Red is always a good idea.
And I absolutely love it when women want to rock a special outfit just because for their photoshoot.
What outfit do you want to glam up and be photographed in? Let’s do it - there’s no time better than the present!
Red is always a good idea.
And I absolutely love it when women want to rock a special outfit just because for their photoshoot.
What outfit do you want to glam up and be photographed in? Let’s do it - there’s no time better than the present!
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!
“Share your sparkle wherever you are.”
The class of 2019 is well under way to completing their final year of high school, a chapter of life that once seemed so far away and now is just around the corner.
This is Malia. She’s a beautiful young lady who is part of that soon to be graduating class of 2019. And if I could write a long ol’ post on what I wish and hope for her in this next season of life, it might be a list that looks just a little like this:
I hope you life a crazy and adventurous dream of life. Full of the ups and downs but even more than that, a sense of richness that can only come from LIVING.
I hope you get to not only see parts of the world that you’ve never seen before, but also remember that simply enjoying a moment in the sunshine right where you’re at is just as valuable, is just as worthy of your attention and awe. Especially when it’s shared with loved ones and friends that make the moment worth it.
I hope you grow in confidence as a woman and fully see the unique advantage and opportunity you have in this world to make changes, big and small, within your circle of influence and beyond it.
I hope you never stop being open to learn, to try, and to understand. In books, through people, through life experiences, both in the classroom and outside of it. It’s incredible and it’s available to you - take hold of that chance to learn, always.
I hope you don’t settle for just making a living but instead always grasp how much more fun it is to LIVING LIFE.
I hope you love and laugh hard. And that people can see that love and laugh in your eyes before you even say a word.
I hope you take great care of your skin, drink a ton of water, and sleep well. Trust me, coming from a woman about twice your age, you’ll wanna remember this. :)
…and the list goes on, but I’ll save that for the graduation ceremony, kiddo.
Below are just some of my favorite shots from Malia’s senior photoshoot as well as the a video of all her images. Be sure to check it out.
You are almost there, class of 2019. GO GET ‘EM!
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent."
Outdoor summer sessions with gorgeous light and the warm smiles of client's like Natasha are the best ways to spend an afternoon "working" as a photographer. :)
Hanging out with Natasha was more like hanging out with a friend and as we took a stroll down the dirt path of a San Jose park, ducking in and out of the summer sunshine, my heart smiled to see images like the one below captured onto my camera.
This woman is simply a sweet and easygoing individual and I am so excited to capture a bit of who she is in this sneak peak below to share with you all.
Stay tuned for more to come!
And many thanks to Kat Tinney for her styling of Natasha's gorgeous hair and makeup for this shoot!
To say that she is one of the most real friends I have been blessed with is an understatement.
Ghia is as real with her joys as well as she is about her struggles. She is as transparent with her victories as she is with the things that she knows are broken in her and healing. On countless occasions has her straightforward demeanor encouraged me, prayed for me, challenged me, and yes, even had me rolling with laughter when I would rather cry.
Even as I write this, I can't help but smile remembering the many times she has been an example of what love, laughter, and and a real friendship cemented in God looks like.
She's a woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter. A friend to so, so many. And to me, she's more like family. The kind that's loud and crazy and beautiful inside and out beyond words.
I am so very proud to share with you all a preview image from the photo shoot of my lovely friend, Ghia. As always, there is more to come and I can't wait to show you all so stay tuned!
Photography: Heartbox Photography
Hair and makeup: Kalani Brown
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. :)
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!
"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).
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!"
"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."
"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.""
"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."
"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!"
"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."
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.
As soon as you walk in, the shelves and walls of her home tell a beautiful story and make evident a love of history, art, travel, and culture. The morning sun shone brightly through the windows and onto the many photographs of smiling family and friends that lined the mantel, giving me a glimpse into the world of those she holds near and dear to her. The sound of Sade's timeless voice streamed easily through the speakers, adding a melody to the air that blended seamlessly into the already beautiful morning.
This sunshine-filled day in Oakland was the perfect setting for an outdoor photoshoot to capture images of this lovely woman named Rainia.
I am thrilled to share with you all a sneak peak preview below - be sure to stay tuned because there is more to come!
Many thanks to Keziah Dauz for her collaboration on Rainia's hair/makeup!
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!
I had the recent honor of photographing and getting to know a lovely woman named Beatrice ....or, as she's more known to her nearest and dearest, "Bea". This beautiful woman is not only a mommy, wife, daughter, sister, and friend but a yoga instructor, speech and language pathologist, home health therapist and Netflix marathoner.
And when I found out that she loves avocados as well, let's just say I knew we were going to get along just fine. =)
Her smile and sense of humor was an absolute joy to be around, making the hours just fly by during the fun we had during her makeover and photoshoot. Below are a few of my favorites that I am proud to share with you all along with a full on video of our time together with the lovely Bea.
Bea, it was an honor getting to know you and to have you become a part of the message that all women are indeed beautiful as they are today. May you look back at your own smile in each of these photographs and continue to remember that for yourself as well.
"A beautiful woman is comfortable in her own skin and in her perfect imperfection. She does not take herself too seriously and knows how to enjoy life to its fullest. Someone who, despite what life hands them, is overflowing with joie de vivre."
"A beautiful woman doesn't rely on what's in her make-up bag."
What do you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?
"Wear your SPF! Hahaha! Wise words from my mom. I would tell myself "Babyguuurl, accept yourself as God made you because he does not make mistakes!"
"Look up (from your screen), life is going on around you! Explore the world around you, go for a hike, hydrate!"
"Speak up for yourself, and do not be afraid to make decisions because nobody really knows where they are trying to reach. Breathe, really BREATHE, and enjoy just being because you will be ok."
There is something so exciting and fun about discovering new places to photograph in the Bay Area. Perfect and natural afternoon light along with the vastness of the Alameda Naval Base made for an awesome photoshoot with the lovely Sukhdeep.
As we chatted and got to know each other, I learned that Sukhdeep is an attorney, loves to dance, and has a close relationship with her family. Her joyous enthusiasm and zeal for life was immediately obvious in her laughter and that beautiful smile of hers. And.....can I just say that I absolutely LOVED her shoe collection? Let's be honest - there's always something so fun about women who get together and oooh and ahh over the endless variety of cute shoes from one's closet. =) #proudtobeawoman
Sukhdeep is a beautiful person inside and out and I am so thrilled to share with you all just a few of my favorite images from her photo shoot with me. Be sure to check out the slideshow below as well!
Sukhdeep, thank you for being so fun to work with, for your contributions as a woman in the legal field, for having an enthusiasm for life that is so fun to be around. May these images be a forever reminder to celebrate each day and each year of your life.
Many thanks to Jessica Quintal for Sukhdeep's gorgeous hair and makeup!
Women are beautiful both inside and out. It's a message that I hope becomes more strong, more loud, and more true through every photograph I am privileged to take.
Meet the lovely Phoebe.
Phoebe's journey through the ups and downs with health and faith is nothing short of a story worth telling- complete with the highest of highs and the valleys of lows in between. In other words, her story is real and has helped changed her perspective on what it truly means to beautiful.
This is just a sneak peak into this amazing woman's photo session - be sure to stay tuned for more to come!
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to photograph the lovely and talented Erin Nolan. Not only is Erin is a professional actress and model here in the Bay Area, but she's a woman with a lot of great insight on the impact women have made in the entertainment industry as well as the challenges they still face today.
For someone like me who sometimes buys into the common misconception that models and actresses have it wonderfully easy, a conversation with Erin helped correct that perspective. Actresses and models face some of the same challenges that everyday women face, perhaps even more so due to the industry they work in. But despite these challenges, there are also more women today influencing change in the film industry, sharing powerful stories that beckons an audience to listen like never before.
Erin, thank you for allowing me to capture you in these photographs. But even more than that, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to hear about the hopes and aspirations you have for all women, not just those in the entertainment industry. Here's to inspiring change for women in film - and beyond.
What do you think makes a woman truly beautiful?
"For me, a woman's beauty is based on the things that make her who she is - not what society thinks she is or should be. For me, the answer then becomes the same things that makes any human being beautiful.
Be it their inspiring compassion. Their bold creativity. Their contagious positivity. Feminine beauty of all too often evokes images of unattainable physical form or superficiality - and can lead a woman to suddenly fear, "if I have none of those things, am I not beautiful?"
Why must feminine beauty be based off of something purely physical and ever-changing, when women do SO much more their whole lives? They are mothers, best friends, CEOs, teachers - they are the brave pioneers of a new path of women every day. They are bringers of love, of hope, bearers of life - and isn't life the most beautiful thing?"
"To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman being all that she is, and all she ever wanted to be, living a kind, honest and beautiful life, far too free to allow any suppressive standard stand in her way."
What do you appreciate most about your life now?
"That I have freedom live in an evolving world that is becoming more and more accepting and encouraging of a woman to takes charge of her own life and not define herself as others seek to define her."
"And of course, to be so blessed to have the incredible support of friends and family to live this life on my own terms."
As an actress, what would you like to see changed about the industry and how women are portrayed and perceived in the media?
"I would like to see the microphone passed to women, to truly be given an honest and steady voice for their stories in film. Issues that we face each day have a way of being reinforced by stereotypes perpetuated through film."
"A huge problem is the overwhelming majority of stories center around a male protagonist, where the female character is there often for little more than to "embellish" his story.
They are the cute love interest. The seductive femme fatale. The captive princess. The murdered wife. The kidnapped daughter. The motivator for the male to begin his journey, to tell his story. But their identity is forever lost within that role, eternally valuable within the plot only for how they add to his story. "
"Women have so much more to offer.
In fact, the more that Hollywood has allowed and created female characters who stepped outside of the real or imagined society of their cinematic reality, we have been rewarded with incredibly captivating and iconic characters."
"When we cease to base a female character's value on their appearance and sex appeal, or as an accessory to the male protagonist and re-shift the focus to the female character's actual experiences: her journey, her struggles, contributions, and triumphs, we get Ripley, Katniss, Daenerys, Sarah Connor, Liz Lemon, Aibileen, Lisbeth, Elsa, Aowyn, Hermione, Rey, and Furiosa!
Is it any coincidence that these characters are all a part of some of the most beloved, critically acclaimed and prestigious award winning films/shows of our lifetime? Certainly not, for these are accomplishments that would never have happened without them had they instead taken a quiet backseat to the story.
Every woman has got an incredible story to tell. Now is the time for us to listen, and to be inspired to live as bravely as they do."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Be sure to check out the slideshow below showcasing Erin's photo session!
It was a unusually beautiful day in San Jose. The weather was warm for a February and if you clicked the radio on or tuned in on your television, you'd soon learn that the much anticipated Superbowl 50 was about to commence in Santa Clara.
But for Van, instead of football (she's a champ!), it was going to be an afternoon filled hair and makeup styling and some time in front of my camera.
Van is a wife and devoted mother and also the president of the Silicon Valley-based company, Tempo. Her passion for all people living healthier lifestyles while maintaining a greener planet, fused together and became the foundation of what Tempo is built on.
Van, it was a honor to photograph you, to hear the story about Tempo, but even more so, to get to know you as a person. Thank you for allowing me to pull you away from all the afternoon Superbowl festivities, to bask in the afternoon light for these photographs, to trust my camera to capture the very best of you in these images. You rock!
Below are just a few of my favorite shots from Van's photo session with me. To view all the photos, check out the slideshow below!
This afternoon light? It makes any photographer die from sheer happiness. LOVE.
Every women deserves to have a photograph of herself that reminds her that yes, it's totally ok to rock out your inner fiercenss.
I love red. And teal colored bikes with flowers. And stripes. And red shoes. With golden sunlight. YES.
Van, you just go on with your beautiful self!
For me, this photograph below reminds me of what I'd love to remind other women of - that they are beautiful and uniquely made in such a way that they can be proud of.
I absolutely love when my craft goes beyond me and makes someone smile, makes them feel inspired, and helps remind a woman that she is stunning simply because she is herself.
Photographing the lovely Van felt like it was an afternoon spent with a beautiful friend who absolutely rocked that inner model. Van is not only one of the nicest, most down-to-earth women around, but she's also a wife, the proud mother of 2, and a driven and passionate entrepreneur, serving as founder of Tempo Bicycles.
I'm so excited to share a sneak peak into Van's photo session below - there are definitely more lovely images to come, so stay tuned!