mothers

Birthday Celebrations

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words,”

– Plautus

What’s even better than helping women celebrate who they are through creating timeless images? Celebrating their life whenever a new birthday comes around. =)

Cheers to this month’s #MarchBirthdays!

Image | Heartbox Photography

Hair & makeup | Keziah Dauz

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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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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!


 

Preview | Monique, 2018 | San Jose, CA | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits

 

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”

-Sophia Loren

I read that quote from Sophia Loren and was reminded what a great privilege it is that I get to be a small part of that message that reminds women of their inner and outer beauty.

Monique is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and woman-business owner here in the Bay Area and I am so proud to share just a small glimpse with you all into her photo session with Heartbox Photography below.

Happy Friday!

Special thanks to Kalani Brown for hair/makeup styling!

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Love Hard.

 

"She's a strong cup of black coffee in a world that is drunk on the cheap wine of shallow love."

-JM Storm

She is a lot of things.

And if I'm honest - really honest -  ALL of us women are a lot of things. We are NOT just one way, one mood, one level of depth, one way of thinking, one way of seeing, one way of feeling, one idea or one thought.

No.

We are a myriad of something far more complex and far more special.

But one thing I can absolutely attest to is this: out of the many character traits of my mom one of them is that when she loves, she loves hard.  

Maybe it's because she had to figure out a majority of her adolescence without the help of a mom. Maybe it's because she was an immigrant to this country in her mid-twenties. Maybe it's because she hustled the raising of kids along with a full-time job, a commute, and an exhaustion level that only another mother could truly understand. 

And throughout this, all she knew to do to was to give it all she could to those she cared about and throw all her heart in along with it. And if that's not loving hard, especially in a world where shallow love is more common and popular, I don't know what is.

Proud to share with you all the very first portrait of my momma. 

Special thanks to Miranda Villanueva of Love and Artistry for lending her incredible talents to the styling of my mom's hair and makeup for 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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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!

Bea | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

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. 

 Many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney for Bea's hair/makeup!

"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." 

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 of My Momma

"But, Mo-omm. I don't wanna bring my camera."

Yes. I still whine.

After a lunch with my family, I had planned to spend the rest of the afternoon at my parent's house since my dad had to work. My mom had asked that I bring my camera along to snap a few photos of her with the flowers that she received from my dad and niece. Nothing fancy, just a few shots to share with family. I wasn't sure that I was up to lugging my camera bag, purse, and a 15 pound cockapoo named Kona Bean down the stairs, into my car, and all the way to my parent's house, but what the heck, it's Mother's Day and it's just a few photos, right?

Alas, I don't know what it is, but my little perfectionist photographer enthusiastically emerged as I realized that the afternoon light was still bright - hence, I couldn't settle for a few photos by the dining table with flowers. Most of my studio props are stored at my parent's house and Mom seemed game to play photo studio, so why not go all out?

Here's a little sneak peak into the impromptu photo shoot of my beautiful mommy. (Please, please, please I inherit whatever it is that makes you look like this at 59 years old.)

There's definitely more so stay tuned!

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!