Free photography workshop
A Year With My Camera is my annual, free online photography workshop.
We always remember to take out our cameras for the big events - the holidays, the weddings, the new babies. But what about the every day, the small memories that add up to our real life? Wouldn't you love to build up a record of your daily routines and your smaller moments, AND learn to use your camera?
Join here, and then read on to catch up what you've missed:
Catch up here
Did you miss any lessons? Click here to catch up (password: stepbystep).
If you like a hard copy book in front of you, you can buy the A Year With My Camera workbooks. There are 2 books to cover the whole year. The first is available now and covers the first 4 months or so, and the second is coming soon. The books contain all the information in the emails plus more explanations, quizzes, examples and checklists than I can fit in the emails, but you absolutely do not need to buy one to join the course.
If you want to use the "Look Inside" function, go to the Amazon USA site - it's not yet set up on the UK site.
We have a very helpful Facebook group where you can ask any questions at all, but many have been answered before. Here are the most popular questions and answers:
Can I only join at the beginning of the year?
You can join at any time. You'll jump right into whatever lesson we're covering that week, but you also get immediate access to all the previous lessons.
Do I need a Facebook account to do this workshop?
No. You can follow the emails in your own time and do the projects at your own pace. The Facebook group is there for people who like to be part of a group all working towards the same goal - in this case, improving your photography step by step, consistently throughout the year.
Do I need Instagram?
Again, no. We do have an IG hashtag - #AYearWithMyCamera - for people who love Instagram, or want to give it a go. It's not compulsory.
What are the rules?
1. Only compare yourself to yourself, this time last year. Everyone is at a different stage in their photographic journey, and it's your progress you should be concerned with.
2. If you use the IG hashtag #AYearWithMyCamera, make sure you LIKE and COMMENT on at least one other photo with the hashtag, for each image you post.
Is this a project 365? Do I have to take a photo a day?
No. And no.
What standard of photographer do I need to be?
The technical emails are aimed at the complete beginner end of the photography journey. The creative emails can be enjoyed by any photographer, however advanced.
I'm scared of sharing my photos. Do I have to?
No. But if you join the FB group, or share on Instagram, you'll find a very supportive group of people who will only ever say positive things to you. And every one of them started in the same place you are standing now.
Also - if anyone is not supportive and positive, they will find themselves removed from the FB group. I look after my beginners, don't worry.
What kit do I need? I only have a phone - can I join in?
About a third of the emails, concentrated at the beginning of the year, are about the technical controls on a manual camera (DSLR or mirrorless). You will need a camera with manual controls (aperture, shutter speed) to make the most of these emails. The rest of the emails are about the creative process that goes into making the image you want to, and can be done with any camera including phones.
I've signed up but I haven't got an email from you
I get this question at least once a day. I know it's frustrating when you are ready to start a new project, but please believe me - the email has gone out.
I use MailChimp to deliver my emails. As soon as you put a VALID email address into the sign-up box, an automated welcome email goes out within 5 minutes to your email address. And then every Thursday, a lesson automatically goes out at 7am UK time.
If you use Gmail, you are disadvantaged. Gmail, for its own reasons, puts emails from providers like MailChimp into the Promotions folder, or (if you're very unlucky) the spam/junk folder. You need to tell Gmail that my emails need to go to your inbox, or use a different email address. If you want to stick with Gmail, do this: create filter --> emails from email@example.com to inbox.
If you use Hotmail, you may never see an email from me. I don't know why Hotmail chooses not to deliver some emails from bulk email distributers like MailChimp, but I have worked with many subscribers last year who have Hotmail accounts, and we never got to the bottom of it. This is a free course, so I can't spend any more time trying to fix this problem. If you want the emails, please use an account that isn't Hotmail.
Before you email me to say you haven't got my email, whatever provider you are using, please use the search box to search for emails from me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to sign up for Instagram but I don't know how
Read this --->> Creating an Instagram Account.
How do I get my images from my camera to Instagram?
You can only post images from your phone. You'll need to transfer your images from your camera (direct, or through your computer), and then post them. I use Dropbox to transfer between my computer & my phone.
What are the Facebook group posting guidelines?
1. Only post your own images. No exceptions.
2. If you don't want to get emails when people post, or see all the new posts in your newsfeed, change the notification settings. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/help/187225274663021.
3. Most weeks I'll start a new thread for everyone to post their homework. This makes it easy to find everyone's posts. Use the search bar to find older homework threads if you are catching up.
4. I don't give feedback on every image posted. If there's a quick problem I can help with, I will comment. If I have more time than usual, I'll leave feedback.
5. Please jump in and comment on other people's photos. Everyone has a different opinion, and that's what makes photography great. Be polite, be positive, but don't be afraid to say what you think (if you can back it up). Do say, "I love the colours, but I think it would be a stronger image if you were at eye level with the dog." Don't say, "I don't know why but I just don't like it." Please limit feedback to what we're covering the the current week's homework, unless the original poster asked for more detailed feedback.
6. Spam and rude comments will be deleted without warning, and posters removed from the group. We are a constructive, supportive group, and I look after my beginners fiercely. It's a safe place to post your photos, whatever stage of the photographic journey you are on. Spam means any unsolicited links, including links to your blog or site (unless asked for), and charity appeals. Do not post any affiliate links - you will be deleted with no warning. It's easy to tell if it's an affiliate link so please don't do it.