2018 Family Retreat - The Milky Way - a photographer's resource

LAST Chance to get the 2018 Family Retreat video collection!  >> Buy now ($297 USD)

Time is running out to get the 2018 Family Retreat video collection!

Get INSTANT access to 18 instructor videos on posing, capturing connection, editing, marketing and more.

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Videos have English, Spanish + Portuguese (Brazil) subtitles.

Purchase is non-refundable so be sure it's the right event for you!

What are students saying?


The Family Retreat is a game changing experience. I learned so much it would be impossible to write it all down.

My biggest and best takeaway was most definitely how to start making those real connections and stop posing SO much!!

Leigh Ann Atwell

Leigh Ann Atwell Photography


I loved the retreat, it helped me to be able to get people to relax and be themselves, I can now capture real emotion and moments and clients don't even realize I have until they get their images.

9 times out of 10 they end up in tears when they see their images as they are in love with the emotion that comes through them.

Nicola Critchley

/Nicola Critchley Photographer

What's inside the 2018 Collection?

Sarah Cornish

​My Four Hens Photography

Storytelling in Family Sessions

Have you ever wished you could just sit across from a photographer you admire and pick their brain? Well, Sarah's approach is just that, where she shares the best ways to get your families to open up to you and give you those beautiful, authentic moments we crave as lifestyle photographers  - without needing a ton of gear or any props. 

She emphasizes how to build a relationship with your families by creating an experience they will want to come back for over and over again. Sarah believes that beautiful sessions begin before the actual session day, so she also explains how she prepares her clients and keeps them at ease with her from the very first point of contact.

​You will also have a peek into her shooting two families in different seasons of life. The first is a super brief bonus mini session with a newborn and toddler in which she shares how she controls the session and tells a story by using specific focal lengths and location. She also photographs a family with slightly older children to show how she interacts with families to keep them at ease and how to prompt those natural connection and moments.

You will learn how she tells stories through composition and location. The concepts are simple and easy to implement right away. There is an abundance of information that you'll find useful whether you are just in the beginnings of shooting families or feeling stuck as a seasoned professional.

Running Time: 53m

Emily Lucarz

Emily Lucarz Photography

Staying Focused: Wide Apertures with Groups

Have you ever wanted to know how to get the background super soft while keeping your subject in focus? Join Emily to learn how to shoot large families with a wide open apertures. Emily will walk you through shots from many different photo shoots, showing you ​the exact camera settings and how she got each shot. At the end of the video you will see Emily shooting a very large family with a very wide open aperture.

There are times where shooting wide open is not ideal however. Learn how to take each different type of situation and use it to create a different composition utilizing different apertures.

You will learn lens choices, focal planes, lighting scenarios, how far to stand from your subject, and how to position your subjects in order to get that creamy, blurry background you have always wanted. You ​CAN shoot a family of 10 with an aperture of f1.4! 

If you want to know how to do this, then make sure to watch the video and Emily will walk you through step-by-step on how to get her signature look.

Running Time: 57m

Douglas Weittenhiller

Twig & Olive Photography

Working with Families with Diverse Age Ranges

In this Milky Way Retreat, Doug tackles a topic that has repeatedly come up in past retreats – working with diverse ages within one family. 

We know teenagers can be intimidating to work with as the games and excitement you usually reserve for toddlers don’t play well with that age bracket. But as an added twist, what happens when there are teenagers ​AND toddlers? 

Fortunately, you can head into your session confident knowing that the family already understands their dynamic, and you won’t likely need to tease it out of them. Rather, you play off the inter-child relationships and read how family members communicate and play with one another.

In this video, ​Doug shares with you how he can succeed at (and also fail at) working with a family that has children with ages ranging from 2 to 17.

​After Doug shows you how he quickly culls a session, Courtney then demonstrates ​their editing process using Twig & Olive presets in Lightroom.

Running Time: 52m

Sarah Hill

Sarah-Beth Photography

Intentional Posing to Create Connection

Follow Sarah during a sunset family shoot, watch as she grabs the genuine moments between the fun and chaos with three young kiddos.

Post-processing using Photoshop is included in the video as well!

Running Time: 1h 13m

Erin ​Hoskins

​Erin Elizabeth Photography

Workflow for Non-Sitters In Studio

In this behind-the-scenes video, Erin will show you her workflow and posing strategies for the tricky 'not-quite-sitting' stage.  As a bonus, Erin also edits three of the photos in Photoshop so you can see the process start to finish.

After seeing how quick and profitable these types of sessions can be for your studio, you'll no longer be dreading this stage at all!

Running Time: 1hr 13m

Rachel Vanoven

​Rachel Vanoven Photography

Working with Large Families with Young Kids

Come along on this behind-the-scenes family session where Rachel shares her strategies for winning over the kids.  Photographing ​families with multiple (young!) children can be tricky, but as you'll discover,  you can find a flow that allows you to build a relationship with each child prior to the group shots, so everyone is warmed up and ready to play. 

You'll get to ​see first hand as she improvises and figures out the best way to interact with a new client.  Rachel will cover both posed and unposed group shots, individual shots with the kids, parent-only portraits, and all siblings together.  

Running Time: 45m

Jennifer Sebring

​Jen Sebring Photography

Ordinary to Extraordinary - 

turning everyday moments into art

In Ordinary to Extraordinary, Jen Sebring takes you behind the scenes for two action shots of her children. She explains her thought process and methods for capturing the moments and then takes you back into Lightroom and Photoshop for a full step by step editing tutorial. 

Her thorough and detailed teaching is easy to follow for all skill levels. Jen covers a multitude of topics including sun flare overlays, sky overlays, editing shortcuts, layer masks, and the Brenizer Method for capturing panoramic bokeh shots. You will walk away from this video with several tools for your tool belt and with a better understanding ​of what it takes to truly unlock your creativity during a session!

Running Time: 59m

Twyla Jones

​Twyla Jones Photography

Family Posing Workflow To Highlight Connections

Do you ever find yourself lost during family sessions? Does it feel as if it all goes so fast and you're often left wondering if you captured anything worth delivering? Join Twyla Jones as she walks you through her family session workflow with an emphasis on tenderness and emotion.

​Twyla will ​share with you her simple plan that will ensure you capture every important moment without feeling overwhelmed by a long list of poses to memorize. She also includes all of her favorite tips and prompts to ​evoke emotion from everyone in the family, from toddlers to teenagers! Learn to find the joy in family photography and harness inspiration from your daily life to create family imagery that is uniquely yours!

Running Time: 1hr 1m

Stormy Solis

​Stormy Solis Photography

Using Location and Light for Storytelling

Stormy goes in-depth on all the details involved in planning and executing her family sessions, using location & light to draw out authentic connections, while focusing on storytelling in a diverse landscape with various lighting situations.

She maps out a dynamic river location, going over her strategy to use the light and elements available at that location as tools to engage clients before the session even begins. She then demonstrates live how she interacts & engages them with these tools to make her vision come to life.

Other things covered are: settings, styling, gear, artistic intent, how she chooses locations, storytelling, getting clients comfortable/natural interactions, shooting in water and strategy for fussy kids.

Running Time: 36m

Danielle Navratil

Danielle Navratil Photography

Capturing Family Connections

Come behind-the-scenes to find out how you can capture family connections with this family of 4 (with young children - 4 years and 18 months).

Danielle will be sharing tips and tricks on what to do to grab those in-between moments and learn how to navigate some of the tricky situations that arise in many of these sessions!  You'll also discover her session flow when it's the first time meeting clients so they are prepped and feeling confident. 

Danielle also shares how she directs her clients but then ​allows the moments to unfold.  No session is perfect...and in this video you'll see how Danielle handles those sessions that turn sideways (which this one does!)

Running Time: 44m

​Lisa DiGeso

​Milk & Honey Photography

Photographing Extended Families

You know the call...the (slightly) dreaded, "do you photograph extended families?" call.  Yeah.  That one.  While it might not be the top choice for many photographers, having a workflow that allows you to quickly capture the extended group and then the many groupings within will be a life-saver.

In this behind-the-scenes video, Lisa takes you along ​to her session so you can see first-hand the way she quickly gets all the shots the family is looking for (and variations of poses depending on the age ranges of kids).  

Running Time: 51m

Jackie Acosta

Jackie Jean Photography

Bringing Imagination to Life: 

Creative Styled Sessions from Start to Finish

Are you ready to get more creative?  In this behind-the-scenes video, Jackie will be sharing her process with a creative styled children's shoot. 

​The video will cover the session from start to finish, along with ideas on coming up with concepts, how to put the shoot together (​choosing locations, props, color palettes, etc.), and finishing it off in Photoshop with a a step-by-step creative composite to add that final touch of magic.

Running Time: 39m

Sujata Setia

But Natural Photography

Working with different kinds of light

In this video, Sujata will take you through how to work with different kinds of light conditions.  From a super sunny day to a sky pregnant with clouds… there never is a time of the day when you cannot create memorable images.

The trick is to know how to make the best use of available light so that your image doesn't suffer with too many harsh highlights or burnt out shadows.

In this video you will learn how to create that fine balance in your images under any given light condition. Because we all know… we sometimes can't control what time of the day our client decides to come for their photo session, right!

Running Time: ​36m

Mark Rossetto

​Mark Rossetto Coaching

Master Your Marketing

"Master your Marketing" is a practical, content-packed class, all designed to get your phone ringing with qualified and quality leads who are excited about you and your photography business. This is all achieved through great client education, understanding the psychology of sales, client buying cycles, and by giving the right information at the right time.

​Mark will go through his top 8 passive and active marketing ideas and then finish off with a marketing strategy that can generate anywhere from 20 - 200+ quality leads in just a few days! All of the techniques taught are proven and tested over 10 years, and are transparent, honest and customer focused to give you great quality leads, not just numbers and empty enquiries. You're going to love it!

Running Time: 1hr 7m

Holly Spring

​Holly Spring Photography

Whimsical Toolbox:

Using Colour Effects to transform your Image

In this session by award-winning creative portrait photographer Holly Spring, you’ll learn how to create your own whimsical tool box in Photoshop to add dynamic light, color and artistic effects to your portraits.  You’ll also discover the secret to cheating depth of field to transform your images.

Running Time: 47m

Tracy Sweeney

Elan Studio

Crafting Connection between Siblings

Working with siblings can be challenging. Tracy Sweeney, International award winning child photographer, author of "Kids Photos to Brighten your Day" and owner of Élan Studio, demonstrates how she interacts with young children to draw out natural emotion and expression from siblings, crafting connection and imagery that parents treasure. She simplifies the sibling interaction with easy posing instructions and most importantly, play!

Tracy brings her education experience as a classroom teacher and education professor for many years to the photography field, where she is able to direct children in a way that is natural and fun, with the goal of capturing natural sibling interactions through the power of connectivity.

Learn to…
1. interact with children to draw out natural emotion
2. pose siblings simply so that they are comfortable with each other, creating images that parents covet, and
3. include elements of interest in your sessions to engage children and create storytelling.

Running Time: 41m

Sharon McMahon

Three Irish Girls Photography

Finding and Keeping Your Dream Clients

Do you find yourself struggling to attract your ideal clients? Does everyone who contact you seem to want everything but the kitchen sink for approximately $20? 

Do you find yourself struggling not to take it personally when yet another client goes to a cheaper photographer?

 Have you ever had a client threaten to ruin your business if you don't give in to their unreasonable demands?

​In this video, discover proven strategies to attract and keep clients who value you and your work.

Head off client problems at the pass. Handle issues that creep up like a pro. It's time to ditch the crazy, and work exclusively with your dream clients!

Running Time: 1hr 19m

Bethney Backhaus

Bethney Backhaus Photography

Capturing Interactions + Connection in Outdoor Sessions

Come along with Bethney as she takes you on location to show first hand how she captures interactions and connection during outdoor sessions. Capturing those meaningful connections between family members can be daunting, but she shares many tips, tricks, and prompts that allow clients to put themselves at ease so the true emotion can begin to show through.

Family photography has made some major shifts in the last few years. Clients are yearning for something more interactive. Something more memorable.

Learn to fill this need by capturing true memories for your clients to give them more than just "cheese". The way a little boy looks in a full-on belly laugh, and the way a baby girl grasps her daddy's finger as they walk. These are the moments to look back on and treasure. Bethney brings with her 7 years of family photography experience to help explain her method of capturing families in just this way.

Bethney covers:

- The 5 best tips of capturing interactions

- Location selection

- Lightning

- Gear and settings

- Session Workflow

- Prompts for encouraging interaction

Running Time: 43m

Tara Lesher

Tara Lesher Photography

Creative Composite Editing

In this composite editing video, Tara will walk you through step-by-step how she shoots and edits her creative composites, showing the base images and where she finds the best stock images. 

Bring out your creative side and see what ​ masterpiece you can create.

Running Time: 1hr 22m

Time is running out!


Are you ready for a boost of inspiration and confidence?

Once the timer runs out, you can kiss the chance to grab this collection goodbye!


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I HAVE to be online at a certain time?  No!  You'll get instant access to the videos in our member site that you can access until Aug 31st, 2019.

Can I download the presentations?  Yes - you can download the videos so you have them for life - and you'll be able to able to access the info on our private Retreat website until Aug 31st, 2019.

*Is there a Facebook community for the retreat?  The Facebook close is no longer available as we gear up for our 2019 Retreat!

Is this subtitled? Yes.  Videos will have English, Spanish and Portuguese (Brazil) subtitles.

What currency is the price?  USD

How does the payment plan work? If you choose the payment plan, your first payment will come out when you register.  The next payment will automatically come out in 30 days (using the same method of payment you used to register - ie: Paypal or Credit Card).  You WILL get full access to the retreat experience on Day 1 - you do not have to wait until the second payment is made (because we know you are awesome and will complete that second payment!)   And yes, it is the best deal to purchase the single-pay option.  Why?  Because it requires less follow up on our part, less bookkeeping, and there is no risk of full payment not being made. 

Can I buy this with a group and share my login?  We appreciate you respecting our teachers (and the law!!) by ensuring your login is for your eyes only.  Thanks for being awesome! It's a bummer when we have to pursue legal action to protect our teachers, but we will.

Is this beginner-friendly? Yes!  While it isn't an A-Z guide to family photography, we also know that new and aspiring family photographers will take away lots of tips they can implement immediately (not to mention, the boost of inspiration!)  We don't cover the basics of understanding your camera, shooting in manual, etc.

How long are the videos? Teacher videos will range from 30-80 minutes. (see class descriptions for individual run times).  Some will be video footage of the instructor in action showing specific posing and lighting techniques, while other topics will be presented in a slideshow or screenshare format. 

Is this professionally filmed? Nope! In fact, each presenter will be creating/filming their own presentation which might be a slideshow presentation, a video of them in their office, studio or on location showing you a session, or a screen share where you can watch them edit.   You will enjoy a jam-packed event with info, tips and inspiration to help you with your ​family photography (but it won't be up for any videography awards, so if that's a deal breaker for you, give this a pass until a future retreat).

Is there a discount if I've taken a retreat in the past?    Sorry, as each retreat is a new collaboration with a unique group of instructors, there aren't discounts beyond the early-registration price.

Do you have a money-back guarantee? Ticket are non-refundable.  Just like an in-person conference, you go in knowing there are some sessions you are going to love and some that might not feel applicable to you.  At the end of the day, you need to decide what you are looking for and if the sessions described fit what you need! 

Is there tax added?  If you have the good fortune of living in Canada, then yes, there will be GST  and/or HST charged. If your business is registered, it is more of a 'paper shuffle with the CRA vs added cost.  If you don't have a business tax ID, we know tax can seem like a bummer, but think of all the wonderful things it provides....free healthcare tops our list!


Hello lovely!

I'm Lisa of Milk & Honey Photography and I'm so glad you're here.

When I got into the world of photography, there were a lot of tears (not the happy kind!)  And I felt really alone (and frustrated!)

I created The Milky Way to be a safe and supportive place to improve your photography skills (and confidence!) from the comfort of home (hello yoga pants!)

One things you'll find different here is that we have a community that cares. Yes.  Really cares. 

(And who believes we can all have our own versions of success and cheer each other on regardless of where we are in the journey)

If that sounds like your kind of tribe, I hope you'll be able to join us! 

Interested in teaching at a future retreat?
Or want to nominate someone?

Click here to fill out our initial application

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