AYWMC is changing

It is now easier than ever to join the A Year With My Camera community.

Over the last couple of months Emma has been changing the ways you can access AYWMC. The main aim has been to keep the course fun and free whilst recognising it is growing exponentially. Today is 11 June 2019, and there are 20,603 people registered for the four AYWMC courses running at the moment. This is a huge step up from the 200-odd people who took part back in 2015 on the first run-through.

Each time the course has started again there have been twice as many people taking it as the previous start. The team are anticipating this growth will continue, and this is the reason for the following changes:

Monthly starts

You won’t have to wait up to four months for the next start, from now on. Instead of quarterly starts we will be doing monthly starts. (Except for August and December, to give the team a break.)

Facebook group access

The quality of experience in the private Facebook group had been deteriorating due to people not reading the posting guidelines, and joining without wanting to read the emails. AYWMC is hard work. It’s a course that needs active learning, and an acceptance that in a large community certain concessions to the group need to be made (eg. you can’t just post whatever you want whenever you want in a group of 3,000+). From July 2019 onwards people wanting to join the free Facebook group will need to read and agree to the posting guidelines before they request to join.

The app

Increasingly, people are avoiding using Facebook and Instagram for privacy reasons. 2019 is also seeing a backlash against platforms funded by advertising. We launched our own AYWMC app earlier this year which a) is ad-free, and b) doesn’t track its users. To keep the app ad-free there is a yearly subscription for access (£4.99 per year). The app links to all the lessons, and gives access to the entire community of app-using AYWMC students, past and present.

Community support staff

Judith White and Hilary Dickson have joined the AYWMC staff as community managers and devote their time to building confidence, answering questions and keeping the AYWMC community a supportive place for complete beginners.

Switch fee

AYWMC has always been free by email, and always will be. Previously students have been able to switch to a new start if they want to. There are too many people wanting to do this now, so we cannot continue to offer a free switch. A £5 switch fee will be introduced from July onwards. If you finish the course you are welcome to sign up again for no charge.

Why is the course still free?

There are two main reasons for the fact the course is free, even though it now has a worldwide audience and people queuing up to take part. First: many people simply can’t afford to pay for education. Emma always wants this course to be free with no questions asked. Second: it’s easier for Emma to introduce herself to you for no charge rather than bombarding you with sales pages and adverts, interrupting your day and trying to convince you why this course is different. You can simply try her teaching style for free and see for yourself. If you enjoy it, you can do what 1,000s before you have done, and stick with her. If you have the budget, there are then plenty of ways you can support AYWMC financially:


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Emma Davies