Successful Creative Entrepreneur and Community Champion – Quianna Marie

December 13, 2018


Cassandra Campbell

Ever wonder how you could be a successful creative entrepreneur, while still having time to be involved in the creative community? Starting her career as an early education teacher, Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Quianna Marie, only dreamed about going full-time until she took the plunge a few years ago. Through leading her San Jose Tuesdays Together chapter, countless styled shoots, and several workshops and conferences, not to mention her 12 years in the industry, Quianna has learned a thing or two or a thousand! From advice on starting out, to the importance of finding your community, Quianna is sharing it all.

computer on bed with bride magazine

Location – Where do you call home? Where is your client base?

San Jose, CA + Expanding to Mesa, AZ (Starting in January 2019!!!!)

Photography Specialty?

Wedding + Lifestyle

Years in Business? Years dreaming of business?

12 Years shooting weddings, 3 years full time!!!!

What's one piece of advice for someone who wants to be a successful creative entrepreneur?

Hmmm… Just keep smiling.;) You'll go a lot farther in life being kind rather than right.

quote about wedding photography

Are there any creatives that influenced you? How did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?

Well, it's easy to say that all of our United Speakers, since day one, have influenced my business. Mostly as validation, that if they could turn their passion into their profession I could, too!

Natalie Franke has been a true inspiration from the moment I discovered the Rising Tide Society. I love her passion and compassion for community and adore the fact that she made a B-Line across the country to chase a dream! She thinks outside of the box, while always putting people + hearts first. That's incredibly admirable and I just feel honored to call her a friend!wedding image by Quianna marie

Jasmine Star was my very first workshop and I loved every minute. When I attended her workshop in February 2015, I gave myself a year to go full time… with her help + motivation I quit my day job that August! I've been a #workshopaholic and have gone crazy attending as many workshops as possible! Including: Amy + Jordan, Hope Taylor, Justin + Mary, Laura + Rachel, Laylee Emadi and I've bought almost all of Katelyn James‘ courses! I wish I could attend one of her workshops in her home, but I've always been booked for weddings when she hosts! I guess that's a good sign!

Since then I've hosted dozens of my own mentoring shoots, Styled Pop Up Series (bite size workshops all about the styled shoot) and many educational opportunities for photographers + small business owners.

I even wrote a blog about my experiences!computer screen of wedding photography website

What was your original career path? How did you get from part-time photographer to full time? 

I originally went to school to become an elementary teacher. I taught preschool for years and finally took the plunge to at least TRY to make photography my full time gig!

For someone lost and confused, trying to pay their bills, juggle responsibilities and still push for their dreams… I would advice them to make lists! Nothing happens over night, but you can do SOMETHING everyday to help reach your goals. Even if it's small, these tiny actions add up quickly! Also, I would share that it's important to laser focus your efforts and only spend time researching and spending your time on what you LOVE! Don't spread yourself too thin trying to conquer it all. Start with learning a little bit about everything about your business, then become an expert at one or two things!

What are some of the things that have inspired you through the years in being creative? 

As the biggest introverted extrovert I suggest two things…

  1. Get outside. Take time to breathe. Go for a drive. Find your happy place and relax. If that's the beach, a special tree or just driving with the windows down. Take time to pause and relax! A FULL day (if not more) off the map and off social media.
  2. Spend time with other creatives to chat about your goals, wildest dreams + ambitions. You'll be amazed to learn that you're not alone and it's SO FUN to bounce ideas off each other. The best opportunities I've ever had were gigs/events/meetings that I wish I would have just stayed home instead… so glad I simply showed up!!!!

wedding photograph in front of mansion

If you could go back in time with your camera, where would you go and what would you want to capture?

I'd love to photograph my grandparents wedding. We only have two black and white photos of them. One at the alter and one coming out of a car! I wish I could see more details and capture more about their day!

Okay… that's the sappy wedding photographer answer. I'd love to have my camera back during the American Revolution. “You know that saying… “It's going to cost you an arm and a leg?” Well paintings were so expensive that it literally cost more to have portraits painted of full bodies. That's why floating heads are the trademark of our history, I'm curious to see what they didn't paint as part of our history!!!!!

When creating a business, most people focus on __A__, when it's more helpful to focus on ___B___ .

People focus on gear, when it's more helpful to focus on how you make others feel.

Quote about running a wedding photography business

How did you find out about Showit? Has it changed anything about how your business runs?

Hmmm… good question! It's kind of like asking best friends how you met? Uhhhhh. I can't remember!
I believe it was through Katelyn James or Jasmine Star!

I'm a proud Showiteer… I mean check the #showiteerforlife hashtag… it's mostly me LOL

I love the fact that our showit community and tech peeps behind my website are REAL humans. The kind that pack snacks and water for me to grab at WPPI (thanks Field!) and always have quick solutions to my fearful techy problems! I love that such a competitive industry breaks down walls and offers hugs, a warm feeling that we are all capable and equipped to answer our callings.

wedding photographer

Learn more about how to be a successful creative entrepreneur.

It's been such a joy to see Quianna's business grow over the years since we first hugged her at United! She is always challenging herself and working on new projects. For inspiration, or even to know you have a friend out in the world of social media, you will definitely want to follow along with all that she is doing. You can catch her on Instagram, Facebook, and of course, her fabulous custom Showit site at

You can also check out this great webinar where she teaches us how to market ourselves, and our businesses, offline!

Showit is a drag and drop website platform with a free trial at

Casandra is a born and bred East Coaster who finds herself braving the heat of the Valley of the Sun with her husband and three cute kids all for the love of Showit.