Photography & YouTube Lessons Learned In 2021

Jorge Perez
Jorge Perez
7 min read

Table of Contents

This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked at the bottom of the blog post.

It’s easy to feel like we have not achieved enough, or done enough with our lives. But if we take a closer look, then we realize that we have done a lot more than we thought and that we’re probably not giving ourselves enough credit.

Today we’re talking about some of the lessons I learned this year regarding my photography and my YouTube channel as well, also a happy new year, I hope you’re doing well, surrounded by family, friends and loved ones, Happy 2022.

We’re keeping this post short and sweet, so let’s get started.

1. Try new things, even if it feels outside of your comfort zone.

I started my YouTube channel in 2020, and it was really out of my comfort zone. I did some basic, terrible-looking videos, tried to build up my confidence, and tried to actually improve with every single video. In 2022, I also started thinking about doing camera reviews as well.

But 2021 was when I really tried to make good reviews. And that is a strange feeling, wanting to try to do something but being afraid of it and wanting to do the best you can without caring what others think, but don’t want to mess up and have people judge you. I had to let it all go.

So I said to myself. Everyone talks about specs and the most expensive gear, well maybe I’ll talk about the cheapest cameras out there because that’s all I can afford. And maybe I’ll talk about the experience of using the camera instead of specs because that’s what matters to me.

The point is that I did something that felt out of my comfort zone, and it seems like it paid off.

My X-Pro1 review is by far my most viewed video.

Lots of people seem to have liked the review and left tons of positive feedback as well. And then went back to my older videos and other camera reviews and watched those as well. It started this sort of chain reaction.

My "new" used Fujinon XF 35mm F2 Lens

I mentioned this in a previous post and video, but I’m changing my main street photography lens for the next couple of months, stay tuned for videos about that, including a full review or talk about my experiences with it.

The point is that we need to take risks, we need to try things that scare us. Things outside our comfort zone. It’s the only way to grow and learn.

2. Do Not Compare Yourself To Others.

In his book, Jordan Peterson writes:

“Compare Yourself To Who You Were Yesterday, Not To Who Someone Else Is Today”

And that idea is very powerful indeed. There are YouTube channels out there that get to 100,000 subs in 6 months or less, and that’s fine. Good for them. But if I start comparing myself to those channels, then the effort and result of my work will turn to ash. Inviting unhappiness and resentment is not worth it.

Other people grow extremely fast, and that’s okay. Other people own your dream camera and lenses, and that’s okay. Comparing yourself to others is a literal waste of time and energy.

Exactly one year ago I had 352 subscribers, I had no website, no newsletter, I was struggling to learn how to code and with programming in general, The global pandemic made it hard to go out and take photographs, some people lost their jobs, and some theirs lives.

So take a moment to compare yourself to who you were yesterday, and you might be surprised about the results you have achieved. And that gets a thumbs up from me.

3. Teach Yourself To Learn & Learn How To Teach.

I mentioned in a previous video that the best way to learn is to teach. I've learned quite a bit since I started my YouTube channel, a lot of reading and writing. I basically have to educate myself about a specific topic or subject before I can make videos about it, and then try to teach other people about it.

And because of that, I’ve read more books and articles and posts this year, than in my entire life. But it has to come from within, it’s the same when I studied and learned Japanese, or did a software development program to learn how to code.

Nobody can force you to do these things, you have to cultivate the desire to learn and grow. And it’s not easy, some days I just want to play video games and watch movies all day. But it’s great to realize that I’ve read so many books, learned how to code, that I achieved something, even if it does feel like much.

So, teach yourself how to learn and learn how to teach. That will change your life.

4. You Need A Passion Project.

This year I said to myself, I would like to have a website, a basic about me page where I can occasionally post articles. I basically summoned a black hole that sucked all of my time.

I would learn about a technology stack or publishing platform and then get sent to another tab, and learn about databases for blogs and then say to myself, wait a minute, if I’m doing this, then maybe I can also have a newsletter, and then read about that and learn about my options and get sent to another page, and another and another, and another.

Long story short, 5 hours have gone by and you end up with 30 tabs open on your browser, and you’re trying to figure out where to start, what to do, what is possible.

But for several weeks I continued with the project and now I have a website, built with a publishing platform engine, that allows me to have posts and a newsletter and memberships options and accept payment and all of these things. That started with the basic idea: Maybe I should have a basic website.

That was one of my many passion projects, things that you really want to do and like learning about, and playing and figuring things out on your own. You need a passion project. You need to figure out what moves you, what inspires you and then take the leap. It will be worth it, I promise. Moving is living.

What To Expect From 2022 & How Can You Help?

There are a lot more ideas and concepts that I would like to explore, I will continue with camera reviews and gear that matters to me, and affects my life.

And hopefully, tackle things from a more interesting perspective. Gear videos and reviews will be limited to a select few because It costs a lot to make those types of videos.

Everything I offer is free, my YouTube videos, my blog posts on my website, and even my newsletter as well. I will never put ads on my site, or content behind a paywall or something like Patreon, etc.

However, if you really like what I’m building here and You feel like you would like to contribute, then you have the option to support this channel, my website, and support independent publishing and content creation.

You can join a membership on YouTube, or you can also join a membership on this site if you prefer that instead. I would help a lot with gear and reviews, but even if you’re just watching my videos, thank you very much, I really appreciate it.

Last but not least, you can always reach out with any questions or suggestions you might have for videos, I always try to reply back to every comment and email, and who knows you might have a really good suggestion or video idea that I might end up doing. So thank you for reaching out.


So, Those are the things that really stood out this year, I’m glad I was able to help some of you and provide value with my videos and posts, and once again, thank you very much to everyone that has watched, liked and subscribed. I could have made it here without you. Thank you!

You can watch the whole piece here:

PhotographyFilmmakingGetting Started

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I'm a Street Photographer, Filmmaker, Developer and part-time YouTuber based in Canada 🇨🇦


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