What is A Year With My Camera?

You might be considering starting A Year With My Camera in September. You might have a friend who has recommended it. You might have seen it on Facebook. But if you're new to it, you are probably wondering what it is, and why it's different. 


The basics

It's a complete beginner's photography course

Most photography courses assume you know a bit about your camera already. They jump in and talk about apertures and ISOs, depth of field and focus points. AYWMC assumes you know nothing. Nothing at all - we start before the beginning, with all the stuff other courses think is too basic to bother with. 

It's online

Take part without leaving the house. The course comes via an email delivered every Thursday. One a week for a year.

It's free

I was fed up of seeing all the badly taught courses available online both free and paid, so I wrote this one to put that right. I've written another post explaining exactly why it's free, and what I get out of it here: Why Is A Year With My Camera Free?

(The email version is free and starts 4 times a year. You can also buy the course in workbook format on Amazon if you prefer having a book in your hand, or you can't wait to start the next free course.)

So glad I clicked the button last year...after 40 years of pointing and shooting I now understand how a camera works (still don’t always get it right but I’m getting better).
A year ago I never envisaged being able to take a photo like this (I hadn’t even heard of long exposure) and I’ve haven’t bothered finding out how auto works on my new camera.
— Carol, finishing AYWMC in September 2018
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The good stuff

It will change your life

I actually don't just teach you photography. You will finish the course both in complete control of your camera and bursting with confidence. You will stop being afraid of what people think when you get your camera out - you just won't care. You'll be too busy looking for the shot. You'll know what all the dials do, you'll know which settings you want, and you'll be more concerned with where the light is coming from than whether anyone thinks you deserve to be there.

It has not only helped me have a better understanding of my camera and how the settings work together to get the picture you want. I have also grown in confidence too.
— Rachel Telfer, finishing AYWMC in September 2018

It's designed to be finished

I have a Masters degree in Psychology, specialising in online education. I taught photography in person for years before I took the course online. I know where the bumps come, and I have designed the course to get you over them as easily as possible:

1. The course changes topic every 4-6 weeks to stop you getting in a rut.

2. The weekly homework is short enough so you don't have to set aside a whole weekend to take part.

3. It can be utterly overwhelming to make a start, so everything is broken down into steps - you only need to do the next thing. 

4. Our family and friends can be unknowingly unhelpful when we are trying something new. If you need a different group to chat to there is a new Facebook group set up every time the course restarts. 

5. Some people like to meet up and chat about the course. If that's you, there are local meetup groups all over the world run by AYWMC volunteers. They hold regular photo meetups and will be glad to welcome you.

Over a year ago I would of just taken a picture of a bridge . Last week I took a picture that went under the heading of reflection, it was also balanced and edited.
— Veronica Ames, finishing AYWMC in September 2018


Photography is more than just knowing your camera

Photography is not just learning the technical stuff about your camera. Once you know that you are just taking your L plates off. The freedom that comes when you can work the dials (after 4 weeks on AYWMC) opens up everything else about photography: taking the image you can see in your head, seeing the world differently, having an idea and then bringing it to life, noticing the beauty in very ordinary things. 

After the technical stuff, AYWMC teaches you everything you need to know about light, and how it will make or break your photo. About composition - how to place everything in the frame exactly how you want it, just by moving yourself very slightly. You will learn techniques for prompting creativity, and later on you'll cover some more intermediate topics like using a tripod, macro photography and how to shoot landscapes. 

AYWMC is a treasure chest; what I can only describe as, ‘an all you can eat buffet’ of light, dark, shade, exposure, composition, editing plus a myriad of tools and understanding that I see comes across in my photos now. I delight in taking photos I am proud of.
— Janet Chung, finishing AYWMC in September 2018


Join AYWMC here

Join here and get started today. The free email course kicks off 4 times a year, but if you join between starts you will receive a series of helpful emails while you wait, including smaller projects to make a start on.

Click here to subscribe

A Year With My Camera has helped me get out of my comfort zone from previously using Auto and Aperture priority to understanding and using my camera with confidence in Manual mode. I’m so proud of this photo. Thanks Emma
— Kathleen Harrison, finishing AYWMC in September 2018
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BeginnerEmma Davies