How to set up a new AYWMC Facebook camera support or meetup group

There are 2 kinds of Facebook splinter groups for AYWMC: meetup groups arranged by location, and camera support groups organised by kit ownership. The main AYWMC groups can get very big, and these splinter groups make it easier to meet local people and chat about things other than the lessons.

All groups are run by AYWMC volunteers.

The most important thing to do is let Emma know about your group. She needs to join, then you need to make her an Admin (in case your admins leave - she can then appoint a new admin), and she will add the group details to the main list. She will also publicise your group in all the main FB groups. You can either tag Emma in a post in the main FB group with a link to your new group, or email her a link to Please keep chasing her until she's joined. 

The second most important thing is this: it does not have to be a job for life. It should not be onerous. If you wake up dreading opening Facebook, or just can't face looking in your group, please let Emma know straight away. Some Admins set a group up, run it for a few months, and then move on to other things. Others need a break to have a baby, go travelling, or just for no reason at all. You might grow out of AYWMC. There will always be someone else to volunteer and Emma will sort it all out for you - you won't need to get involved. Just let her know whether you want to leave the group completely, stay in the group but not as Admin, or stay as Admin but you just need a break and would like another Admin appointed.

If you are ready to set up a new group, follow these guidelines:

1. Is there already a group set up?

Check here that there isn't already a group set up: Click to see the list of Facebook groups

England is pretty well covered already. If you want to set up a smaller, more local group, please first join the bigger group that covers your area and see if the meetups are local to you. 

AYWMC started in the UK, but is growing throughout the world. Canada and Australia currently have country-wide groups for sharing and discussion, but feel free to set up a more local meetup group if you would like to. 

2. Set up the Facebook group

>> In the "Edit Group Settings" section, please add the following details:

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 16.25.42.png

>> Call it "AYWMC [location] meetup group" or "AYWMC [name of camera] support group". Please stick to this naming convention as it helps people find your group when they search. Please don't limit the group by date - it needs to be open to past and future members of AYWMC. 

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 16.27.17.png

>> Add a description, eg "A group for Canon 60D owners who are taking part in A Year With My Camera".

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 16.27.52.png

>> Make sure it is a "Closed group".

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 16.28.11.png

>> Add screening questions. This is critical. Once your group starts to fill up, Facebook will recommend it to photographers who are nothing to do with AYWMC. You need to add a couple of questions that only AYWMC photographers would know the answer to, and then when you get joining requests, only approve the people who have answered the questions. Decline all the others - they may be spam accounts, they may be nothing to do with AYWMC, they may be my competitors. Genuine AYWMC people can always request to join again. 

Good questions include, "Who runs AYWMC?" and "What does AYWMC stand for?". 

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 16.28.48.png

>> Change the new member approval to Admins and Moderators only:

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 16.29.01.png

>> Contact Emma with a link to the new group. She needs to join, be made an Admin, and update the master list of groups. Email, tag her in the main FB group, or use this contact form:

Name *


3. Join the FB group for AYWMC Admins

Join here (please please answer the questions, including the one about which group you Admin - it saves me checking through all the groups) >>

4. What next?

Once your group is set up and people are starting to join, you'll be wanting to keep people interested, and you might have questions about what to do or how to organise a meetup. Read this post: Help for AYWMC Admins


Thank you for volunteering to run a group. AYWMC is a better place because of people like you.