Kalani Style

Laura | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

 

"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."

-G.D. Anderson

I absolutely love Laura’s energy and warmth and am so excited to share with you all these stunning images from her photoshoot! She’s a budding entrepreneur with Rodan and Fields and it was so much fun being able to create fresh new headshots but also some images that were entirely for fun because with the beautiful outfits she brought - WHY NOT?

This was Laura’s first time ever doing a photoshoot like this and I am beyond honored to be able to help create images she can use as headshots but also ones that captures her class and confidence as a woman.

Cheers to phenomenal women…EVERYWHERE.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair & Makeup | Kalani Brown

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What are you most proud of as the woman you are today and why?

“That I have created an amazing life for myself. I have amazing friends and family that support and encourage me. I live life with a a lot of gratitude!”

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What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?

“Confidence and a positive attitude.”

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“I feel like I am a half-full kind of person. I enjoy inspiring others to live life full out!”

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“I love to travel, meet new people, and experience new things as often as possible.

I believe in taking care of yourself inside and out!”

 

A Celebration of Phenomenal Women | Peggy, 2019

 

I think what made me the most excited to have Peggy in for a photoshoot was simply the story of her life thus far. She is the owner and founder of Ballet Petit, but she is a teacher and long-time investor of children who love the art of dance, she is a wife, mother, and grandmother, she is a cancer survivor, she is a woman whose smile, humor, and warm conversation make you feel like you’re talking to a long-time friend even after a few minutes of meeting her.

Peggy had never done a photoshoot like this before and as with most women, had some hesitations to step out in front of my camera. However, that did not stop her because in a very real way, this photoshoot was more than taking a few photographs - it was celebrating her journey with life on so many deeper levels.

I beyond honored to share with you all a few images from Peggy’s photoshoot, a behind the scenes video glimpse below, and most of all, a little bit about her through her own voice.

Here’s to the celebration and journey of life, both the peaks and valleys, and being able to see a deeper beauty through all the seasons.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Styling | Kalani Brown

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“About three years ago, I went to yet another doctor’s appointment to try and control my asthma. After a chest X-ray, and several more follow up appointments, it was determined that asthma was not the issue after all - I had Hodgkins Lymphoma, Stage 2B, with some extra symptoms.

It was a huge shock. I was told, due to concerns for my immune system during treatment, I was not permitted to teach school during my treatment, but was encouraged to teach ballet and take my ballet classes each week, for as long as I was able. It was a scary time. Less than a month later I started 6 months of chemotherapy every 2 weeks, followed by weeks of daily radiation treatments.

I decided the day I was diagnosed that I would do my very best to keep dancing, knowing that it would help my survival physically, as well as emotionally. I wanted to be strong for myself, and to set a good example for my students of the power and strength that comes from doing what you love. “

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“I kept my focus positive, accepted the help and love of my community, and happily kept dancing all the way through my cancer treatment year. I didn’t give up.  I made it and I am proud of that!”

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What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

“I was a pretty strong-willed and ambitious 18 year old. I thought that if I tried hard enough, I could make just about anything happen or not happen.

I would tell my 18 year old self, “You may think you can control your life, but you can’t. Life happens. You can, however, have some control over how you handle what comes your way in life.”

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“A beautiful woman lives her life according to her beliefs and the dreams she holds in her heart. Whatever it is that she values, desires, aspires to be or do, wants to achieve, her beauty shows through as she takes the steps necessary to fulfill herself and make her dreams become a reality.”

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“Everyone has a place. Everyone has worth. No one is perfect. We all have imperfections.

This reminds us that we are all human. Regardless, we can all try to be our best selves while seeing the best in others. We become our best selves by being honest, open, and aware of ourselves and how we share this planet with others as we navigate through our lives.”

“I have been so fortunate to have lived my life surrounded by wonderful people in my family, my schools, and in the world of the classical arts. The proverb about it taking a village to raise a child rings so strongly for me.

I am grateful for the many people who have been a part of my village from the day I was born to the present day. They have been such an important part of my life story. I have been lucky to have had such a vibrant and supportive village. They have all had some part of who I am today. It has been pretty wonderful, the ups and even the downs. All in all, I am happy with how my life has turned out.”

 

Tara | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.”

-Taylor Swift

Tara is a mother, an ambitious go-getter, a woman dedicated to continuously learning and meeting challenges head on. Her love for fitness, passion to help and serve others through her work is evident - I even had the opportunity to see her in action as she skillfully led the organization of a local fitness fair for the community here in the Bay Area.

As part of the continuing “Phenomenal Women” series that features women from all over the Bay Area, I am so proud to share with you all a glimpse into the life of this entrepreneur, mother, and resilient go-getter - the lovely Tara, owner of Infinite Health and Fitness.

Here’s to celebrating phenomenal women everywhere who hustle hard in their own life for the purpose of serving others.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup | Kalani Brown

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What are you most proud of as the woman you are today and why?

“Over the years I find myself more and more proud of my humble roots. I grew up in a cabin in a small town, where my doctor's office was in his house and my backyard was nature's wonders. 

For some time, I didn't know how to integrate that into having a city or suburban life once I ventured out after college. I tried to fit in. I didn't understand different cultural norms and sometimes got in "trouble" with my peers due to differences in societal conditioning.”

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What advice would you give your own niece as she grows up? 

“To spend time with herself, figuring out what she likes, dislikes and being strong in the alone time.

Being alone does NOT mean no one wants to be with you.

Also, a fit woman makes everyone happy!”

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What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?

Her ability to handle what life reveals. Take it seriously, then handle it with grace snd smile back at it with gratitude.

For example, "You've been kicked out/broken up with/fired?!”

Great. Now you can find your new destiny because it's been waiting!

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“Recently, I have opened a new business - the 5th since I was 18. This time, I am armed with a business degree education and the confidence of experience. I still expect some twists and turns, but will welcome more wins this time than I ever believed could happen. “

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What would you tell your 18-year old self?

“That she will be able to get over the imperfections of life experiences, and be able to celebrate every rise after every fall. And this process will maker her stronger and more resilient, which is a space that cultivates love and not fear.

Also, that she will be able to help people like she wants to :)

But only after some adventure and healing and evolution/awakening.

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“I want her to know over and over that things do not matter, and people will disappoint.

But sometimes things can seem like they matter and sometimes people can share magical moments that change your life for the better.

And to accept it all as imperfectly perfect.”

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“When a woman puts herself aside to attend to a friend, child, senior, or clients needs, with the utmost respect, personality, attention and skill, her vibe is beautiful.”

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Monique, 2019 | San Jose, CA | Glamour & Contemporary Portrait

“To be a woman is to unapologetically resilient despite everything.”

-h.h.

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There is a sweet and calm demeanor that I immediately liked when I first approached Monique for the possibility of doing a photo shoot with Heartbox Photography.

As most of you know by now, I am a firm believer in finding ways to connect with other women who run local businesses and organizations simply for the fact that women who support women is nothing short of impactful and great. The best part is that I get to know them even beyond the work they do and learn about them as wives, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers - as the unique and beautiful person they are.

Being allowed to share in their world and learn about what inspires them, their family history, even their dreams for the future is a privilege that makes the story of each woman I photograph so fun and beautifully unique.

Monique is the founder and proud owner of Innate Sense. She is a wife, a loving mother, a daughter, and a big sister. (I even got to meet her little sister during the Image Reveal appointment and absolutely loved the sweet, sisterly dynamic of their relationship as she helped her choose her images!) During our photo session, I learned more about Monique’s Portugese ancestry and how having a desire to help people be whole and healthy are one of the factors that inspired her work.

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One of my favorite things about her photo session is her love for color, beautiful patterns, and accessories in the outfits she thoughtfully selected for her day - this probably explains why we definitely took a little longer wanting to capture the gorgeous look and feel of each outfit combined with the natural surroundings at a local park!

The sunlight was bright, the skies were clear, beautiful, and perfect for the afternoon and needless to say, I am so proud to be able to share with you all the final images and behind the scenes video from this lovely woman’s photo session with Heartbox Photography.

Here’s to celebrating the phenomenal women everywhere around us!

Many thanks to Kalani Brown for Monique’s hair/makeup styling!

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“I see beauty when a woman knows

her worth and shares her

gifts with the world.”

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What are you most proud of as the woman you are today and why?

“I am most proud of taking the path that my heart led me towards for my career and to live out my soul’s purpose.

Growing up, many members of my family had jobs that they didn’t like, but tolerated them because they needed financial stability. I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in a way that I enjoyed, that allowed me freedom, and to help others.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but my heart guided me and here I am with a business where I have all those things and life that I love.”

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What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

“I would tell her to surround herself with a close circle of good friends and fully enjoy the season of her life with little responsibilities. I would tell her to travel more to gain a broader perspective of the world and people as a whole.

I would let her know that “success” is not a destination that she needs to TRY to get to…she will forever be evolving and becoming who she is meant to be in the world. To enjoy the journey, it all ultimately works out for her highest good.”

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What advice would you give your own daughter as she grows up?

“Well, I am sure my advice would vary depending on the stage of her life she is in…but I would always tell her - you are here for a purpose, you are love,d and to always be true to herself.”

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What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?

“I believe inner peace, confidence, and self-love

makes a woman glow and shine her beauty from the inside out.”

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Eva | 2018 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

 “A strong woman stands up for herself.

A stronger woman stands up for everybody else.”

-author unknown

Eva is not only a wife and proud mother of 2, but she is a health advocate in the best ways. She is the owner of Eva’s Fitness here in the Bay Area and one of the things I think is especially awesome about her work is the obvious passion she has to especially help individuals who may be challenged in leading a fit lifestyle because of injuries. As I got the chance to learn more about her background, work, and family, it was clear to me that she is a woman using the education and experience she received to make a difference in people’s health and provide the best service for her clients. And perhaps that is why the quote that starts off this post is the one that I felt was most perfectly aligned with the work Eva dedicates her life to. In her own way, with the talents and abilities she uniquely possesses, Eva is helping to encourage people live the healthiest version of themselves and even more importantly, helping them see that it is indeed possible even through injuries or other ailments.

I always have been a firm believer that every woman has something to give, whether it’s in the daily grind of raising her children, to being that listening ear on the other end of a friend’s call, or being the head of a major corporation. And what every woman gives is not limited by her ethnicity, age, or size, but rather the unlimited grit and grace she possesses. Every woman is uniquely created, therefore has something unique to contribute to the table - that is what this series “Phenomenal Woman” celebrates.

It is my honor to share with you all these images and video that highlights Eva, one of the many phenomenal women out there I have been privileged to photograph.

Many thanks to Kalani Brown for the styling of Eva’s hair/makeup!

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“So far, my life has been very extraordinary and wonderful.

I come from a small town in Germany and was very fortunate to not only be able to pursue my dream career as a teacher of movement and health, but also to have met my amazing husband with whom I moved to quite a few new places in the world.

We have two beautiful children that we love and are extremely proud of.

Every day I am grateful for my husband and kids, my big family in Germany and in the US, as well as my friends and my clients.”

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“The beauty of a woman comes from the inside, her thoughts, and beliefs. But we [also] need to take care of our health, work on our athletic skills, and keep fit.

Rather than telling this to my daughter I have to be the best example that I can.”

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“Looking back, there is not much that I would tell my 18 year old self, except to wear sun screen and to keep dancing!”

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Preview | Tara | 2018 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

-Maya Angelou

I had the privilege of meeting Tara a few months ago when she invited me to be a part of a fitness fair she was organizing for her clients and the the community. She is an incredibly driven woman, passionate in what she does as a coach for others as well as a loving mom to both her son and fur kid - both of whom I also had the privilege of meeting at the time of her photo shoot!

I am so excited to share with you all a sneak peak into Tara’s photo shoot as part of the continued celebration of phenomenal women all over the Bay Area!

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Many thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Tara’s hair/makeup!

Daniella | 2018 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”

-Michelle Obama

Women have broken and continue to break barriers. And as I write this post, I find myself reflecting on what I sense is a beautiful revolution today of women everywhere who are are being reminded of the positive influence they can have for change in their own home, own communities, and society as a whole. I want to always be a part of any movement that empowers women - from the young girls to the women who have walked the path ahead of them.

I recently launched a series titled “A Celebration of Phenomenal Women: Fabulous and Over 40”. This series was meant to invite women in who were over 40 years of age, proud of their story, their life, and most of all, proud to be a woman of today.

Daniella is 41 - a wife, a mother, and health, fitness, and nutrition coach. As founder and owner of DFitLife, she is a businesswoman in the Bay Area who continues helping and serving people live the healthiest lifestyle they can.

I am incredibly proud to share with you all these images and video from the first photoshoot of many photoshoots that will aim to celebrate these phenomenal women in our community.

Many thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Daniella’s hair and makeup!

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What are you most proud of as the woman you are today and why?

“I have worked hard through many years of self-doubt and loathing to finally emerge as the woman I’ve always wanted to be.

I feel good that I am setting a strong role model for my daughter. I want her to know she should ask for the moon, because you might just get it!

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What advice would you give your own daughter as she grows up?

“Be kind to yourself and to others.

Don’t forget that life is full of laughter, but you have to choose to see it.

Choose happiness.”

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What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?

“Self-confidence for sure. This is where men have been ahead of us. Regardless of how someone looks aesthetically, if they are comfortable in their own skin, that beauty shines through.

Women of my generation have done a lot of catching up on this and I think our children will really own it!”

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What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

“Love yourself or no one else will! I would go back and try to embrace my quirks and imperfections.

I spent so much time trying to be perfect, that I lost sight of the moment. I was too serious for my own good. Now I try to find the humor in just about every moment of my day.”

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Preview | Eva, 2018 | Palo Alto, CA | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

You know what’s incredible about a woman?

She has this unique ability to bring glamour anywhere she goes. And part of why I absolutely love this photo of Eva is that it just exudes an enchanting classiness - a fierce beauty all her own.

Image | Heartbox Photography

Hair & Makeup | Kalani Brown

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Preview | Daniella, 2018 | Palo Alto, CA | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

 

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection.”

- Nancy Rathburn

The continued celebration of life doesn’t stop after each year you’re given - in fact, I would think that the celebrations get even better. There’s something to be said about a woman who recognizes that and exudes that belief in all that she does, whether it’s in her work or within her family.

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Daniella is a beautiful wife, mother, and hustling business owner. As we chatted and spent time creating her images on a sunny afternoon in Palo Alto, I was inspired by her energy, drive, and confidence in not only the work that she does, but also simply as a woman who is proud to be where she is today. Here is just a small preview into Daniella’s photo shoot that I am honored to share with you all!

Happy Wednesday!

Many thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Daniella’s hair/makeup!


 

Azalia, 2018 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

Azalia is a lovely wife,  mother, and grandmother. I had met her some time ago through a mutual acquaintance and I'm so excited to share with you all these final images from her photo shoot with Heartbox Photography. And yes, that shade of purple on her dress was beyond AMAZING and I loved how it just brought out her elegance so well!

Many thanks to Kalani Brown for her lovely styling of Azalia's hair and makeup for this photo shoot!

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Preview | Azalia, 2018 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

"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!

Vicky, 2018 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Oakland, CA

 

Part of why I chose to be a photographer of women is because I believe that it is a unique way to not only bring out the beauty that I believe every woman possesses, but also because sharing their stories is a way to empower, inspire, and encourage other women and young girls. 

I was so inspired to get to know Vicky and learn more about her journey as a young, single mom to now a soon-to-be graduating DrPHC of UC Berkeley. And to learn that it was also another woman who inspired and mentored her many years ago to embark on this journey makes her story even more empowering. 

I am so proud to share with you all a few of Vicky's images and a behind the scenes look from her photoshoot with Heartbox Photography as well as the story of her journey through her own voice. 

Here's to celebrating the beauty, strength, and stories of all women.

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

"Choosing to do be photographed is not something that comes naturally to me - usually I am the person who wants to hide in the shadows. For the past five years, I have been a doctoral student at UC Berkeley and I have had many challenges getting to where I am today. I haven't always had the confidence in myself that I should. The year of 2017 was about self-love and all I had to offer exactly as I am now. This new year in 2018 is about confidence and growing into the woman I know I have worked hard to become."

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"As a young, single mother at 19, I knew that I could not provide the life my son deserved if I did not receive an education. My sister was one of the first in our immediate family to attend and graduate college and I was lucky to follow in her footsteps. I went back to school when my son was a few months old and fell in love with learning again. I started at the community college level and made my way to a four year university. While at San Francisco State University, I met Dr. Velia Garcia and she told me that I would be Dr. Gomez one day. I laughed at her and said I wasn't even sure if I could graduate with my bachelor's degree. "

"It turned out that Velia saw something in me that I did not see in myself. She taught me the importance of mentoring others and helping them reach their goals in a way that honored themselves. In 2012, Velia lost her battle with cancer and it was the sign I needed to apply to obtain my doctorate degree. Over the past five years, I have mentored many students, particularly underrepresented students like myself to pursue their academic and professional goals in a new way that honors who they are."

"So many have sacrificed so much so that I could walk through these doors and accomplish my dreams and I want to continue opening the doors for others to reach theirs. This degree is not just for me but for those that came before me and for those that will come long after I am gone. I wanted to demonstrate to others that anything is possible even when you feel the deck is stacked against you."

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"My life's work is to continue mentoring others while teaching undergraduate and graduate students. My goal for this year is to take risks and be the best me I can be. Deciding to participate in this photoshoot with Maria was a vital step in my journey. I knew after seeing photos she did of a friend that she would bring out my natural beauty and confidence. "

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Ghia, 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

There exists a unique kind of beauty that comes with the broken and the real. Ghia is a woman that possesses that kind of beauty - the kind that laughs out loud, tells it like it is in any and every situation, and is unapologetic about her own need for truth, grace, and love. One of my favorite qualities about her as a friend is that she always somehow reminds me that no matter how far I think I've fallen, I don't have the ability to fall too far away from God's constantly available love. From day one she is real about herself, her life, and how God's grace is constantly shaping her as well.

Ghia is a wife, a mom, a sister, a loyal and longtime friend who is loved by many....and it is my honor to be able to share with you all a glimpse into the heart of this awesome woman as well share  a behind the scenes look into her photo shoot with Heartbox Photography!

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair and makeup: Kalani Brown

"There are so many things that make a woman beautiful; her confidence in who she is, the joy she can spread with her laugh, how she looks, and the list goes on.

But what I think makes a woman truly beautiful is a gentle spirit. Kinda crazy, because I'm the exact opposite!"

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"There's beauty in women when they can build other women up, instead of tearing them down."

 
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"I wish I could tell my 18 year old self that the opinion I should care about most is God's.

I still have to tell myself this now, and remind myself that God seems me as His precious daughter, that I am loved the way I am, and not for what I think I could be."

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"As a young girl, I compared myself to the images I saw on TV and magazines, and it made me feel bad because I thought I looked so different.

I was also very quiet and shy, even awkward, and I thought that made me look more weird. I basically cared way too much what other people thought."

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"Today, although I am still struggling, I would tell young girls now to focus more on figuring out who they are, regardless of who they think the world wants them to be. Outward looks may come to mind immediately when we hear "beauty" but the word means so much more.

Being a woman is hard enough in this world, and I think that if we could encourage each other despite our differences, we would love ourselves more, and each other."

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"I think what I appreciate the most is how God continues to remind me just how loved I truly am, just the way I am."

 

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

 

When I first started Heartbox Photography a few years back, Ana was one of the very first supporters of not only the work I got to create for women but the message behind it all. We were always wanting to schedule something, but the busyness of travel and life in general meant we needed to wait a bit. 

And the wait was definitely well worth it! I am so excited to have her finally in front of my camera and share with you all a sneak peak into Ana's own photo shoot! 

As always, there is more to come so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Ana's hair and makeup styling on this shoot!

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Elizabeth, 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

One of the most common things I hear my client's say when they see their images for the first time is "Is that really me??"

And yes, that IS really you. I love being able to remind them that every single woman absolutely has her own unique beauty - that my job is just to hold up the mirror and let them see if for themselves. 

Elizabeth is a wife, mother, and healer through her work as the owner of Pure Heart Bodywork in San Jose, CA. I absolutely LOVED the boldness of her images and how they show different aspects, pieces of who she is - a beautiful woman with style and grace all her own and  mother whose smile softens in a special way for her daughters. She is a reminder of what real beauty looks like both inside and out.

So proud to share with you all not only the images from Elizabeth's shoot but also a glimpse into the behind the scenes of her shoot along with her two adorable daughters!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

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What do you appreciate most about your life now?

    "That because I've broken through to the other side I appreciate every moment that is given to me while being surrounded by my loved ones."

What do you think makes a woman truly beautiful?   

"Compassion for herself and for everyone and everything in the universe."

 

What are some things that you would give as advice to young girls (your own daughters, perhaps) with regards to beauty and being a woman?

"After you get through this dark period, you're going to be all that you hope for and much, much more."

 

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 "...keep moving - your body, your mind, your spirit - stay active and keep on growing. It makes life interesting and therefore you become interesting to yourself and others."

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Preview | Hannah, 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Fremont, CA

AFTER.JPG

 

 

I knew immediately that Hannah was cool the second she agreed that a bowlful of noodles with nothing on it but Parmesan cheese counts as dinner.  (BECAUSE IT DOES)

And when you meet someone who shares your love for planners and calendars (the paper kind, people!!), let's just say I almost wanted to high-five her for being all sorts of awesome. (If you haven't felt the excitement of perusing the aisles of a store in search of that perfect planner for the new year, I hate to break it to you, but you've been missing out. :)  #justsaying #partyatPaperSource

This lovely soul stepped out in front of my camera and I am proud to share with you all a preview from her photo shoot with Heartbox Photography. There's more to come, so be sure to stay tuned!

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

Preview | Faliha, August 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Fremont, CA

 

"And the beauty of a woman
With passing years only grows."

-Audrey Hepburn

So many things make up this beautiful woman named Faliha - her love for adventure, for travel, for memories made that involve beautiful views of beaches and water around the world, just to name a few.

To anyone who meets her, you will see that her smile and enthusiastic personality radiates towards the camera and towards the fullness of life itself.  It was on a lovely and sunshine-filled day that I had the privilege to celebrate this remarkable woman through a photo session.

It is with great excitement that I share with you all a sneak peak image of Faliha's photo shoot with Heartbox Photography. There is more to come, so stay tuned!

Shoutout to the awesome Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Faliha's gorgeous makeup!

 

Preview | Elizabeth, July 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Fremont, CA

 

"She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes"

-Lord Byron

I recently had the privilege of meeting Elizabeth - a wife, the mother of two, and a local businesswoman who has used her skills as a massage therapist for the past 17 years to bring healing and wellness to her clients through Pure Heart Bodywork.

To me, Elizabeth exudes a beautiful and quiet strength that I often think about when I picture women who are devoted to their families and who have passionately pursued their goals in life as well. I am so proud and excited to share with you all a sneak peak Elizabeth's photo session with Heartbox Photography - be sure to stay tuned for more to come!

Happy Friday!

 

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

Melba | 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone some happiness
Left this world a little better just because, I was here

I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here

-Beyoncé

 

Sometimes, when pulling together the final story to share on the blog, I close my eyes to feel and get caught up in the lyrics of a song, allowing the music permission to carry me away even for just a few minutes. It not only awakens a deep-seated creativity, but interestingly enough, it also often takes me back to actually remember the expression of the woman I currently photographed, the person I am writing about. It reminds me of her story, who she is as a woman, the richness of her who she is a person. How she looked as she arrived at the studio, how she shared small bits of who she is, who she is becoming, what and who matters to her, and even more importantly, why.

 

 

 

 

From her favorite color, to the details of this season of life she finds herself in, to what she likes or dislikes about herself, to how she feels about her family, her friends, this life.

How she feels about being photographed.

 

Her excitement and nervousness, the look on her face when she sees her heart show up in these images.

 

When she sees that her smile is her best feature.

 

 

 

Melba's life is rich. Rich in many, many ways. And yes, in reflecting upon that, the lyrics to Beyonce's song "I Was Here" seemed more than fitting for this beautiful woman, this wife, this mother, this grandmother, this friend, this sister, this human being.

 

You can immediately see the passion Melba has for life, the deep love she has for her family, the joy that radiates from inside her heart when speaking about her husband, her children, her grandchildren, her friends and the overall colorful tapestry of experiences and memories that make up her life thus far, from a young girl, to a grown woman today. 

 

Her life is a beautiful testament to what shaping a legacy of family, life, and love look like - a legacy of love given freely, deeply, and without boundaries. And it is my privilege and honor to share a piece of who Melba is with you all here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There are so many more countries I want to see! I was blessed to travel with a longtime friend during 2015 [to Europe].

She made the arrangements since she had lived in Europe and the MIddle East. We visited Paris, took a train adventure through Austria and Switzerland."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who makes you laugh the most?

 

"My hubby, Tino - we make each other laugh everyday.

Even when bad things happen we find a reason to laugh."

 

 

 

 
"Since I [entered] my 50's five years ago, I've been trying new things. I took my husband, my youngest daughter, Ariane and her then-boyfriend, Quinn, tandem skydiving over Hollister. [I] could see Monterey Bay from 15,000 feet. A few weeks after that, I went scuba diving in Monterey Bay.
Still have more I'd like to try. Honestly, the most recent was this photo shoot.
I was very nervous and had no expectations - just knew I didn't feel comfortable having my picture taken. But it was amazing and I'm so grateful."

 

 

 

 

What do you think makes a woman beautiful? 

 

 

"Her laughter, her honesty, her caring actions."

 

 

What is one piece of advice you would give your 18-year-old self?

"Concentrate on finishing school, full time work can come later."

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you  most appreciate about your life now?

 

"Grateful for my husband, our family,

and the opportunities to share new experiences."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

"I've always liked math and science - [so] Albert Einstein!

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

Melba | 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

"She's got a light around her
And everywhere she goes
A million dreams of love surround her everywhere..."

-Billy Joel

She gives generously of her time and attention.

Her words are filled with an abundance of love and joy whenever you ask about her children, her husband, her grandchildren, her family....her life.

The smile that graces her face when describing places she has traveled to with her loved ones or recalling some of the best memories is a smile that seems to radiantly shine even brighter with each story.

Her laughter speaks of nothing but joy. 

Melba is a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. I always find it so uniquely special about photographing a woman who has given of her time, love, and attention so lovingly to others for many years. Because suddenly she is at the center of attention and having a rare moment where she gets to stop and say yes, I'd like to celebrate it all right now. There is this unmistakeable and endearing shyness when a woman realizes that it is absolutely ok to take a moment to celebrate, ok to feel beautiful inside and out, and yes, more than ok to enjoy every minute of the experience.

I am so proud to share with you all a little sneak peak image into this remarkable woman's recent photoshoot with Heartbox Photography. There is more to come from Melba's photo shoot, so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Melba's hair and makeup!