portrait photography

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

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“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.”

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“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. “

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“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. “

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“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.”

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Karmen | 2019 | A Celebration of Phenomenal Women

“Love yourself for who you are, and trust me, if you are happy from within,

you are the most beautiful person, and your smile is your best asset.”

-Illeana D’Cruz

Karmen Reed is a Money-Mindset Coach and Consultant based here in the Bay Area. I had the privilege of recently photographing this lovely woman and learning not only more about her personal background but also about what inspired her to do the work that she does to help other women achieve their optimal success when it comes to their mindset and outlook on finances. She is also a devoted wife and mother with one of the warmest laughs and sunniest smiles I have ever encountered. If there is one thing I noticed about Karmen from the beginning is that she genuinely passionate about learning all that she can as well as teaching others so that they, too, can grow in their own professional and personal endeavors.

I am extremely honored to share with all of you some of the final images from this lovely woman’s photoshoot with Heartbox Photography. As always, a heartfelt thanks to Kathleen Tinney of A-List Makeup for her beautiful work on Karmen’s styling of hair and makeup for this special experience!

Here’s to celebrating phenomenal women everywhere, especially to women like Karmen who set out to help women realize their own inner-awesomeness.

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“I was born and raised on the island of Brac in a little Mediterranean country Croatia. I came to America in 1987 when I was 20 years old because I fell in love and could not see anything that is in my way of that happiness.

My journey was that of learning. I was always a very curious being, always looking for opportunities to learn more… about everything. This has really allowed me the courage to start my own entrepreneurial journey. I was never alone on that journey. I was surrounded with people who love me and they were my biggest supporters and cheer leaders.

I also always had a mentor, a coach, a community I could rely on for support and help, as much as being challenged to rise up and take steps I was afraid of. This type of environment allowed me to thrive. I was learning about myself, business and the world. This inspired me to share everything I learned, to give back to women who are on a similar journey of empowerment, financial independence, and living their best life every day.

I learned to be a masterful coach. I started mentoring and coaching women and helping them create an amazing relationship with money so they can thrive in every area of their life. I absolutely LOVE watching women go through beautiful transformations when it comes to self-awareness and empowerment.

It is my goal to help many women create an amazing relationship with money, because how we do money is how we do everything.”

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“The best advice I have ever received is from my mom when I was a child:

Go explore and find your own answers.

These words are imprinted inside my soul. I am definitely an explorer. This has become my DNA blueprint.”

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“I believe that the beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and that we have to be that for ourselves.

Our empowerment comes from the place of awareness about our self-talk and our emotions.

Our self-confidence comes from our self-empowerment.

We as women have so much to offer to the world, and the world is hungry all the time. When a confident woman offers her love, care, perspective, knowledge, vision to the world, the world stops and listens.”

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“My message to all women today: rise and thrive!

Create a legacy you will be proud of, step into your brave, and show the world your love. This is what beauty is in my eyes.”

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What do you appreciate most about your life now?

“I have an amazing husband, I have two adult children, I have family abroad, and my husband’s big and complicated family is near and dear with many activities, we are surrounded by great friends, and we are very active socially.

I used to think that these are my disadvantages when it comes to my entrepreneurial journey, because these are my obligations as well. Relationships that are strong require work, time, and commitment consistently.

I looked at some of my colleagues who were seemingly more successful and was envious of their freedom from close relationships, mortgage, and family, because they can focus all their time and energy into their business.

What I realized is that my envy was so unfounded. I realized that I am the one with everything I need, and my relationships are my support, my cheerleaders, my biggest fans and that was an advantage.”

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“I love my life and I want to help other

women fall in love with theirs!”

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Sarah, Anna, and Rosie | Mothers and Daughters | 2019

 

Mothers of daughters

are daughters of mothers

and have remained so in circles joined to circles,

since time began.

-Signe Hammer

Sarah is a wife, mother, and the founder/owner of Hey Presto!, a personal concierge services company based here in the Bay Area. It was my privilege to be able to not only have her come in for for updated headshots that represent her and her company, but also to capture a moment in time with her and her two beautiful daughters.

I love when women make the decision to not only step out in front of the camera for themselves, but also bring in their daughters with them for the photoshoot. A day of hair/makeup and pampering is always fun, but what makes this even more memorable is that these images are ones they will keep for a lifetime. It represents capturing a special moment in time with Sarah and her daughters, especially because time is so fleeting and children grow so fast. So why not add to the legacy and images of family memories for years to come with photos that celebrated a mother and her girls - the women of the family.

Here’s to mothers and daughters everywhere, to existing in photographs forever.

Images | Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup | Katie Pheneger

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How has having daughters changed you as a woman?

It's a journey of course and I guess this is true of parenting in general but being a role model to any young person is both scary and a privilege.  I’m learning that each time you think you solve an issue, or get through a ‘phase', a new one takes its place.  I’ve become more patient, and have learnt to trust my instinct.  Oh, and to appreciate the small moments!

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What are some things that you would want your daughters and other young girls want to know with regards to beauty, self-confidence, and growing up as a woman in today's world?

If only all these girls knew how amazing they are, and what potential they have.  I want them to know that if you believe in yourself anything is possible.  Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough.  You will have to work hard for your opportunities, but when you see one, be fierce and bold and grab it with both hands!  Don’t regret the things you’ve done, regret the ones you haven’t!

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What are some things that you would want your daughters and other young girls want to know with regards to beauty, self-confidence, and growing up as a woman in today's world?

If only all these girls knew how amazing they are, and what potential they have.  I want them to know that if you believe in yourself anything is possible.  

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough.  You will have to work hard for your opportunities, but when you see one, be fierce and bold and grab it with both hands!  Don’t regret the things you’ve done, regret the ones you haven’t!

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Are there things you hope will change by the time your daughters are your age?

Besides world peace, a halt to climate change, and equality for all!?!  

Actually, I find it difficult to imagine what their lives will be like in 30 years time.  Technology will surely evolve and who knows what the world will look like then.  It has made life easier in so many ways, and I love that our wider family is spread all over the world but that we are still in each others’ daily lives with the wonders of the internet, FaceTime and email.  

But at the same time I hope technology won’t make the world too ’small’ and discourage them from having real-world adventures and travel.  You can learn so much online but nothing can replace a real-life, in-person experience.  

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Can you tell me a bit about you and what inspired you to start Hey Presto!, what you find most rewarding about your work, as well as what you want others to know about your company?

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I was looking to get back to work after a career break and quickly realized that I was surrounded by people constantly on the go, stressed and overwhelmed, running from one activity to the next, trying to stay on the Bay Area merry-go-round.  

A lightbulb went on as I realized its a perfect fit for my skills and experience.  I love to organize and I love to help people, and so Hey Presto was born!  

I love that I can help people with their everyday struggles, such as running errands, or admin, but also the bigger projects like vacation planning, doing the legwork on remodeling projects and dealing with life’s events like coping with life when a baby joins the family, or moving house.  

It's so rewarding to know that I can make a difference and help smooth the path. 

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Best advice you ever received?

To follow my own path.  My own mom was a working single parent but I think her biggest lesson to my sister and I was to be fierce. By that I mean that she encouraged us to have a strong will, take pride in our work, and responsibility for our tasks.  She taught me to be practical and encouraged me to speak out if I ever wanted anything to change.

 

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

I have an amazing, supportive husband, beautiful kids, and good health and exciting opportunities.  

I love my life right now! 

 

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

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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!”

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What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?

“Confidence and a positive attitude.”

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

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“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!”

 

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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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!

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“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.”

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“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.”

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

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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!

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Many thanks to Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for Tara’s hair/makeup!

Minh and An, 2018 | San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, CA | Portraits

 

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

- Lao Tzu

Minh and An are this really awesome and fun couple I had the honor of photographing not too long ago. Even after only a few minutes with them, I could see immediately that they were two people who thoroughly enjoyed laughter, love, and each other. I am so very excited to share with you all some of their images as well as a video of their session and time with Heartbox Photography. :)

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Minh and An, thank you for allowing me this opportunity to get to know you both and to document your love. May these images serve as a treasured reminder to continue celebrating your journey together for years to come.

And of course, many thanks to Kat Tinney for styling Minh’s beautiful look for this photo session!

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First impressions of one another?

I thought “tall, dark and handsome. An says he thought I was really bubbly (not sure if that’s true, I’m convinced I have RBF…) and smart (I think he meant I was a wise-ass.)

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Who is more organized? I would argue that I am! I organize my things religiously. Everything has its place.

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Who is the messy one?

An would say that it’s me, but I think we both think of the other person as super messy because we like our space a certain way. Haha, woes of living together.

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Who is more forgetful?

An - he can’t leave the house without asking me where his phone and keys are. I have to invite him to events via calendar because he forgets what I say a second later when it comes to planning social events. Men can’t plan but they sure can draft their fantasy football team with great finesse, lol!

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Who is most likely to be late? We both like to show up to things on time, if not fashionably late by 5 or 10 minutes.

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Who is the night owl? I am - I stay up until 1 AM while An tucks in at 10PM.

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Who is the better dancer? An can totally twerk. Watch out, he’s climbing on your tables!

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Who is more likely to get sick? I am. :(

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Who laughs louder?

We both seem really reserved in new settings, but we end up being the loud and rambunctious couple when we’re in a warm and welcoming space.

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Who is the better cook? No comment. We both can’t cook and like getting takeout, but I’ve been trying to be a good dutiful wife and finding recipes for the Dutch oven. An is really brave for even trying to eat my cooking.

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Who is more affectionate? We both are very affectionate people if we get to have our own time alone to recharge. Even after 8 years, I think we will have a lot of chemistry (read: really bad habit of PDA.)

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What you do you appreciate and love most about each other? I really appreciate that he takes care of the little details of day to day life for me, like washing my car or bringing me my favorite food, especially whenI have my head in the clouds. An appreciates that I provide him with support, even when days are dark.

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What are you both most excited for with regards to your new future together? We’re both excited to strengthen our long term relationship into a marriage full of friendship and laughter for the years to come.

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Preview | Natasha, 2018 | Portrait Photography | San Jose, CA

 “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent." 

-Madeleine Albright

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!

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Preview | Malia, 2018 | Senior Portraits

"As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own."

- Michael Dell

This year seems to be filled with just a smidge more risk-taking, newer adventures, and a fresh-er (is that a word) perspective. In addition to launching the very first magazine for Heartbox Photography (whoo-hoo!), which I'll talk about more about in a later post, I am excited to now launch into senior photography and get a head start on the class of 2019!

All stages of a young woman's life, including her transition from high school into the adult world of college and endless possibilities are more than enough reason to celebrate - and what better way to do that than through capturing this moment in a story told through timeless images? :) 

And oooooooh, can I just say I LOVE this? As part of Malia's shoot, she wanted to integrate something that was a nod to her Polynesian background and to her faith - hence the haku headdress and the beautiful tattoo of Romans 8:38. Mix that with a bit of afternoon lighting and I swear even the camera smiled at the result.

This is just a sneak peak but stay tuned for more to come!

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Joy

 

You know that saying that says "dance like no one is watching" - well, it's Monday and I'm thinking, shoot, why not dance like EVERYONE is watching?

 

More and more I find that at the heart of this God-given life it is possible to have joy.  Because the God who created this life has joy in His heart when He created us.

So yeah, dance like everyone and their mama is watching. Maybe they'll join in. :)

Happy Monday!

 

She Is

She is a woman.

She has dark hair, she has light hair, she has mixed hair.

She's a mom, she's a mother's helper, she's an aunt, she's a grandmother, she's a great grandmother, she's a sister, she's someone's confidant, someone or several people's best friend.

She's the CEO, she's the homemaker, she's the entrepreneur, she's a student. 

She's the writer, the adventurer, the doctor, the techie, the gardener, the teacher, the assistant.

She wears her hair curly, she wears it straight, she cuts it to a pixie, she let's it cascade down her back.

She's from the United States, she's from Europe, she's from Africa, she's from Asia, and so many other places in between. 

She's a leader and she also serves. 

She is not one category - she instead is forever creating new ones.

She is a woman. 

#diversityisbeautiful #celebratewomen

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Preview | Thuy, 2018 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits

 

This woman is a proud mom, the founder of 923 Designs based here in the Silicon Valley,  and a woman who exemplifies what it looks like to hustle and hustle hard. 

Thuy is an old friend of mine from high school and as we took time to catch up on life as she prepared for her photo shoot (many thanks to Miranda from Love and Artistry for hair/makeup styling!), I couldn't help but feel proud. Proud to know another fellow woman entrepreneur, proud that she's a hard-working mom, proud that she is an example of a woman who doesn't give up. She talked about how she took that leap to start her own interior design company, how she's raising her son, and working with the challenges along the way. We laughed about the realities of growing up (suddenly, late night outings don't sound as fun as being home in your pajamas), the things we've learned along the way, and could not believe how much time had flown by in the blink of an eye since our high school years. 

It is an honor to share with you all a sneak peak into Thuy's photo shoot with Heartbox Photography - there will be more to share to be be sure to stay tuned!

 

Preview | Vicky, 2018 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Oakland, CA

 

"If you educate a man, you educate an individual.

But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation." 

-African Proverb

She is witty, down to earth, and possesses a warm smile that immediately welcomes you. And did I mention she's smart?? As a soon to be DrPH graduate of UC Berkeley, Vicky is embarking on an exciting new season of her life and I am so proud to be able to help her celebrate.

Below is just a sneak peak into Vicky's photo session with Heartbox Photography. Stay tuned for more to come!

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

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Ghia, 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

There exists a unique kind of beauty that comes with the broken and the real. Ghia is a woman that possesses that kind of beauty - the kind that laughs out loud, tells it like it is in any and every situation, and is unapologetic about her own need for truth, grace, and love. One of my favorite qualities about her as a friend is that she always somehow reminds me that no matter how far I think I've fallen, I don't have the ability to fall too far away from God's constantly available love. From day one she is real about herself, her life, and how God's grace is constantly shaping her as well.

Ghia is a wife, a mom, a sister, a loyal and longtime friend who is loved by many....and it is my honor to be able to share with you all a glimpse into the heart of this awesome woman as well share  a behind the scenes look into her photo shoot with Heartbox Photography!

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair and makeup: Kalani Brown

"There are so many things that make a woman beautiful; her confidence in who she is, the joy she can spread with her laugh, how she looks, and the list goes on.

But what I think makes a woman truly beautiful is a gentle spirit. Kinda crazy, because I'm the exact opposite!"

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"There's beauty in women when they can build other women up, instead of tearing them down."

 
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"I wish I could tell my 18 year old self that the opinion I should care about most is God's.

I still have to tell myself this now, and remind myself that God seems me as His precious daughter, that I am loved the way I am, and not for what I think I could be."

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"As a young girl, I compared myself to the images I saw on TV and magazines, and it made me feel bad because I thought I looked so different.

I was also very quiet and shy, even awkward, and I thought that made me look more weird. I basically cared way too much what other people thought."

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"Today, although I am still struggling, I would tell young girls now to focus more on figuring out who they are, regardless of who they think the world wants them to be. Outward looks may come to mind immediately when we hear "beauty" but the word means so much more.

Being a woman is hard enough in this world, and I think that if we could encourage each other despite our differences, we would love ourselves more, and each other."

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"I think what I appreciate the most is how God continues to remind me just how loved I truly am, just the way I am."

 

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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Preview | Elizabeth, July 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Fremont, CA

 

"She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes"

-Lord Byron

I recently had the privilege of meeting Elizabeth - a wife, the mother of two, and a local businesswoman who has used her skills as a massage therapist for the past 17 years to bring healing and wellness to her clients through Pure Heart Bodywork.

To me, Elizabeth exudes a beautiful and quiet strength that I often think about when I picture women who are devoted to their families and who have passionately pursued their goals in life as well. I am so proud and excited to share with you all a sneak peak Elizabeth's photo session with Heartbox Photography - be sure to stay tuned for more to come!

Happy Friday!

 

Photography: Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Kalani Brown

Celebrating June Birthdays!

Summer is going to be officially upon us. The weather is getting warmer, the sun is out longer, and I can justify eating ice cream everyday!

As we kick off summer and all the fabulous-ness that it entails, I wanted to give a special shout out to these incredible ladies who celebrate a birthday this month.

Here's to another year of life, laughter, health, and love - happiest of birthdays to each of you! May this year be the best one yet!

 

Rainia | 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Oakland, CA

 

"I have SO many amazing SHEROES...

my mom, aunts, and grandmother inspire me."

- Rainia

I absolutely LOVE Rainia's passion for world and local travel, for rich culture and music, for education, for treasured moments with friends and family - whether that means globe-trotting with them to Europe or sharing some time together over an award-winning movie and dinner.

Born and raised in Bay Area and as a graduate of both San Francisco State and Golden Gate University, Rainia's care for the people in her life extends well-beyond her family and friends and into her life's work. She currently works heavily with troubled youth all while also working towards completing her licensing as a marriage and family therapist. 

This daughter, friend, sister, counselor, world-traveler, and beautiful woman comes from a long line of other strong and and beautiful women (her Sheros!) who have helped her become who she is - and I am extremely proud that she chose to step in front of my camera, inspire other women through a glimpse into who she is, and celebrate her life in this way. 

If you could live in any country, which would it be and why?  

"I'd like to split my time between the Bay Area and a country in the Caribbean or South America."

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why?

"Nelson Mandela and Frida Pablo! I like to mix art and social justice."

"Embrace everything about yourself -

there's no one else in the world like you and that makes you special."

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

"Our passion."

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"That I REALLY like myself and [have] learned to embrace myself."

Photography by Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Beauty by Keziah

 

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!