We had the good fortune of connecting with Marissa Manzanares and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marissa, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I can’t take all the credit for this, because I’ve learned and worked with some incredible people who helped me see what my vision was for my brand, how to get there, and how to convey it to my audience. So for me, it was learning from others in the industry, still learning from others in the industry, and having a team of women who I truly vibed with and helped me grow in the process when I was actually rebranding my business practically. In short, find your community. Learn from people you admire, and be yourself. Someone who I view as a mentor said this to me recently and I’ll paraphrase it now: Success starts from within. You can’t be successful until your mindset is set to be, and before it can flow out around you. Focus on filling your cup, and watch it pour out on those around you. And remember, success is subjective, so whatever that is to you be your version of successful and not someone else’s.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m basically a really caffeinated, yet calm individual who brings energy constantly in whatever space I’m in. I draw inspiration from brewing coffee, writing, dance, movement, painting, and meditating. If I’m proud of anything, it’s that I’m able to sit here and say I found how to create art by learning how to do it, and then abandoning it altogether. And I’m still learning. You can’t break the rules until you learn them. No it’s not easy, but you overcome by not focusing on what doesn’t inspire you. Being an entrepreneur and having a personal life, those things are very intertwined, and what affects us inwardly affects your art outwardly. Someone I view as a mentor told me if you start yelling at your creativity to produce for you, it just won’t. Don’t let your art become simply a method of payment and get mad when it doesn’t pay. Nurture it, let it inspire you, and make time for it in your normal daily life. I also learned from her that what we take in affects what we put out. Sit down and figure out what makes you happy and what you know you need. Find ways to get there. Find mentors. Make time to get with a few colleagues who you know you can get coffee with and bond with. Seek therapy. Research resources. Get inspiration from elsewhere other than your medium. I can almost promise you that you will be happier and do better in your business.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a huge couch potato and my friends know this, so they already know to prepare for a night in with a Marvel movie and a pasta dinner. But if I really decided to go out, it would be to Whistle Britches. For coffee, my own home pour-over. Or Native Coffee. If just to go out for the sake of walking around, Vitruvian Park or Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Manny for his absolutely unconditional support in everything. We all need Manny’s in our lives. I have so many colleagues I just couldn’t be here without but I can try and list a few off the top of my head. Amy & Jordan Demos for their educational resources, KT Merry for being a mentor to me even if she doesn’t know it, and the fabulous three Steffani Lefler, Ronke Bade-ojo, and Stephanie Laforest who designed and created my website and brand materials, and really just helped me figure out who I am and where I want to go. There are too many in my photography and industry communities to list by name, but you know who you are.

Website: www.marissamanzanaresphoto.com
Instagram: marissamanzanaresphoto

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