headshot portraits

Lady In Red | Glam Out Your Outfits!

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!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1268.jpg

Image by Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup by Katie Pheneger

Behind the Scenes

To see the final results out of a client's photo shoot with me is by far one my favorite parts of the process. I love finalizing edits on every image, be it the last touch of color or last bit of sharpening for printing at the lab. If I could describe the feeling, I'd say it's very similar to when a painter is putting the final brush strokes and touches to a masterpiece that's ready for the gallery. It's like the baker who is putting the final swirl of frosting and decor onto a sweet creation for others to not only enjoy the flavor but the aesthetics of it. It's even like the dancer who has practiced for hours and has finally, with an exhausted breath, perfected every move of the performance ready for the stage.

What makes it even more satisfying to see the images is to also look back on some of the behind the scenes images that capture the process of it all. And SOMETIMES, as in this photo below, I'm lucky enough to capture a behind the scenes shot that is just as exciting as the final portrait images. 

A behind the scenes glimpse into the shoot I was was fortunate to do with owner and founder of San Francisco-based company  Future Glory , Theresa Lee. On point for hair and makeup in this photo is stylist,  Tammy Do .

A behind the scenes glimpse into the shoot I was was fortunate to do with owner and founder of San Francisco-based company Future Glory, Theresa Lee. On point for hair and makeup in this photo is stylist, Tammy Do.



This light? Oh man. #swoon

Happy Wednesday!

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

Everyone's got a story. And as a photographer and writer, I have the opportunity to share the unique beauty in those stories for some pretty awesome and unique women.

Meet Nancy.

Nancy is the type of person whose warm smile and easygoing laugh immediately can make you feel at ease in a roomful of strangers.  And for someone like me who immediately gravitates towards hiding behind the refreshments in a crowd, well, you can bet this personality trait is one that I absolutely appreciate!

I recently had the opportunity to photograph this lovely lady and am so excited to share a little sneak peak with you all - there's more to come so stay tuned!

Photography: Heartbox Photography
Many thanks to Ashlyn Taylor for her lovely work on Nancy's hair and makeup!

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!