Every person that is in my Family Posing Made Easy class is granted access to an active online community where they share their work and inspire their peers. Each month we do a cover contest so we can see what our peers have been up to.
Check out this last months submissions!
AnneMarie Hamant | "This posing course made my fall busy season so effortless! I was able to maximize my time with families and it gave me some go-to poses that made my sessions feel more organized and consistent."
Nicole Eliason | "I have built my business on taking “candid“ photos of families connecting with each other, but I always struggled because my success was hit or miss this course allowed me the freedom to POSE those candid connections!!"
Elena Streeter | "The course helped me not to stress out about what to do if kids don't cooperate. It helped me to better tell the story of clients I serve. Now that I'm getting away from standard look at the camera photos, those images feed my soul! I'm working on the changing my portfolio."
Amanda Hilfer | "I have photographed five families at this location in the last four days and I have driven home each time with a grin from ear to ear. This course has given me the confidence to direct my families beyond past stiff and uncomfortable poses and entice each and every member to laugh, giggle and be fully present in the moment. And sometimes being present means the kids are running around while the parents share a quiet moment to themselves. The feedback I receive when I deliver a client gallery has gone from "thanks so much" to "Amanda! A thousand thank yous for the photos!!! They are absolutely stunning." But the best part....I can feel that every family member had a blast on the shoot and family photos no longer feel like a chore to my clients. If you want to create images that you can actual FEEL, this guide will get you there."
Liz Greenleaf | "I've been able to create more connected photographs for my clients. The details in Elena's posing guide have made such a difference in the flow and feel of my sessions. ❤️"
Kathleen Williams | "I love having go to poses. I am more confident in following my heart when it comes to posing. I am more mindful to the whole experience when it comes to my clients. Talking and having fun the whole way through. 😊"
Karissa Michele | "As a lifestyle family photographer, it was refreshing and freeing to hear from Elena that posing is not only okay, but also necessary! My families appreciate the guidance, and it helps them feel more confident and comfortable through all the real moments and interactions that then follow naturally."
Leah Wagner | "This course has impacted myself by showing me that I need to take control of the sessions and that gentle posing is really, really needed. Clients feel more secure in what you are doing when you take the reins of the session and guide them. It gives them confidence and builds their trust in you. I love that this course showed me how to get connection in my photos and most importantly what to do with client's hands :)"
Tess Davis | "Loved this course. It made me realize it’s ok to “pose” them for natural emotion. You can guide them and still get the candid feel in your images. I love being able to look back and get a refreshers if needed as well. It’s also given me a good workflow to use through my session."
Jenn Reese | "Before this course, I focused on the technical aspects of photography and even thought I had certain poses down; but, the final product was missing the strong emotional connection that I longed to capture. After taking the posing course, Elena spoke so much about providing cues for the parents to look at their children, look at each other, kiss one another, even "take in their smell" (I love saying this to families, it always get a great laugh which usually yields such sweet pictures too!) Her pose suggestions helped promote these interactions by getting their bodies closer and more comfortable. I've noticed how much more comfortable my families feel when they know exactly what I want them to do, even when kissing one another is something they do multiple times a day! When they feel the most comfortable, the images show it and my confidence in posing has made that all happen so much easier! Thank you, Elena, for sharing your incredible talent!"
Amy Liehr | "I loved how this course gave me a new found confidence when going into lifestyle family sessions. I no longer show up and HOPE that I capture something magical. I now have the tools to confidently MAKE magic happen! I used to feel distracted and disconnected from families a lot of the time; trying to visualize in my head what I wanted to create and then secretly "wishing" for it to come together. Now I can be present and get to know a family while casually posing them. Even though I now have several "go-to" poses, no two families look alike. They're true personalities and connection are able to shine through."
I have known this family for years and had the privilege of capturing them multiple times. They are laid back and so much fun to be around.
Every time I get to see them I feel like we should probably grab a beer after. ;)
School Photography, or as I like to call it, Fine Art School Portraits, can transform your business. This offering can provide significant income, incredible direct marketing, and best part, it is fun!
My class, Schooled, a complete guide to Boutique School Photography, grants you entry to a beautiful online community. We have started a monthly cover contest which is a light hearted, positive contest where the group shares their favorite recent School Portrait and the group comes in and comments and encourages each others growth and talent.
Below are some of the incredible submissions from this past months submissions. Enjoy!
Elise Roseann Trim | "Schooled has been absolutely inspiring. It's given me the confidence to step out and start something new, which feels amazing! Having this awesome community who are nothing but encouraging, helpful and generous is irreplaceable. I wasn't sure if it was all going to translate to the UK, but it totally does. Parents love these images, kids actually enjoy having them taken and I don't feel run off my feet to make it all happen - perfect!"
www.eliseroseannphotography.com | www.instagram.com/eliseroseannphotography | www.facebook.com/eliseroseannphotography
Hali Resney Tomczak | "All of Elena’s classes are amazing but this class has given me the confidence to build up school portrait part of my business, and given me confidence to go into schools! The community is always at your fingertips to cheer you on, ask questions, give advice, so amazing to be part of it."
Rochelle Hepworth | "'Oh my gosh ... this is so HER! She twirls her hair like that since she was a baby, and we've never captured that in a photo!'
This is about as high a praise as you can wish for as a photographer, and this level of authenticity is exactly what Elena's course is set up for. Come join the school photo revolution! School photos can be art too!"
Emily Dowell | "I've done 3 schools now and have had such wonderful feedback. The best is when a parent is so thrilled because their child was never tolerated having their photo taken before due to shyness or a disability. Several had never had a professional photo of their child before! The simple setup and interacting advice Elena provides have allowed me to give sweet and genuine photos of their kids they have never had before. It's been wonderful for my business too. I was able to book all my Motherhood sessions by sending home flyers with print packages."
Cicely Voigtlander Williams | "The resources and information provided through this course have helped me create a streamlined, organized process that yields me a great income during a normally "slow" time of my business! I love working with kids on an individual basis, and this class has helped given me the tools needed to confidently proceed in offering these special school sessions!"
Beth Christensen | "This is from my first school and it was so fun! I decided to take Elena’s course as a kick start for my business. The course gave me all the information I needed to get going and the community group gave me a wonderful outlet to get feedback and ask questions."
Beth Dotson Smith | "I had never considered school portraits before this class. I just did my first preschool (my kids school) and loved it so much! It’s so great to hear how much the parents love the images compared to the “usual” or “normal” school pictures. And the sales are great while still being super affordable for families. Love, love, love everything I learned."
Kellie Pecoraro | "I started school portraits on my own, but found great tips in Elena's course to help smooth out and streamline my own processes. More importantly I gained confidence in someone having my back! Although I'm not super active in this group, I love popping in to see how many people are doing great things with their school photography and it is very inspiring! I love to be able to offer tidbits I've picked up along the way, and I know there are so many in this community who do so freely! This is such a wonderful group to be a part of!"
Kelly Power | "I booked my first school (daughter's preschool) in 2016 and luckily found this course just before the scheduled photo day. The most important thing that helped me was seeing how you kept everything organized and your workflow. I absolutely love that you have this group so I can continue to learn from you and others in this group. Thank you!"
Carol Lucey Davis | "I’m so pleased that I took Elena’s Schooled Online course. Her material is thorough and meticulous. Every aspect of this genre is covered! I implemented several of her steps and saw my profits more than double from the same schools last year! My family is facing a new season on life where I need to bring in the income. I’ve been blessed by this course and am bringing in the income! This Facebook group is so encouraging. There’s no competition, just community building each other up."
Lisa Tait | "I honestly can't believe how much value there has been in it so far and I haven't even done a school yet! It is step-by-step and I think Elena Sanchez Blair could charge WAY more for this 😂 Seriously, though, it has been totally comprehensive with modern implementation. The one school I have booked is already wowed by the information I am providing them with. Best money I have spent on education for my biz in a long time.
This group has also been invaluable. It has been such a relief to know that I can pop in here and receive feedback on backdrops, tech, process, cc on images etc. etc. and it is usually meaningful feedback. So much so that I make an effort to do the same for my peers in here which I don't always make time to do in other groups. Rising tide, yo! xx"
Aimee Desiree | "I've been following Elena since a friend attended one of her retreats. She had so many wonderful things to say, that I knew this class would provide the direction and support to restart that photography business I had let go after having my third baby. I took all of the lessons and advice to heart before taking on my first preschool. Capturing their little (and, sometimes, big) personalities was so much fun and I've received several emails from parents thanking me for their photos. I have so much left to learn and practice. This community is so encouraging and I return here time and again to learn from others, ask questions, and seek inspiration."
Alice Akiyama | "I've been building my portfolio and yesterday I had a chance to do a mommy & me photos And do portraits of the kiddos also for a mom group I am involved in. It was a great way to market myself and show mamas a little taste (😉) of what fine art school photography is like. I can’t wait to share w them once I’m done editing. Schooled course has been THE best resource for not only starting school photography but also the best way of marketing my brand new business. ❤️ thank you everyone for all the support and advice!"
Shana Turner Cook | "I’m new here and have been furiously working on getting a portfolio together for schools. I LOVE this niche! I’m so encouraged to see posts from you all who are booking schools and see also see your fantastic work. I’m good with littles (great eye rolls and/or laughs with knock knock jokes) but scared of teens so would love to see more examples from that age group. I’m also a bit Intimidated by the large national businesses who can offer larger percentages and incentives to schools. Thank you all for being on this journey with me!!
Nancy Drescher | "I took Elena's course in-person and was immediately hooked on doing fine art school photos. She breaks the whole process down to make it turnkey, simple and fun. I love having access to the online materials as well to refresh my memory and this community is incredibly supportive, motivating, & really in it to help each other out. As for this photo, I LOVE that the mom chose my favorite of her daughter - this is her signature look & captures her personality perfectly!!"
I tend to write to women. I tend to write for women. Because really, who I am writing to is myself.
So today, I write to you, and to me.
It’s okay to want more than being a mother. *Cue all the gasps!
When my first child was born nearly 11 years ago my world stopped.I didn’t just give birth to him I gave birth to me. A new me.
Like many mothers I became absolutely wrapped up in my role as a mother. Happily. And in time I gave birth to two more babies, two little girls. For 10 years I was pregnant or breastfeeding. Basically my whole 20’s.
I put them before me every single day. I skipped showers and workouts and time with their father and time with my friends. I disappeared. I rarely did anything for me at all, I am sad to admit.
And on the outside I was beaming with pride. Truth be told, I still am. I have three beautiful, confident, intelligent, creative, curious, well behaved children. And it was worth every ounce of sacrifice I made for them.
But I want to be honest. There was always a little voice, a yearning inside me, that said “I want more! Where the hell are you, Elena!”
I was all things mother. All things!
But something burned hot inside me. So I picked up photography. And it saved me. But even that started about them. I was a photographer because I wanted to capture my own kids so it was okay that I was doing something not about the kids, right? Right?
Slowly, gradually, I realized “no, Elena, this isn’t about them. This is about YOU. You want to create for YOU!! For the you who used to like to sing and dance, for the you who laughed with her friends, for the you who loved passionately, for the creator inside you that you put to sleep when you became a mother, when you became an adult and did all the adult things you thought you had to do.”
Despite all the doubt and all the feelings of guilt for being selfish I went into business. Because turns out, I LOVE business, I love setting goals that have NOTHING to do with my kids and achieving them.
Turns out I don’t actually enjoy photographing them every day, only when I really feel like it.
Turns out I actually like photographing other people's families more.
Turns out I love pushing boundaries with my work.
Turns out I LOVE getting up on stage and speaking my passion and my truth.
Turns out I LOVE educating and inspiring others.
Turns out I like being in control of the amount of money I can make which is a stark contrast to my “safe” job I went to college for, which was a nurse. Yup, I just said I like making money.
Turns out I need to work out nearly every day to feel human, even if it means dragging my kids to the park to run around a crappy track.
Turns out I don’t like wearing yoga pants every day and that I actually like looking put together, for ME!
And I want more. I have goals that seem out of this world and they are FOR ME!
This doesn’t make me selfish. This doesn’t make me less of a mother. This doesn't make me less of a woman.
Self acceptance and self care is an act of rebellion for mothers.
How dare we want more than the precious children we mother?
Well, call me a rebel. I know I am a kick ass mom. Proof is in the amazing little humans who call me Mommy.
But guess what, being a mother isn’t enough for me.
I need more and if you do too, it is okay. I give you permission. Be a rebel. Find YOU within the role of a mother.
I only just started to fully realize this in the past year. I literally look back at photos of myself over the past eleven years and don’t recognize who I am looking at.
Not anymore. Now, I take care of ME first, I make goals for ME first.
And guess what? My kids are still alive and well.