case study

Helping A Year With My Camera
crop out the competition and get seen

Emma Davies created A Year With My Camera to share her wisdom with beginner photographers. Now with her own app, she is monetising her courses, sharing her content and building a community without social media’s limitations.

Emma Davies created A Year With My Camera to share her wisdom with beginner photographers. Now with her own app, she is monetising her courses, sharing her content and building a community without social media’s limitations.

THE CHALLENGE

Emma needed to break free from her reliance on Facebook and Instagram, where her content was getting lost in ad-driven feeds instead of reaching new people.

THE SOLUTION

Cut out the competition by building an exclusive online space owned by Emma. An app with the ability to sell courses and workshops without commission, share content without moderation, and connect to other photography lovers without trolls, hacks or bans.

GROWTH

40%

increase in monthly contributors

50,000

more likes each month

IMPACT

Over half the community are active weekly,
additional revenue from in-app sales
peace of mind that content and data is secure

“I don’t need to rely on Facebook or Instagram algorithms to get my posts seen. I’m in control of the platform and don’t need to worry about being hacked, banned or trolled.”

Emma Davies

If every photo tells a story then Emma Davies’ community is a vibrant anthology. From beginner photographers learning the ropes to advanced members debating aesthetics, Emma’s app gives creatives a place to unite, share content and buy courses. However, A Year With My Camera wasn’t always such a dream to run…

In the early days, when Emma had just written her first photography workbook, she was building a community around it on Facebook. As is often the case, it started to feel like more trouble than it’s worth, with lots of effort leading to little engagement. But rather than continue the algorithm-fuelled frustration, Emma took her community where she can serve them best.

Working with Disciple

Emma loved the idea of building her own space her own way, so the flexibility of Disciple’s platform was ideal. Being a photography community, A Year With My Camera needed to combine galleries and libraries with forums and groups in an intuitive, structured way. It also needed to make selling subscriptions and hosting workshops a possibility. Easily done when you have the right tech and team on your side.

Previously, only around 10% of Emma’s audience actively engaged with her content each week. Since switching from Facebook, this figure has jumped to over 50%. Emma credits much of this success to the way her app caters for all different types of members. People starting out love to connect in the open forum for general conversation, while those with niche interests can shamelessly geek out in sub-groups just for them – the threat of trolls is a thing of the past.

Turning passion into profit

For Emma, independence doesn’t just feel good, it pays good too. Selling subscriptions to the app alongside photography courses and workshops has never been easier or more cost-effective, with all the admin contained in one system and no third party trying to collect commission.

Reach has improved too. Without the limitations of algorithm- and ad-driven marketing on social media, A Year With My Camera is ever-expanding. Now, because Emma trusted her gut and chose to innovate, over 70,000 students have unlocked their creative potential. In their own words, “I had no idea that an online course can be so interactive with a family-like atmosphere.”