We had the good fortune of connecting with Christianne Dowd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christianne, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I never thought I would own a business, but sometimes life takes some turns and if you are open minded enough to just see where it takes you, you might find something so much better just around the corner. The start of my business was one of those situations… I’ve always loved photography but it was always a hobby for me. After leaving my corporate job, and with the encouragement of some friends to at least try to become a photographer, I decided to offer free sessions to a few friends and see how I’d feel about it. I loved it from the very beginning and just the thought that it could actually become a real business was mind blowing to me. Not having a job at the time was the best thing that could’ve happened: I was able to dive in and dedicate 100% of me. I feel like if I still had my corporate job at the time, my business would’ve been just a side gig and would’ve never taken off.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a business owner is not easy. It is a job that never ends, from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I have business related things to take care of, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still love going to photo shoots, editing the photos, meeting with my clients, getting to know new people, marketing, social media… I just love it and that alone makes it all possible. I do get tired, specially while balancing my family + business needs, but I feel like over the years I’ve learned to prioritize what is really important for the business without having to sacrifice my family. As time goes by you get a better feel for what’s important, what to say no to, what is really going to take your business to the next level of growth and success, which is a skill we usually don’t have when we first open a business. But the love for what I do, the excitement, the pride is what make me happy about my business and keep my clients coming back.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being from another country, pre covid we had visitors coming to stay with us constantly. I still feel excited about San Diego just as I did 19 years ago when I moved here from Brazil. We have it all in San Diego, and even after multiple trips, I always find new things to do with my guests when they are visiting. We are always at the beach and we have a special beach for each person visiting, depending on their style. Busy and fun? Mission Beach or La Jolla Shores. Surfers? Tourmaline Beach or Windansea. With little kids? South Mission Bay or Scripps Pier at low tide. Adventurous? Secret trails and hidden beaches. Walking around Downtown, North Harbor Drive, cool murals in East Village, Balboa Park (always), great playgrounds and skate parks all around, amazing restaurants everywhere we go from Liberty Station to Kearny Mesa to North Park… One trip is never enough, I live here and can’t get enough of this city. I wouldn’t trade San Diego for anywhere in the world!
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?
We never grow alone. Everyone who’s interacted with me in some way led me into the life I live now: a photograph I saw as a kid, a co-worker who was a hobbyist photographer, the full support of my husband, a positive comment from a friend… but there is one group in special I would love to thank for my continuous growth. I am part of a wonderful group of 100 local female photographers called San Diego Women in Photography that have been helping, encouraging and empowering each other for the past 5 years. We support each other on so many levels by truly leading a “community over competition” lifestyle. I am forever grateful for having such an amazing group of talented and caring women beside me.