Becky Lau

Corina | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“She is a queen. Her soul is royalty.”

-Adrian Michael

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Corina is the example of a queen that is well loved by her family.

I immediately noticed her quiet and steady smile as well as a laugh that was easily expressed in any given moment. Needless to say, it was a joy to spend some time getting to know her and create a photoshoot that celebrated Corina as the matriarch of her family, her recent birthday, and just the fact that she loved her life as it has shaped out to be.

Her family gifted her this photoshoot and needless to say, it was an honor to be chosen to capture such a beautiful and strong woman on camera not only for images that will be forever part of their family legacy, but also for images that will always remind Corina to celebrate everyday and every season of her life.

I am so proud to share with you all a few of Corina’s beautiful images and a behind the scenes look into her experience with Heartbox Photography.

Special thanks to Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup Artistry for Corina’s styling on this special day!

And last, but not least, Corina’s note to her family:

My special thanks to Denise, Mayra, Luis and my husband Alonso for this great experience to capture in photographs this moments that we will treasure in years to come. “

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“I am so grateful I started early to have a family. This year is so special to me. I turned 50 and had our 35th wedding anniversary.

My oldest grandson is 10 years old now. Now we are experiencing the empty next and we are ready to move forward.”

“Beauty comes in all colors, shapes, and sizes.

God created us as life givers. Even if a woman does not have children, she still can create or give life to someone else.

We are full of love. Beauty comes form our inner selfs.

Confidence is the acceptance of who you are created to be.”

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“The best advise I ever received was to persevere.

Remaining there gets results.”

What do you appreciate most

about your life now?

“Now, I have more time for myself. “

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Kathy | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“Confidence and intelligence will never stop being beautiful.”

-author unknown

I love hearing stories about women who have stepped out in huge ways to try something new and way out of their comfort zone. It is amazing to see how much that “new” and sometimes scary step turns into something so life-changing for them you’d never guess they had any hesitations in the first place.

Kathy is a devoted mother of 4, a nurse manager here in the Bay Area and a ballroom dancer with the sweetest of smiles. She shared with me that she never would have imagined developing such a love for ballroom dancing, let alone be competing in dance competitions. Needless to say, dance has impacted her greatly and I loved being able to capture Kathy in beautiful outfits she has used in competitions.

Most of all, I loved being able to capture the sweet smile of a woman who continues to celebrate, grow, and learn from the journey that her life has been and what it has yet to be.

Kathy, thank you for trusting me to capture you in this season of your beautiful life. The best is yet to come.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair & makeup | Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup

“In my real world I am a mom and a nurse. I have been a registered nurse for 31 years and a mom for 21 years. I have twin girls and two boys that bring me much joy and are the center of my life. I don't know what I would do without them!

In my fantasy world, I am a ballroom dancer although my teacher always told me it is not a fantasy anymore, it is my reality! Unfortunately, I had to leave an unhealthy marriage but the past seven years have been such growth years in my life. I've struggled with weight issues my entire life and focus now on healthy eating and exercising regularly. “

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“Balancing a stressful management career and family left very little time for myself and I found ballroom dancing to be my saving grace. It was my escape after a busy work day. It was something I had always wanted to do.

Entering that dance studio over 6 years ago changed my life. I have never been surrounded by so many positive, supportive people who, instead of being judgmental and critical were always uplifting.

I never imagined that I would be out there on the competition floor in those beautiful costumes, make up, hair and spray tan. But they told me I could and I did! The excitement is indescribable.

My mom died at the young age of 53. From her I learned that family is the most important thing in your life, you must do what is best for you, that life is short and you have to enjoy each moment.

From dancing, I learned that comparing yourself and your journey to others is the most damaging thing you can do to your self esteem. I've learned that your confidence needs to come from within.

I have learned that you have to love yourself and take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. I was convinced that I would die at this age as well and as I turned 53 this year, I am starting to believe that I will be living a long life.”

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“I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to learn and grow and now I am able to support and mentor others in their career and coping with illness. I appreciate that I have more strength to be uplifting to others.

I am honored to have my patients and their families share their lives with me and that I have the opportunity to make a difference. And I appreciate that I have a beautiful outlet - ballroom dancing - that connects me with a wonderful family of friends who support my journey. Above all I am proud that my children are thriving and doing so well now.

When I first separated from my ex, I purchased a silver band inscribed with the words "Ancora Imparo." It is attributed to Michelangelo and means I am still learning.

I have worn it almost every day since and it is my reminder to be kind to myself, that we learn from every situation and grow each day. It reminds me to not give up.”

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“Ballroom dance has challenged me to do things I never imagined I could do and that has boosted my confidence and self esteem tremendously.

Do I still struggle?

I think we all do but to be around people who support your journey makes such a difference. And nothing compares to that magical feeling of floating across the dance floor and connecting with your partner.

What looks so easy takes much work and that work is the most rewarding part, not the end result.”

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“The best advice I have ever received as an adult was to not quit dancing after my first instructor left - not because I am still dancing but because it taught me how worthwhile it is to challenge yourself and not run away when you are faced with a challenging situation.

Sometimes you must step out of your comfort zone to get better, to learn, to grow, to experience new things. You never get better if you give up. My favorite quote: "Inhale Confidence, Exhale Doubt"

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Preview | Angel, 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

"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!

Preview | Sonia | Glamour and Contemporary Portrait | Fremont, CA

As the years swirl by with a speed that seems to increase each passing year, there is something still so sweet and refreshing about reminders of childhood memories. From the wave of nostalgia that comes from passing by an old neighborhood to rehashing memories with old friends in the laughs that remind us of long summers, giggles over latest crushes, and grade school book reports.

I have known Sonia for more years than I can count. She is truly a beautiful person inside and out and I am so honored to have the opportunity to capture her in these photographs.

Below is a preview into Sonia's photoshoot that I am thrilled to share with you all. There is more to come as always, so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to the wonderful Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup Artistry for her styling of Sonia's look for this shoot!