Today marks the biggest accomplishment of my photography career… EVER.

I have been blessed with countless opportunities, amazing experiences, and memorable moments that have catapulted my career, but this one takes the cake.

Recently, one of my professors from San Jose State asked if I was available to photograph her wedding. With tears of joy in my eyes and shaky fingers I anxiously responded to her email. After a couple exchanges discussing the location, date, and pricing we finally negotiated the perfect arrangement for us.

Now before I get into details about the wedding, let me first explain why I am so incredibly honored to have the opportunity  to photograph her wedding…

One day towards the end of my last semester at SJSU I sat in Sandi’s office on the verge of tears. I couldn’t compete with my class mates. They had all of the most expensive gear their Daddies could buy, so much technical knowledge, and made me feel defeated before I even began. I had so much to learn and catch up on I didn’t know if it was possible to realistically turn photography into a successful career.

Sitting knees to knees with my head down, Sandi grabbed my hands and asked, “How bad do you really want this?”

With a glimpse of a smile my heart ached as I responded, “More than anything. There is nothing I want more than to be a photographer. To capture love and make memories of the ones I love last forever.”

Sandi looked me deep in the eyes and smiled. “Then there is nothing stopping you. You have more heart and passion for photography than I’ve ever seen. You’re going to need to brush up on your technical skills, but that’s easy.  Between myself, your manual or YouTube you can learn all those skills as they are forever changing. What I can’t teach you is heart. You already have that and it’s thriving. If you want this more than anything, then it’s all yours.”

From that day forward I ran, skipped, tripped, and dove head first right into my business. I knew I had it in me. I guess I was just terrified of failure, intimated by my peers, and had this ridiculous fear of success. Sandi gave me just the push I needed, paired with some business lessons, and presentation proficiency to get things rolling.Ed+Sandi-33

The morning of November 29th I woke up to rain pounding on the roof. As irritated as I was about the idea of rain on this glorious day, I remained calm and pulled out my cowboy boots. Not only do those always make me feel better, but the location was a ranch house in their own backyard. As I prepared for the day everything that could have possibly went wrong, went wrong.

My printer ran out of ink (only 3/6 pages of her contract printed), with a closet full of clothes I had nothing to wear, I forgot my brand new business cards at my Mama’s house, and Starbucks ran out of Hazelnut drip that morning. Did I mention it was pouring and all the idiots were out on the road? Yes, my morning was crazy, but I didn’t let that ruin my attitude for the day. I knew that despite all of these odds, it would be perfect. In fact, I already imagined how the day would unfold and it never included pouring rain. Pure optimism.



With about 60 of their closest family and friends the ceremony was short and sweet. No rain! Ed+Sandi-50Ed+Sandi-184


They even had a food truck! Zameen Cuisine rolled right up on the drive way and was a HUGE hit! The chefs were awesome and their food was delicious! I recommend their Rosemary Chicken Wrap and Sweet Potato Fries! YUM!


It’s still unreal that she asked me to photograph her wedding. Sandi still teaches today with plenty of hungry students looking for portfolio work, tons of past students and lots of very talented friends and colleges. Out of everyone she selected me. She trusted me to capture these moments, but most of all she welcomed me into her home. Sandi chose me simply because of my smile and personality and I couldn’t be more honored. Today was wonderful and I consider it the best compliment ever.



Thank you Sandi and Ed. Thank you for this incredible opportunity and sharing your special day with me. Words can’t even describe my appreciation and gratitude. Love you!

With Love, Quianna Marie

My Biggest Compliment Ever

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