apply to get sandra coan certified

applications open on May 16th!

Hi, I’m Sandra-I’m the creator of The Sandra Coan Certification (obviously).


In another lifetime, I was a teacher (we won’t share how long ago that was), and one of my favorite parts was the teaching. I loved imparting knowledge and making a tangible difference in a child’s life.

As I leaned into my photography business, I still felt a pull towards education, but in a new way. I wanted to help other self-taught photographers bypass all the mistakes I made early on in my business (okay, and the mistakes I made last week, too).

Which leads us back full circle — why I created this certification.

I want you to be able to look at your work and see the artistic value in it. I want you to build a business that allows you to spend time with your spouse or kids or yourself. I want you to truly know your craft and have confidence in your technical skills. I want you to understand how to market yourself. I want you to be confident to charge what you’re worth — not what anyone else thinks you’re worth.

I truly hope you’ll join me in The Sandra Coan Certification. I can’t wait to meet you!

Lastly, I’m passionate about education.

I’ve been a sought-after newborn photographer for over 25 years.

I built a multi-six-figure business — while being a stay-at-home mom to my twins.

I wrote a best-selling book on lighting.

I frequently speak at conferences.

I’m backed by some of the most well-known photography brands.

But for years, I wasn’t taken seriously. I was told my photography style was too different, my posing wasn’t traditional, my lighting was unconventional, and my public speaking wasn’t serious enough.

Rather than backing down, I fully leaned in to what made me different, and that is where I found my strength.
I want to lift up women in the photography industry and create a new generation of empowered, kind, talented, and artistic photographers.

Second, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, I often felt like I couldn’t own up to my successes.

As a former teacher, I know the confidence my teaching certification gave me. I had passed tests, been mentored, and gotten feedback on how I could improve — so even on my worst days (and there were a lot of them), I could rest in the fact that I was qualified to do my job.

But there are very few certifications in the photography industry. There are lots of courses to teach you about lighting and posing and business processes, but few actual certifications that hold weight.

And of those few certifications, almost all of them are taught by men. Which leads me to my next point.

First, I believe in the power of certification.

I often get asked why I created this certification.