These FAQ are for people who have already signed up to A Year With My Camera. If you have pre-sign up questions, please check this page: Questions?
I'm not getting the emails
I use Mail Chimp to deliver my emails. I guarantee they go out before 7am UK time every Thursday. I promise you that the email is in your system somewhere. Before you get in touch and ask me where your email is, please do these steps:
1. Look in your spam or junk folder. 50% of people getting in touch with me eventually find the emails in their junk folder. Please check before you email me. Please.
2. If you use gmail, the emails are probably in your Promotions folder. Drag my email from your Promotions folder to your Primary folder. All future emails should now go to your Primary folder, but I can't guarantee it. If they keep going to Promotions, either live with it, or set up a filter for my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3. If you use hotmail, I can't help you. I honestly don't know why hotmail has deliverability issues, but some people just don't ever find my emails. Please resign up with a different email address.
I've checked my junk mail and I'm still not getting the emails
Are you sure you put in a valid email address? Sure?
Did you get the Welcome email straight away? If not, there was probably a typo in your email. Try signing up again.
Do you use Hotmail? See point 3 above.
There are more than 3,000 people getting the emails. I just don't have time to resend the emails to everyone who gets in touch and says, "Please can you resend me the last email." I make all the emails available in the archive. There is a link to the archive, together with the password, in every email. It is also here:
and the password is stepbystep. If you get in touch and ask me to resend an email, please don't be offended if I don't send you a personal reply, but simply a link to this page.
Will you delete me from the course ever?
Me personally, no, unless you plagiarise me or steal my material.
However, Mail Chimp will delete you from my list if you never open any emails. If you are the kind of person who stores these emails, unopened, in a separate folder, you will eventually be deleted from the list. It's just the way the algorithm works. To avoid this fate, please make sure you open at least one email every month, and preferably click on a link to indicate you are a real person to the Mail Chimp algorithm.
Do I have to join the Facebook group?
No. (But if you'd like to, you can sign up here: http://ayearwithmycamera.com/join-facebook.)
I hate Facebook. why don't you run a forum, or use my favourite social media site?
For the time being, the private Facebook group is the most efficient place to host my community.
Facebook is the most popular social media site of everyone doing AYWMC (I do check regularly. In fact you can let me know where you want me to host the community by filling in this short survey: Click to fill out survey.). Most people are on Facebook every day, so it is easy to check in to the group without having to log in and out of a separate site. You don't have to remember another set of usernames and passwords. And it works just as well on phones as on desktop.
And please don't forget this is a free course. Hosting a custom forum costs time and money. I'd rather spend my time creating the lessons than policing a forum.
We do have a community hashtag on Instagram: #AYearWithMyCamera.
Make the Facebook notifications stop!
To stop the emails, you just need to adjust your preferences in "Settings". More details here: https://en-gb.facebook.com/help/390022341057202
To stop posts appearing in your newsfeed: go to YOUR newsfeed (you can't do this from within the group). Scroll down until you find a post from this group. Click the downward arrow and then select "Unfollow group". You will stay in the group but posts will not appear in your newsfeed.
Do I have to buy the book?
I wrote the workbook because students last year asked me to. It is for those of you who like to hold a book in your hands, like to write things down and take notes, or want to move on faster than the pace of the emails. I have space to include more examples and many more projects than is possible in the emails. However, everything you need to finish AYWMC will be in the emails.
Is there a video course?
Why yes, there is. Each video expands on what I cover in the emails, and I can show you what I mean rather than trying to describe it. This is the version of the course to use if you like plenty of examples and demonstrations.
Is this a project 365?
No. You don't have to take a photo every day. I've done a couple of P365s, and whilst the discipline of taking a photo every day has benefits, I think you run the risk of descending into routine and drudgery instead of remembering the importance of having fun and enjoying your camera.
What do I do if I fall behind?
Everyone falls behind, by the way. Don't beat yourself up.
I start a new topic every 4 weeks or so, so if you do miss a couple of weeks, you might be better off taking a break and picking up when the next topic starts. The only exception is the first module, the technical section. This is 6 weeks of lessons to get you off auto. There are instructions in every email on how to find these in the Archive so you can catch up.
How much feedback will I get?
There is no formal feedback included in the free course. If you join the Facebook group you will find many people who are happy to give you informal, constructive help with your images.
From time to time I run (paid) crash course weekends where you have the chance to focus on one topic for 48 hours and get as much individual feedback from me as you can take.
Do you advertise to us?
Uniquely in the online photography space, I only promote my own products. However, I am perfectly happy for you to continue to enjoy the free course with absolutely no pressure to buy anything from me. As long as you are gaining confidence with your camera week by week, that's all I ask for.
I do no sponsored posts, take no advertising, and use no affiliate links. If I recommend something it's because I have paid full price for it and love it. You can trust that nothing I say is influenced by any third party.
I do need to make a living, so yes, you will see links to my books and paid courses in every email. If that's not what you signed up for, you can unsubscribe from the emails in 1 click by finding the "Unsubscribe from this list" link which is at the bottom of every email.
What camera should I buy?
Spend your money on a better lens, not a new camera body. But only if you are prepared to invest 6 weeks learning to use it. More details here: Don't buy a new DSLR until you've read this post.
Does the course cover off-camera flash?
No. Visit Strobist for free off camera flash advice.
I'm not a beginner - have I joined the wrong course?
Possibly, but don't give up yet. The first 6 weeks are very, very basic exposure, aperture and shutter speed lessons. After that we move on to more creative topics including light, composition and finding your style. Give them a try. If they are too easy, just unsubscribe. But please tell your beginner friends about the course before you go.
I don't have enough time to do all the homework
We find time for what's important. If photography isn't your priority at the moment that's fine. This course however is designed to be an active, hands-on, do the homework kind of course. You won't make the promised progress if you just open the email each week (or even worse, just file the email in a folder to read sometime later).
Can I copy the emails word for word and publish them on my blog without attribution?
People have done this.
The answer is obviously no.
I love bloggers and I love it when you blog about your experiences doing A Year With My Camera. You are one of the best ways new people find out about the course, and I thank every one of you who takes the time to write about AYWMC. Send me your links and I will share them.
However, please blog in your own words. You may quote word for word any single paragraph from any email with no need for further permissions, if you include a live link to http://AYearWithMyCamera.com. The same for any single photograph from any email, if you credit me: http://EmmaDaviesPhotography.com. But the best, most personal blog posts will be the ones where you use your own words and your own photos. Those are the ones people will connect with. If you want to publish any more than this, please contact me for permission.
Can I teach AYWMC?
No. A Year With My Camera is trademarked, and the material is copyright. You may not use the curriculum in whole or in part in your own photography workshops or classes. If you come across anyone doing this, I would be grateful if you would let me know.
If you run, or are part of, a peer to peer camera group or club (where everyone is equal, no one is teaching), you may follow the course together. You may have someone nominally in charge of progress and logistics, but they must not be set up to teach the curriculum. If you want to order 10 or more copies of the workbook for your camera group, please contact me for a group discount.