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2021 has been another weird year. I set some goals way back at the start which included hitting 20k subscribers and building a studio here at home. We had another 3-month lockdown from January to March in England which totally threw the plan out of the window but the year happened and we lived it together, here as a community.

We did hit 20k YouTube subscribers, and we’re exactly 3 months behind schedule on the Studio too, so I will take both as a win I think!

There is a Year in Review video here:

Team Tog Spot saw all sorts happen this year, from handling trademark infringements and snakes in the grass to more devastatingly, England losing the Euro final (football!). Dan and I have had a complete lifestyle change as I got back into horses and he quit his job to help me here, and we’ve learnt a lot together too. There was also Delta and Omicron, two new friends for the health service and personally here, we’ve had a lot of illness in the family too. It has sure been a rollercoaster, but there have also been some really wonderful positives to pull from it all.

The community has continued to grow at an incredible rate but so far it hasn’t lost its supportive, family feel, which is incredibly important to me. The spaces we have carved into the internet are safe for those who live inside them and the progression in work has been absolutely incredible – I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am of so, so many of you. You’ve put in the time, you’ve put in the work and you are creating works of art.

I could write about everything but I will definitely forget something, so I’ll leave my words here and share some specific things instead that you may, or may not, be interested in:

2020 vs 2021 YouTube Only Comparison

20202021
YouTube Views249,000711,000
Viewer Country Count72102
New Subscribers7,00014,000
Minutes of content watched1,400,0004,000,000
Likes14,00031,000
People Helped*67,000250,000
*calculated by using the views + av. views per user + av. duration metrics

Notable other things:

  • Over 50 5-star reviews for online courses including the two seen below this list
  • 2.5 online courses (Photoshop for Beginners, OAOCPC and Business Bootcamp Units 1, 2 and 3)
  • Multiple speaking engagements including The Photography & Video Show demonstrations with Bryt and Alfie, The Hair of the Dog Summit and bespoke member-only talks for organisations
  • Launch of the Membership – which has just been insane!
  • Completion of Project Wolf which is just being shared slowly on our Instagram
  • Dan quit his job to come work here full time 😱
  • 55 international recognitions for awards work (merits, bronze, silver, gold or honorable mentions in annual internationals)
  • 4 titles = Panoramic Photographer of the Year (I know, WHAT!?), Northern Equine + Northern Canine Photographer of the Year and Image of the Year winner + runner up
  • We finally started building the Studio at home
  • We welcomed Tuna, my first step back into horses after a decade out
  • And oh so much more!

“I have started a dozen photography classes and gotten bored or not found value in them. This was the FIRST one that not only did I thoroughly enjoy, but it took me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow as a photographer. This course is well thought out, moves at the perfect pace and shows you techniques that I guarantee you didn’t know before, no matter how much experience you have had. A million thank yous to Jess for giving her knowledge to the rest of us. Don’t hesitate…if you are on the fence but want to improve your skills, this is absolutely the course for you. Worth it…very much worth it.”

Tanya L on the Advanced Outdoor Canine Portrait Course

“Absolutely outstanding course! Jess goes into so much detail in a way that is easy to understand and follow. I would highly recommend this course to anyone either new to business or someone just wanting to further their knowledge. Thank you for such a fantastic course!”

Kathy B on the Business Bootcamp, Unit 2

My favourite images from 2021 that I can share right now have to be these:

Just like I can’t put into words how proud I am of all of you, I also can’t put into words how grateful I am of your continued support. Sometimes, you might write a comment, send a DM or an email, or even a card in the post, and that one message genuinely makes my entire day. I am just a normal person, like you, and those days can be tough to manage at times. You matter more to me than you may think, so thank you – genuinely.

What is happening in 2022?

Usually, we don’t share things before they actually happen, however, in 2022 we have a few specific things going on which are definitely worth sharing and these include:

  • Lost Souls – from concept to canvas: This behind the scenes walkthrough will be released in the next few weeks and shares how I created my favourite image of the year from start to finish. It’s more “fly on the wall” than “online course” but it is sat in the Online Course section of the website
  • The Photography Show: Yep, we’re returning with more demos and more space for the 2022 Photography & Video Show at Birmingham NEC for 4 days from the 17-20 September
  • 3x Online Courses: to help fill in some gaps that exist in our existing content
  • And a whole load more!

I’m here to help so if you have something I can help with, please shout!

Here’s to 2022 – let’s make it count 🎉