About That Tog Spot®
That Tog Spot exists to share tips and techniques that allow pet and portrait photographers to shoot with confidence. Covering over 10 years worth of Jess’ skills, the content available on YouTube and the sister blog help photographers start on the right track and enhance professional workflows and business strategy to create more profitable portrait photography businesses.
When you take everyones headshots, you have to take your own.
Jessica McGovern FBIPP FSWPP
Jessica McGovern FBIPP FSWPP is a Creative working at the highest level in business, marketing and photography through her multiple successful businesses surrounded by an epic hand-picked full-time team. As a CIM Level 6 qualified multi-channel strategic marketer, established graphic designer, 2018 nominee for CodeGirls, one of Hull’s Inspirational Women in Tech and multi-award-winning photographer across a number of different genres, Jess is skilled over a wide variety of mediums.
Having achieved three Fellowships to date, over 200 image recognitions in international competition, launched and developed the renowned online photography tuition platform “That Tog Spot”, and had work published in a number of different online and offline publications, Jess is also a petrent to the dogs Pippi, Alfie, Bryt and Finn, along with her horse, Tuna.
A non-stop whirlwind of quick wit and a fierce desire for students to develop and grow, she’s helped over 500,000 photographers to improve, and counting. You can contact the team to book Jess to speak, teach or judge here.
“Hey there, it’s me. I really dislike writing about myself but just in case you needed to know more then here are some fun facts:
- I drink more cups of Yorkshire Tea every day than I dare to count – honestly, it’s probably a problem
- I am technically neurodivergent so I do see the world differently to other people, and as a result, I am an immediate ally to others in the same boat, or those who feel they don’t naturally “fit in”
- My aim is to help people grow, develop and excel (and hopefully smile at the same time!)
- I know what I’m great at and what I’m not, and I’ve also learnt when to say I can’t do it all, so for that reason please learn about the people who actually keep this corner of the internet running on a daily basis (see below!)
Hopefully, you’ll be helped by something we do, if you are, please let us know!”
“I’m Jess’s husband (poor bloke, right?) and I back up the main HQ team full-time on the community management, content management and administration front.
I’ve been part of That Photography Spot since the start of 2020 and continue to offer a grounding, moderating influence to Jess who works exclusively at 4000mph.
When I’m not holding the fort, I also runs Jess’ other business, a marketing agency, and enjoy cycling, running, going to the gym and running the dogs in Canicross and agility.
My specific role in the team here is to do all of the video editing, take part in features and ensure the bills actually get paid!“
More about Jess’ journey…
Dogs & a horse!
Full room of kit!
Hi, I’m Jess.
It’s probably worth me just jotting down some things about both me and this vocation that I’ve gotten myself into.
I started my first business when I was 16 years old and, yep you guessed it, it was a dog photography business. I can’t sit here and say my 16 year old self was a photographic prodigy, because she wasn’t. She was just as green as any other newbie photographer and like others, thought it would be a walk in the park.
How wrong was I.
I started in the deep end with microstock where technical perfection was the aim of the game. Commercial “style” came pretty easily and we got on well. I learnt everything I know now from 3 things:
- Other trusted photographers who were willing to help a newbie
- Trial and error over many years of practice
I have never had a formal photographic education and I have never read a photography book. That’s just not how I work!
I ended up not half bad…
I was regularly, and surprisingly, gaining international recognition for some of my work in the early 2010’s. At that point I also started teaching other photographers and a revelation happened – I absolutely loved it!
Life went a bit pair shaped, as it often does, and I moved into a different career path, a “secure” one, in marketing and design. I worked with and for lots of businesses big and small and got pretty good at that too.
Life now consists of dogs, horses and my current businesses including my own marketing “agency”, and I work with lots of exciting businesses, big and small, UK & International, as either marketing and design support, or as the marketing & strategic lead.
My photography work is still widely used around the globe, on billboards, dog food packaging, magazine covers, book covers and on websites too, like Huffpost and The Guardian.
Something was missing in my “new” life and it was my connection to photography. More specifically, teaching it. That’s where That Photography Spot came in.
Over the Years
That little Olympus E-420 was my first wander into photography and this was the point that I found myself.
First Paid Shoot
This year saw my first paid shoot. Black and white backgrounds with two Jack Russell terriers.
Proper Shooting Began
Arguabely the most successful years of my professional career. Over 2800 dogs photographed and most at events or in rescue centres. Iconic images were captured in this period. I really came into my own.
Life went tits up.
Personal life fell apart and I left photography entirely, selling most of my equipment in the process to cover bills. I moved home, got a job in a different field and started life over.
Life is great!
I’m in the best place I’ve probably ever been, but without photography, it’s not quite “right”. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I mean! That Dog Spot began…
That Dog Spot became That Photography Spot® to better reflect the genres I cover and can assist with!
As I’ve developed and grown as a photographer, and as a person, it’s become a real passion of mine to print, and to compete with those prints against my peers. In 2022 I found a real passion for Print Competition and it’s something I’m looking forward to pursuing further in the years to come.
In February of 2020, I re-launched an old YouTube channel that I’d had dormant for years and learnt how to YouTube as I went along (still a work in progress…)
Why am I doing this?
There are so many reasons but the main three are:
- Because learning from strangers on the internet was exactly how I learnt. Just because this way may be different doesn’t mean that it is any less valid, true or correct.
- Because I feel a personal need to “give back” for the generosity, kindness and commitment others showed me when I was a newbie.
- Because I gain a deep-seated, truly incredible feeling of pride when I see a “student” has won a national award, a massive commercial job, their biggest sale to date or has simply taken their best photo ever.
It definitely makes my life full…
If you’re engaging in our community, please remember everyone was a beginner once, so be kind!