photography

Andrea | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

 

“Wonder Woman is not a fictional character. Wonder Woman is a mindset.”

-Michelle A. Homme

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2036.jpg

Andrea and I scheduled a photoshoot to celebrate her recent birthday and if you haven’t already picked up by now, I absolutely LOVE when women decide to do a photoshoot simply because they are celebrating another year of life.

What better reason to get dolled up, dressed up, and strike a pose? I think it’s the best way to not only continue to own who they are as a woman but also to show the world that a woman’s beauty is timeless.

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2038.jpg

As we chatted and got to know each other during the styling of hair/makeup an her photoshoot, I learned that Andrea works as a forensic and clinical psychologist.

This incredibly smart woman (who, by the way, is a little over 5 feet tall with the sweetest smile) then proceeds to casually mention that her regular days at work involve visiting jails, prisons, and courtrooms utilizing her investigative skills and background in psychology.

I thought it was incredibly fascinating that Andrea has always wanted to be either a psychologist or a detective and worked her way to accomplish just that, in a field that I don’t often see a lot of women in.

I am so proud to share with you all a few images from Andrea’s photoshoot with Heartbox Photography as well as a little bit about her background, from Andrea herself!

Special thanks to Becky Lau of A Beautiful One Makeup for Andrea’s hair and makeup!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2039.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2035.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2042.jpg

“As an adolescent, I wanted to be either a psychologist or detective. Mainly, I wanted to do something make the world a better place but also was fascinated with human behavior and emotions. So, I found forensic psychology!

It’s a wonderful combination of psychology and investigating why someone might have committed a crime and why.

Although I never liked school, I had a goal so I gained a doctorate and now have my own practice. I am hired by judges and attorneys to evaluate individuals who have been arrested for various crimes. I evaluate and administer psychological tests to help the court understand who they are, if they have a mental illness, substance abuse issue, their tendency for violence or sex offending, or psychopathy.

Sometimes, I need to testify in court which is stressful but also thrilling. It can be difficult and sad to hear of individuals abuse, poverty, and neglect in childhood.

Mental illness, substance use, and homelessness is so often misunderstood by our society. It is very rewarding to know that I can make a difference in these individual’s lives and assist their attorneys and the court to understand them and provide the treatment they need. I am also thankful to all the clients I’ve evaluated for sharing the stories of their lives with me.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2033.jpg

“Beauty is not being sexy or adored by others.

It can feel really good but beauty is how you treat others and make them feel.

Never compare yourself to others and trust your intuition.

Go live out loud in the world.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2034.jpg

Best advice you ever received?

“Life is not fair.

While this may sound negative, it helped me stop becoming upset or comparing my life to others.

Focus on what you have and be in the moment. This is the place of most joy and happiness.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2037.jpg

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

“I appreciate that I have learned that quality of friends is better than quantity. I like that I don’t feel the need to go out every evening can enjoy time at home with the love of my life with our pets. It’s nice to feel grounded.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2041.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._2040.jpg
 

Corina | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“She is a queen. Her soul is royalty.”

-Adrian Michael

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1937.jpg

Corina is the example of a queen that is well loved by her family.

I immediately noticed her quiet and steady smile as well as a laugh that was easily expressed in any given moment. Needless to say, it was a joy to spend some time getting to know her and create a photoshoot that celebrated Corina as the matriarch of her family, her recent birthday, and just the fact that she loved her life as it has shaped out to be.

Her family gifted her this photoshoot and needless to say, it was an honor to be chosen to capture such a beautiful and strong woman on camera not only for images that will be forever part of their family legacy, but also for images that will always remind Corina to celebrate everyday and every season of her life.

I am so proud to share with you all a few of Corina’s beautiful images and a behind the scenes look into her experience with Heartbox Photography.

Special thanks to Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup Artistry for Corina’s styling on this special day!

And last, but not least, Corina’s note to her family:

My special thanks to Denise, Mayra, Luis and my husband Alonso for this great experience to capture in photographs this moments that we will treasure in years to come. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1938.jpg

“I am so grateful I started early to have a family. This year is so special to me. I turned 50 and had our 35th wedding anniversary.

My oldest grandson is 10 years old now. Now we are experiencing the empty next and we are ready to move forward.”

“Beauty comes in all colors, shapes, and sizes.

God created us as life givers. Even if a woman does not have children, she still can create or give life to someone else.

We are full of love. Beauty comes form our inner selfs.

Confidence is the acceptance of who you are created to be.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1936.jpg

“The best advise I ever received was to persevere.

Remaining there gets results.”

What do you appreciate most

about your life now?

“Now, I have more time for myself. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1942.jpg

Kathy | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“Confidence and intelligence will never stop being beautiful.”

-author unknown

I love hearing stories about women who have stepped out in huge ways to try something new and way out of their comfort zone. It is amazing to see how much that “new” and sometimes scary step turns into something so life-changing for them you’d never guess they had any hesitations in the first place.

Kathy is a devoted mother of 4, a nurse manager here in the Bay Area and a ballroom dancer with the sweetest of smiles. She shared with me that she never would have imagined developing such a love for ballroom dancing, let alone be competing in dance competitions. Needless to say, dance has impacted her greatly and I loved being able to capture Kathy in beautiful outfits she has used in competitions.

Most of all, I loved being able to capture the sweet smile of a woman who continues to celebrate, grow, and learn from the journey that her life has been and what it has yet to be.

Kathy, thank you for trusting me to capture you in this season of your beautiful life. The best is yet to come.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair & makeup | Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup

“In my real world I am a mom and a nurse. I have been a registered nurse for 31 years and a mom for 21 years. I have twin girls and two boys that bring me much joy and are the center of my life. I don't know what I would do without them!

In my fantasy world, I am a ballroom dancer although my teacher always told me it is not a fantasy anymore, it is my reality! Unfortunately, I had to leave an unhealthy marriage but the past seven years have been such growth years in my life. I've struggled with weight issues my entire life and focus now on healthy eating and exercising regularly. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1800.jpg

“Balancing a stressful management career and family left very little time for myself and I found ballroom dancing to be my saving grace. It was my escape after a busy work day. It was something I had always wanted to do.

Entering that dance studio over 6 years ago changed my life. I have never been surrounded by so many positive, supportive people who, instead of being judgmental and critical were always uplifting.

I never imagined that I would be out there on the competition floor in those beautiful costumes, make up, hair and spray tan. But they told me I could and I did! The excitement is indescribable.

My mom died at the young age of 53. From her I learned that family is the most important thing in your life, you must do what is best for you, that life is short and you have to enjoy each moment.

From dancing, I learned that comparing yourself and your journey to others is the most damaging thing you can do to your self esteem. I've learned that your confidence needs to come from within.

I have learned that you have to love yourself and take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. I was convinced that I would die at this age as well and as I turned 53 this year, I am starting to believe that I will be living a long life.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1798.jpg

“I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to learn and grow and now I am able to support and mentor others in their career and coping with illness. I appreciate that I have more strength to be uplifting to others.

I am honored to have my patients and their families share their lives with me and that I have the opportunity to make a difference. And I appreciate that I have a beautiful outlet - ballroom dancing - that connects me with a wonderful family of friends who support my journey. Above all I am proud that my children are thriving and doing so well now.

When I first separated from my ex, I purchased a silver band inscribed with the words "Ancora Imparo." It is attributed to Michelangelo and means I am still learning.

I have worn it almost every day since and it is my reminder to be kind to myself, that we learn from every situation and grow each day. It reminds me to not give up.”



Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1799.jpg

“Ballroom dance has challenged me to do things I never imagined I could do and that has boosted my confidence and self esteem tremendously.

Do I still struggle?

I think we all do but to be around people who support your journey makes such a difference. And nothing compares to that magical feeling of floating across the dance floor and connecting with your partner.

What looks so easy takes much work and that work is the most rewarding part, not the end result.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1801.jpg

“The best advice I have ever received as an adult was to not quit dancing after my first instructor left - not because I am still dancing but because it taught me how worthwhile it is to challenge yourself and not run away when you are faced with a challenging situation.

Sometimes you must step out of your comfort zone to get better, to learn, to grow, to experience new things. You never get better if you give up. My favorite quote: "Inhale Confidence, Exhale Doubt"

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1802.jpg


Jennifer | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

 

Jennifer is one of the most down-to-earth women I have had the opportunity to meet. She’s not only an executive for the City of San Jose, but she is also dedicated mother, and a singer and actress for local theater productions.

Basically, she’s the boss lady you’d admire, respect, and look up to. :)

When I heard about all her varied interests outside her day job, but also in her personal life, I couldn’t help but smile to think about how awesome it was to meet a woman so engaged with life itself.

Jennifer is an example of what I think us women need to be reminded of often - that we’re not “just” mothers or “just” this role at work, etc. - but we’re a lot of different roles and the richness of that is exactly what makes being a woman today so awesome.

I am so honored to share with you all the final images and behind the scenes footage of Jennifer’s photoshoot with Heartbox Photography.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair & makeup | Becky Lau

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1753.jpg

“As a single, working mom raising three teenagers, my days are quite full. I love my career as an engineer, and devote most of my time outside of work helping my children learn, grow, and prepare to launch into their own lives.

Both at home and at work, my goal is to help those around me find their voice and grow into the best “them” they can be.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1747.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1729.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1734.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1737.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1738.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1739.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1735.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1741.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1740.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1744.jpg

“I am also a classically trained pianist and love to sing. I’ve been singing in church choirs most of my life. and music has always been a part of my life.

Looking ahead to future empty-nester days, I joined my love of music and desire to become a part of a supportive community into an interest in community theater. I performed in my first few shows in the past year and a half. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1748.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1749.jpg

“Being on stage has helped me develop confidence in new areas, meet a group of wonderful people, and promote my goal of helping my kids become independent. Having something of my own to enjoy models to my kids that I’m more than just their mom.

I appreciate working at a job I enjoy, loving my children and family, the company and support of good friends, and remembering that taking time to care for myself enriches my ability to take care of others. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1751.jpg

“The best advice I ever received was from my paternal grandma.

She told me to “be happy with what you have.”

This advice has become my secret to happiness. I learned that happiness comes from within by accepting who you are are, where you are at this very minute, and finding gratitude for what is in your life at any given moment.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1754.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1755.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1757.jpg
 

Phoebe | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

I stared at the blinking cursor on my computer for awhile as I was preparing to write this post.

It wasn’t for any reason that was bad - the complete opposite. It was more like “how do I even have enough words or the right words that would accurately communicate the message and story of Phoebe’s life?”

The one thing that I think anyone can say about Phoebe is that she is all about God and not in a superficial way - rather, in a deep, heartfelt, raw and real way. The kind that makes the skeptic believe in the hope of actual miracles in this world again.

To say she has gone through a lot in her life would be an understatement and yet, what she is quick to share with anyone she meets is a message of the unwavering grace, love, and pursuit of a God that is real and alive. Despite having gone through childhood trauma, physical and mental health battles that sometime resurface even today, grace and hope collided with Phoebe’s life in ways that has changed it and continues to change to it. It is no surprise to me that Phoebe’s daily work in founding Overcoming with Grace is grounded in wanting to help others experience a life transformed as hers has been. Maybe you or someone you know could use a message of hope and life change and this is coming at the right time. Visit her website, learn about her story. You’ll see what I mean. :)

I am so very honored to share with you all the final images from Phoebe’s photoshoot. She is a woman, a devoted wife, a mother, a survivor, and living proof that God does some pretty crazy things out of a never-ending love for His people.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair & Makeup | Beautiful One Makeup

MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited2.JPG

Can you tell me a bit about your journey since your last photoshoot, what inspired you to start your company, and what you find most rewarding about your work?

Oh man, a LOT has happened. I got pregnant with our second daughter, who is now 2 and is this spunky, funny, sweet, ball of fire!

I started Overcoming with Grace, because I wanted to be an example to women of what is possible.

Whether they've experienced trauma, loss, debilitating health issues, deep negative self-talk, or any pain...they CAN recover.

Not only can they recover, but they can actually have JOY in their life again after experiencing so much heart ache and pain. They can get out of the darkness, even when it seems like there is no light.

Time and time again, God has shown me that with whatever I thought was impossible to overcome or heal, His limitless power can heal anything. We have an impossible God!

MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited9.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited23.JPG

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

I appreciate the way I view suffering and trials way more than I ever have. I used to view it as another hardship and challenge that would inevitably come, because, hey, that's the life I've been living. Always a tragedy, trauma, loss, surgery, diagnosis, struggle, failure, betrayal, etc. So what's next?

Now, it's more of: I wonder what God is going to show me, or teach me, or grow me through this? I wonder what I'm going to learn more about Him and myself? It's such a freeing way to view challenges and suffering. This came most clear to me earlier this year when my physical and mental health flared up the most it has in awhile.

It showed me a new layer of living with my conditions, where I could not only still have joy in my life, but also to show others that it is possible to do it too. It showed me a new level of letting go. And being able to LIVE with my family, friends and the other people placed in my life has been such a gift that no condition, past trauma or anything or anyone else can take away!

MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited27.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited38.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited29.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited33.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited34.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited40.JPG

The most rewarding thing about my work is seeing when the light bulbs start going off in my clients of how they don't have to be at the mercy of their circumstances...when they start being aware that they CAN take back control of their lives in a healthy, empowered way...when they start being aware that they have everything they need within them to succeed and feel loved, and it's not depending on anyone or anything else....seeing all that magic start and unfold more and more is such a gift and privilege!

MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited47.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited50.JPG
MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited54.JPG

Best advice you ever received and advice you'd give to your own daughter now regarding confidence, beauty, wholeness as a human in today's day & age?

When you can view beauty and confidence WITHOUT comparing, you've gotten confidence down. (Oh, that just came to me at midnight!!! LOL!)

Even when we compare ourselves to our old self, sometimes we do it negatively and in a way where we keep unhealthily striving.

I would tell my daughter to view her beauty, confidence and wholeness from within, and not the within from herself, but from the one who created her. God is THE voice that will carry her through.

When she has God-confidence and views herself the way He does, then I know it won't matter whatever comes her way, she will be able to soar through!

MONTEMAYOR, Phoebe_edited59.JPG

A First Try and Reflection Back

This past weekend a friend of mine celebrated the fourth year anniversary surviving a brain aneurysm. Back when it happened, I wasn’t as close to her as I am now and to put it bluntly, I am thankful to God for allowing her to miraculously survive and heal from that - to live today. I would not have known her had she gone home so to speak. :)

As part of celebrating her (and her brain!), she invited a group of us to join her for a hike that, truly had it not been for love for my friend, I would NOT have done. Give up chocolate for a day, yes. Climb up a hill for fun, no. But alas, friendship and love makes you do some weird things.

It was long, it was warm day, and there was an incline towards the end I wasn’t a huge fan of. BUT! We all made it! And yes, indeed it was beautiful and also so interesting to physically look back at the path and think “Seriously? We went and surivived ALL that way?!?”

I think that as much as being in the present and hoping for the future, it is equally important to look back. It makes the entire endeavor that much more meaningful, that much more sweet, that much more interesting, really.

I got to thinking about this as I looked at archives of past work. Below is one of the first photos I ever took when setting out to be a photographer of contemporary and glamour portraiture. I barely knew my camera, barely knew what I was aiming for, barely knew what it was like to create something without fear. I only knew that I wanted to create. That’s all.

And while it shows indications of a newbie just starting out, to me, it’s an image I am proud to share with you all and proud to say I created, even while still learning so many things.

Happy Wednesday!

Image |   Heartbox Photography    Hair/makeup | Julieta Camacho

Image | Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup | Julieta Camacho

Celebrate Daughters, Celebrate Legacy

I love when clients bring in their daughters to also be photographed - because she is essentially shaping the life of a human that will grow into a young lady one day knowing it is absolutely awesome to celebrate every year of your life, whether you are 8 or 80 years old.

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved._1192.jpg

Celebrate the legacy of girls and women in your family with a portrait to last a lifetime - there’s something beautiful and powerful that is beyond the images itself.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Image by | Heartbox Photography

Hair & makeup | Katie Pheneger

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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0779.jpg

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!”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0785.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0777.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0782.jpg

What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?

“Confidence and a positive attitude.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0778.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0780.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0781.jpg

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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0904.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0783.jpg

“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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0896.jpg

“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. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0897.jpg

“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!”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0901.jpg

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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0900.jpg

“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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0898.jpg

“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.”

 

Happy International Women's Day

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
-Michelle Obama

Writer, lawyer, & former First Lady

Here’s to a celebration of all phenomenal girls and women all around the world.

Happy International Women’s Day!

#internationalWomen’sDay

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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0773.jpg

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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0344.jpg

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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0339.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0314.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0343.jpg

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!”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0340.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0339.jpg

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!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0335.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0338.jpg

“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. “

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0334.jpg

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.

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0333.jpg

“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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0325.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0324.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0323.jpg

“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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0320.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0318.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0317.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0316.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0315.jpg

Target Socks and Winter-themes

Tell me something about YOU before I get carried away...many of you already know I’m a contemporary glamour and portrait photographer who posts stories about the incredible women I am blessed to have as clients.

But every now and again I like to toss up a post that tells you some things about me you probably didn’t know. And since it’s properly winter outside, this posts theme will be entirely cold-weather related.

Ready?

I have a love/hate relationship with winter weather. (as in LOVE the Christmas season, the reason to eat cookies and copious amounts of cheese and chocolate treats…but, hate that it’s 50 degrees outside and tugs at my inner, hibernating bear-like ways). Rawr.

Heartbox Photography.JPG

I always crave warm soups of all kinds to to warm my soul, especially soups that contain noodles , aka CARBS.

This winter, I’m really into fleece-lined socks with penguins and animal prints on them. (HELLO, TARGET!!!)

My fave thing to do on a chilly morning is SLEEP. Surprise, surprise.

And…I love nothing more than to curl up with my fleece-lined, penguin-print socks and pajamas with a good book in the evening.

Happy New Year and happy winter, everyone!

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!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0136.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0135.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0134.jpg

“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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0133.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0132.jpg

“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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0131.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0129.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0128.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0127.jpg

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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0126.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0125.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0124.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0123.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0122.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0121.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0120.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0119.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0118.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0117.jpg

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!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0033.jpg

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!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0081.jpg

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!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0078.jpg
 
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0085.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0084.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0083.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0087.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0082.jpg

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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0080.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0079.jpg

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!”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0088.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0077.jpg

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.”

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0076.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0075.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0074.jpg
 

Thuy, 2018 | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Fremont, CA

 
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0063.jpg

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her own imperfection. To me, that is the essence of true beauty.”

-Steve Maraboli

Thuy is the founder/owner of 923 Design here in the Bay Area. She is a designer, a creative, a boss lady, a hustling mother who took the leap into her dream and never turned back.

In short, she is awesome and I am so proud to share with you all some of my favorite images from her photoshoot with Heartbox Photography, with hair/makeup by Miranda Villanueva of Love and Artistry.

Here’s to the women bosses out there representing the Bay Area. :)

Happy Friday!

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0059.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0065.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0070.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0071.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0069.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0066.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0061.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0068.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0067.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0064.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0062.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0060.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0058.jpg
Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0057.jpg
 

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

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._logo.jpg

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.

Portraits by Heartbox Photography. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved._0086.jpg

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!