Ashlyn Taylor

Preview | Nancy, 2015 | Contemporary Portraits | Fabulous Series | Santa Clara, CA

Everyone's got a story. And as a photographer and writer, I have the opportunity to share the unique beauty in those stories for some pretty awesome and unique women.

Meet Nancy.

Nancy is the type of person whose warm smile and easygoing laugh immediately can make you feel at ease in a roomful of strangers.  And for someone like me who immediately gravitates towards hiding behind the refreshments in a crowd, well, you can bet this personality trait is one that I absolutely appreciate!

I recently had the opportunity to photograph this lovely lady and am so excited to share a little sneak peak with you all - there's more to come so stay tuned!

Photography: Heartbox Photography
Many thanks to Ashlyn Taylor for her lovely work on Nancy's hair and makeup!

Jessica | February Birthday Rewards | Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Bay Area, CA

I had the opportunity to meet Jessica a few years back at a networking meeting here in the Bay Area. Jessica's quiet demeanor and shy smile may be what you see on the outside, but after I got the opportunity get to know and work with her, I quickly learned that beneath that quiet demeanor was a woman of deep thought, an articulate speaker, a true leader and someone I admire and respect.

And needless to say, I am so very excited to announce that Jessica is the winner for February's Birthday Rewards drawing with Heartbox Photography!

Jessica, I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration! Here's to more years of celebrating life!

Happy, happy birthday!

Hair and makeup by Ashlyn Taylor 

Jessica, 2013.Glamour Photo Session, Bay Area

A while back, I had blogged about how much I struggled with going to networking meetings and just mingling with strangers in general at any social gathering. I can't tell you how many times my eyes have casually wandered to the nearest exit (or at the very least, that open spot in the back of the room near the guacamole dip) whenever I had no choice but to chat with the person next to me and exhibit some display of cool vs. nerd.

However, despite my sometimes obvious social anxieties and attraction to guacamole dip/any available exit, I'm slowly realizing that there is actually nothing wrong with being shy or even quiet. That it may even be a strength and a valuable leadership quality. 

And Jessica is proof of this.

I had met Jessica at a networking event for women business owners and as I have gotten to know her more these past few months, I learned that beneath her quiet demeanor is an articulate leader, someone who has great ideas, and a passion for being involved with organizations that help others. I am proud to know her and be inspired by hearing her express and contribute great ideas during discussions. It reminds me that being a great listener is essential in growing as a leader.

Jessica, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to capture your beautiful self in these photographs. And most of all, thank you for reminding people like me that I don't always have to gravitate towards the back of the room near the guacamole dip. =)


"I'm a pretty easy-going, creative person who likes helping others and connecting with people. I work as a graphic designer and marketing assistant and am involved in various groups, including Toastmasters and Promote Her Business."


Who or what 3 things have helped shape you to be the woman you are today?

God would have to be the first I'd list because every time I think of who I really want to be in life, it's someone who's close to Him. I'd say being an introvert has also shaped me because it taught me to look more internally for solutions and answers and has allowed me to be a greater listener. 

My family has also shaped me because it was from them that I learned the value of education, friends, and family and being there for others.

If you knew then what you know now as a woman, what would you have told your 18-year-old self?

"I didn't really know myself at that age. My mind was still kind of closed off - I didn't accept myself for who I was. It felt like I was hiding from myself and the world. 

The thing that really changed that was "letting go" and finding peace. If I had told myself to look for those things [at that time] I'm still not sure I would have found it instantly or even understood what those things meant. If I had to tell myself something at 18, it would be to hold on and be patient because life would work out and make sense eventually."

What is your personal motto or mission statement? 
"Life is just a chance to grow a soul." 

"I've always admired people who were strong-willed and determined. Nothing can stop a person who doesn't stop themselves with their own doubts and fears. I admire people who look after others and empower people around them."

"I've always been passionate about art, music, nature, and spirituality."




If you could share a message about beauty, self-esteem, or self-worth to other women, what would that be?

"I've found that what changed in my life when I really gained self-esteem and a better sense of self-worth was the way I treated myself when I failed. When I would make a mistake or fall short of my own expectations, I would assume myself to be a failure. 

But when I finally embraced who I was, I would instead exercised patience and acceptance towards myself whenever I fell short. I was reassured I could still improve, that life wasn't over, and I still had time to change things. I didn't give up on myself in those moments like I used to. "
My message to women would be to love themselves compassionately as they would a friend who had fallen down and needed help getting up again.

A heartfelt thanks Ashlyn Taylor of Madame Me for Jessica's lovely hair and make up! 

Happy Monday!

PREVIEW: Jessica, 2013 Bay Area, Glamour Photo Session

Whenever I come into a new situation, a gathering, a party, the cool kids' table, etc. - you name it - I tend to gravitate towards whatever will keep me busy and hidden in the crowd rather than standing out like a sore thumb. So, needless to say, you will almost always find me near the back or near the snack/buffet table at large events.

In order to connect with other women business owners and promote Heartbox Photography, I decided to join a local networking group called Promote Her Business. I was never one who was the greatest at networking but it was something I wanted to get comfortable with. The first meeting I attended was at a small office and to be honest, I was hoping that I would have a crowd of people or at least a table of food to hide behind until I got comfortable chatting over appetizers with. But lo and behold, I was the nerd who showed up first and so had no choice to but to tuck my chicken wings away and chat with the leaders of the group who were already there. And Jessica was actually one of the first and friendly faces I was privileged to meet and befriend.

I'm honored to be able to showcase the first preview photo of Jessica's makeover and photo session this past weekend. There's more to come, so stay tuned!

Happy Monday!

A special thank you to Ashlyn Taylor of Madame Me  for Jessica's lovely hair and make up!