Gain proof of mastery in lighting, posing, composition, and more.

Join the only certification
for maternity, newborn, & family photographers

Learn from the best to be your best.

You don’t have to DIY your way to success.

We DIY solutions, watch free tutorials, and hustle every day to better our craft.

But sometimes, it’s just not enough.

Being self-taught brings up feelings of doubts, comparison, and imposter syndrome. You never feel good enough, so you charge less than you’re worth, work yourself to the bone, or give up altogether.

That’s why I created the Sandra Coan Certification. To give talented photographers the skills they need to succeed and provide them with proof of mastery.

Get certified. Be confident.

The photography industry is full of kick-ass self-taught photographers. 

Certification matters.

Certification badge as proof of mastery


In-depth training in The Sandra Coan Method™ for lighting, posing, processing, portfolio curation, website optimization, brand building, and marketing.

Included in the certification

Four 1:1 portfolio reviews for personalized feedback and training

Bimonthly group coaching calls

Access to our members-only Facebook group

Complimentary enrollment to all in-person workshops and our members-only annual three-day retreat

Robust portfolio full of exemplary work

Images that have been evaluated and scored by Sandra

Listing on our international referral directory

Guest features on Sandra’s blog and Instagram

Business-in-a-Box Kit, which includes pre-written blog posts, social media captions, pricing guides, model releases, and more!

Opportunity to become a certified instructor in The Sandra Coan Method™

Lifetime access to all course materials, private Facebook group, and monthly coaching class

— Susan Stein Pszenitzki

“The simplicity of the Sandra Coan Method has given me the freedom to create beautiful, well-lit images with less stress and overthinking.”

Sandra will teach you to defy these odds — because she did it herself.

years is the average length of time a photographer stays at their job, including working for themselves.

of all newborn photographers are women, but they earned less than their male counterparts.

is the average salary of a newborn photographer, which is below the poverty line for a family of 4.

So yeah, there's room for you.

The photography industry is worth $44 billion

At the end, you’ll be a Sandra Coan–Certified photographer, and will be featured on our official list of certified photographers.


Gain the opportunity to attend exclusive in-person workshops and a members-only retreat to build industry connections and develop professionally


Get 1:1 feedback from Sandra on your work in addition to group coaching and portfolio critiques, so you can improve your art and shoot more consistent results.


Sandra will give guided lessons on specific topics for success as a professional photographer: lighting, posing, processing, branding, and marketing.




“I came into this certification to help shed the dreaded imposter syndrome, and I feel it peeling off of me with every session!”





Sandra Coan has been in the photograph industry for over 25 years. She built a multi-six-figure photography business while being a stay-at-home mom.

She’s a best-selling author, podcast host, and sought-after newborn photographer.

And she’s teaching you how to build a sustainable, successful photography business.

Meet Your Teacher, Mentor, and new BFF.

Invest in your business and yourself.

Your questions, answered.

Who is this program designed for?

This program was created specifically for maternity, newborn, family, and portrait photographers.

Why just maternity, newborn and family photographers?

Because a big part of this program is to grow a referral network. You see, every year I’m asked for recommendations from people around the world who are looking for a photographer with a similar approach to mine. But before I can refer another photographer, I need to have confidence in them and their work.

Earning certification lets me know that you are trained and have gained mastery, your work is of quality and you are someone I can trust.

Once certified you will be listed in the international directory on both my photography and educational websites.

What are the perks of being in the directory?

There are many! Trust. Prestige. But also SEO!

Once you’ve earned your certification, your business will be added to my referral directory, listed on both of my websites. In this way, your business is linked to mine. So when my name is searched, yours will pop up.

I’m a proven and trusted voice in our industry. And earning my seal of approval means that I trust you! That's a big deal.

You will also become part of an international network of maternity, newborn and family photographers! So you will have a trusted group of colleagues to refer and lean on. And vice-a-versa.

Does my work have to look like Sandra’s to be certified?

Not at all! I invite all styles! But your work does need to pass the standards as outlined above.

Do I need to be a studio photographer to qualify?

No you don’t! But you do need to have a solid understanding of light, posing, composition, and processing. And your work needs to be consistent. You will learn all of those things inside the certification program!

How long is the certification program?

Once accepted, you have lifetime access to the materials and the course community. It takes most photographers 6 to 12 months to work through the trainings and pass the assessments. Once the course curriculum has been completed and you feel ready, you will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Your portfolio will be scored in the areas of light, exposure, naturally inspired posing, composition, processing, and consistency. Each category is given 5 points.

Does enrolling in the program guarantee certification?

No it does not! Participants must complete the course work and earn a minimum of 18 points on their portfolio review to earn certification.

That said, I WANT you to earn certification and I will be there to help you each step of the way!

I have created built in assessments throughout the program so that you get real time feedback as you are working through the materials. AND, members are given FREE enrollment to my in-person trainings and portfolio building clinics (see the list here).

This program is not for everyone.

It’s rigorous. And it’s a commitment. But for those who are ready, it’s a very exciting opportunity!

Up your rates, not your stress.

Learn the technical skills you need to hone your craft, bring your artistic vision to life, and raise your prices.