2010 and more

Wow! Everytime I promise to keep this blog updated, I end up not posting at all. So, I’m done with promises. Deal? πŸ˜› Good.

What have I been up to? Well, a LOT:

  1. At work, I have my hands full and while I love being busy and I love my job, but at time, how I long for the slightly-less-hectic days of fall. πŸ˜› My year-end evaluation was great and reflected what I felt about my job/bosses and coworkers. I *am* blessed to have a job that lets me thrive and allows me to be able to leave the job at work & come home to do whatever else strikes my fancy like blog about technology, blog about my photos and work on my business (Jane Ullah Photography)!
  2. I inked my first contract to shoot a wedding this February. It’s my first wedding flying solo and I’m understandably nervous, but in a very good way! I want to exceed her expectations and get a good review too. So, wish me luck! πŸ™‚ I’ll be renting a backup camera, lens and dedicated flash from Borrow Lenses. I’ve never experienced any deal-breaking issues with lighting or camera, but I won’t jeopardize my job by not have a backup plan. I intend on attending her rehearsal for free in order to get acquainted with the church, etc.
  3. I purchased a new HP dv7-3080us laptop at a ridiculously low price ($200 for a laptop that’s worth $1499!). I participated in a penny auction site (Swoopo.com is like eBay meets gambling) and I initially paid $150 for the laptop ($50 actual price I won the auction for, but I spent ~$100 in bids). Being a lousy gambler, I ended up losing $100 more on the site so I tell people I paid $250 for the laptop counting my $100 loss in. Read all about my penny auction win here and remember that my results are not typical. Matt has inherited my HP dv9700t customized notebook and he’s absolutely loving his increased productivity and our old desktop computer will be inherited by his dad (to replace his ancient 2000-era desktop computer).
  4. Matt and I will be pet-parents! I adopted a 5-year-old mutt named “Ellie” and we are going to be moving in order to accommodate the need for a pet-friendly apartment! We will miss our old place, but now is the time for a new chapter in our lives: pet-parenthood! lol
  5. I’ve been learning about using social media to my business’s benefit and here are the steps I’ve taken towards to that:
    • starting a twitter account dedicated to highlights samples of my work (@janeullah)
    • starting a photo blog (powered by Tumblr and it also autoposts to the twitter account above) that showcases samples of my work and keeps potential clients/visitors abreast of events/developments in Jane Ullah Photography
    • registered my business with the IRS:  Getting my Employer Identification Number (EIN) number was surprisingly painless and don’t get suckered into paying money to ANYONE for getting your EIN number from the federal government. I’m currently filling about forms to register my business with the state and my county as well as opening a business checking account for photography related purchases. In order to open a business checking account, you have to be registered within your state and have your DBA (“doing business as” or fictitious name registration form submitted to the state/county). Even if you don’t have employees, it’ll be smarter to use your EIN for business related issues versus your personal Social Security number. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with getting registered and all. It promises to be interesting to learn about my small business tax obligations, et cetera.
    • Getting listed in several search engines (Google, Yahoo Local and Bing (pending) as well as directories online like Wedding Wire, Gathering Guide, and Eventective. To increase visibility, I took advantage of a $100 Google Adwords credit which didn’t last long (surprisingly) and I ended up spending ~ $63 on Adwords.
    • Creating a Facebook Page for Jane Ullah Photography and using that as another avenue to spread the word! Tip: get over 25 fans for any page you create and you’ll be able to create an easy-to-remember username for that page. For instance, to visit Jane Ullah Photography on Facebook, check out http://facebook.com/janeullah. My personal page on Facebook uses my other handle: http://facebook.com/janetalkstech.
    • Registering for a “Fundamentals of Photography” class which counts towards the earning of a photography certificate! I can only go so far with the manuals. I think having deadlines and class assignments will take my creativity up a notch.
  6. Matt’s kicking butt and taking names at his classes. He is currently on track to earn a certificate in Geographic Information Systems and will put those courses towards earning a degree in that field. It’s a LOT of work, but he is committed and I’m glad he’s letting me tag along to some of his IT-related classes! πŸ™‚ We’re such a quirky couple and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
  7. So, I could rattle on and on, but the point is: good things are happening in Jane’s world. πŸ˜› I’m in love with life and I hope you are too!

Enough of my horn-tooting. Duty calls! Ciao.