sisters

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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Behind the Scenes | Melissa | Glamour and Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

 

One of my favorite things to create from a client's shoot is a behind the scenes video that captures snippets of her getting ready, sharing laughs with whomever she brought with her to the shoot, and most of all, the transformation of seeing her inner beauty come out as she gazes into the lens of the camera.

I came across this behind the scenes video I shot a little less than a year ago and couldn't help but smile as it reminded me of the relationship I have with my own sisters. Melissa was treated to this photo shoot by her sister, Sandy, and as you can tell, they share that special bond that only sisters can.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Hair and makeup by: Kat Tinney

Photography by: Heartbox Photography

 

Sisters | Amy, Julie & Kristina | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

 

My own sisters and I like to joke that we all share one brain. A little weird to picture, but I think that joke originated from the fact that we simply shared our lives together, that there was this special bond between us that only sisters could understand.

When I met Julie, Kristina, and Amy, I could immediately tell I would just love working with these awesome ladies. There are four sisters altogether, but only the three of them live in California, with their fourth sister living in Florida. Their closeness and love for one another was obvious in the abundance of laughter, smiles, and jokes shared during their photo shoot with me on a Saturday morning.

To be a part of helping celebrate these beautiful ladies and their sisterhood was a great honor and I am so excited to share with you all a few images as well as a full slideshow/video of their day with Heartbox Photography, so be sure to check it out below!

Kristina, Julie, and Amy -                                                  

Thank you for allowing me the privilege to not only capture the essence of who each of you are as beautiful individuals, but also what you are together as sisters and women who support and love one another. May these images and experience forever be a treasured reminder of how beautiful it is to be a woman - and what a blessing it is to be a part of this gift of sisterhood. 

"We are extremely close. We grew up going to school together, shared a room, as well as shared all of our clothes - yes, we all wore the same size! Kristina and I were only a year apart in school so we had the same friends, shared the same first car, attended the same college, and were even college roommates."

"We all listen to the same types of music, all enjoy shopping and love to eat the same types of food. You could say that we have A LOT in common. We still share our clothes and talk to each other on a daily basis."   - Amy

What is something you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?

"Happiness comes from experiencing things you love surrounded by people you love. Don't worry so much about what others would say or think of you because in the end, time will continue to move and you don't want to waste your lifetime living for others. Use your lifetime to create memories experiences that you want to look back on and fall in love with the story of your life." - Amy

"Your body is beautiful, embrace yourself. Education is beautiful, because no one can take that away from you. You and only you, control your destiny." - Kristina

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"I appreciate the fact that I have a relationship with God. Through this relationship, I have found the true meaning of love and happiness. I realize how blessed I am with my family, the memories that we get to create together, and every single day is embraced in our household."  - Amy

"I appreciate my family more than anything. I appreciate our health, our time together, and our love for one another."   -Kristina

"I am the youngest of the 5 siblings. I just moved to California two months ago because my husband Robby accepted a job opportunity in Silicon Valley. I am 39 years old, married to my best friend, whom I have known since I was 14 years old, though we did not date until after I graduated college. We have 3 precious girls - Chloe, Audrey, and Leia. Yes, our daughter was named after Princess Leia in Star Wars. They are the center of our world! We love to spend time outside as a family hiking, beaching, and exploring new places." - Amy

"Beauty is definitely more on the inside for me. It is the beauty of someone's heart and soul. Her genuine character. The love that she shares with others." - Amy

"I have three young girls (4,6, and 8) and I tell them they are beautiful everyday. I tell them that God placed them here on this earth for a reason and each one is blessed with special gifts. Embrace the gifts you are given and use it to show love to others. That is how we can grow the love here on this earth and beyond. So if someone was mean to them, we talk about about we think they would act that way, pray for the individual, forgive him/her and move on." 

"I want them to know that people's actions and words reflects who that individual is and should not affect us. So they understand that everyone is supposed to be different with different looks of beauty, talents, gifts, and qualities."    -Amy

Julie and her husband, Bobby, met in high school. It was truly a match made in heaven, as they were inseparable after that. Julie moved to California with her husband and first son, Christian when she was in her late 20's. They had their daughter, Hayley, here in California. 

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She has a career as a loan officer and her family is very much into fitness, food, and fashion.  Julie loves to shop...for everyone, according to her sister, Amy. They enjoy going out to eat as a family and loves the beach/warm weather so they spend their vacations either on the beaches of Hawaii or Florida. 

Kristina moved to California after graduating college in her early 20's. She met her prince charming in San Francisco and married him. Kristina and her husband, Howard, have two beautiful children, Lauren and Lance. Her family loves to travel around the world and experience new foods, culture, and scenery. They are also very involved in the community and what is best for their kids.

"I believe nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she IS beautiful." - Kristina

"Your body is not everything that defines you. Don't take everything so seriously - enjoy life! Most of the stuff that makes you anxious doesn't really matter when you're older." - Kristina

"We are truly blessed to have this sister bond and we all know it. I could go on and on about all the things we share. We've created so many memories together and now all of our kids are growing up together as loving cousins. What more could we ask for in life?" - Amy

I couldn't agree more. :)

 

PREVIEW | Julie, Kristina, & Amy | Glamour & Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

Celebrate the the life you have been given, for it is a precious gift filled with peaks and valleys as well as the grace of love and growth intertwined in every step, every minute, every day. And even better than that, celebrate this life with the others who were given to you to lean on, to laugh with, to love with, to cry with, and to grow with. 

Photographing sisters holds a special place in my heart for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because I also have sisters myself. There's something mysterious and beautiful about that unique bond that women have between each other, especially as siblings.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph the lovely sisters, Julie, Kristina, and Amy. It was an afternoon of filled with the girly fun of hair, makeup, styling, outfit changes, and most importantly, a lot of beautiful smiling and laughter. An afternoon to help them celebrate their individuality and their sisterhood. An afternoon to create yet another precious memory for them to share.

Below is just a sneak peak into their photoshoot. There is more to come so stay tuned!

As always, many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney  of A List Makeup for her work on styling these lovely ladies on hair and makeup!

PREVIEW: Melissa | Glamour & Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

One of my sisters once referred to my other sister and me as her "wombmates". I thought it was the funniest term and it's the first thing that comes to mind as I write this post. As sisters, we were each others first friends, arch rivals, and partners in crime growing up. I could go on and on, but my point is that as different as my sisters and me are from each other, I wouldn't trade them for the world. 

As I've grown into an adult, I have found that even more special than the bond of siblings is the bond of sisters. As women, we need other women in our corner. To laugh with, cry with, cheer on, encourage, and simply be with. We women GET each other in a unique way and there is something so life-giving about that fact. 

Recently, I had the privilege to photograph the beautiful Melissa. Her sister, Sandy, had been a client of mine a few years back and wanted to give her little sister the same experience she had of celebrating her life through a portrait session with me, complete with being pampered with hair/make up styling!

Below is just a sneak peak into the photo shoot of this lovely lady - more to come so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney for Melissa's beautiful hair and makeup!

The Peanut Booger Kid

When my youngest sister was a kid, she once thought it would be a good idea to shove a peanut up her nose. It was a really fun idea for about 2 seconds before she started crying and we all realized a trip to the doctor's office was the only way to remove the peanut booger she created. And ironically, the she's allergic to peanuts.

Go figure.

When my parents splurged and bought my siblings and me a Nintendo game system with only two controllers, guess who often got left out of the Mario and Luigi adventures? You guessed it - the youngest, peanut booger sister.

During our teenage years, whenever I was missing a cool blouse or some favorite accessory from my closet, it was almost always found in the possession of my youngest sister who loved fashion as much as I did. Oooh, and did that lead to some historical fights! And let's not forget that time we both went to the salon together to get our eyebrows waxed for the first time. I was a little scared and she was a lot scared, so of course I made her go first. In case it hurt, she could warn me, right?

Or did I ever tell you about that time my other sister thought it would be funny to stuff the younger sister into the clothes hamper and sit on the lid so she couldn't get out? Yeah, that was freakin' hilarious, too. (Calm down, folks, it was a wicker hamper with plenty of semi-breathable holes of ventilation.)


And when she got all grown up enough to get married, I made sure to record a video of her on the morning of her wedding when she soon discovered a pimple right on her nose. Purely out of big sister evil laughter love, of course. We have to treasure these memories, after all.

Throughout life's ups and downs, she's been my best shopping buddy, my don't-tell-mom-and-dad cover up.

My biggest rival to my best homie.

A huge pain and a huge pain-reliever.

I've lost count of the fights, laughs, and tears we've shared as sisters and looking back, there is absolutely nothing I would change.

Today is my sister's birthday and there's a good chance that she's stuffing her face with ice cream and prancing around in a new pair of shoes right now (because she's kind of a nerd like that). Needless to say, I love the booger kid and am thankful to call her my sister and celebrate her life today.

Peanuts, anyone?




Sharing a Mushroom Life

I grew up with a houseful of girls in my family. My two sisters, my mom, and of course, me.Which pretty much translates to "my-poor-dad-has-no-hair-anymore."

Having sisters, at least in my world, means you pretty much have someone who, for the most part, understands you, knows you, loves and bugs the heck out of you while eating the last of the chocolate Teddy Grahams.

An even bigger plus? It also means that you will never have to suffer through life alone with a bad hair cut.

Case in point:
And if sister number 3 is reading this, she should be forewarned that she hasn't escaped this post. Indeed, there are a few more photos at home I need to look through and I'm bound to find something that shows off the best of her mushroom-head hair adventures.

Happy Thursday!

Sibling Rivalry And The Way to Solve It

I love remembering the days when sibling rivalry between my two sisters and me was the norm of everyday life. Everything from who snagged the last piece of chocolate (ME! Always me….), to who took the blame for broken lamp in the living room (sister number 1), or who got first dibs on the biggest bedroom in the house (sister number 3). I look at pictures like this and smile to think at how, as older sister, I could have solved many a conflict growing up with my two younger sisters had someone told me about this approach a long time ago:




If my husband and I ever get a brother or sister for our four-legged baby, Kona Bean, this is definitely the way I hope she handles conflict with her siblings.  =)