So in case you ever wondered or I ever meet you in the future and during our conversation you ask me what I do for a living I can easily point you in the direction of this blog post to save us both a heck of a lot of time.
For the last 5 years I have taken my photography hobby and turned it into a nicely growing career. I usually charge anywhere from $200 to $500 a job (sometimes more) and every so often that number doubles due to the after work load. Word of mouth has been spreading and I am working more and more consistently. This is my main source of income but the 7 below are all competing for my undivided attention which makes me wonder when I should hire an assistent. ent. .
All of those hours upon hours of learning photoshop has paid off and nicely. I usually negotiate and touch up a certain amount of pics per photo session but nearly 100 percent of the time my clients want many more photos to be touched up. Although retouching photos is time consuming I am really efficient and can turn around a photoshop before and after job faster than Superman can save Lois Lane. I charge $25 a photo and can sometimes see a $200 pay day from one job even if I was not the photographer.
Aside from my personal Youtube channel, winning the Secure Denture Adhesive video competition, or going viral on my Doritos Crash The Super Bowl video I make money doing video work for various clients. I don't necessarily promote myself as a videographer because editing is a bitch. However, I can make $100 to $500 on a job and throw that income into the pot for my kids to eat out of.
I was a graphic designer for 15 years and was part owner of a tee shirt company with my step father but I left that lifestyle behind me after my salsa career BOOMED and took me all over the world and back. Recently, since I started the Yakezie challenge, I have been commissioned to create logo designs for both challengers, members and outsiders. I can make anywhere from $25 for a touch up to $200 for a full logo design and avatar.
I wish I could say I make a ton of money on blogging but I would be lying to you and more so to me. There are so many people that make a decent amount of money blogging but the fact of the matter is I am probably not the most niche blogger in the blogosphere. However and this is a big HOWEVER, if it weren't for my blogging the 4 income sources I mentioned above wouldn't be a real subject to talk about. In fact, had it not been for blogging I wouldn't have started logo designing, made money on adsense, or had a venue to brag about how great of a photographer I am with a portfolio to match. :). Putting the before stated aside, on average I would say I make about $50 a month blogging.
Yes I have saved some money over the years but because of lack of interest I haven't touched my investment portfolio since ET phoned home... To a large degree that is a good thing because I was able to fully recover from the HUGE market dip of 00 and 08. However that being said, ever since I joined Yakezie I have been influenced by all of the personal finance bloggers that I have befriended. In fact, in the last 2 months I have spent several hours a week being mentored by my step father who is a seasoned investor. My portfolio is starting to get diversified and I can honestly say that I am starting to see a little light at the end of the investment chart tunnel. I would say, aside from capital growth and my risk tolerance, I will be looking at an annual return of 5 to 6%.
At one time I was one of the most successful salsa dancers in the world. Fortunately I made a career turn in 2004 and have found successes along the way but I have always had my foot in the salsa scene. If you remember, I stopped teaching salsa in December 2011 because my family life along with my PhotographerRetoucherVideographerLogoDesignerBloggerInvestorSalseroEbayerLandlord life were taking up so much of my time. I felt it was the best decision for my students and me because I was no longer able to give 100%. However, I still have a salsa dvd series and a salsa timing cd which I wholesale and retail monthly. On average I can bring in about $75 a month and that's without lifting a foot. :)
Being a landlord was a major source of income for many many years, however, after the housing bubble burst lowering the equity of my home and the tax abatement expiration I have been in the red ever since. Recently the housing market has seen a pulse and I applied for a tax appeal. If all goes according to plan I will be able to get back into the green. You might be wondering why it's on my list. The reason is I can offset any losses with some of the gains I have achieved from what you have read above and if my calculations are right I can be looking at an additional $100 a month by years end. Yes this is speculative but very noteworthy. (Keep your fingers crossed).
Even though this is the last income source on my list and the least profitable it is nothing to sneeze at. I not only liquidate some of my personal stuff monthly but I sell for other people as well. I make about $50 a month. It might not sound too impressive but it takes no time at all and recently I sold a ring on Ebay for $580. Although that's not the norm it might be just the right amount of bling to add in to this post.
How do you make money?
Oh I forgot... My insanity before and after daddy transformation is coming together. No joke. I am loving the results. Before you look in take a look at some questions I get about the before and after photos.
Q. Why are you wearing a bandaid on Day 0
A. I cut myself shaving for the daily photos? That's as far as I will go with that one.
Q. Did you get a tan?
A. No. I adjusted the white balance on my camera. It adds drama.
Q. Did you photoshop your body into shape?
A. Hahahaha. Why didn't I think about that before I decided to go through this painful shit.
Those made me LOL and LIL.
To read some of the other goodies this week check out the links below.
Yesterday I noticed that my blog had a huge surge in traffic and I haven't posted a blog (aside from my Insanity before and after Blog) since Monday. I had a total of 1147 viewers in one day which broke my record of 1111 back on January 16th. However, back then, I had posted a semi controversial blog post (5 quick ways to tell you are not a photographer yet) and believe that is why I broke a record back then.
So, what could it be? I then opened up my youtube channel and quickly found that my Father Takes A Photo Of His Daughter Every Day From Birth To 1st Year video had a 1000% jump in traffic in one day. I normally get approximately 25 views a day on that video and that's after taking into consideration that my wife and mother view it often.
Once I discovered that my video might be the reason in increased traffic I then started to search the web for reasons why that specific video rose so quickly.
I believe I found the source.
The LA Times posted an article about a viral success video of Dutch filmmaker (Frans Hofmeester) who posted "Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45 sec. Time Lapse Lotte". Since he posted the video one week ago it has received over 600k hits. Then, after watching the video, I noticed that both my Father Takes A Photo Of His Daughter Every Day From Birth To 1st year and Father Takes A Photo Every Day For 1 Year appeared on the same page after Time Lapse Lotte ended.
What does this all mean? It means that if by some luck my video goes mega super duper viral I can retire and move to Colombia and live the rest of my life without financial worries. Yes you read right! I would move to Colombia but not because of the prostitues. I am a married man with kids and I would move there because that is where my wife is from.
And in case you were wondering about my wife... No she is not a vegetarian. :)
For those that don't know me, (40 things you might not know about Jai Catalano) I was a graphic designer and part owner of a tee shirt company named Soho Graphics from 1989 to 2004. After selling the company I stopped graphic design for 3 years when I began pursuing my photography career (headshots nyc). Naturally Photoshop came into my life but only because I was being asked to do a ton of before and after photoshop work.
However 4 months ago when I joined the Yakezie Challenge I slowly started getting approached by members and challengers to help them with their logo designs for their WP blogs, avatars, youtube pages, facebook timelines, etc...
*** Question- During the last 4 months, who was the first person I did a logo design for?
Maria & John from www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk
Corey from www.20sfinances.com
OR...Robert who handles the Yakezie Facebook page.
***Answer is on the bottom.
Well guess what? Blonde hair aside, you don't have to keep beating me over the head with the same idea for too long before I start catching on. Today I am proud to announce that I have opened up a new page on my website for logo design work by yours truly.
I would love for you to take a look at it and send me some suggestions, comments, love, work, more work, much more work, and anything that you see fit. It's free to ask me questions and I truly care about how your site looks. Of course I care about it's content but if I wrote YOUR content and did YOUR logo design then your site would be mine. :)
Need a logo design? Contact me here.
P.S. Maria & John from www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk were the first people I created a logo for. Thanks guys.
Anyway, this has been a very crazy week. My son stopped potty training. My wife got mad at me because she thinks I am mad at him and my mom feels bad for the 3 of us. Here is the truth. I am not mad at him or anyone other than me. I think I have to change my way of approaching things so I can guide him in the best way possible for a quick and successful return to potty training. I truly appreciate all the comments and emails I got from you. You can read the story below or post a comment as you see fit.
In other news I created 3 new FB Timelines this week and in addition to that I created another logo and just got hired to do a 2nd for the week. I think I will open up the Jai Catalano Logo Design page on my site this coming week. This is organic work but it's been fun and people have loved what I have created. My only rule is you don't have a one night stand with my logo.
What the hell does that mean? It means don't love my logo all through the night and then hate me in the morning. I want you to love my logo I create for you for life. So, no one night stands with my logos. If you don't love it I change it.
Let's get it to some numbers... My Alexa Ranking rose again 106,749. I don't know why but the love has been stronger than ever.
No worries. I will keep pressing forward.
If you want to read any of my blog this week or my Insanity before and after transformation blog please check out the links below.
1. Husband vs Wife (Part 3) Potty Training
2. 5 Tips Not To Be Nervous In A Photo Shoot
3. Insanity before and after
I am going to set up her side of the argument as well as my side of the argument in a very objective and non judgmental way. Hopefully you (the reader) can give us your fully informed and unbiased judgement. Here is the case.
After my son's daycare relocated at the beginning of the year my son stopped using the potty in the new location and has become afraid of the toilet (which is the same style from before) that they have. From January to March he wore a pamper and when I would go pick him up I would take it off because he is still potty trained everywhere else. However, as of last month the daycare stopped putting diapers on ALL the kids his age to help bridge the potty training gap that all of us parents are facing. As of a week ago it has gotten worse. For the last 3 days he has had accidents and is no longer trying to hold it and strongly refuses to go to the potty in daycare.
Her Unbiased Denfense
My wife says that everything will change and that we should do nothing as my son is a 2.5 year old boy who will eventually grow out of it. She feels it's a normal behavior that some kids go through and, by us trying to do something about it, could have adverse effects on his potty training. She also feels that I am probably making it worse being that kids pick up on emotion and behavior.
My Unbiased Denfense
While I am in agreement that it is normal for setbacks to occur and I think nothing is wrong with my son, I do think we need to try something to get him back on board the potty train again. Here are some of my suggestions that I through out on the table.
1. Bring our potty from home and leave it at the daycare.
2. Hang out in daycare until the first potty call and see if I could be assistance.
3. Bring our "Cars" cover seat that he uses outside while we are away from home.
4. Change him for an already trained one. (my wife doesn't find this funny and says she will change me for a better looking husband) Touche!!!
All jokes aside I know there is nothing wrong but I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me. I don't know why but it does. Maybe it's my insecurities or my fear that the other little ones will start picking on him one day. Maybe it's because I want my kids to be perfect like every other parent in the world and when things don't go my way I feel like I do. Maybe I feel there is a potty training competition and my son will lose if he doesn't get back on his groove.
In case you are wondering I try my very best to not let my emotions show when I go pick him up. In fact just yesterday my wife called me to tell me that she called the daycare and found out he had an accident and then contacted me to tell me ahead of time. I told her that I am not mad at him but my feelings are my feelings that I am working through. I am trying my best to address them but I am a fairly new parent who needs training as well (not potty).
Yesterday, as I walked into daycare, my son came up to me and I told him I loved him and asked him how his day was. He said good and then told me he wet his pants. I said that I knew and that it was totally ok. I then asked him if he would help me wash the wet clothes when we got home. He smiled and said yes.
No I am serious there in nothing wrong with you. It's normal to be nervous right before a photo shoot. In fact, the newer you are to any situation the more nervous you will be because the unknown is scary and we all just want to be as perfect as we can. However, like everything else in life, if you practice, over time, nerves will ease. So, wether you are a new photographer or the person getting shots, here are 5 excellent tips to help you not be nervous in a photo shoot.
Meet Before The Shoot
I love to meet my clients before the photo shoot whenever possible. I am a people person that prefers to handle things one on one and not over the phone. Usually, if I have time, I ask to meet my clients to break the ice and get a good grasp on what type of person I am dealing with. Sometimes clients ask me to meet before I suggest it, which makes me realize they are equally as interested in our shoot as I am. To me, each person is unique and every situation is different even when it seems like the photographic process is the same.
There is a scene in the movie Philadelphia where Tom Hanks is dancing by himself and totally immersed in the world of Morzart's music and away from his problems. Music brings people to life and has a great way of taking us on a journey, calming us down and changing our mood. I ask my clients what music they like and prepare a play list for them just in case they forget or don't have any music during the session.
Carry a Photo of a Loved One
I have a photo of my kids in my wallet and on my phone which I frequently pull out before walking into various situations. My kids make me happy and being that I know that I do everything I possibly can for them, I use their image whenever possible to change my mood. So, when I see them smiling back at me I become more centered and focused on the task at hand which puts photographic things in the perfect perspective.
Being prepared for a photo shoot wether you are the photographer or the client is very important. Don't leave it up to the other to direct the entire shoot because you might find you didn't like all of their ideas. Make suggestions, scout out locations, look at coloring, clip out desirable images, make a shot list, ask questions, talk about the shoot and be prepared. In the end you will find that just being prepared can calm the nerves so that the creative shooting can open up into places you hadn't thought of before.
Just Say Eff It
Nervous? Who really cares in a week, month, year or decade from now? Sometimes you just need to say eff it and go balls to the wall and jump without fear of failure. Do your homework, know your process and be prepared. Then once you have done all of that... just say eff it. If you fail you fail and if you succeed you succeed but always try to master the process. I have found tons of success through my failures and even though it was never fun to fail, it was always exiting finding the success on the other side.
Now I am going to be COMPLETELY HONEST. I hate name dropping. It's childish, immature, cheesy and lacks class as well as taste.
Terrence Harding used to be a member of Notorious B.I.G's rap group JUNIOR MAFIA and now is a Vice President Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Corcoran who was written up in the NY Times the week. I AM his personal architectural photographer.
CONGRATULATIONS TERRENCE. Do you think he heard me?
Anyway the article is quite boring for a guy who is a really great human being, has an amazing career and a beautiful son. A little ass kissing in a blog never hurt anyone.
Moving on... I dropped 3lbs since I started my Insanity before and after transformation 12 days ago and some people can't see a difference but others can. HMMM!!! I think some people need new eyes or should start lying to me. :)
Well I think I reached a plateau for now. I have stalled in the Alexa Ranking and am currently at 104,233 but hey it's been fun dropping this far. Only with time and hard work will I keep dropping.
So that is it for this week. If you missed any of my blog and want to catch up or watch me take off my shirt everyday and photograph my weight loss journey please click on the links below.
1. Photo Session With Reality Star Laurel Stucky
2. Sound Advice Won 2 Awards At LA Web Fest
I am very proud and super excited to announce that Sound Advice, a web series I am an actor in, picked up 2 awards this past weekend at the LA Webfest. We won an outstanding achievement award for best produced web series and best lead actor.
Who was the lead actor you ask? Teddy Garces the funny guy above. Teddy is my long time friend, a headshot client and my son's favorite person to randomly call when he is playing on my cell phone. Teddy once said that my son calls him more than I do.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to Teddy Garces and the Sound Advice cast and crew because when one person wins we all win.
Although it is a web series and In case you were wondering Sound Advice has not appeared on the web yet as we are running through the festival circuit first to see if we can create an even bigger buzz with finances attached. As for now please check out the trailers below as well as my blog about Teddy called NYC Headshot Session With Teddy Garces.
Yep I started the Insanity workout on Monday along with a blog called Insanity Before And After transformation and I have been in pain everyday. However I must admit that it feels great. Not the pain just the knowing that the pain is doing it's thing. Hopefully it's doing a good thing and not a bad thing or else I will join my daughter in a delicious slice of Patsy's pizza and say screw Insanity.
Anyway, I filmed and uploaded my latest video called Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids. I threw my kids on the floor and just told them to cover their ears because daddy is going to say somethings you shouldn't hear. Just kidding. No they weren't present during the filming of my section. I figure if Marlon Brando can film all his scenes in Apocalypse Now with nobody else there so can I.
Great news... Sound Advice the web series, written by my good friend Teddy Garces in which I co starred in last year, is an official selection at the LA Web Series Festival being premiered this weekend.
Ok so let's get to some numbers. My Alexa Ranking has stalled, dipped and then bounced back ever so slightly. As of today I am at 104,404 which is up from last week. However, my viewership has been growing so I guess it all works out in the end.
Well have a wonderful Easter and I will see you Monday. However, my Insanity Before And After transformation blog will be updated everyday. So, if you want to see the blubber come off of me daily, then check back daily. Below are the posts of the week. :)
There are 3 things I can't change... my 2 kids, my 1 wife and my 0 rights.