Fun Stuff!

News and More News!

As some of you that have weddings coming up already are aware of, I’m migrating to using an awesome online client management system called ShootQ. ShootQ is really cool because I can do so many things with it, from sending you pricelists, tracking booked dates, and handling contracts online. Once I have a shoot, it will help manage the tracking of different things related to the shoot – getting the proofs into the online galleries, the album design process, and a variety of other things. A neat feature for weddings is the ability for clients to go in and enter in all of the vendor information – helpful for when I go to blog about your event, and also because I like to contact the vendors afterwards and share photographs with them.

All around, I am completely in love with ShootQ! I think you will be too – I can’t wait to hear your feedback on it as I get it all set up!

The one thing I’m still in the process of doing is manually entering upcoming events, and doing this has caused a few, ahem, interesting things to happen. Like the time the system sent out an invoice for $0.00. Or the fact that it didn’t add tax to an event, and then when I went to add it, it did all sorts of weird things. I’m working closely with the ShootQ team though, and if anything is sent out that shouldn’t be, I promise that it will be fixed as quickly as possible! I just wanted to post about it though so that you knew in advance – just in case. From now on, as I go to manually enter a contract, I’ll send out an email beforehand and afterwards to let you know that it is ready!

In other news, I will be moving into a new office soon! Back in February, when my contract with Two Be Wed came up, I realized that their hours and my hours weren’t working well together. I have a lot of evening & Sunday meetings, and they close at 7pm and are only available by appointment on Sundays. I love the concept and everything about Two Be Wed – it just wasn’t the best fit for me. Right at this same time, I saw on Twitter that my friend Matthew was making the dream of co-working in Houston a reality at last – and I knew immediately what I had to do!

Co-working is a really cool concept, and it makes so much sense as the digital revolution changes how so many people work. Basically, Matthew & Ned have secured an office building in the Museum District of Houston. They are setting up 8 offices in one portion of one of the buildings, and in the other portion there will be desks that are available for rent. People sign up to be a member of the Caroline Collective by renting one of these permanent spaces, or you can drop in and work when you want. Available for use for members is a conference room to use as a meeting space. There is an art gallery also, where there will be different artists having shows, and there are plans to do art movie nights in the summer. A second building on the property will be developed for artists to use – a place where they can have studios and the dust and dirt that some art mediums create will be far away from the computers of the tech geeks on the other side.

Dwight Silverman wrote about the Caroline Collective earlier this week on Houston Chronicle’s Techblog. (Really though, I promise the building isn’t as bad as they described!)

I love how Matthew described it as a “Hippie Executive Suite” – it is so true! And while I’ve had people give me puzzled reactions when I talk about working in such a tech environment, it makes perfect sense for me — while part of what I do is very creative and done behind the camera, the rest of what I do is much more geek oriented, from editing photos, posting things online, and blogging. After close to 20 years of not loving my job, I now have the *perfect* job that is a great blend of everything that I love – and I expect that working in such a creative setting will be fantastic for me. As an added bonus, I have permission to do photoshoots on the grounds (there is a fantastic tree and a cool gate outside) and in my office if I ever needed to do it. While I truly prefer shooting outdoors and looking for cool and funky backgrounds for shoots, I’m planning on figuring out a way to have a backdrop that we can use if the weather outside won’t cooperate.

So I’ve been a nomad since February, hosting all of my meetings at coffee shops and similar locations around town — but it won’t be that way for much longer! Soon, I’ll have a place to call my own! Although I’m still willing to drive to a convenient location if anyone prefers – sometimes, that really is easier for everyone.

Photos will be coming soon – I spoke with Matthew just yesterday and they were tearing down walls and making things happen! I can’t wait to see what is in store!

By Christine

Business Coach for Local Businesses, founder of the InstaLocal System, and Best-Selling Author. Blogger since 2000, I named WordPress. (Yes. Really.) My Superpower: Helping Local Business owners like you use the power of story to magnetize clients and dominate your market. It is time to stop believing the lies of the Perfection Culture. I live in Houston, Texas when I'm not on a road trip adventure in my Mini Cooper.

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