is more than some people’s entire salary for a year!  That option was out the window…

Our insurance didn’t cover Zech’s Advanced Behavioral Analysis (ABA), and with the price of the therapy being $60,000 a year we felt stuck.  I was fresh out of my open season, so changing insurance policies was not possible.

This was getting frustrating.  But God had brought us through very difficult situations before so we immediately began to pray and brainstorm. I considered finding a new job with better insurance.  We both considered picking up additional jobs.   But this didn’t seem like a viable option, as we both already have part-time jobs with insurance plans that would not work.  We decided to come back to these ideas if necessary after exploring other options.

Our prayers were seemingly answered when we discovered an advocacy group in Winchester called Moms in Motion.  When we informed them that we had Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield, you literally could hear the gasps.  They had been down this road before.  Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield has a good reputation of not covering the ABA therapyneeded for individuals diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum.

But they had good news!

They informed us that we might be able to get Zechariah the ABA therapy he needed by applying for a little known waiver in Medicaid for children with disabilities.  But we were told not to get our hopes up because the screening process was difficult, and the screeners had a reputation of being nasty and not compassionate.

We heard their concerns but we knew God was at work.  He had never failed us before.  We have learned with God, if there is even a glimmer of hope in a situation He can turn it into a ray of reality.  Yes, we were nervous, but continued to earnestly pray.  Zechariah had no one to vouch for him except for us, and we felt powerless a lot of the time.  It was all up to God to work the situation out, so we decided to do what we could while turning it over to Him in prayer.

We were a bit disgruntled because we were told the soonest the screening could take place would probably be a month.  To us it felt like every day that passed Zechariah was getting further behind without the care he needed.  The doctor said that he would probably be up to speed in a year, but ONLY with the therapy.

Our prayers were answered again when we received a phone call that the screeners could evaluate Zech after only a week!  According to the advocacy group we were working with, this was unheard of, and even they were shocked.  Yes! God was at work.

So the day of the Zechariah’s screening came quicker than expected.  Needless to say we were a bit nervous.  Whether or not Zechariah received the Medicaid waiver was dependent on the screener’s recommendations.  If he didn’t get it, we were back to square one.

Two ladies came to our house for the screening.  One was an elderly social worker, and the other was a middle aged nurse.  I’m not going to lie, the elderly lady looked bitter to me–which made us even more nervous.  We had  preconceived notions based on how bad everyone told us the screeners were.

As things progressed we were pleasantly surprised to see that the screeners were actually pretty personable.  They weren’t scary happy or anything, but normal.  The social worker began to ask us questions about Zech, while the nurse interacted with him.  SheRae answered most of the questions, and I pretty much nodded and agreed.  She had more than coached me before the screening on what to say, or not say for that matter .

I have to say it was very difficult to read the situation because they weren’t giving us much feedback; but, about halfway through the screening we were told that Zech qualified.

We were thrilled! Our baby boy (he’s a toddler but still our baby), was on the way to getting the therapy he needed.

Our first session with the ABA therapists was last Friday, and the beginning of all of this has felt like a weight lifted off our shoulders.  Since the screening Zech has been making steady progress, and we hope that with the ABA therapy he can get where he needs to be developmentally.

We are generally private people, and the reason we wrote this is three-fold.  To show that our Lord Jesus Christ is faithful, and inspire others to trust him. This might sound cliche, but throughout this whole ordeal we have learned once again that God is a loving Father, who gives good gifts.  When Zech’s earthly mommy and daddy were virtually powerless to help him, his heavenly Daddy came through in a big way.  We worked hard for Zech and had faith, but God provided the increases.

We also wanted to let people know about the Medicaid EDCD waiver if they have a disabled child who their insurance refuses to cover.  If anyone wants more information about this they can feel free to message us and we will be glad to help, or give advice any way we can.

Last, I wanted to throw BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD on the map for failing to cover a NEED that a lot of honest paying customers have, which is not being met through their substandard coverage.

We also thank all of our family for their help and prayers during this difficult period. I ask anyone reading this to keep Zechariah in your prayers as well.  We know we are blessed to have the ability to get him the ABA therapy, but his development will ultimately be progressed by God.

Peace and God Bless!   Good night, good morning, or good evening, wherever you are. Spring his here!  

-Written By Kyle

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Autism Family https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/us-against-the-a-word Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:48:30 GMT
Vintage Fairytales {a children's styled shoot} https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2014/4/vintage-fairytales-and-far-off-lands Last summer, several local businesses teamed up to create a magical dream come true!  On a day with absolutely perfect weather, 5 awesome kids (natural actors, no doubt) in little Winchester VA, SL Hunter Photography, Bluebells, Beckaboo's Cakes, Crave Event Rentals, and Fusion FX by Shelby Eames got together to shoot this epic styled shoot.  Here's the amazing news though--this coordination and creativity is available to ANY child who wants to do something special for his/her birthday--or just for fun!  If you dream it, here is proof that we can create it :)  Enjoy these images, and click here for the full gallery 

Special thanks to:

All of our Vendors 

Our young talented models (and their parents)

Our costume concept designer, Rachel King (Newport News, VA)

Amy VanMeter for the use of her beautiful property 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2014/4/vintage-fairytales-and-far-off-lands Sat, 19 Apr 2014 21:46:30 GMT
Pardon Our Dust II https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2014/4/pardon-our-dust-ii It has been a while but I am SO glad to be back on here to write about the AMAZING things that have been happening to our family and business!!  Since the last time I blogged we moved our family and business from little Warner Robins, GA to tiny Winchester, VA.  I have been SO busy that the last year and a half just just seemed like a blur.

Where do I start?

I've worked with many local business, non-profits, and that which I I LOVE the most--families.  I've won a photography contest, been a featured writer on a photography insurance website, shot an entire magazine publication, and much, much, more.

Personally, we have had to deal with a lot as well, that is not so exciting.  We recently lost a loved one, Kyle's Grandmother (Gram) and found out our son may be autistic.  I look forward to regularly filling you in to all of the details.  Sometimes it is hard because we get so busy, but I've rededicated myself to writing on here regularly.

There is some big news that I want to share with you all, but right now it is still in the works...so I will just leave it at that for now.  It's good to be back on this outlet sharing our life and love!  Here's a picture of how much my little man has grown!  (Sorry, I still can't help it)

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art Mommys Photography Virginia Winchester https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2014/4/pardon-our-dust-ii Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:00:00 GMT
Sibling Love https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2014/3/sibling-love  

I got to spend the first warm day in months capturing this dynamic bunch in their natural element.  The connection that these kids have with one another is amazing, one that I hope I was able to capture every part of!

I didn't grow up in a big family, but if I had, I would hope that it would have been something like this...

 

 

The kids will still giddy with excitement over the arrival of their new brother...the newness hasn't worn off yet

There is nothing quite like the relationship between a mama and her baby boy

A brother: a built in best friend and arch nemesis all wrapped up in one package

Those precious in-between times...how sweet they are to let their little brother play

Priceless moments...she is head over heels for her baby brother

And Mommies and Daddies, don't ever lose the romance...

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2014/3/sibling-love Wed, 12 Mar 2014 21:16:37 GMT
Did you love 2013 as much as I did? https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/12/did-you-love-2014-as-much-as-i-did  

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for making this year a great one! Please enjoy this special video of all of 2013's portraits--and in order to keep doing what I LOVE, I desperately need feedback:

If your session was special and memorable, if you love your images, prints and albums, if you have any stories to tell about your experience with SL Hunter Photography, please share in a private comment for this blog post!  I sincerely hope that I went way beyond your expectations.  You, my clients, and your opinions are what matter most, and I hope that your stories and testimonials will allow me to do what I love for a long time!

Also, please include any suggestions as to what I can do differently or future products, programs, packages, charity/nonprofit support, and mini sessions you would like to see for 2014 (please put this in a separate comment—I would love to be able to publish your raves/testimonials) Thank you, thank you THANK YOU in advance  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Newborn Preview Seniors https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/12/did-you-love-2014-as-much-as-i-did Tue, 17 Dec 2013 04:50:56 GMT
Christmas Cards! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/11/chrismas-cards It's that time of year! Order your Christmas Cards from your 2013 session! Order in November to receive the discounted price and so that your friends and family can enjoy them all December long!

All Christmas Cards are two-sided and designed exclusively by SL Hunter Photography, then ordered from a boutique print lab.  Unique boutique shapes, thick cardstock, and linen paper texture will definitely make your holiday card stand out!

If you decide to order Christmas Cards during your session or reveal, SL Hunter Photography will design 3 cards options to match your unique session style!

25 Cards per $50.00 set includes envelopes :)

Browse this years designs via the video below and enjoy!

 

Need the Non-Flash Gallery? Click this link!

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/11/chrismas-cards Sat, 02 Nov 2013 05:09:20 GMT
It's A... https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/10/its-a Your palms are sweaty, your heart is fluttering, and as your loved ones stand all around, you are immersed in the moment of truth:  PINK or BLUE?   Either way, this is one of the most anticipated moments for any couple--especially first time parents!  Why wouldn't you want to capture this moment on camera? 

The concept below with the adorable cupcakes (courtesy of the talented Farozan at Cupcake Novelties, Winchester VA) is a fun twist on traditional gender reveal sessions by combining a session and party. Make sure to scroll down to the video as well!

 

 

How it works:

The answer is in the color of the frosty filling !

 

On the day of your gender determination ultrasound, have the technician put the gender of your baby in a sealed envelope (don't peak!) I will pick it up from you that day or the following day, and I will correspond with any other outside person (including the cake decorator) involved with your reveal. 

You can do this intimately with just you and your significant other (and kids, if you have them already) or you can combine a session with a gathering of family and friends, like this couple (I think one of the cutest parts of this session was everyone at the party getting to make a guess!).  

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Gender Preview Reveal https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/10/its-a Wed, 16 Oct 2013 21:21:10 GMT
The Greatest of these is Love... https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/7/the-greatest-of-these-is-love I loved capturing this beautiful couple as they approach their first Anniversary.  I can't wait to see what's in store for these two, who are so clearly in love!

~SH

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/7/the-greatest-of-these-is-love Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:58:49 GMT
Portfolio https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/presentation

All the pictures in my Portfolios in one handy gallery!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/presentation Wed, 19 Jun 2013 00:49:14 GMT
Don't Force It! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/dont-force-it My job as a photographer is to capture what is there, not force into existance what's not.   If a child doesn't want to do something, then who am I to make them?  It's not their personality, it's not something they would normally do, and most importantly, it's not them, where they are, in life at that very moment...the moment I am there to capture. 

 

For example, the little 2 year old prince in the picture above wanted above all else to be mommy's baby.  It made him upset to see his newborn sister butting in on his life and sharing his mommy.  He wanted not to sit next to his new sister, but to snuggle with his mommy.  He won't always be like that...one day he'll be helping her learn her ABC's, the next he'll bugging his sister into insanity, the next he'll be warding off all of her potential boyfriends with tough 'big brother' talk, and before we know it...they'll be grown---but today, this is who he is, this is how he is, and as he gets older, this short little phase will be missed...but here it is, this moment, fleeting and beautiful in it's own way, frozen in a photograph for all of time.

So don't be discouraged when things don't go as you've planned, and in fact, when they don't, we end up with the most beautiful, true-to-life captures of all...

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Musings Newborn https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/dont-force-it Tue, 11 Jun 2013 01:35:56 GMT
Puppies!| Wichester Pet Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/puppies-wichester-pet-photographer How ridiclously adorable are these guys!?! There is no better way to end the week than with 10 4-5 week old Shar-pei puppies!  It's a pleasure to work with a kennel that is doing things a  responsible and loving way.  I had to use all of my self control not to take one of these snuggly babies home with me! Enjoy your dose of cute for the day :)

puppy credit: A Wrinkle N Time Kennels

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Pets Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/puppies-wichester-pet-photographer Sat, 08 Jun 2013 15:04:37 GMT
S{Family}| Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/s-family-winchester-newborn-photographer This sweet little girlie was 6 weeks old when we did her 'newborn' photos--She slept through the first half and throughout the second half she showed off those big blue eyes!  Oh, and I loved that strawberry blonde hair sticking up everywhere too!

Her brother was having a hard time with the changing dynamics, so I made sure to get some special pictures of only him...and some family pictures where he still got to be the one on mommy's lap :)

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/s-family-winchester-newborn-photographer Thu, 06 Jun 2013 15:32:57 GMT
Moore {Family}|Winchester Family Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/moore-family-winchester-family-photographer This beautiful family's bonds were made event stronger by their littlest member!  The oldest girl had such a sweet and quite demeanor, which was completely captured in these images, and her brother was a huge helper throughout the session--a very laid back, chill little guy with a subtle hint of little-boy mischief.  This family taught me that family is defined not by where they started out, but by what they are today--and it's uniqueness that makes a family special!

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Family Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/6/moore-family-winchester-family-photographer Mon, 03 Jun 2013 18:04:30 GMT
CakeSmash Facebook Contest! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/contest Wed, 29 May 2013 00:59:48 GMT
The New Generation|Yorktown Beach Family Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/the-new-generation-yorktown-beach-family-photographer I have know this beautiful family for nearly 15 years!  I went to school with the two oldest guys, and the youngest I've know since he was a toddler! It was amazing to see how they have transformed into young men, and it was so much fun to meet the beginning of the new generation (that little blue-eyed cutie on the right there!).  I know that they will be blessed and I cannot wait to see what is in store for them!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/the-new-generation-yorktown-beach-family-photographer Tue, 28 May 2013 14:47:45 GMT
James Wood High|Winchester Senior Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/handley-high-winchester-senior-photographer Every young woman possesses an unmatched beauty....it's my job, not to prove it to the world, but to prove it to each young women that finds herself in front of my lense... only then have I done my job.

This young lady is as photogenic as they come--We had fun downtown warding off rain and running here and there to get these images!  Loved spending some relaxed time with her Mama too (a new friend of mine!)

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Preview Seniors https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/handley-high-winchester-senior-photographer Mon, 20 May 2013 17:09:37 GMT
Helllloooo Class of 2014! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/helllloooo-class-of-2014 Kicked off Senior Season with these three gorgeous ladies at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley!

They'll be helping us get excited for our 'Make it Count' Senior Portrait Event geared toward raising money for kids with epilepsy...it's set to take place this summer!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Preview Seniors https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/helllloooo-class-of-2014 Tue, 14 May 2013 13:39:52 GMT
NEW Mini-Albums https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/new-mini-albums  

 

 

Are these not the cutest!?!

These adorable little 3×3 albums are printed on high quality fine linen press paper with a custom photo cover.  It can hold between 8-12 images, and they come in sets of three:  one for each grandparent and one for you!  Perfect to take along in your purse as a brag book, or as a coffee table book.

Mini Albums

Get a set for $95.00 or go for one of our middle priced packages and get them as a free addition to the package!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Cakesmash Products https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/new-mini-albums Mon, 13 May 2013 17:19:13 GMT
Encouragment for Small Business Owners|Little Guys doing BIG things https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/encouragment-for-small-business-owners-little-guys-doing-big-things
    This blog is dedicated to small business owners... whether you are a photographer, own a hardware store down the street, or sell AVON or Scentsy candles, you ARE a business owner!

I have been a business owner since 2006, first as a MaryKay representative, then as a photographer.  Working in the wonderful world of MaryKay (who's products I can't live without), I learned a lot about the organizational and marketing side of business, and although selling MaryKay ultimately was not my calling, I am exceedingly grateful to the many ladies (some of whom I still keep in contact with) for allowing me the opportunity.  Later, many of the foundations I learned from selling MaryKay in college has helped me to be able build New Vision Images/SL Hunter Photography from the ground up. 
     As all successful businesses know, talent is not everything.  In addition to having a 'knack' and a passion for something, years of research, dedication, monetary sacrifice, experience, and development of your talent is necessary.  In addition to that, creativity, wise money management, and perseverance come into play as well.  What I find to be one of the most important things however is self-motivation: if you believe in your business and have the highest regard for the product that you produce, then you are already on the road to success. Who wants to buy a product that not even the retailer believes in?

 

 

In church a while ago (New Hope International) our pastor talked about a certain disabled man in John 5:1-18. This man was lame--meaning he could move, but very slowly, and his complaint to the Lord was that every time he inched forward toward the healing pool, someone jumped in front of him, and he missed out on his opportunity! Supposedly, this had been happening for months and months on end, and the lame man seemed to have made up his mind that he would NEVER get to the pool, so instead he sat waiting for someone to carry him in.  When starting a business, for the first few months or even years, we are going to be like the lame man--slowly inching our way toward success.  During this time, it is incredibly tempting to throw in the towel and say 'I'll just wait for some better opportunity to come along'.  But if you read on in the story of this man, we see that after he reveals his plight to the Lord, Jesus immediately says 'Get up and walk!' What a huge amount of faith it must have taken for this man to gather his strength, trust his withered legs, and do something he had probably never done before--at the risk of failure or being ridiculed or disappointed again!  But it says that the man got up, picked up his mat and walked away. When God has called us to do something--anything in life, to include ownership of a business, it is not our prerogative to be immediately successful, or to throw in the towel when we are not.  It is our job to take each day one inch or so at a time, as the lame man had done--and there will be some days when you will be frustrated and wonder if this is even your calling, or if you made some mistake along the way--but know that though these days are inevitable, God has given us talent not only in our product, but also as a businessperson, and if you never forget your goal and where you want to be, and keep your eyes on Him, one day he will say to you "get up, and carry your mat!" as your business takes off at warp speed!  


Mc Donalds started as a diner on the corner in 1940, SEARS as a mail order catalog in 1888, and Facebook as two college kids goofing off in 2004... what do these multi-billion dollar industries have in common? They started right there where we are...as a small business! God bless you and your businesses!

Feel free to leave encouragment under 'comments'
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Business Photographers https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/encouragment-for-small-business-owners-little-guys-doing-big-things Mon, 13 May 2013 13:38:33 GMT
...King of Dreams|Winchester Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/-king-of-dreams-winchester-newborn-photographer What a blessing it was to help introduce this precious little king into the world.  He was majestically sleepy throughout the entire shoot--he barely made a peep.  Honestly, If I had to pick one thing to photograph for the rest of my life,  it would be these little newborns without a doubt!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Newborn Photography Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2013/5/-king-of-dreams-winchester-newborn-photographer Mon, 13 May 2013 13:34:17 GMT
Help SL Hunter Photography Win https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/9/help-sl-hunter-photography-win SL Hunter Photography has a chance to win a camera as a reward for being a responsible, insured business!!!!! Please repin this image to one of your boards on pinterest--the entrant with the most repins wins!! And Zechi's picture might even be used in their add :) I added the link below

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/9/help-sl-hunter-photography-win Tue, 25 Sep 2012 05:57:00 GMT
A Note on Pricing https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/8/trying-something-new-with-client
 
I get many questions regarding my pricing, and many people who ask me 'why don't I just give them all of the images on a CD---after all, their friend, who is also a photographer did that!' Well, I am confident in both the quality of my work, and my pricing, and this is just a short explanation why:
 
 
Regarding my pricing. The price of my artwork is not solely based on print costs.  There are many costs associated with legitimately running a photography business, including education, licensing, research, software, and a great deal of time. For each client, I spend several hours of time. I research and consult about location and clothing, I book the location in advance, put everything in my car, travel to the location, I set up, I do the session, I put everything back in my car, and travel from the session.  I then open the files and carefully select the very best images to proof.  After rendering proper color corrections, I open each file and do a custom edit, choosing the exact actions and modifications that will make each image shine.  After the proofs meet my approval, I create a slideshow and maybe even a composite of the work, showcasing which images work well­ together, then upload all of these images onto an online gallery so that you can share these images with your family.  I am available to consult on ordering questions, and after receiving an order from my clients.  I place the order with the lab that I have chosen to work with, I check each print when it comes back to make sure that it is exceptional in every way.  If you compare my prices to other professional photographers, you will find that my prices are somewhat lower.  I will be raising my prices after the first of the year to make myself in line with other professionals of my caliber.  I do understand that not everyone can afford my prices. Remember, there is no obligation for you to spend any more than your print credits, and I would love to help you choose which images to order!
 
 
A note about digital images:  I know that my clients love getting digital images for sharing online, however I am selling art for your walls at home.  I want to give you the finished print that will stop you every time you walk past it.  I want these images to hang on your walls and 60 years from now, when CD images, Instagram, and Facebook are obsolete,  bring you back to the very moment my shutter snapped that priceless image of your family.  My preference is that my clients invest in quality art products, therefore the digital images are only included with these art products, and as a gift after investment of a certain amount.  After all of the time and effort that I expend on each of the images, each one is its own individual art piece, and is priced appropriately.  Just as you would not price a painting at the cost of a canvas and paint, I cannot price my artwork at the cost of paper alone.  
 
I value you, your family and your final product too much to do a cheap and mediocre job, and I promise you all of my work, and your products will be of the highest quality, and you, as my client will be treated as royalty,  with your very best interest at heart.  I guarantee satisfaction with your images, or I will schedule a re shoot, or arrange for a refund of your session balance.    

Thank you so much for your understanding!
 
 
~SheRae Hunter
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) CD Images Cost Investment Pricing https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/8/trying-something-new-with-client Mon, 20 Aug 2012 10:59:00 GMT
The BIG News... https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/7/the-big-news
 


 

It's bittersweet, really.  Out of all of the places I have ever lived (and believe me, there have been MANY) I think that my memories here in the small town of Warner Robins GA will be closest to my heart.  Here, my husband and I moved into our first house (even if we didn't own it),  and here, my baby boy, my first, my angel, was born...I didn't know that my heart could hold so much love, and I thank God every single day for this precious gift of pure joy.  
 
 Here, a business was born through a labor of love--New Vision Images flourished here in Warner Robins, if only for a season, and through it, I have met some of the most wonderful people...I am so blessed to have been entwined into each of so many families during their lives' most pivotal moments, even if only for an hour or two.    To be able to capture something for them that is only available for an instant, and to see the joy and love and adoration on their faces as they treasure each other is priceless.  My only hope is that I served each and every one of you wholly, because my work for you is a tangible extension of my heart and soul.  Allow me to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you, for letting me do what I love---without you, New Vision Images would not, and COULD not exist.     
 
Here, I met friends that I know will last a lifetime.  Ladies, you know who you are...thank you for everything, and for being there to lean on during the challenges of marriage, first time parenthood, and every obstacle that comes with being a military wife.  I love each and everyone of you and will miss you dearly, we are young, and just starting out, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for each of you, and your precious, precious little ones.  I hope that our paths cross again someday--you never know! 
 
Everything about little Warner Robins GA holds a memory for me, and as I wipe away tears, typing this, I know that everything comes and goes in seasons, and change is the only way we grow.  I am truly excited about this new adventure, because even as we leave friends and family behind, we will soon be saying hello to new friends and family...
 
 
WERE WE YOU GOING? YOU ASK?
 
 
 
 
 
DRUM ROLL, PLEASE.........
 
...................
 
 
 
well, actually we don't quite know for certain yet, (;
 BUT rumor has it that we will likely find ourselves in the magnificent state of.......   


VIRGINIA!!!!  :D


 
Watch out VA.....more to come!
 
 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/7/the-big-news Tue, 24 Jul 2012 21:35:00 GMT
4th of July Mini! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/7/4th-of-july-mini
This little one just got her first 4th of July pictures! What's even more special is that this may be the only 4th of July she spends in the US!  By this time next year she and her family will be well on their way back home to the Land Down Under---I can't tell you how much I will miss this sweet family, and I can't wait to watch this girlie grow up (via facebook).  Thank you for the sweet time we've had together here in GA, and I hope these photos will always hold special memories...
 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/7/4th-of-july-mini Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:43:00 GMT
Swab Solo Session | Georgia Baby Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/7/swab-solo-session-georgia-baby

Through incredible heat, escaped balloons, and abundant wildlife, we still managed to have a great time for this Solo session.  Solo sessions are a new adventure for New Vision Images!    I really enjoyed the one-on-one time I can get with the little one, and the special pictures I can capture just for them! 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/7/swab-solo-session-georgia-baby Sun, 08 Jul 2012 07:15:00 GMT
DIY Babyfood 101 (and you don't even need a BabyBullet) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/5/diy-babyfood-101-and-you-dont-need
My son is 6 and a half months old (yikes! where did that first half of a year go?) and we are now on a new adventure called SOLID FOOD! My little man is taking to it slowly, he's still a big fan of the breastmilk (which is still the main thing on his menu, and will be for the next 6 months) but he does like some of his solids (I think his first tooth, whenever we see it, is going to be a sweet tooth, because he is a huge fan of bananas, or 'nanners' as we call them, and pears) 




Just as a disclaimer, I am no babyfood chef...this is basically a combination of what I've learned from reading and asking, what I've seen written on Gerber babyfood, what my son likes, and what seemed easy enough for a novice baby food-maker like me to takle.  THAT BEING SAID, I found that making my own babyfood is one of the best ideas I've had for several reasons, which I will share--then I'll share some recipes.  

1) I know exactly what is in his food--I get to pick out the fruits and veggies, organic or not, and check them for ripeness, sweetness, color, and overall quality. Veggies and fruits with the brightest colors contain the most vitamins, and since you'll have to steam some of those vitamins out, start out with the best.  I have no idea what the pre-puree version of babyfood in a jar or bag looked like.   On top of that, it's fresh, and immediately frozen, and I can add breastmilk for extra benefits!
2) Its good for the environment-- 'green' 'natural' and 'organic' mommies would be appalled at the fact that I use disposable diapers, and the sheer number of disinfectant hand and face wipes I use on toys, grocery baskets, and pretty much everything he touches, BUT I am proud to say that I can feed my son without tossing a single jar, bag, can, or plastic container, yay! I want to be 'green', I really do...and I'm getting there!
3)Its actually pretty easy -- Yeah, it's about an hour and a half's worth of work every 2 weeks, BUT, you control the portion size (which means no wasted food--because you know once you dig into a batch, it's lifetime is limited).  It's also easy to take along, just throw it frozen into a cooler without an ice bag, and it's nice and thawed in just a couple hours (I feed it to my son cold or room temp, so he doesn't always want it warmed up--something that is usually impossible on the go)
4) It's cheaper -- I'm all for ANYTHING to save money:  2 medium sweet potatoes for $1.09=10 meals.  1 squeeze package of sweet potatoes for $1.56 or 2 tubs for 99 cents = maybe 2 meals...you do the math




RECIPIES

Now for the fun part! Lots of companies that make baby items would have you believe that you need some sort of special baby blender to make baby food, and just so you know, this is a marketing scheme, and I almost fell for it too.  All you really need is a magic bullet, a smoothie maker, or even a blender would do the job.  You will also need a metal strainer (for peas and greenbeans) and some individual freezer-safe, microwave-save, bpa free plastic containers (you can get a 16 container set for $7.50 at toys-r-us) 



Single Fruits and Veggies

A serving size for 2 adults will produce about 8-10 meals for a 6 month old

1) Steam cut-up squash, carrots, peas, greenbeans, pears, or apples in a steamer or on the stove until they're tender ( you can steam some frozen veggies in the bag they're packed in).  You can also steam in the microwave--add about a half cup of water in a microwavable bowl/plate  and put your cut-up fruit or veggies in.  Put another bigger bowl overtop the bowl of plate and microwave in 2 min increments until tender. 

2) Blend until food is the desired consistancy--for stage 1 foods, thin with breast milk, formula, or nursery water.

3) For most fruits and veggies, that's it! For stringy foods or foods with outer shells like greenbeans and peas, you'll have to use a spoon to press the veggies through a metal strainer.  I know that sounds annoyingly difficult, but I promise, its easy and worth it for fresh sweet veggies.

Avocado-Nanners/ Avocado Apples--surprisingly yummy and super healthy--you'll be licking your fingers! 

1 advacado
1 banana or 2 apples
1/2 lemon

 Peal, cut, and prepare the apples as detailed above

1) Mash the entire peeled banana with all of the meat from the advacado
    
2) Add 5-6 drops of lemon juice to limit browning (if you want to...you can skip this step, but the mixture will brown and look pretty gross--it'll taste the same though)

3) Blend to desired consistancy, thinning with breastmilk, nursery water or formula

4) For the Apple variation, just replace the 1 banana with the 2 prepared apples


Pear 'n Oats

This is good for constipated baby bottoms that can't handle cereal alone all of the time (like my little man), but benefit from the feeling of fullness that cereal provides.  Pears are good for stopped-up tummies 

2 pears
1 1/2 tbsp baby oatmeal

1) Prepare the Pears...or should I say prePEAR them
2) I do apologize for the previous corny comment....mix oatmeal with pears and thin
to desired constancy with breastmilk, nursery water or formula.

That's it!


By the way,
These Munchkin strainers are AWESOME-- and under 7 dollars at Target and Walmart.  I put banana slices and avocado slices in them for my son to suck out, and I don't have to worry about him choking--and he LOVES the fact that he can do it himself.  tip* you might want to strip your little one down and put them on a washable surface for this one...just sayin'... 


























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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/5/diy-babyfood-101-and-you-dont-need Tue, 29 May 2012 12:25:00 GMT
PARDON OUR DUST... https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/4/to-my-lovely-and-wonderful-friends-fans


To my lovely and wonderful friends, fans and clients--

I know New Vision Images his been off the radar for quite some time.  We are gutting this thing out completely, and now this company is in the process of undergoing some major changes...we are re-vamping EVERYTHING from offering TONS of new products, to decreasing our Creative fee (session fee) IMMENSELY.  And we are planning a few freebies and events along the way (;  Stay tuned for the new and improved New Vision Images Professional Fine Art Photography!




 IN THE MEANTIME, here is a cute picture of my son (I know, I can't help it though)]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/4/to-my-lovely-and-wonderful-friends-fans Thu, 26 Apr 2012 06:55:00 GMT
All Moms are Superheros (with evidence) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/4/how-i-know-all-moms-are-secretly How I KNOW all Moms are secretly Superheros


10) Mommies have superhuman strength

Have you ever seen a mommy easily lift a stroller with a carseat attached to it, a baby in it, and a purse and diaper bag hanging off of it onto a curb? Have you ever offered to help, and then were embarrassed because you couldn't do it? I have...

9) Mommies have X-Ray vision

Mommy always knows what you're up to, even if you're 3 rooms away...How does she do it? She can see through walls

8) Mommies can grow extra arms

Mommies can hold a tiny hand, hold a baby, carry a diaper bag, carry groceries, carry a wallet or a purse, find the car keys, and hold her coffee upright the entire time.  This is because Mommies can grow extra arms and hands whenever necessary!

7) Mommies know everything

Mommies knows everything from the ABC's to long division and Algebra, to the difference between a coniferous and a deciduous forest! This is because Mommies are blessed with the superhero power of all knowledge (And not because they stay up at night after the kids are in bed frantically googling how to do these things so that they can help with homework) 

6) Mommies can move at super speed

How else can you explain this: Mommy gets up, takes a shower, gets dressed, checks her e-mail, checks her calendar, puts on her makeup, makes breakfast, feeds the dog, scoops the litter pan, puts a load of laundry in, wakes up the kids, gets them dressed, gets them fed, makes their lunch, feeds the baby, soothes the baby,makes sure the kids have their homework and coats, puts the laundry in the dryer, cleans the kitchen,plans dinner for that night, and gets everyone in the car and buckled in...all before school starts.    

5) Mommies have super sales radar

Mommies can buy 300 dollars worth of school clothes for 65 dollars... at any given time during the year

4) Mommies have super human memory 

Mommy knows everyone's schedule, even Daddy's, off the top of her head! This makes certain that no party, deadline, or appointment is ever missed (and the gift, project, and paperwork for those events are always taken care of too)

3) Mommies have superhuman hearing

Mommies can hear the baby make the tiniest little sound from all the way across the house! The dog didn't even hear that!

2) Mommies have Magic Princess Glitter

Magic Princess Glitter insures that Mommies stay pretty as a princess while doing all of the above, It also insures that mommies never get too sick or too tired to take care of her babies...(that's how it works, right mommies?) 

1) And the last bit of proof: Mommies can fix anything

No matter how bad your day was, no matter who was mean to you, no matter how you got that boo boo, and no matter how your blanky got ripped, teddy got lost, or if your team lost for the third time in a row...Mommy can fix anything and make it all better
 

*dedicated to my mommy (-:]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Mommys encouragment https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/4/how-i-know-all-moms-are-secretly Thu, 12 Apr 2012 12:04:00 GMT
April Art Sale!!! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/4/april-art-sale I love April!! No, not just because it's my birthday month either.  I love the fullness of spring that comes with April, with the cool mornings turning into warm (not blistering hot) afternoons, and comfortable evenings. I love the flowers, the abundance of robins sitting on little blue eggs in the bushes, and the bright morning sunshine.   And finally, I love the steady approach of Easter, a holiday we strategically celebrate in spring, as all other things are becoming new as well!  I love April, and that is why in celebration of April, and Easter, and my birthday, I am offering a 20% off wall art sale (that is, sizes bigger than an 11x14, and all canvases and other specialty wall products).
New Vision Images was the name chosen for this company because we are not just a photography company.  Our mission is threefold:

1) To provide unique, beautiful, unprecedented portrait photography for families at all stages of life

2) To offer top quality fine art images that you will want to have printed on one of our top of the line wall art products or coffee table album products--and keep them as a heirloom for years to come (not just a bunch of small prints that end up never framed and in a drawer somewhere--your family deserves so much better than that)

3) To provide photographic services free of charge as much as we possibly can to our community, as we all have a responsibly to lend our talents and services to advance the area in which we live, making it a better place for our children.

Happy April!  ]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Art New Vision Images https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/4/april-art-sale Sun, 01 Apr 2012 07:43:00 GMT
Happy 2 Year Anniversary, New Vision Images! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/happy-2-year-anniversary-new-vision New Vision Images has officially hit the 2 year mark! Although things have been challenging, moving this business through two states, three towns (and possibly another in the not-so-distant future), and a pregnancy and newborn, I have to give all glory to God that we have come this far, and I have to lean on him and trust him every day through every trial, disappointment, and worry.   On top of this, I can honestly say that I love my job.  My line of work can practically be defined as bringing joy to families through art!  I know that not many people can say that, and I am grateful for every day I am allowed to pursue this dream, along with my husband as my business partner, backing me 100%.   However, only about 10% of my on-the-job time is spent behind the camera while the other 90% is spent studying, financing, researching, learning, networking, updating, editing, and practicing.  Of all of those additional tasks that go along with pure talent, I think my favorite would have to be networking.  I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in the 5 months I have been able to actively engage in this particular branch of business.  I want to share one of these new friends with you in this blog.

You see, my husband and I live on a street called Dora Ln--and I never gave much thought to it (other than to help people remember our street by thinking of Dora the Explorer).  The other day I met a women who's beautiful property and garden I had been eying for a while, but had been too nervous to ask about.  I finally worked up the nerve, and I now use it to photograph some of my little clients.  I was cautious, as always, when asking for a favor, but as I started talking with this 87 year old woman who was out working in her garden at the time, she began to tell me of her family: her late husband, her grand children, her great grand children (of which she has l1) and a sense of wonder overcame me as I imagined the things she has seen in her lifetime, compared to my short 25 years of life.  Her name was Dora--and it took me a second to realize that she is THE Dora, my street was named after her! and my sub-division after her husband, William!  She watched as each plot of land was sold to individual families, and saw many family come and go.  We chatted for quite sometime, and I was amazed at the things she recalled to me, from years before even my parents were born.  I have been back to visit several times since then, and I will continue to visit Mrs. Dora, not because I feel obligated because I am using her land, but because I see the potential for a beautiful friendship.  In talking to Dora, and my grandmother in CA, I realize that they are our only first account connection to the past, and a simple conversation can feel like they have taken you back in time...and those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it....

VERSE OF THE DAY
Job 32:7 “Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.”


In other news... MY BABY CAN SIT UP!!! (for about 10 seconds)  Of course I have to post a picture!!
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) small businesses https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/happy-2-year-anniversary-new-vision Thu, 22 Mar 2012 16:46:00 GMT
One Spring Morning: Johnson Preview https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/johnson-preview
If you can't see from her pictures, let me tell you that this little girl has the most wonderful, adorable personality! I had so much fun photographing this little angel, and thank you Johnson family for sharing her with me.  It was so incredibly hard to choose the few that go onto this blog and onto Facebook, but I chose this storyboard because I thought it captured so much about her: her smile, her concentrating so hard on putting those flowers in that basket, and of course that fiery red hair!  Enjoy this little girl, Johnson family, she is a gift from God... I certainly enjoyed my hour with her! ]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) sneak peek https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/johnson-preview Sun, 18 Mar 2012 17:51:00 GMT
The Sidelines https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/sidelines My life went from fairly uneventful to super-packed almost overnight!  Tons of networking in the next few days, and several sessions coming up in the next week. I am so excited to spend time with each of these families!! I spent today catching up on housework and laundry (ick--my least favorite chore).  Zechi was an angel all day long, and I got a lot accomplished...so I rewarded myself with some oatmeal cookies and several NSync and Backstreet boys music videos on YouTube (don't laugh, you know you want to click those two links).

So here's what I discovered today about being a mommy: My baby is growing up, and yes he's still a tiny baby, but he is no longer ENTIRELY dependent on me...he no longer needs me to sleep, he can hold a cup by himself, and he can sooth and entertain himself.  Part of me is incredibly relieved that I can FINALLY have some time to myself, but a tiny part of me is crying because I know this is the very beginning of my baby becoming more and more independent of his mommy.  This morning Zechi was in his crib.  He had turned from his back (his preferred position) to his tummy (not a preferable position, according to Zechi) and he was grunting and fussing and beginning to get frustrated because he couldn't turn back over to his back. Finally, he began to fuss and whine for mommy, because he knew mommy would come turn him back over.  I almost did, hating to see him so frustrated, but I stopped myself.  I know he wanted me to turn him over because that would be the easy way...but I knew that even though he's still just a baby, he would get even more satisfaction if he accomplished it himself, so I watched.  Eventually he flipped himself back over and a HUGE grin spread across his face, as if to say "I did it Mommy!" At that second God showed me with such clarity what my role as a mother is.  It is not to come to run the rescue every time my child becomes frustrated, or fails, or is having a hard time with something...then how will my little one ever find pride and worth and determination within himself?  My job is to cheer him on, to encourage him to try again when he feels like he can't do it, or when he feels like he's failed.  From the time he learns to sit up by himself and crawl, when he gets his learners permit, when he graduates high school and college, all the way until the unimaginable time when he has his own family,  my place is not beside him, but on the sidelines--next to his father--cheering him on, letting him know that there is always someone who will believe in him no matter what...     



Everyday I learn something new (part of my reason for this blog) Whether it's a revelation about being a wife or a mom, a tip about how to be a better photographer or businesswoman, or good advice relating to life in general, every single day I learn something new.  I realize now that there are three things I can do with anything new that I learn:

1) say "that's interesting" and then forget about it 2.5 hours later
2) be grateful for the information and keep it to myself...who wants to hear me ramble on anyway? and who knows, maybe they already know...
3) share what I've learned with as many people as I possibly can

I've made a conscious decision to do all I can to choose number three every time.  You never know what what someone is going through, or who's life you can change with just a word.  Now, I'm certainly not saying that you should go around spouting off every little thing you happen to come across (seriously, nobody cares about the gender of Snooki's baby) but if you learn something of value, a tip that can perhaps make things easier for someone, or a revelation that can grow their faith,  or an experience that can empathize with a hurting heart, or even just something to make their day...don't be shy!  The Bible talks in Matthew 5 about sharing the gospel--the most important information you can ever share with anyone--whenever you get even a tiny chance!  If you have something that can shed light on darkness in someones life, it's your prerogative to share it!

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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Gospel Growing Mommys https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/sidelines Thu, 15 Mar 2012 19:29:00 GMT
Rhevyn's Portraits! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/rhevyns-portraits
In addition to all of the fun stuff we did the past week, such as watching the entire extended LOTR trilogy, going to the CocaCola Factory in Atlanta, and making Oreo 'dirt' pudding with gummy worms in it, I got to finally do Rhevyn's first photoshoot ever!   
 
 
**SINGLE CLICK TO VIEW LARGER...BUT PLEASE DO NOT DOWNLOAD, COPY, OR SAVE! THANKS!**

 
You have NO idea ho hard it was to just choose three pictures to share of my lovely sissy! I chose this one first because it captures so much of her personality--the silly side on top, and the sweet side on the bottom...and I had to include those oh-so-perfect red heels that fit her personality to a T...can you believe she wore those on the airplane AND walked all over the Atlanta airport in them? 
 

 
 
 
I especially loved her expression in this one--It's so confident and bold
 

 
 
 
 
And finally, I just loved the colors in this one, taken in Atlanta, the hat was a perfect touch....
...

Stay tuned for another post tomorrow---so much to catch up on!
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) sneak peek https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/rhevyns-portraits Mon, 12 Mar 2012 09:51:00 GMT
Hooray!! (for Feb, and other things) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/hooray-for-feb-and-other-things MY SISTER IS COMING!!!!!
     I feel like I'm being spoiled, having my best friends here 2 weekends ago, and now I get to keep my little sister here for nearly a week! I'm so excited! We haven't had sister time in a loonnng time.  And her visit is going to be the icing on the cake for a wonderful end to February and an awesome start to March!  So many great things have happened in the last month! 
     Congratulations to Laura and Matt Travis, a happily married twosome who will become a threesome at the end of the summer! They got to see their little one on ultrasound for the first time today, and I remember those feelings---so strong that I couldn't even describe them, when you see your little love flip and kick and turn inside of you, and you hear the little heartbeat, and all of a sudden everything becomes real, and all you want to do is protect this little life. So happy for this couple, and I can't wait to meet their little guy/girl. 
    Thank you All Strung Out Boutique for the absolutely adorable newborn hats! Renee M, you have a gift for creativity, and how you make such darling things so quickly with 3 little ones under the age of three is beyond me.  I cannot wait to use the two little pageboy hats in my upcoming twin session, and the little girls brimmed hat is just perfect--I think I'll have to hunt down a newborn baby girl just so I can use it soon!!!  As a photographer, I am faithful to shops that consistently deliver an excellent product, and All Strung Out is one of those shops.  All Strung Out ships within the US, and all moms and moms to be should check out her cute, affordable newborn hats, so that your little one has something special and unique for his/her newborn photos!
     Thank you to my husband, who makes me feel special, loved, and beautiful all of the time...Who takes me out to dinner when I am fretting because I had nothing prepared for dinner that night, who buys me chocolates for no specific reason, just because (and chocolates are great presents from a husband, because they mean: 'here, eat about 10,000 calories and gain 5 lbs, I don't mind!).  Who plays pictionary with me after our son is in bed, and always remembers our husband/wife bible study every Monday night. I love you more than words Kyle Dominique Hunter  
     Last, but not least, thank you to my little boy for bringing so much joy and pride and laughter into the last 16 weeks of my life.  I can't believe how fast time has slipped by!  Zechariah Christian Hunter, Mommy and Daddy love you so much, and you are perfect in our eyes, from the time you were born.   I am excited to see what new things you will learn this month!



And of course another picture of my number one model....

....And he's good at it!!

I cannot wait to see what God has in store for our family, New Vision Images, our friends, and our clients for the month of March! 

VERSE OF THE DAY: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" Galatians 6:9  ]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Boutique https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/3/hooray-for-feb-and-other-things Fri, 02 Mar 2012 18:48:00 GMT
The little guys doing big things--encouragement to small businesses https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/little-guys-doing-big-things

    This blog is dedicated to small business owners... whether you are a photographer, own a hardware store down the street, or sell AVON or Scentsy candles, you ARE a business owner! 

      I have been a business owner since 2006, first as a MaryKay representative, then as a photographer.  Working in the wonderful world of MaryKay (who's products I can't live without), I learned a lot about the organizational and marketing side of business, and although selling MaryKay ultimately was not my calling, I am exceedingly grateful to the many ladies (some of whom I still keep in contact with) for allowing me the opportunity.  Later, many of the foundations I learned from selling MaryKay in college has helped me to be able build New Vision Images from the ground up.  

     As all successful businesses know, talent is not everything.  In addition to having a 'knack' and a passion for something, years of research, dedication, monetary sacrifice, experience, and development of your talent is necessary.  In addition to that, creativity, wise money management, and perseverance come into play as well.  What I find to be one of the most important things however is self-motivation: if you believe in your business and have the highest regard for the product that you produce, then you are already on the road to success. Who wants to buy a product that not even the retailer believes in?

     In church today (New Hope International) Pastor Jordan Poole talked about a certain disabled man in John 5:1-18 This man was lame--meaning he could move, but very slowly, and his complaint to the Lord was that every time he inched forward toward the healing pool, someone jumped in front of him, and he missed out on his opportunity! Supposedly, this had been happening for months and months on end, and the lame man seemed to have made up his mind that he would NEVER get to the pool, so instead he sat waiting for someone to carry him in.  When starting a business, for the first few months or even years, we are going to be like the lame man--slowly inching our way toward success.  During this time, it is incredibly tempting to throw in the towel and say 'I'll just wait for some better opportunity to come along'.  But if you read on in the story of this man, we see that after he reveals his plight to the Lord, Jesus immediately says 'Get up and walk!' What a huge amount of faith it must have taken for this man to gather his strength, trust his withered legs, and do something he had probably never done before--at the risk of failure or being ridiculed or disappointed again!  But it says that the man got up, picked up his mat and walked away.
When God has called us to do something--anything in life, to include ownership of a business, it is not our prerogative to be immediately successful, or to throw in the towel when we are not.  It is our job to take each day one inch or so at a time, as the lame man had done--and there will be some days when you will be frustrated and wonder if this is even your calling, or if you made some mistake along the way--but know that though these days are inevitable, God has given us talent not only in our product, but also as a businessperson, and if you never forget your goal and where you want to be, and keep your eyes on Him, one day he will say to you "get up, and carry your mat!" as your business takes off at warp speed! 
  

      Mc Donalds started as a diner on the corner in 1940, SEARS as a mail order catalog in 1888, and Facebook as two college kids goofing off in 2004... what do these multi-billion dollar industries have in common? They started right there where we are...as a small business! God bless you and your businesses! Feel free to leave comments with other encouragement for small businesses!   
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Photography marykay small businesses https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/little-guys-doing-big-things Sun, 26 Feb 2012 14:05:00 GMT
Every New Day https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/every-new-day   Before we had Zech, each day was pretty similar to the last.  Please, Please don't get me wrong--I loved every single day with just Kyle and me...never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find a man like Kyle to share my life with--and every day I love him more and more, and I'm thankful for all he does and sacrifices for me, and for our son.  But when I say every day was similar, I mean that each day I woke up as the same person, as did Kyle, and we went about our lives the same way each morning, and I took comfort in knowing that when we came home at night, I could look forward to the man I married, as I married him.  While we were childless we had an awesome time going to big cities, cookouts, museums, zoos, movies (usually kid movies, like Disney's Up, but sometimes grown-up movies too).  When I became pregnant, I would cry sometimes for those days because I thought they would be gone forever, and I was afraid that life would become monotonous, with no more spontaneity.

    After Zechariah was born, I found out I couldn't have been more wrong!  After my mind had cleared after all the weeks of sleep deprivation (about 6 weeks or so) I was thrilled to discover that my once tiny, fragile little human that rarely did anything other than poop, sleep or cry was  learning something new each day.  Once he hit 2 months, he would literally do something new every single day--a new facial expression, a new sound, a smile, a laugh, a turn of his head, or noticing something that he never noticed before.  To most people, all these little things may sound tiny and insignificant...but everyone who has ever been a mother knows that each of these milestones is a huge leap from that tiny, helpless little person you brought home from the hospital;a little stranger of whom you knew nothing about...of whom you were challenged to love, raise, and care for for the rest of your life (and what a scary thought that was...and still is).

  Seeing these changes take place rapidly in my son has taught me that being a mommy will be anything but monotonous!  For Zechariah, everyday is an adventure--the things that I take for granted like going to the store, or cooking dinner, he watches with such fascination that I can't help but be sucked in by his excitement.  All of the exciting times with Kyle  that I worried would be gone forever, I cannot wait for us to re-do with Zechariah--how much more exciting will they be through the eyes of a child--unhindered by adult worry and cynicism! I think that children see every little thing as God intended it to be...a miracle to be marveled at!   

   Zechi's newest interest is watching me eat...he looks at the approaching food with a furrowed brow, then squeals with delight as it disappears magically into Mommy's mouth! In two short months, he'll be tasting his first 'big-boy' foods--another adventure I can't wait to experience and share!!!  For now I am content to sit, working at the computer with a cup of chai tea while my son, my little sidekick and greatest source of entertainment plays with his toys, chattering away on the floor....





VERSE OF THE DAY   "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" Matt 18:3]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Babies Kids Mommys https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/every-new-day Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:52:00 GMT
Cornish Hen Dinner..Success!! (Recipe Included) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/cornish-hen-dinnersucess-recipe
 
 
I LOOOOOOVE to cook---but since Zechariah's birth I've had significantly less time to try new recipes.  I would always pass by the cute little Cornish hens in the grocery store thinking "one of these days I'm going to cook a couple of those for dinner...but really I was just to scared of the unknown, and I would always end up with frozen chicken breasts in my basket--afraid to step out of my comfort zone... Well, I finally did it--I bought some Cornish hens and cooked them tonight for dinner--and they were DELICIOUS!  They were super easy and fast to make---and Cornish hens are only about $3.95 apiece (BIG plus)!
I found the basic recipe in a magazine, but I tweaked it a little--of course.  Here's how I make them (recipe serves 2--an entire bird for each person)
 
Marinade (blend all this together in a food processor until smooth)
1/4 cup EVOO
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1.5 tsp dry)
about 8-10 fresh basil leaves (or 1.5 tsp dry)
2 small shallots


Stuff 1/4 an onion and some parsley, celery or carrots in the body cavity of each birdie, then place each bird on its back and rub the marinade under the skin, in all of the crevices, and on top of the skin (be really careful because the skin  tears quite easily) Then...truss that bird!! (Don't know what 'truss means? that's OK neither did I, but I googled it and it basically just means to tie the legs together with kitchen twin...or dental floss---whatever you happen to have on hand).  Put these in a shallow 9x13 baking pan and in the fridge for about an hour or so.  When you take them out, make sure you tuck the wing tips under the body so they don't burn (check out the picture above)

Mix:
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sherry or Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional--I think I'll do without these next time)
1/2 small onion chopped

Dump all of this in the bottom of the baking pan with the hens, and put it in a 450 degree oven for about 35 minutes (or until internal temp is 165 degrees)


Last step....

When the hens are done cooking, take all of the pan drippings from the baking pan and dump them in a skillet on med heat. slowly add 1-2 tsp of flour and stir till thickened, then add 3 tbsp of butter (or not if you feel like being healthy that day) and pour the resulting sauce over the hens.  Serve with wild rice and veggies and enjoy!!!

 
 
VERSE OF THE DAY
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the STRONGHOLD of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27;1
 
MARCH is right around the corner, and I'm celebrating by offering a new studio style mini-session for babies ages 3-5 months! check out the flyer below!!  I only book weekends, and they get full quickly--so book with us soon!
 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Cornish Hen Recipes Tummy Time https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/cornish-hen-dinnersucess-recipe Sat, 18 Feb 2012 17:56:00 GMT
Time With New Friends https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/time-with-new-friends Post number 2, day number 2...so far so good!  And I figured out how to type with a baby on my arm...for now... once he hits 14 lbs I don't know what I'm going to do!
  I had the pleasure of meeting another new mommy for coffee and cookies today at Panara, with another mommy hangout scheduled for tomorrow! It's made me realize that one of the benefits of being a military wife is getting the opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people from all walks of life! The young lady I was able to spend time with today was born in England and lived in Australia for quite some time---I have never been to either of these places--but I desperately want to go one of these days.  She had the cutest little girl, and I really can't wait to get to know the two of them better!
    
          Every time my husband and I have to move, I am heartbroken over losing the wonderful friends I have made, the amazing clients I have met, who's children I have watched grow, and our church family.  One of the reasons for this blog is to provide a way for the people we have met along the way to stay in tuned with the Hunter family, and New Vision Images Professional Photography  (since I really can't spend a lot of time on facebook these days).


      So there is a "what my friends think i do' kind of thing circulating around facebook these days, and I really wanted to post a photographer one, but all the ones I could find weren't that great, and weren't targeted toward portrait photographers (MEEEE) sooooo of course I had to make
one...

 
PHOTOTIP OF THE DAY:  When you take your kids for an outdoor photoshoot try to stay away from mundane colors like black white and gray, and go for the bold bright colors...red looks esspecially beautiful against green foliage in the background, and Yellow looks AMAZING in an urban setting...

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Ephesians 2:8  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves---it is the gift of God"

This is one of my favorite songs!

http://youtu.be/1p2fRSmJLvo















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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) New Vision Images Photographer what my friends think I do Photography Shane and Shane https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/time-with-new-friends Thu, 16 Feb 2012 15:25:00 GMT
Feb 15, 2012/Date Night!!! https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/feb-15-2012date-night For the first time since Zechi was born, Kyle and I had a date night last night!! WOOOHOOO!! If you ever get the chance--go see the Air Force Tops in Blue show--it was sooo good---super family friendly and a unique show!  I am always terrified when I have to bring my 3 month old to crowded places like that...first of all because of the germs and second of all because I'm afraid he'll start crying out of control...BUT he slept through the first half (thank goodness we go to a super loud church New Hope International) and he was an angel during the second half! So much fun (-:  thanks Zonia for convincing me to take my newborn out in public for anykind of date with my hubby whatsoever--and Mom for the suggestion as to where to go (-:

Today will probably be fairly uneventful, plus I'm hoping to battle this cold off before it gets a foothold... I'll just hang out with my little buddy and try and get some housework done and do some editing on our website I suppose... check it out if you get a chance...let me know if you see any typos too, haha

MOMMY TIP FOR THE DAY (ussually this will be something I learned today, because I really do learn something every day...but I actually knew this already because I spent the first few years of my adult life as a scientist before I switched to art):  IF you breastfeed your baby, chances are, your little one will very rarley catch what you have--even if you are spending 90% of the time with them...Why you ask? because even before you show signs of being sick, your body is busy making antibodies against whatever virus or bacteria is lurking in your body, waiting to launch its attack.  All of these antibodies are transferred to your baby when you breastfeed---so he's protected from the get-go!!! thats why its always good to breastfeed if possible, even if its just once or twice a day!!!

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY:   1 John 4:10
"This is LOVE: not that we loved God, but that God loved us, and sent us his SON as an atoning sacrifice for our sins"
Even though we do not always show Love for God, he will never stop loving us---so much that he would die for us... thank you Abba!

SheRae Hunter]]>
[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) Breastfeeding Mommys Photography WarnerRobins https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/2/feb-15-2012date-night Wed, 15 Feb 2012 09:11:00 GMT
Just Days Old/ Warner Robins Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/1/just-days-old Enjoyed taking newborn portraits of this little girl yesterday--she was such an angel! Little M has yet to meet her Daddy, who is overseas being a hero for our country---BIG thank you to your Daddy, sweet girl! Thank you, C family for entrusting me with your little one and allowing me preserve these moments for you!






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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2012/1/just-days-old Sun, 29 Jan 2012 11:38:00 GMT
The LadyBug Princess/Warner Robins Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2011/10/ladybug-princess I had the pleasure of snapping some memories of baby L's very first holloween! This little lady slept so peacefully during this Shortie Halloween Session, and and we ended up with the sweetest Halloween/1 month old photos! Thank you F family for sharing your little angel with me--I look forward to seeing her a lot in the future! ]]> [email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2011/10/ladybug-princess Fri, 28 Oct 2011 18:38:00 GMT Brand New/Warner Robins Newborn Photographer https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2011/10/brand-new
The B family anxiously awaited the birth of their baby girl… imagine their surprise when they welcomed their sweet, precious baby BOY on September 29th!  This photo session took about 3 hours, and he slept like an angel the entire time! Grammy made it in the photos the day before she had to leave. She was soo excited, and we were thrilled that she could be a part of this moment. What a blessing it was to work with this beautiful family on their special occasion!  Thank you B family, and Happy birthday little man!
 
 
 



 

 
 
 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2011/10/brand-new Mon, 10 Oct 2011 08:12:00 GMT
Like Mother Like Daughter.../Warner Robins Professional Models/Photography https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2011/9/like-mother-like-daughter  
 

                I was happy to be able to help this mother and her adorable little girl build their portfolio!
 




 
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[email protected] (SL Hunter Photography) https://www.slhunterphotography.com/blog/2011/9/like-mother-like-daughter Mon, 05 Sep 2011 12:02:00 GMT