Santa Clara portraits

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

PREVIEW | Elissa | Glamour and Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

It is always so much fun to meet the friends of past clients. I recently had the privilege of having the beautiful Elissa come in for a photoshoot and am thrilled to share a little preview shot with you all!

I absolutely love everything about this photograph - the natural light, the perfect tone of blue that compliments her style, the way this picture captures the loveliness, the fun, the sweetness of her smile...the essence of Elissa as a woman, wife, and mother. 

There is more to share so be sure to stay tuned!  

Many thanks to Kat Tinney of A-List Makeup for her styling of Elissa's look!

PREVIEW: Melissa | Glamour & Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

One of my sisters once referred to my other sister and me as her "wombmates". I thought it was the funniest term and it's the first thing that comes to mind as I write this post. As sisters, we were each others first friends, arch rivals, and partners in crime growing up. I could go on and on, but my point is that as different as my sisters and me are from each other, I wouldn't trade them for the world. 

As I've grown into an adult, I have found that even more special than the bond of siblings is the bond of sisters. As women, we need other women in our corner. To laugh with, cry with, cheer on, encourage, and simply be with. We women GET each other in a unique way and there is something so life-giving about that fact. 

Recently, I had the privilege to photograph the beautiful Melissa. Her sister, Sandy, had been a client of mine a few years back and wanted to give her little sister the same experience she had of celebrating her life through a portrait session with me, complete with being pampered with hair/make up styling!

Below is just a sneak peak into the photo shoot of this lovely lady - more to come so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney for Melissa's beautiful hair and makeup!

Suman, 2015 | Contemporary Portraits | Fabulous Series | Santa Clara, CA

"I am a strong and independent woman and mother."
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"I was raised in a loving and caring family. My parents taught me to be respectful towards others, to be independent, compassionate, and truthful in whatever I do in my life."  
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"A truly beautiful woman does not compete with anyone. She understands the values and strengths that she alone possesses and appreciates them."
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"Our society is obsessed with physical beauty and many women are caught up in that obsession. [But] the irony is that physical beauty is temporary in every sense. 
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"My greatest strength is my mom and two wonderful, loving sisters."
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"My father is my hero and never preached, but led by example. Though we never had a lot of money, there was incredible love [in my family]."
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"Being a mother is the greatest joy of my life."
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"I am eternally grateful to my family and friends who have always stood by my side and taught me to believe in myself."
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"I have tried my best to live life honestly and compassionately though I have been put in many difficult situations which could have completely brought me down."
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"What keeps a woman eternally beautiful are many inner qualities like the ability to love,  care, and exhibit compassion."
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"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart."

Photography: Heartbox Photography
Hair/Makeup: Kat Tinney 

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

One of my favorite things to share with my clients is that even as a photographer, even I still get really nervous and shy about being in front of the lens rather than hiding behind it. I sometimes think that us as women, though hopefully we grow more confident over time, will always have a little sense of this shyness, this hesitation as part of our DNA. And I personally think it comes from deep down hope that we are loved, approved, accepted as we appear in the reflection that stares back at us in the mirror.

It's getting harder and harder drown out the voices of social media and Hollywood that says we need to be a certain size and a certain age to be considered beautiful and fabulous.  But perhaps a new style of photographs can help change all of that. One that says, yes, I feel more beautiful as I get older and wouldn't wish to reverse anything!

As I photograph more and more women who are part of the "Fabulous" Series - celebrating women who are 40+ in age - I begin to see how awesome it is to see their smiles unfold and their unique personalities come out in each photograph. Yes, there are still hints of that shyness but to see how it intertwines magically with the heart and soul of a her smile creating a unique image for the camera to capture...well, it's just beyond cool.

These ladies are brave and I hope they see that it's ok to be proud of your age, that it's ok to laugh at the quirks of each year that passes, and HECK YES it's totally acceptable to twirl around and feel beautiful in front of the camera.

This is just a sneak peak into the latest "Fabulous" Series photo session - there's more, so stay tuned!

Photography: Heartbox Photography
Hair/Makeup: Kat Tinney 


Lisa, 2015 | Contemporary Portraits | Fabulous Series | Santa Clara, CA

For any artist, it can be exciting to embark on a new endeavor, to see what will result when you take the imagination you have in your mind and then apply it to the blank canvas in front of you. 

As part of the "Fabulous Series" I am getting to meet some incredibly beautiful and interesting women who are allowing me to photograph them, tell a little bit of their story, and contribute to changing the face of what beautiful is for women everywhere.
There's a confidence and depth that come with living life beyond 40, 50, 60 years and as I learn more about these women, even I'm seeing little pieces of how I hope to be when I have reached those years in my own life - expressive of what I want and don't want. Less afraid to speak. More understanding of perseverance. Less defined by the world's expectations. Abundantly grateful for life, friends, family. More appreciative of health.

I am so excited to share the latest Fabulous Series photo sessions, featuring an incredibly lovely woman named Lisa.

Lisa, thank you. For stepping out of your comfort zone to be a part of something that entails more than just a pretty picture. For being incredibly honest about your life. And most of all for being willing to share a little bit of your world with me and with others.
What do you think makes a woman truly beautiful?
"Confidence. If you believe you are beautiful, it radiates outwardly. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. 

Thankfully, what society sees as beautiful isn't always so to everyone. That's why there are hundreds of shoes in different colors, shapes, heels, materials, textures, etc. Design would be limited if we all found the same thing beautiful." 
"Beauty cannot be bought in a "lightening" cream or some surgery. Beauty is inside and radiates outwards.  Be confident and let the world see it!"
What are a few things you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?

"Just like there are different styles, foods, designs in nature, each person is just as unique. There are so many different things that people gravitate towards. That's what makes life so exciting! Just be yourself and never try to be like anyone else. 

Your uniqueness is what makes you stand out."

What advice would you give to young girls about beauty, self-confidence, and growing up?

"Regardless of your size, you are beautiful. Don't diet. Exercise. 

Find something you love doing. Eat healthy and everything in moderation. 

Size is not an indication of health. TV and magazines can distort reality."

"Know what you want and stand up for it. Never let anyone stand in the way of your dreams. Accept compliments and be sure to give them in return.  Accept failures - they are learning lessons. Spend less time online. 

Enjoy the journey!"

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"I am grateful for my friends and family. 

I am grateful for the amazing experiences I have had living abroad. Living in a foreign country helps you re-think your own environment and gives life a new perspective. I wish more people did it."

"I'm grateful for my own sense of inquisitiveness. It's the spark behind some amazing adventures and evolving perspectives in my life."

Happy Friday!

Many thanks to the talented Tammy Do from A-List Makeup for Lisa's hair and makeup!

Lisa | July Birthday Rewards | Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Bay Area, CA

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year and always has been since I was a kid for many reasons. The free excuse to eat ice cream at Thrifty's (remember that???), the scent of Banana Boat sunscreen during days my parents took us swimming, to even the fond memories of riding around the "big kid," upside down roller coaster rides and toughing out the nauseating consequences of it later at our local amusement park. (Endless upside down motions coupled with churros and cake tend to make for an interesting car ride home. Sorry, Uncle!)

And even more so than fun roller coasters and amusement park memories, the summer season also means a celebration of life for some folks. I'm so excited to announce that the winner of the July Birthday Rewards drawing is none other than the lovely Lisa, who I also happened to have the opportunity to recently photograph! A full post is currently in the works for this fabulous July celebrant, so stay tuned!

Happy birthday, Lisa, and here's to many more to come!

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

One of the reasons I love about specializing in glamour and contemporary portrait photography for women is that it gives me a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact beyond just the photograph captured by my camera. That smile I see from a client who actually feels beautiful after seeing her photograph? It's absolutely priceless.

I started the "Fabulous Series" as a way to showcase the diverse beauty that I firmly believe is in every woman - those who are celebrating life in their 40's, 50's and beyond. What I'm finding even more awesome is that what makes these women even more beautiful are the stories behind their lives and how it has refined their character, shaped their lives, and influenced who they are today.

Because real beauty isn't limited by age or the standards of someone else - and these women are proving just that.

I am excited to share a sneak peak into the latest  "Fabulous Series" photos session with the lovely Lisa. There is much more to come, so stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday!

Many thanks to the talented Tammy Do from A-List Makeup for Lisa's hair and makeup!