Beauty by Keziah

Birthday Celebrations

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words,”

– Plautus

What’s even better than helping women celebrate who they are through creating timeless images? Celebrating their life whenever a new birthday comes around. =)

Cheers to this month’s #MarchBirthdays!

Image | Heartbox Photography

Hair & makeup | Keziah Dauz

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April | 2017 | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Fremont, CA


I recently had the privilege to photograph this beautiful lady woman named April. We had crossed paths a few times through mutual friends (even being in the same fitness accountability group!)  and she had reached out to me about a photo shoot for the simple reason of wanting to celebrate her life. I read that and immediately smiled because celebrating life through photographs is, as you know by now, kind of my jam. :)

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This vibrant young woman willingly shares her heart, her talents, and embraces the victories as well as the ups and downs of her life. What I appreciate the most about April is that though the trajectory of her life has been anything but a straight and smooth line, the joy that radiates from her smile, her enthusiasm to share her story with others, reveals that ultimately, she knows God is continuing to work His perfect plan no matter what and that her purpose remains the same -  to embrace Him and show others who He is. 

I am proud to share with you all these images from April's photo shoot with Heartbox Photography! Be sure to also check out the behind the scenes video below that captures a glimpse into April's day with us!

Many thanks to the awesome Keziah Dauz of Beauty by Keziah for the styling of April's hair and makeup!

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"My parents divorced when I was 6 years old so my mom, older brother, and I moved to Hayward with my aunt and her family until my mom was able to buy a house for us. 

Growing up, I excelled academically and the only extracurricular activities I had were choir and dance class because I just love the performing arts. I also battled with childhood obesity so for the longest time I despised being in my own skin.

Fast forward to college, I was blessed to attend the University of California, San Diego, and I lived there for 4 years. I really love that city. I love the ocean, sun, and community events. After graduating, God has really given me the chance to visit friends like family twice a year there to reconnect. Part of me feels like it's a mission field because my friends and I often talk about our struggles when I am there and I'm thankful I can physically be there for comfort.

San Diego is also where I discovered Christianity at the Rock Church in Point Loma during my first deep heartbreak with my bf at the time of 3 years. We weren't together for 3 months after that, but I think it was the time where I learned that my dependence did not come from a human being. Because of my upbringing and broken family, I did not really know how to approach romantic relationships so I often became dependent on my partner, which was very unhealthy. We did end up getting back together after those 3 months and lasted for 6 years total (if you included that hiatus), which led me to an even darker place of depression (although not clinical). 

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In college, I also had the privileged opportunity to travel abroad for service in Costa Rica, Honduras, and the Philippines, which opened my eyes to the need of compassionate healthcare providers and confirm my desire to work in the medical field. I love volunteering and being of service to those in need.

My career plans are to apply to graduate school to get my master's in Physician Assistant Studies so that I can apply my experiences, skills, and talents to help under served communities thrive in life with a healthy approach. I also know that this requires me to constantly work on myself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This journey has definitely helped me to see God more in all of my circumstances!"

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"I believe what makes a woman truly beautiful is how many times she falls down to rock bottom, yet somehow finds the courage to rise up to the challenges and is stronger, vibrant, and more joyful than ever before."

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"I absolutely appreciate my singleness season. I used to despise being alone in this season, but I realized that singleness is truly a precious gift from God. This season allows me the freedom to dive deeper into devotion with Him and other believers without any unnecessary distractions. Through this time, God is teaching me invaluable lessons that will be beneficial for me in the long run, such as how to extend grace in tough times and even how to be more gentle, honest, understanding, patient, and loving. For the first time in my life, I don't feel like I need to fight this season, but instead embrace every single day as it comes.""

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"My singleness also allows me the opportunity to pursue higher education whether that is near or far from home and even travel around the world with friends without any agendas. I love being able to sit at a local Starbucks and read a book or take a solo trip to the movies spontaneously. I also like spending quiet time with my ultimate Provider who never gets tired of hearing from me. I have found that He is extremely humorous at times so it makes this walk with Him even worthwhile. Most importantly, my singleness has allowed me to take more risks in general and I think with or without a significant other, I am safe and loved in His arms."

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"If given the chance, I would tell my 18 year old self that a life pursuing academic excellence and trying to keep a complacent long-term relationship going will not fulfill you. Trust in God knowing that He has great plans for your life. Even though it does not feel that way right now, He is going to use you for some amazing plans. Embrace it!"

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"Some advice I would give young girls and my future daughter would be to focus not on what the world thinks you should do, but tune into your unique personality and talents. God has gifted you in order to bless others by spreading more love and joy in this world. We live in a time of much heartbreak, loss, abuse, and neglect, thus your mere existence in this world is proof that there is a living God. He can use you to help others know Him for His unfailing love is truly the greatest. Let His light shine through you to accentuate the true beauty that only comes from within."

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Rainia | 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Oakland, CA


"I have SO many amazing SHEROES...

my mom, aunts, and grandmother inspire me."

- Rainia

I absolutely LOVE Rainia's passion for world and local travel, for rich culture and music, for education, for treasured moments with friends and family - whether that means globe-trotting with them to Europe or sharing some time together over an award-winning movie and dinner.

Born and raised in Bay Area and as a graduate of both San Francisco State and Golden Gate University, Rainia's care for the people in her life extends well-beyond her family and friends and into her life's work. She currently works heavily with troubled youth all while also working towards completing her licensing as a marriage and family therapist. 

This daughter, friend, sister, counselor, world-traveler, and beautiful woman comes from a long line of other strong and and beautiful women (her Sheros!) who have helped her become who she is - and I am extremely proud that she chose to step in front of my camera, inspire other women through a glimpse into who she is, and celebrate her life in this way. 

If you could live in any country, which would it be and why?  

"I'd like to split my time between the Bay Area and a country in the Caribbean or South America."

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why?

"Nelson Mandela and Frida Pablo! I like to mix art and social justice."

"Embrace everything about yourself -

there's no one else in the world like you and that makes you special."

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

"Our passion."

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"That I REALLY like myself and [have] learned to embrace myself."

Photography by Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Beauty by Keziah


Preview | Ruchi | Glamour and Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

It was like the fall colors of the leaves that surrounded the park beckoned the gold of the afternoon sunlight into a perfectly choreographed dance for us to witness. And needless to say this breathtaking background was perfect for a photoshoot with a lovely woman named Ruchi. 

Ruchi has been a long supporter of Heartbox Photography , standing behind the message that every woman is beautiful and has a story to tell. I am so very excited and honored that she took that step to grace my camera with her presence. Below is just a sneak peak into her photoshoot with more to come -  stay tuned!

Many thanks to the talented Keziah Dauz of Beauty by Keziah for making Ruchi's hair and makeup look absolutely stunning for this photoshoot!