We had the good fortune of connecting with Quianna Marie and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Quianna, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Following my heart and pursuing a creative, entrepreneurial career felt like the only option for me. I craved freedom, couldn’t imagine doing the same thing everyday and truly wanted to make an impact in this world. It took one employer to deny me a time off request for a holiday weekend for me to reevaluate my time in the work force and my career choice. Around that same time I had the opportunity to assist photographing a wedding and I was hooked. I was shocked that I could make photographing weddings my career.

Fueled by my passion for photography, creating fun experiences and sharing the happiest moments of my friends lives, I realized photography was my ticket to working for myself! Of course I was naive to think I would be working less, doing what I love. In fact, starting my own creative business meant over a decade of 60+ hour work weeks, weekends missed hanging out with friends, camping with family and lots of sacrifices, but it was worth it!

This creative career has been full of twists, pivots and new offers. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I hope to inspire others to chase their dreams and to turn their passions into profits. Life is way too fragile to only live for the weekends. As my business has evolved from photographing weddings to educating photographers and small business owners, I love the endless opportunities that we all have at our fingertips to make our dreams our reality.

What should our readers know about your business?
My business started photographing my little brother racing motorcycles and jumping over me in our backyard! Soon I started taking my camera everywhere and it wasn’t long until I started getting asked to photograph events. At the time it was just a hobby and I couldn’t imagine actually making a career out of it. After many years of teaching preschool, working at Trader Joe’s and even trying out the corporate world, I finally took a leap of faith and gave myself just one year to give wedding photography a shot. Well, it’s been seven years and I haven’t looked back!

Once I got a taste of making my own schedule, working hard towards something I love and crashing wedding days, I was hooked. I’ve always had a passion for people and making memories more than my actual camera. To be honest, I’m not even a really “techy” photographer!! I know how to shoot in manual and take good care of my gear, but there’s so much more to being a photographer than what’s in your camera bag! I craved opportunities to bring people together, reasons to celebrate and then loved capturing it!

As soon as I realized I could get paid doing what I loved, it was game on! I invested in as much education as I could, graduated from SJSU with a Photography, Arts and Humanities Degree, became an avid youtube student and showed up for any event I could attend! I photographed everything. My brother Mike, referred me to my very first wedding and told his buddy, “Just trust me. My sister is really good!” Thanks to my brother’s friend I had the opportunity to shoot my very first wedding nine years ago!

Through the years I’ve had the time of my life photographing weddings, families, boudoir, events and content for small businesses. Connecting with people, creating genuine memories and celebrating LIFE will forever be my favorite. As a published wedding photographer, I’ve also won many awards through The Knot, I’ve been named one of the Top 25 Photographers in the City of San Jose (my hometown) and just recently I’ve been awarded The Most Educational Wedding Photography Provider in the Southwest by Global Wedding Awards!

As my business continues to evolve with wild dreams on the horizon, I took another leap of faith to move my business out of state! Grateful to be here in the desert – the wild west and land of opportunities! While my business experienced growing pains and survived a global pandemic, I owe many thanks to my family, community, past clients, and peers. While business was thriving 2020 rocked me to the core and almost wiped me out. Weddings came to a halt and it was illegal for me to do my job, photography was unessential.

This made me think fast because my food, mortgage and bills were absolutely essential. During this transition I began offering mentoring online and quickly started offering more headshots and small business content creation. Thankful to have weddings safely on the calendar again, I’ve been hustling behind the scenes to build a sustainable business without a camera in my hand! I have a passion for teaching and sharing my experiences to help others.

I encourage any dreamer and small business owner to follow their heart, roll with the punches and always, always adapt and make changes as needed. Even if our mission and end goals remain the same, the road there will twist, change and even take you off roading in the dirt! Enjoy the journey. Be kind to everyone. Lift others up along the way and always make time to rest. Never quit.

We each have talents and passions for a reason, I encourage us all to listen to our hearts and take action! Today we can monetize anything. Our world needs your gifts!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The most epic day during the summer heat would be to grab a tea or shake at Revive Nutrition in Mesa, I’m a huge fan of their cookie dough protein shake! Then we would jam out to the base of Saguaro Lake to kayak or float down the Salt River! We have to start early, so after enjoying a day at the river, hopefully seeing some wild horses, we would end up grabbing happy hour + tacos at Taco Guild in Phoenix. It’s the cutest restaurant converted from an old church! Love their margaritas and guacamole.

I love slow strolls through Old Town Scottsdale, making sure to visit Lady and Wolf Market for a cold brew and new plant and making time to browse The Mercantile, packed with dozens of tiny shops to support local creatives.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Arizona without an early hike, I personally love exploring Lost Dutchman with the gorgeous Superstition Mountain Views. I’m the friend that would grab coffee and donuts on the way to a hike and then enjoy yummy food at Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert!

We would also have to explore the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.

Spa days at The Scott or The Saguaro is a must! I’d love to treat for massages and lazy pool days to soak up the sun!

It wouldn’t be a trip with my friends unless it included at least one night at San Tan Flats way out in San Tan Valley to enjoy live country music, fire pits and a yummy steak!


Kayaking & Paddle Boarding




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The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
None of my success would be possible without the love and thick skin from my family! I’d also love to Shout Out Natalie Franke, co-founder of Rising Tide Society and author of “Built To Belong”. Natalie is a dear friend, mentor and community leader. Thanks to The Rising Tide Society I have met some of my best friends in the creative industry, incredible coaches, friends and even dream clients! My business success, mental health and friendship circle wouldn’t be where I am today without this incredible community and creative movement.

Website: www.QuiannaMarie.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quiannamarie/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/quianna-marie/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuiannaMariePhotography

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/quianna-marie-photography-san-jose-3

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiWcrozLoQVxCrEnaIOUSmA

Image Credits
Tara Dunn Photography So Cute Photo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here