Love It! Hate It!


It has been awhile since my last Love It! Hate It! but I’m getting back on track!

Love It!

1. ShootQ!  I’ve been talking about this a little on my Facebook profile but I’m seriously in love, it is right up there with my love for my iPad!  Ever heard that saying jack of all trades, master of none?  Yeah that was me trying to organize my business, I was lost in a sea of paper contracts that required scanning, to do lists written on sticky notes, emails that were getting lost in the black hole of my inbox and general clutter in my head and on my desk.  This came to a head when I was out of town for a family emergency and spent a lot of time sitting in a hospital.  My iPhone and iPad were my lifesavers during this time allowing me to keep up with my emails at the time and respond to questions and inquiries.  The problem was when I got home and spent days digging through my email to make sure everyone got a response and seeing who I needed to follow up with.  It was a nightmare for me, at that point I realized I needed help!  I had heard of ShootQ before but never really looked into it so I decided to check out their free trial.  At first it seemed really overwhelming but it had a lot of features I was looking for so I started checking out tutorials online.  The more videos I watched the more excited I got!!  I will do another post devoted entirely to ShootQ later on but for now I’ll give you some highlights of how I’m using it.  Lead Tracking, Client Correspondence Tracking, Online Contracts, Workflow Tasks for Portraits and Weddings, Questionnaires and soon I’ll be able to download to Quickbooks!  I highly recommend checking out as many tutorials as you can find online and pay attention to how other photographers have theirs setup.  One video showed a photographer that had a Lead Status as Hot!! Love!!, that was perfect for those inquires that come in where they really love me vs the general how much emails.  With the iPhone app I was able to accept contracts while out of town this week without a computer!  Big love for ShootQ going on right here!!

shootq badge blue

2. Great Client and Friends!  The last 4 weeks have been pretty crazy for me with family emergencies and I’m so grateful for clients and friends that sent words of encouragement and stepped in to help wherever they could.  Your thoughts and prayers were very much appreciated, now  I’m ready for life to get back to normal and to catch up on everything I’ve missed!


3.  Spring Blooms!  I can’t wait for the warm weather to finally stick around here.  I was able to get some glimpses of it while visiting North and South Carolina and thoroughly enjoyed the warm breezes.  I’m just waiting for my trees to start blooming!!  Soon I’ll be up to my elbows in dirt and mulch and new plants.  Oh if anyone knows a great landscape designer in the Fredericksburg Virginia area please let me know.  I am desperate for help with planning our gardens.  I’m really bad about picking plants because they are pretty, not because they will grow where I put them.  Also I have a huge backyard that is full of untapped potential but I’m lost on even where to start!


Hate It!

1. Loss.  I posted earlier this week about the loss of my Papaw.  It was unexpected and heartbreaking and I know it will take awhile to process fully.  I hate that I had to lose my Papaw but I am comforted knowing that he lived a long full life and did not suffer.  It will just take time to fully accept he is gone 🙁

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    Miami newborn photographer

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    I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


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    Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


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