I started working for Trader Joe’s right out of high school while attending junior college. My Mama was working there and it was one of my first official jobs (besides baby sitting and umpiring softball games!) During this time I wasn’t too sure what I wanted for my future. All I knew was that I wanted a career that allowed me to be a wife and mother first, and boss lady second. At the time teaching elementary school was my aspiration. Working Monday-Friday 7am-4pm, summers and holidays off? Well hello, perfect mom job!!
It wasn’t until a photo elective class at West Valley that I decided photography was for me! We had guest speakers come in and this one guy (imagine a brunette looking Santa Claus!) presented his wedding photography business. He shared how he traveled the world shooting weddings! He had this lavish lifestyle and was able to come present to our class at 11am on a Wednesday? I was intrigued. If he could be a wedding photographer, I could be one!
Photography has always been a passion of mine, but our society made me worry… Could this be a day job? A career that paid the bills and created a comfortable life? Well, after that guy’s presentation I was convinced! I rushed home to tell Ma I wanted to be a wedding photographer! I vividly remember her doing the dishes with her back to me and she said, “Okay, babe. If that’s what you want to do!” Puzzled, expecting some kind of “Good luck what that response…” She turned and told me, “As long as you can provide for yourself and live a happy life it doesn’t matter to me Quianna.” I was sold. She was so casual about it and it was just the blessing I needed.
I scrambled and went through hoops to add up my credits at West Valley and transferred to San Jose State to earn my photography degree as an art major. It took an extra semester to enroll in the classes I needed and I was OUT! Ready to take on the photography industry!
During college I kept my job at Trader Joe’s. This was the best decision ever. They worked with my schedule and helped craft all of the customer service and team building experience I needed. Trader Joe’s quickly became my second family. We attended football games, baby showers, and fun adventures together outside of work. Everyone knew everyone’s business and our days at the store were FUN! As soon as I opened my heart to share my photography with crew members everyone was on board. I shot newborn sessions, family portraits, engagements, and adventure shoots for fun! I even hosted my very fist boudoir marathon and over 10 girls showed up to support me! The crew and even surrounding stores supported me more than I could have ever imagined!
This was the SHOT! I was oh so proud of this!
This was a fun event when multiple crew members showcased their art outside of the sign room! Body painting, shoe designing and creative art!
Let’s just take a moment and say prayer for these old watermarks! They are LONG gone!
Such a gorgeous family and this photo doesn’t even do them justice!
I seriously have no words to share my appreciation for my crew!
The crew members at large had the sweetest hearts to let me practice shooting and improving year after year. It was like having the best fans that helped shaped the photographer that I am today. They brought hundreds and hundreds of referrals each year and continue to do so even today!
As my business has been blooming I am now specializing in weddings and bridal boudoir. Recently, because I have been spending so much time and energy laser focusing my photography I have been sharing referrals to other talented local photographers for newborn sessions, parties, and family sessions. However, if a crew member requests my services I just can’t turn it down. No matter what. They helped me grow so much over the years, it’s my honor to deliver a service that I am proud of today and an opportunity to thank them for photo shoots in the past.
So… If you work for Trader Joe’s I will shoot you!
(See what I did there?)
Only love and appreciation for my crew. Forever and Always!
With love, Quianna Marie
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