What a week! Got paid from adsense for my Doritos Crash The Super Bowl video. How much you ask? Well let's just say it's more than enough to take my wife to Burger King but not enough to buy the above Lamborghini.
Ok so taxes are paid, investments are investing, and I finished a new video with a short cameo appearance from my kids called Things You Should NEVER Say To Your Kids. Did they have a choice? No, but it's legal, fun and worth the memories. Plus if I can make another viral video I will be able to retire by the time I am 65.
Ok, let's get to the numbers as I prepare for a nice weekend with the family as well as another photo session with the amazingly talented hair and makeup artist Aisha Koswara. Don't worry... More photos from more sessions to come.
As of today my Alexa Ranking is 103544. Will I ever go below 100k? I dunno but I will definitely keep you up to speed now that I am 3 months into the Yakezie Challenge.
Don't forget... INSANITY starts Monday. I am scared but I am ready to blog, post photos, and share my experience. That's it for now... Have a lovely weekend. If you want to read more of what I blogged about this week please check out the links below.
Oh and by the way check out a video I did a couple of years ago called Coming Home. I think it's a perfect time to bring it back out being that this weekend is April 1.
For those of you who know me, Yakezie has given me many great things that I never asked nor looked for. Last week I blogged about it in a post called Shout Out To Yakezie because there are so many hidden treasures that come from being associated with the community.
Anyway, this week I wanted to shout out another great site because there is so much amazing informative content that people need to know about. I have to be honest I didn't know which direction to go in until I read this...
"When I started out on my own nearly ten years ago... ...I became exposed to many new ideas not only about money, but also about the politics and lifestyles of our time. I began to see another way of doing things and of living life; it was like receiving a red pill."
Yep you guessed it. Kevin from Invest It Wisely takes red pills. You know the red pill? Ok! In case you forgot Morpheus presents Neo with a red pill and a blue pill for the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red). Got it? Good.
I didn't realize how much Kevin and I have in common. Kevin is a man. I am a man. He has a blog. I have a blog. He took red pills. I am popping red pills. It's true... We are like 2 peas in a blog pod but I am not going to lie taking the red pill hurts... However, it has truly been the best pain I have experienced since my doctor pointed me in the wrong direction.
Anyway again, after reading Kevin's bio I went to his blog which I visit from time to time and read What Do You Need to Get out of the Rat Race and Achieve Financial Freedom. Then I took in Becoming a Renaissance Man: Early Retirement Extreme and then I swallowed one of his more resent posts, which brought out a very intelligent and noteworthy point about being diversified, titled The Dangers of Over Diversification.
All of these posts from Kevin tie in with my new way of thinking and step father's mentoring of how to invest it wisely. I actually use the articles I read on Yakezie, like Kevin's above, and reinforce what I know in investing and everything else under the personal finance world. To be totally honest I didn't know what MER was. I had to look it up. Thanks Kevin (Invest It Wisely). I did however know what an ETF was. I didn't have to look it up. Thanks Ciro (Step Father).
Hey I don't want to make it seem like I'm an idiot but for the most part of my life I was dancing, performing, traveling, acting, commentating, photographing and everything else ...ing you can think of. Was it fun? Of course. Do I regret it? Hell no! Would I do it again? In a heart beat. But, if I ever have a chance to do it all over again and live in the blissful ignorance of illusion I will make sure to pull over and swallow a red pill.
Please check out Kevin's site Invest It Wisely and "stay in Wonderland to see how deep the rabbit-hole goes."-Morpheus
First and foremost you must always live within your budget and only you know what is best for you and your pocket because headshots can be expensive. If you find someone that you like and he or she is good then I say go with your instincts and use them. Getting in the entertainment business is tricky no matter how great your headshots are. However, as a general rule of thumb you should follow the guide below to determine how much you should pay for headshots if you haven’t found the right photographer yet.
Anyone who charges between $1 and $199 a session I would consider cheap. However, don't let the word cheap throw you off because it can refer to either price and/or quality and every so often you can find a gem if you search hard enough. Cheap headshots are for those people who are cheap (pun intended) and just starting out in the world of auditioning. If you are getting your feet wet then in the business, find a cheap headshot photographer you like and work with them.
Tip-Cheap Headshot photographers are sometimes just starting out so keep in mind you get what you pay for. The good thing is the cost is usually low risk if you don’t like the shots.
Anyone who charges between $200 and $500 per session is affordable. What $500 affordable? Well it’s getting up there I am not going to lie but yes affordable when you look at the bigger picture. Agents and managers want you to do one thing for them. Make them MONEY! That means that you NEED to be a great versatile actor/dancer, who looks good and is personable without having them lift a finger. Your headshots have to get you in the door so you can close the deal with your amazing talent. That means that an affordable headshot photographer should help you do that. if you are in it for the long haul and you go into an audition with bad headshots you won’t even have 10 seconds to tell them how great you really are.
Tip-Do your research, call them up and look at their portfolio. I knew a guy who went to go pick up his photos and when he arrived the guy had closed down scamming him out of $350.
Anyone who charges between $501 and above is costly. If a headshot photographer is charging that much then usually they have an A list client list to back it up. Costly headshots are for those people who are already in the business or it's their career and are very serious about getting in the door with elite agents and managers. Can you have cheap headshots and get in the door? Of course because it's all about talent BUT that rarely happens. There are some people in the business who won’t even talk to you until your headshots are from a certain photographer.
Tip-Getting expensive headshots doesn’t guarantee you will like them and it doesn’t guarantee you will get booked. I had 2 clients who spent nearly $1000 each and HATED their headshots.
So there you have it. Use the above as a general guide but keep in mind YOU and only YOU are responsible for the outcome. That means do your research and use my 10 questions to ask your headshot photographer before the photo shoot as a helping guide for you.
Oh and In case you were wondering... I am an affordable headshot photographer. If you want to book a session with me or have any other questions please click here.
I booked a couple of headshot sessions and will blog about them soon. Things are steadily growing. Also, I shot a behind the scenes photo shoot for my good friend's production company. I can't wait to blog about all the fun we had and what the product was about. It's actually a really good product for women and the commercial is funny as hell.
Question! How funny can hell actually be?
Answer! I don't know because I am an angel. :)
Anyway, I started writing skits for my youtube channel again. I should have 2 skits completed by next week. Then I have to film them. One is just me with a cameo from my kids but the other one I need a full cast. Oh I almost forgot... I also wrote down a secret idea I have for the Doritos Crash The Super Bowl contest that should get announced again in early fall. It's going to be another family affair. I just love adding my family to my projects. One because I love them and two because I can financially justify having them. :)
Question! Why did you have kids Jai?
Answer! So I could be rich. :)
And now on to the Alexa Ranking numbers. As of today I am 107,700. Wow. Can you believe it? Hard work, Yakezie and my good looks are paying off. :)
To read some of my past posts from the week check out the links below.
1. NYC Headshot Session With Teddy Garces
2. 6 Reasons Your Blog Needs A Great Logo
3. Shout Out To Yakezie
And a bonus... My 365 day photo project in case you missed it or keep avoiding it. :)
Father Takes A Photo Of His Daughter Every Day From Birth To 1st Year
You might have read about Yakezie (pronounced YA-KAY-ZEE) or seen their badge plastered all over people's sites and wonder what the hell are they all about. If you are reading this post I never had those thoughts because I joined without knowing much about them. Yep call me a rebel. I read what the Yakezie challenge entailed and said to myself "I can do this" and jumped right in. And guess what? I am glad I did.
Here are some of the hidden benefits I have found by just being a part of the Yakezie community:
1. I Am Smarter
The people on Yakezie (both members and challengers) have an array of knowledge that has opened me up to a whole new world of intelligence. After 3 months of reading tons of articles, posts, ebooks and newsletters I know more about topics on personal finance, taxes, writing posts, food, dieting, family values, marathons... and the list goes on.
2. I Am Happier
Yakezie is a network of cool people who make you feel included in the conversation which makes you want to help out whenever you can. I feel like I have helped people on topics that I know about and have made a difference in their lives and on their sites... In addition I have made a ton of them laugh at some of the witty and humorous posts I write. Just the other day I got an email from someone who said they were having a really bad day and I have now turned it around. :)
3. I Am Saving Money
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't read a post about saving a buck or 2. All I had to do was read and implement the technique. I read a post yesterday by Smart Money Hacks on how to save money on groceries and saved. No joke. I went on google and found a coupon for Staples. I saved $5.00. Hey that's 2 slices and a diet coke.
4. I Am Making Money
Who would have thunk? My adsense has gone up in the last 3 months and I can only assume that that is from the power of Yakezie. Also I because I am a photographer with designing skills I have been asked by several challengers and members to do header logos for them which has put a few more diapers on my daughter and food in my belly. Here is an example of a logo I designed for Corey over at www.20sfinances.com.
Not bad for just being a challenger.
If that wasn't cool enough check out the really nice and thoughtful comment Sam Dogen (founder of Yakezie) wrote specifically to me in response to a comment I left on the site after reading his article What Would You Do If A Major Income Source Went To Zero.
Sam wrote:" I think being able to catch people when they fall, and prop them back up again is one of the most important attributes of the Yakezie Network. It’s something we are most proud of. Let’s say for some reason you lost your photo business and became a Member. You better believe that I, along with many others will send you as many referrals as possible from the friends and family we have in NYC! "
Thanks to everyone on Yakezie
1.Great Logos Make Great First Impressions
I know you realize that first impressions are very important, but do you realize your logo can be the make it or break it decision for why someone stays long enough to enjoy your great content? You see a TON of blogs on the internet daily and many of them look unprofessional or underdeveloped. Why? Because they don't have a great logo to make a great first impression.
Tip. If your logo is great but your content isn't then stop blogging and make changes.
2.Look More Professional
Looking unprofessional is probably the worst thing you can convey to readers or potential customers. A great professional logo shows your customers that you are a serious blogger/website owner and your business is well-planned, thought out and here to stay.
Tip. If you aren't sure how your site looks then ask a few professionals. Advice is free.
3. Stand Out from Your Competition
Standing out from the competition doesn't mean colorful patterns and neon lights. However, there are millions of established websites out there that look amazing and are trying to compete for your reader's/customer's attention with more joining everyday.
Tip. For truthful responses, ask people you don't know what makes your site stand out. _
4. It Makes Your Business Memorable
Target, FEDEX & McDonalds have simple logos that are easy to remember by customers because they are consistent in their advertising. If you comment on a ton of blogs and are trying to build traffic then you will have your avatar logo gracing other people's pages all over the net. Remember a memorable logo builds a feeling of trust and confidence in your readers and customers.
Tip. If you don't LOVE your logo no one will.
5. It's Cool
A logo can create the “wow” factor and make you feel proud about your site. When people ask you what you do for a living and you tell them you blog you might get a blank stare for a few seconds. If you have a great site with a great logo you can easily just show them because a logo is worth a thousand words with one of them being cool.
Tip. If you don't know how cool should feel visit someone in your niche that you think is cool.
6.Make More Money
Who doesn't want to make more money? A great logo adds to your bottom line by combining all of the above. Now don't get me wrong... having a great logo doesn't guarantee you will be a successful business. You still need great content, traffic and a little bit of luck to accomplish that but if your logo sucks then you are going to need a lot more content, traffic and luck than you thought.
Tip. After getting a great logo don't quite your day job.
If you are looking for someone to design a logo for you feel free to contact me. My rates are reasonable and affordable. My only rule is you must fall in love with your logo before we are done. No one night stands here. :)
If you just want my opinion it's absolutely honest and free.
Teddy who is scheduled to be in a new Cinemax show called The Jump Off called me in November to tell me he was coming to NYC to visit his family. When he asked if we could do a photo shoot together I naturally said yes because of his height, weight and our friendship. All jokes aside, Teddy asked me to act in an episode of his self produced extremely hysterical web series Sound Advice that is scheduled to aire this spring (at an Internet near you) so how could I say no.
Side note-I flew out to LA to film Sound Advice a few days before my daughter was born & in case you don't remember I live in NYC.
When Teddy came over we had no formal plan for the shoot. We both knew we would shoot headshots but he aslo knew he wanted action shots. Immediately I thought why not shoot him on the roof. "Wanna shoot on the roof Teddy?", I asked expecting him to say yes. He responded, "a big black man getting shot on the roof by a skinny white guy? We both laughed for 3 reasons. 1.Teddy has great comedic timing and knows when to throw in a good joke. 2. He isn't black he is actually 100% Dominican who gets hired to play black. And 3.... I am not skinny.
Once we finished shooting in my studio, which doubles as my son & daughter's playground, we ran to the roof to get in as much shooting as possible. 4pm is a late start and with Daylight savings time nowhere in sight we were fighting time. Besides, for those who could actually see us running around on the roof, I must have looked like a skinny white dude running with a big black man.
We could have shot all day right through the night because we were having so much fun together hanging out finding moments that were photographically truthful. However, I eventually have to play dad to my kids when daycare ends and Teddy has to eventually go back to LA to book more great roles that are waiting for him. Besides, when the door of roof opens and the building's super says to me in private that he got a call from a neighbor who saw a big black guy on the roof, it's a wrap.
Please check out Teddy Garces' website to see what he is up to because at the rate Teddy is booking roles there is only so much time before he becomes a household name.
To book a photo session with me in studio, outside or if you just want to run around with a white dude on the roof please send me an email.
Week In Review - Father Takes A Photo Of His Daughter Every Day From Birth To 1st Year & Sarah Jones
This week was a slow blogging week for me but I have 2 great pieces of news. After 6 years, IMDB.com added another acting credit to my page for a short movie I wrote, acted and produced called Perfect Excuses. Now I have 2 film credits. What's the 2nd piece of great news Jai? Glad you asked. I have decided to make more comedic videos like I used to do before my wife warned me of her fertility (Jai Catalano). What?! You haven't seen any of my work? Here are just a few to keep you entertained for a few minutes.
1. Secure Denture Adhesive
2. Government Vaseline
3. Orgasm Man
Yes before I got heavily into blogging I was doing videos regularly and today I am happy to announce that I am moving forward with putting out more SNL type videos. I say SNL because some of my stuff is a bit racy. Don't worry my wife knows I do this stuff. You don't believe me. That was her in Orgasm Man. Also take a look at her in my Jersey Shore spoof we did in 2009. See if you can recognize here.
Anyway, it was a short blogging week for me simply because my 365 day photo project took all my time and energy (Father Takes A Photo Of His Daughter Every Day From Birth To 1st Year). And NO, in case you were wondering, I won't stop blogging because I want to do more videos. After my success with the Doritos - Crash The Super Bowl I can't stop thinking about the future and all the ideas I want to bring out. The difference this time is that I will finally make my site and my brand more niche.
Oh... I almost forgot. Alexa Ranking! I went down again. 118,028. I still can't believe it. I really can't. No I am dead serious. Yakezie and Team 3 you Effing rock. If you are serious about blogging please visit the forum. You won't be sorry especially if you are a personal finance or lifestyle blogger.
Speaking of personal finance bloggers. This is for all of my PF bloggers that I love so much. I am happy to say I went to visit my step father who is a pretty good investor (50 years and growing) to help me get my portfolio some financial life. That should put a smile on your faces.
Here is a shot of my step dad with my daughter who is the BEST grandfather any grandchild could ask for. You totally rock Poppi. (That's what the kids call him)
OMG... Last but very far from least. Sarah Jones Sarah Jones Sarah Jones. Please check her out at her youtube page (Sarah Jones Music). She is such a great young lady who deserves the absolute best in life. Sarah if you are reading this please come to NYC so I can force my wife to cook for you or I can break open my son's piggy bank to take you out to dinner. :)
In case you didn't know SJ wrote and sang 2 lovely songs for my 365 day photo project for my 2 kids.
Ok that is about it. Here are the 2 posts you missed. Try not missing again because things are going to get hot. Trust me. :)
1. Father Takes A Photo Of His Daughter Every Day From Birth To 1st Year
2. Thank You Sarah Jones
I was promoting my comedic videos on youtube to other users (sometimes referred to as spamming) when one day I came across a page containing original music by Sarah Jones. I made a chessy connection and subscribed to her page in the hopes she would subscribe to mine. She did and we became Youtube friends and life went on.
Over the course of the next 6 months she would comment on my videos and I would comment on her music and still life went on. However, during that time my wife was pregnant with our son and being that I was developing my photography business I knew that I was going to begin a 365 day photo project of his first year. I also knew I didn't just want a quick photo montage that zipped through 365 images in 36 seconds. No! What I wanted was a full song with a viewing of my photos of my son's first year so I could appreciate the memories and cry like a little girl.
Bill Withers is my all time favorite artist so choosing his music to put with my photos seemed like a no brainer at the time but, something felt off. Let's be honest Bill's music is great but to this day I still don't know how Ain't No Sunshine or Grandma's Hand would have fit in. Anyway, I knew my son was unique. My photos were also unique and my photos of my son being unique were also unique. So why not get a unique song? I have to say sometimes I am a genius but thinking genius thoughts doesn't mean I have genius answers for those thoughts I deem genius.
So, one day I was surfing Youtube and found myself on Sarah Jones' page. I listened to beautiful song after beautiful song that she had created and I thought to myself this girl is emotionally mature and talented AND... in that moment she actually started to remind me a little bit like Bill Withers. Well looking back I know it's a stretch because Sarah is a young pretty girl who plays the guitar and Bill is an old not so pretty man who plays the guitar. So now that I think about it... that little bit must have been the guitar.
Then the light bulb went on. No I mean literally. My wife switched on the light and nearly scared the shit out of me. Anyway, after she turned off the light and went to bed I thought to myself maybe I should ask Sarah to write and sing a song for my 365 day photo project. I mean I love her music and we are friends on Youtube so what's the worst that she would say? No! Are you stupid? Friends on Youtube??? Me no speaka English. Get a life looser! F*** off! Once I understood what the rejection value would be, I sent her my idea in an email.
Lucky for me she spoke English and said she would be thrilled and honored to do this even though she has never written a song for anyone else let alone about someone's baby. That didn't seem to matter because 8 days before my son's first birthday back in August 2010 she sent me an original song called Dream a little dream that made my wife and I cry like little girls.
Today I have 2 kids and believe it or not Sarah didn't lose the thrill and generosity. 2 days before my daughter had her first birthday last Sunday she completed another original and beautiful song called Angel Eyes that made me run out to the store to buy some tissue because... well you know why.
I can't tell you how blessed and honored I am for having met Sarah Jones on Youtube. Like I said above I really don't know much more about her you can't find out about on your own by just visiting Sarah Jones Music. Yet this amazing talented young lady still blessed my family out of the kindness of her heart and for that I have to say 2 things.
1) Thank you from the bottom of my soul for all that you did for me. You are a beautiful human being and I wish you much love and success in everything you do in life.
2) Don't worry I am not having anymore kids.
Thank you Sarah Jones.
If you missed the party or weren't invited I want to share this absolutely beautiful video with you. The video you are about to watch which is very very special to me. Not just because I took 365 photos of my lovely daughter but because Sarah Jones, a friend and fellow Youtuber who I will brag about in full detail tomorrow, wrote and sang another beautiful song for my family and me.
So without further adieu here is my 365 day photo project with original music by
There are 3 things I can't change... my 2 kids, my 1 wife and my 0 rights.