Welcome to the blog, sort of like a digital garden where dreams are planted and grow wild! My name is Quianna and my family calls me “Qui” like key! I’m a destination wedding photographer based in Scottsdale and the Bay Area.
I love adventures and creating memories even more than I love photographing them—and I LOVE taking photos! In addition to capturing weddings, family milestones, and the best memories I also offer business tools, motivation and inspiration to help creatives turn their passions into their profession. We only get this one life, why not live our days doing what we love?
5 Year Series | 5 Key Business Tips | Wedding Photographer and Dream Chaser
Once you decide to chase after a dream and pray to turn your passion into your profession your life suddenly feels like a roller coaster! I’ve been a photographer for over a decade shooting family photos, weddings, events and the happiest milestones of my friends and families lives. After 5 years of officially paying taxes, having a business license and surviving a pandemic, I’ve got some opinions and experiences to share!
Welcome to the 5 Year Series
I’ll be sharing 5 Key Tips for 5 different topics to help get you on your way to turning your side hustle into your dream job! As a dreamer I have BIG plans, but it all comes down to the small steps and daily check lists to make these dreams a reality. As your “Big Sister” in the wedding photography and creative small business world, I have some wisdom to share that I wish someone told me when I was just starting out!
5 Key Business Tips
The name of the game is brand awareness, even if you’re just starting out! If you love what you do, do it often so you become top of mind for your friends and family! But how do you extend outside of your neighborhood and friends network? Get out and meet people!
KEY TIP: Get a new job! If you are still working a full time job (we all have bills!), I suggest being strategic on where you’re working! How are you going to meet people sitting behind a desk or working from home? I suggest rattling the universe and picking up an essential job like Trader Joe’s, becoming a barista at a local coffee shop or working a day job that connects you with new people all the time! I understand these days are tough with the current pandemic situation, but the quick lesson is to walk out your front door to meet people!
If changing jobs is not an option at the time then I suggest getting out and going on adventures. Sign up for a dodgeball league, start taking dance lessons, never miss one of your nephew’s soccer games, offer your services for other small businesses during this rough time. Meet new people and share your passions.
This is your warning: The grammar police will be in full force! As soon as you start posting, blogging and typing anything, the sirens will be going off! Please, don’t let this discourage you from posting. As long as your comments, announcements, stories and posts are positive, make someone smile and truly add value to someones life, small errors are inevitable! Believe it or not, many of these grammar checkers have your best interest, but they do feel like little stings when they bring it up.
Keep It Positive
Never. I repeat. NEVER post anything negative about a client or situation online. Difficult situations and hard business decisions will come up, but I highly encourage you to talk it through with your close circle and keep the topic offline. In my stern big sister voice, “Just don’t do it!” Align your business and brand with positive, engaging and friendly posts. I’ve dealt with a couple bridezilla’s and harsh situations, but they truly taught me the best lessons and helped reframe my business to prevent these situations from happening in the future. Learn from them and never ever let those tough clients define you… I promise, for every difficult client there are over a dozen happy clients raving about you!
Find Another Hobby
During this pandemic I felt completely lifeless and empty without my camera. With so many weddings postponed, photo shoots rescheduled and cancelled events, my self worth plummeted. As your passion becomes your profession it’s easy to feel burnt out. I suggest having hobbies and things that bring you joy outside of your business. Pick up a fun and healthy morning routine, try something new and add exercise to your daily habit. Give yourself permission to be human and to experience the best moments in life without feeling sucked into your business 24/7!
Just when you feel like giving up, keep going. Business takes more time than you think and consistency will always win! Think of your business as a plant… plant seeds and watch them grow! I’ve met people and worked with them YEARS later. So many businesses give up too quickly and think their efforts are wasted without instant results.
KEY TIP: Don’t chase money, chase the dream! If you would do your business for free because it brings that much joy, then you’re on the right path! Keep going, be kind to everyone and put people first.