Next run end of 2017


I have retired Going Beyond The Pose in order to write an intensive lifestyle family workshop, called The Art Of Family Lifestyle Photography. Here is the thing: you want your photos to say something; to be connected and interesting. You want to feel comfortable guiding and directing all subjects that make up a family and feel confident leading a family session. Lifestyle family photography is in high demand and photographing families can be very challenging at times; you have to know how to work with light, the environment, and the characters in your scene. You're in luck! I am going to teach you everything I have learned about lifestyle family photography from posing and guiding, to capturing authentic moments, to staying true to yourself as an artist, and all the vital business practices, too. Not in business? Not a problem! This class will help you work with your own children and family to capture genuine, beautiful photos. I hope you will join me! 



  • Private online forum
  • Weekly 40+ page detailed PDF instruction
  • Weekly instructional videos
  • Daily interaction with instructor and alumni helpers
  • Weekly assignment and detailed critique provided by instructor and one teaching assistant
  • Daily shooting and peer interaction and critique
  • ALL questions answered by instructor within 24 hours 


  • Private online study along forum
  • Weekly 40+ page detailed PDF instruction
  • Weekly instructional videos
  • Daily shooting and peer interaction and critique

* Study Along participants do not have access to any teacher, teaching assistant, or alumni. However, Study Along participants are able to join the full participation forums and benefit from being able to read the interactions, ideas, and feedback.



"This course is a WONDERFUL introduction to Lifestyle Family portraiture. Elena is incredibly generous with her time, knowledge and encouragement. The materials are thorough and in depth and Elena has also included these incredible video extras – true value for money. No topic is left unexplored and questions are readily answered.
If you’re looking for a way to loosen up your sessions and inject them with rich emotional connection then Elena is just the person to teach you how! You’ll come away embracing genuine emotion and connection and loving the life it breathes into your sessions."

~Aimee Glucina


"So you’ve had your camera a couple of years you’ve mastered manual exposure and you can take “nice” photos. But yet you feel like there is something lacking and your left wanting more out of each session……..then T H I S is the class for you. Elena provides a crazy generous amount of material to get your photos to the next level. From PDF files to videos of full photo shoots to editing, she will hold your hand and pull you up the ladder to a place you only dreamed your photos could go. You and your clients will be thrilled with their galleries like never before after you have taken this course. In addition to Elena’s guidance, she also calls upon some of the BEST CM Pro’s in the forum to also critique and challenge you to stretch your creative legs like you may not have had a chance to before.

I highly recommend the full participation, but you must commit to shooting and sharing daily to get the most from spending the extra on FP. It does require dedication and the daily shares are crucial to learning and growing. By critiquing your class participants work each day you begin to see your work in new and unexpended ways, so you do yourself and your other class participants a disservice if you are not ready to commit to this every day for four weeks. I have certainly reaped the rewards 10 fold for the 45 min to one hour I committed to this workshop daily.

This was my first CM workshop and it has probably been the most transforming one I have been on yet. I finally feel in control of my photo sessions and that really shows in the final product.

So go ahead and book this class! You will not be sorry!!!!"

~Amanda Hilfer

"So, I was a “study along” and therefore not allowed to make eye contact with Elena (haha!) (the full participation was full), but I really feel a need to express my thanks. I have been shooting on and off for about 20 years and it’s only been recently that I’ve gone full force as a business (such a DUH, WHY AM I NOT DOING THIS moment), and I have realized through her workshop that my heart has ALWAYS been with lifestyle, but I have never really known what it meant to go down that path – to have the permission to do so (what? NOT do a smile photo?!).

Even when I shot headshots in Los Angeles, I would always give the actors scenarios to get the emotion that I wanted, something that would connect them to my camera as if it was a scene partner, another person.

And as I’ve been shooting families loosely for the past two years and more seriously the past 10 months, I have said things like, “just play” when I didn’t quite know how to direct. My heart explodes every time I see a great connection/lifestyle shot. It’s like Elena said, people FEEL, they don’t SEE.

Because of her workshop, I feel my vision is focused and that’s so exciting. I have always felt that I’ve had a portfolio of good images, but no voice, no consistency, wondering IF I even HAD clear vision, when/if it would ever come to me. Every page of her pdfs had me going YES, YES, THIS.

I have redone my website completely during this course and I have four unbelievably amazing families lined up specifically for my first official “lifestyle only” shoots to populate my portfolio in the next couple of weeks.

Week 3 of her course I was at the beach with my family and captured more connection and more photos that I love than I have on any family trip before. (I cheated and added a couple to my portfolio for now!)

She truly validated everything that’s been in my heart for so long. She unknowingly took it and said, “Yes, what you are feeling is right and wonderful and here’s how to take it to the next level.”

~Liza Hippler