I love when clients bring in their daughters to also be photographed - because she is essentially shaping the life of a human that will grow into a young lady one day knowing it is absolutely awesome to celebrate every year of your life, whether you are 8 or 80 years old.
Bay Area portrait photography
"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful."
- Sophia Loren
Azalia is a wife, a mother, grandmother, and sister - a woman who is as beautiful and unique as her name. We had chatted briefly a few years back when I had met her through a mutual acquaintance and it is my honor to now have her in front of my camera. I love when women step out and not only get dolled up for the day, but also make that decision to celebrate their life by choosing to exist in gorgeous images that will last a lifetime.
The light was perfect for her shoot (that gorgeous, natural daylight was ahhh-maaazing) and below is just a sneak peak into her photo session. Be sure to stay tuned for more to come!
Special thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Azalia's hair and makeup!
“Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things;
...it’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.”
Oscar de la Renta
When I think about April and her journey, her smile then becomes something else to me. It's radiant, genuine, and most of all it is full of celebration.
A smile that celebrates this season of where she is.
A smile that celebrates the journey, the highs of it and the stumbling parts of it.
A smile that celebrates wholeheartedly what is to come, trusting her life in the Hands of the one who breathed life and purpose into the depths of her soul and being.
Below is just a sneak peak into April's photo shoot with Heartbox Photography. I invite you to stay tuned as there is more to come and more to share on the life of this beautiful woman.
"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." - Proverbs 31:25
When she first shared her story with me, I remember feeling just this sense of "whoa". Mostly because I am more prone to being skittish about the future than confident and am always immediately floored when I meet a woman like her who has survived so much and still wears the badge of an unwavering faith for all to see.
The hint of her Southern roots can be heard in the sweetness of her voice, but don't let that fool you. This beautiful lady is refreshingly honest and straightforward, but in such a way that clearly reveals that at her core, she is also strong, kind, and loyal, being the first to stand up for what she believes is right or even to defend a friend from a bully as a child growing up in the South.
And that laugh? Well, you can see it for yourself in the twinkle of her eyes through these photographs and video that I am so very proud to share with you all of this beautiful lady named Rhonda.
Rhonda, thank you for being willing to step out in front of my camera, to share your story and your faith without filters or shame, to boldly live life out loud, to dance simply for the joy of it - all so as to encourage other women - other people - to do the same. I have enjoyed getting to know you, to laugh with you, to be a part of celebrating this new season of your life. May these photographs continue to draw forth that shining smile of yours for all to witness, even years down the road.
"I went through a 2 year period of loss. My parents, my dog, and my husband of 25 years all pass in a 2 year time frame. We moved from New Mexico to take care of terminal parents so we left behind our support system of friends and church, too. After the loss of my mom on Mother's Day 2013, I came to California to grieve and start my life over."
"My life is beginning again.
I have related my life to the Japanese art of Kintsugi where they turn broken pottery into beautiful art by putting it back together with gold or other precious metals."
When was the last time you left your comfort zone? I performed a dance routine on stage last May and we had some mistakes but it came out fine.
If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why? This is tough. Abraham Lincoln because he stood up against the norm [even though] it wasn't a popular idea and [because] he wanted to bring the entire country back together to heal. Jesus because he loved me enough to die for me.
My dad - he died when I was only 10 and I didn't know him very well or what his dreams were for me, but I know he was respected and well loved. His funeral wasn't even standing room, the building was packed and the procession was over 5 miles long in the rain.
What is one piece of advice you would give your 18-year-old self? Take better care of your health, skin and body - you only have one and you want it to last! And...insist that your husband learn to dance with you.
What do you think makes a woman beautiful?
"Her spirit and heart.
Women are designed as emotional beings and we need to appreciate that."
What do you appreciate most about your life now?
"How good God has been to me.
He has seen me through some long and difficult storms and blessed me with some of the best friends a person could know."
A funny or surprising fact about yourself? I presented flowers to the wives of the Russian cosmonauts that first shook hands with American astronauts in space. Shook hands with all of them.
I am [also] stronger than I look. I have dead lifted over 200 lbs and bench pressed 90 lbs. They still ask me at the grocery store if I need help out with my items...haha!
"I know that I am in God's hands and that he has a purpose for the next half of my life.
I found God's joy - His internal, overflowing, abundant joy."
Many thanks to Keziah Dauz for her styling of Rhonda's hair and makeup!
"Be confident enough to stand by what you think is beautiful..."
- Jessie Adore
I hope your 2017 is off to an awesome start! These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of wrapping up 2016, celebrations, and honestly, just trying to reintroduce a vegetable or two in into my meals instead of chocolate. Or cheese. Or cookies.
I'm not quite ready to give up having a cookie or two with breakfast, though. Ever bake an entire tub of chocolate chip cookie dough into one big cookie? No?! Well, let's just say that a ginormous cookie to eat ranks right up there with all things wonderful, right next to Target and YouTube videos of puppies. YES.
The potential and possibilities that lie ahead for 2017 are truly endless and my hope is to be able to continue to have the privilege to get to know and tell the stories of more incredible women this year.
Angel is a nurse and mother whom I recently got to know and photograph. Her lovely smile radiated beautifully with each image captured and I am so thrilled to share with you all a little sneak peak into a photograph from her session. Stay tuned for more to come!
Happy New Year!
Many thanks to Becky Lau of BeautifulOne Makeup Artistry for her work on hair/makeup for Angel!
Even in this digital age, I am still a huge advocate and fan of having pictures printed out, whether it's treasured in a special folio box, an album you can touch, or a beautiful frame to display. And in this era of blinding speed and fleeting moments, I am still a huge advocate for stopping time in a special way for a woman through a timeless portrait of just herself.
Yes, I know it seems odd to take some time out of an incredibly hectic and busy life to have your portrait taken. I know it seems odd to have your hair done, to go beyond just the two second application of eyeliner and instead have a professional do your makeup in a way that makes you feel your best, polished self. However, many years down the road, it won't seem so odd anymore. Because that portrait of you that you hold in your hands is now part of the legacy of your family. Your children will treasure it, your grandchildren will have a glimpse into generations before them. It will serve as a reminder to you, that every year of your life is important and that there is something wonderful about reflecting back on a photograph of yourself from years ago. It will bring a smile to your face as you recall just where you were at in life when it was captured. And as a woman, I hope it resonates something deep inside you and reminds you that you are valued and wonderfully made.
Exist in photographs for yourself. Exist in photographs for your loved ones.
Exist in photographs.
I am incredibly excited and honored share with you all the latest celebration of women who have chosen to exist in photographs, a lovely mother and wife named Bea.
Bea not only a mother and wife, but a daughter, a sister, a friend, yoga instructor, speech and language pathologist, a homehealth therapist, a Netflix marathoner. Having spent an afternoon with her in the studio was more like hanging out with a familiar friend as her easygoing personality and laughter filled our conversations.
As always, this is just a sneak peak, so stay tuned for more!
It had been about 15 years since I last spoke with Asmeret and to be able to reconnect through photography has been nothing but fun and fabulous - much like Asmeret herself! We had last seen each other when were teenagers and I had the privilege to spend a sunny afternoon chatting, catching up and laughing with an old friend from long ago.
In our laughing and chatting, we each learned how life had grown us, what rough seasons it had taken us through since high-school, the victories we got to witness and experience as young adults growing into, well, older adults, how God's grace sustained us through it all, and what we still hope and dream for as 30-somethings now.
Azzy, I am excited to have reconnected with you after all these years and beyond honored that you have allowed me to capture your kind smile, your unique fierceness, in these photographs. I hope they serve as a lasting reminder of how awesome it is when you let your internal beauty shine through - brightly, unwavering and most of all, real.
Happy Wednesday, folks!
A little sneak peak into this weekend's shoot with the lovely Asmeret...
There's more, so be sure to stay tuned!
"I consider people who have an ease about them beautiful. Those who don't take themselves too seriously and can make fun of themselves is very attractive. I'm drawn to authenticity, sincerity, and consistency."
"There will always be features of ourselves that we aren't fond of, but once you learn to accept and love that feature, it all of a sudden sparkles in a different light. So come from a place and humility and gratitude..."
Theresa and Jennie - Thank you for not only being an inspiration as business owners, but for playing an active role in restoring hope back to women and victims of human trafficking. It was truly an honor to meet you both and I am excited to see more of what's in store for Future Glory.
Many thanks to the talented Tammy Do from A-List Makeup for Theresa's beautiful hair and makeup!
To sit in a class set at an average temperature of 100 degrees for 90 minutes can be
I had the privilege to photograph the lovely Ez recently and am excited to share a little sneak below. As always, there's more, so be sure to stay tuned!
I had met the lovely Marie awhile back when I signed up for a Hot Hula class taught at a local community center - she was the instructor and I quickly learned how fun (and challenging!) it could be to take a beautiful Hawaiian traditional dance and turn it into a fabulous way for folks to have a great cardio workout. (My legs just about fell off after the workout and I have renewed respect for those who can dance hula for hours!)
Before the shoot, I got a chance to talk with Marie a few times and learned that she is not only a go-getter career woman, talented dancer, beloved daughter and friend, but a mother and grandmother as well. Chatting with Marie is like chatting it up with your best friend or sister - her genuine smile, cheery spirit, and sense of humor make it obvious to me why she is a great instructor and why many of her students enjoy her classes.
I have always believed that a woman should celebrate every season of her life and am proud to share Marie's photo shoot as part of the Fifty and Fabulous series offered by Heartbox Photography.
Marie, thank you for being so open and genuine from our very first conversation. It was an honor to photograph you, to learn more about you and your family, and just to be able to connect with such a lovely person. Here's to celebrating beauty that never goes out of style....
A special thanks to the talented Vlada Fomenko-Haggerty for Marie's beautiful hair and make up!
It was a time of fun and innocence and though there are moments presently where waves of nostalgia overcome me, I also can't deny the even more beautiful moments where I see how life has come around full circle in ways sweeter than the long summers of our days as teenagers.
Noel is a wife and now a mother to the cutest little kid named Dominic. During the photo session, the undeniable joy that Dominic brings Noel was apparent with each giggle and mischievous smile that graced this little one's face. I half expected to Dominic to start throwing his toys at me before the shoot was over, but this kid's a champ and actually survived the entire time in front of my camera - he must get his camera charm and patience from his momma! ;)
A special thanks to the talented Vlada Fomenko-Haggerty for Noel's beautiful hair and make up!
"People that treat themselves and others with respect tend to give off a certain light. That light is what makes someone beautiful."
"I surround myself with kind, good-hearted people...and they are are a reflection of me."
What are you confident or proud of now that maybe you weren't so proud or confident about when you were younger?
"Understanding what I want, finding strength to reach goals. I am more confident in expressing my emotions and have learned that I don't always HAVE to be happy."
"We need to accept the fact that every woman is different and no one woman is perfect."
"Take care of your health, emotionally and physically - you only have one shot in life."
"Laugh often and love deep."
Throughout her photo session with me one sunny, Saturday afternoon, I learned that she was a wife and a mother and loved being a model. She was patient with my inability to tell a good joke and flowed through the entire session like an absolute pro.
Ramya, it was an honor to to get to know you, to work with you, and to capture your beautiful smile on camera. Thank you for being a part of the Heartbox Photography movement that encourages every woman that she is not only beautiful, both inside and out, but is also worth celebrating today.
Many thanks to the talented Vlada Fomenko for her beautiful styling of Ramya's hair and make up!