I give my whole course away for free. Why? Is it a scam?
No, it's not a scam. But enough people are suspicious to make me want to write a longer explanation than I can fit into a quick Twitter reply, or a Facebook comment.
1. I want you to learn to use your big camera
If you are prepared to open the emails every week and do the homework, that's enough for me. I'm fed up of meeting beginner photographers who have been badly taught, and who still can't use their camera after months or years of trying. It's not rocket science. Give me 6 weeks and I'll get you off auto. Give me 6 months and I'll get you taking photos you're proud of. Give me a year and you'll be teaching your friends how to do it.
2. I want to be noticed
The internet is a huge, competitive place. When I started my first photography blog, everyone said I shouldn't, because there are so many other photography sites out there already. How could I compete with Digital Photography School?
This is how I compete:
- I teach complete beginners. The people that the other sites overlook. The other sites assume you already know a bit when you start. I don't.
- I don't advertise. None. Nothing. You will not be distracted by pop ups or banner ads or sponsored posts.
- I give my entire beginner's course away for free. Willingly and joyfully.
3. I do sell other stuff
A Year With My Camera is free by email. If you like to learn with a book in your hands, you can buy the workbooks - but you don't need to and there's no pressure to do so. I mention the fact that they are available, often, because I need to make a living. But I genuinely don't mind if you don't buy them.
I sell intermediate and advanced online courses, and I run a camera club for AYWMC graduates - all of these are paid options. And none of the people who buy them would have found me if it wasn't for the free beginner's course. So it works for them and it works for me.
If you'd like to join the free, online, complete beginner's workshop that is A Year With My Camera, you can register here and get started today:
What do people say?
I asked some of my current students what they would say if someone asked them about AYWMC being free, and whether they felt I sold to them or pressured them into buying. This is what they said:
"I signed up because it was totally free. I have not been disappointed! The weekly emails take you through all the modules in easy to understand steps. I chose to buy the planner, and later on bought a workbook. But this was my own choice based on how enthusiastic others were who had bought it. But you can complete the entire course for absolutely nothing! The weekly emails teach you everything you need. Emma has recently offered more advanced courses, as an optional extra. These you do pay for (approx £40 per course.) The dates didn't suit this time but I will definitely sign up when they are repeated in a few months time. Still wondering what the catch is? There isn't one. It really is TOTALLY FREE. It's also high quality. I wholeheartedly recommend it." - Ailsa
"Great course. Totally free. Really easy to understand emails and great support in the Facebook groups. I purchased the books and the planner and they are well worth the money. In an attempt to get off auto I bought several books before joining this course and I can honestly say that yours are the books I come back to again and again. I admit to being a little suspicious at first but I'm glad I took the leap!" - Sharon
"Fabulously free! No tricks! Does exactly as is stated! I love it! I did purchase the workbooks so I could refer back quickly but you absolutely do not need to buy them." - Pat
"A wonderful, easy to follow, absolutely free course. I haven't bought the workbooks and have had no problem following the course from the weekly emails." - Trish
"I stumbled across AYWMC via a photographer friend and I just thought I’d join in and maybe learn the odd thing and then once all the horrible advertising started, I’d just leave the group but this course is not like that AT ALL! I started in September 2017 and loved Emma’s way of learning so much that I bought book 1. There was no pressure to do so but I love books so it was a treat really and worth every penny. So much so that I’ve also bought book 2. Due to daily life getting in the way I chose to restart the course in January, it was no fuss at all and I’m enjoying it much more this time around now that I’m more focused. I love that we only get 1 email per week, none of the being bombarded with advertising spam that many other courses do. I look forward to the email each week and the homework to focus on. Emma has a great way of teaching and I thoroughly recommend A Year With My Camera." - Leanne
"What’s to worry about? It was an absolute ‘no brainer’ for me having been aware of, and curious about the hashtag some of my Instagram friends had been using for a year. So when I bought my first ‘proper’ camera in November ‘16 I knew exactly what I needed to do and haven’t stopped. I’ve learnt so much through the wonderful free emails and decided to buy the incredibly reasonably priced coursework books and planner to back up my studies too, just because I love the way Emma teaches!" - Brett
"I don’t even know how the link to AYWMC came up on my FB page and I have to admit I was suspicious at first. I thought that maybe the first six weeks were free and then suddenly we’d have to start paying to progress further. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. I love that you can pay extra for the various workshops if you want and that you can buy the books but that the actual course itself is free. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who is interested." - Karen
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