NEW! 2017 {online} Maternity Retreat hosted by The Milky Way

2018 {online}

Newborn + Maternity Retreat 

hosted by The Milky Way

 Watch (+ rewatch!) videos unlimited times

Ready to rock your newborn + maternity sessions?

31 inspiring instructors join forces to elevate your newborn + maternity photography (along with an amazing community of fellow photographers).

  • check
    Discover new posing, wrapping + styling ideas
  • check
    Learn to capture emotion + connection
  • check
    Find new inspiration and refine your workflow

$347 USD or 2 payments of $175

Videos will have English, Portuguese (Brazil) + (NEW!)  Spanish subtitles  

What are students saying?

"Absolutely loved your posing. Very sophisticated and elegant.”  

 "WOW!  Loved your video"
~ Megan

"I loved the safety video!!”  ~Krista
"The safety video is amazing!!! “  ~Samantha

"Ten minutes into your video and my jaw is still on the floor!!"    

"I LOVED the video and all of your tips!”  
~Hayley G

"Great video so far!!  I'm not even done!"

Watch on YOUR Schedule

Videos are available to watch when it works for you!

Download the Videos
(+ watch them online for a YEAR!)

You can download the videos
so you have them for life!

Bonus Facebook Community*

Connect with fellow students in a safe, drama-free space 

Who are the teachers?

(And what are they teaching?)

Luisa Dunn​​​​

Luisa Dunn Photography

Creative Composites

Join Luisa in-studio where she shows you how to introduce creative composites to your session workflow.  

With a little pre-planning, you can seamlessly weave these into your workflow to create greater variety for your clients while still keeping your sessions as quick as possible.

Running Time: 2hr 20m

Kristen Cook

Kristen Cook

Emotional Connection with Parents

Be gone stiff and awkward parent photos!

Join Kristen behind the scenes as she walks you through the parent-posing part of her newborn sessions.

You'll learn how to create portraits with emotion, and to push yourself beyond the boundaries of what you think it means to capture parents with their little ones. Learn how to guide parents naturally to capture images your clients will cherish - and that tell their love story.

​Running Time: ​44m

Amy McDaniel

Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDaniel

Prop Posing: Buckets + Bowls

Join Amy in her studio, where she shows you how to get a variety of bucket shots using an easy prop workflow.

Whether your little client is sleepy or alert (and wrapped), you'll see how you can incorporate this prop flow to get images your clients will love.   This session also includes a simple edit to see the finished image presented to clients.

Running Time: 49m

Rachel Vanoven

Rachel Vanoven Photography

Newborn Posing Flow (on beanbag)

Come behind-the-scenes as Rachel walks you through her posing flow on the beanbag.  Learn how she transitions between poses smoothly and effectively to shorten ​the overall session time.  

Running Time: ​​44m

Doug + Courtney Weittenhiller 

Twig & Olive Photography

Lifestyle Outdoor Newborns with Families

Photographing newborns is challenging, but what if you want to work outdoors? And with the whole family?? While there are so many more safety and lighting conditions to consider, you will end up with truly mesmerizing photography.

In this video, we'll demonstrate the important techniques necessary for a successful outdoor session, covering both the technical and creative aspects.  We’ll demonstrate how to work with younger sibling, and do so in less than ideal conditions, in order to produce a timeless product for our clients.

​Running Time: 32m

Erin Hoskins

Erin Elizabeth Photography

Rocking Your Macro Lens

Increase your gallery diversity with images that parents swoon over.  Join Erin while she shares her tips on how to get the most out of your macro lens,  capturing the little details your clients love - lips, nose, fingers, toes, and wisps of hair.

​Running Time: ​55m

Russ Jackson

Russ Jackson Photography

Photographing Newborns with Parents + Siblings

In this behind-the-scenes video, Russ will be demonstrating his 'go-to' poses when photographing newborn babies with older siblings and parents. We will also cover lighting (using studio flash) and some tricks on how to capture the emotional connection between parents and their new baby.

Running Time: 56m 

Lisa DiGeso

Milk & Honey Photography

Newborn Session Flow

Join Lisa in-studio where she'll walk you through her go-to session flow from start to finish with newborns, including beanbag and prop posing.  She'll share tips on light placement, shooting angles, and how to change your position to maximize each pose.  An edit will also be shown at the end to see a start-to-finish result.

Running Time: 58m

Paloma Schell

Studio Paloma Schell 

Wrapping: Beauty and Safety*

In this video, Paloma will show you tips and tricks to wrap babies safely while still getting beautiful results!

NOTE: This video will be in Portuguese with English subtitles

​Running Time: 37m

Erin Tole

Erin Tole​​​ Photography

Fresh 48 Sessions

Join Erin as she walks you through her Fresh 48 sessions. Taken within the first 48 hours after birth - these sessions are so much easier to schedule than births, while still allowing you to document the early days.

Learn the tips and strategies to make every session magical (regardless of the hospital setting - because we all know those can be less than photogenic!).   
Erin will also show you a simple edit  that will ​illustrate the steps she takes for these sessions.

​Running Time: 45m

Alli Peck

Glow Portraits™

Maternity Sessions with Siblings

In this session, join world-wide critically acclaimed celebrity maternity photographer Alli Peck as she brings you into her studio for a maternity session with a sibling. 

She'll teach you her flattering maternity posing techniques  and tips on capturing beautiful and emotional portraits of expecting moms with their children.  You'll also have the opportunity to watch a clean edit of one of her resulting images.

​Running Time: 37m

Aoife Millea

Cleare Photography

The Art of Newborn Composites 

There's so much more thought that goes ​into a believable newborn composite than just finding a few images to edit together.

In this video, Aoife will walk you through her thought process prior to creating a composite, including things to watch for when building your digital background collection, lighting and positioning the baby to ensure the image looks realistic and the creative process that fuels it all.

Running Time: 1hr 8m

Cassandra English​​​​


Stress-free Sleepy Baby Workflow

A stress-free way (for you and the parents) to start every session.   Aimed at all skill levels, this will help you get a variety of beautiful sleepy portraits of those tiny humans every time, guaranteeing yourself a ​deliverable gallery in case it goes a bit pear-shaped later on.

​Running Time: ​44m

Bianca Hubble

​Bianca Hubble Photography

Prop Posing Flow with Twins

Join Bianca in studio as she shares her passion for working with multiples.   In this video, you will see how she not only transitions from one prop to the next, but also maximizes the use of each set up, along with extra tips on soothing newborns. 

Running Time: 1hr 29m

Molly Keyser

Boudie Shorts

Facebook Live for Portrait Bookings 

How to use it, where to post it, what to post & how to get bookings from Facebook live.

​Running Time: 31m

Jen Brandt

​Where Bluebirds Fly Photography

Creating a Boutique Experience (on any budget) + Purchasing Props with Purpose

In this video, Jen will open your eyes to offering a boutique experience on any budget & purchasing props with a purpose. We will talk about how you don't need the best lighting equipment, the most expensive props, the prettiest and biggest studio space (or any space at all for that matter_ to offer an amazing experience to your clients!

Then she will show everyone how to rock a whole session with only 12 basic props and how to purchase props with purpose!! No more blowing ​moolah on things that don't coordinate!!!

Running Time: 39m

Angie Knutson

Angie Knutson Photography

Wrap +  Prop Posing Workflow 

Join Angie in studio as she guides you through how she uses wraps to move between props quickly and efficiently, while providing a variety of images with minimal movement to the newborn.  She will also share an edit so you can see the finished result she presents to clients.

Running Time: 34m

Meagan Ready + Stevie Cruz

​Blossom Workshop

Creating a Luxury Maternity Experience​ 

How do you stand out in your market?  You create a unique experience for your client. In this video, join The Blossom Workshop gals, Meagan and Stevie, as they share their tips on how to create a luxury maternity experience.  

Running Time: 32m

Lizzy McMillan

​Momento Studios

Go-To Twin Posing

Photographing twins is not your average newborn session. In fact, many photographers have anxiety about working with more than one newborn at a time.

In this video, join PPA Certified Professional Photographer Lizzy McMillan, (aka The Multiples Whisperer™), as she teaches you her go-to poses for capturing twins, giving you the skills and knowledge to safely and confidently photograph twins.

Discover how to prepare your studio for a newborn twin session and how to prep the parents while setting expectations.  Discuss how to expertly work with assistants and the safety and newborn handling tips that are critical to success. You'll also explore time-saving tips on posing, wrapping, prop selection.

Lizzy has photographed more sets of multiples than any other newborn photographer worldwide, with over 80 families including: 60+ sets of twins, 9 sets of triplets, 3 sets of quadruplets and 2 sets of quintuplets over the the past 13 years.

​Running Time: 1hr 5m

Sandra Moffat

​Moffat Photography/StandInBaby

Posing Discovery

In this session, Sandra will guide you through the process of looking at both your props and your posing in a new way, so you can find variety using what you already have.

Running Time: 1hr 2m

Kathleen Vergara

​Kath V Photography

"Dream Bed" Set -Up 

In this video, Kathleen will take you behind the scenes to show you how she designs her signature "dream bed" set-up. She also shares tips on what flattering angles to take as well as incorporating minimal styling changes to increase the size of your gallery.

Running Time: 1hr 16m

Jamie Swanson

The Modern Tog

5 Step Marketing Plan for Getting More Maternity & Newborn Clients

Take the mystery out of marketing and learn exactly what you need to do to get more clients.

This 5 Step Marketing Plan is going to give you a step-by-step framework so you can implement this into your business as quickly as possible and start booking more clients.

Running Time: 1hr 11m

Stephanie Lemmens​​​

​Il était une fois photographie

Outdoor Maternity Edit

In this video, Stephanie will walk you through her editing process for her outdoor maternity work. Using hand-editing steps in Photoshop, you'll learn how she turns an everyday photo into a work of art  (note: Portraiture will be used for skin softening and maybe a sky overlay).

​Running Time: 36m

Michael Stief

Michael Stief Photography

Modern & Fashion-oriented Maternity Photography

Pregnant women want to look and feel beautiful and confident in their photos and  Michael Stief achieves this in his maternity sessions. Michael will demonstrate his methods for creating fine art maternity and simple studio maternity portraits.

Watch this video with a multi award-winning international photographer as he shows and teaches you the art of modern and fashion-orientated maternity photography.   Michael will also share an edit from the session.

Running Time: 53m

Jessica Arellin 

Jessica Arellin Photography

Swing Pose + Potato Sack Pose

Come behind the scenes ​with Jessica as she shows you how she sets up each of these poses and uses composites to safely capture the popular swing pose and potato sack pose.  

She will also show you the editing steps where she merges the ​individual images, so you can see how ​the final image ​is achieved while always keeping the baby safe.

​Running Time: 38m

Brigette Schaffarzick 

Penguin Pictures

"Lifestyle" Within the Studio

In this video, Brigette will share how to easily ​incorporate lifestyle images into your posed studio newborn sessions. See how these types of images can enhance your galleries and give you MORE options for fussy babies!    Brigette will also share an edit from the session.

Running Time: 1hr 20m

Robin Long

Robin Long Photography


Join Robin in her natural light studio as she takes you ​through a series of newborn bum-wrapping positions, ​creating “womb-like” ​poses in a baby-guided session.

This artistic technique allows the baby the freedom to express their personality with an uncomplicated approach using simple fabrics. Robin’s choice of a pure palette of whites allows for a gallery of images that ​are authentic and timeless. The baby-led ​posing flow ​using bum-wrapping is centered on being able to connect with the baby and allow them to direct the session.

​Newborn photographers of all experience levels will be able to achieve this concept of transitioning and delicate movements while maintaining focus on the baby. This video will cover Robin’s beanbag prep with a white-on-white set-up, natural light placement & angles, bum-wrap positions & curling, the transitional flow, and your relationship with the baby to ensure a baby-guided session. 

Running Time: 48m

Amy Cope

Amy Cope Photography

Older Newborns

Amy will show you how to settle older newborns, aged 4 to 8 weeks, to get many posed shots and present a beautiful gallery to parents.  She will also share an edit so you can see the final result.

Running Time: 43m

Stephanie Robin

Stephanie Robin Photography

Making the Most of Your Styled In-Home Maternity Sessions

Learn to use the home environment to create stunning in-home maternity imagery for your clients featuring the backdrop of their daily lives.

​Running Time: 37m

Tiffany Burke

Tiffany Burke Photography

Outdoor Maternity

Learn with Tiffany how to ​create high-end, outdoor maternity images.

Go behind the scenes with Tiffany as she shoots and poses in an outdoor setting, so you can see how she interacts with her client.    Also includes an edit to see a 'start to finish' photo.

Running Time: 54m

Check out these great transformations from last year...

I love the whole concept of the Retreat, it is so great being able to watch so many amazing Photographers teach different aspects of newborn photography in your own time and in your own home. 

 I learned so much and have kept referring back to videos whenever I felt I needed to."

~Penny Carolan Photography

"I loved the variety of the teacher style and the massive support from the online group."  

It was amazing to have everyone together, critiquing and answering questions, just being cool and helping each other out. " 

 ~Shelayna Snow

First retreat experience with us?

Here's how it works...

Imagine an in-person conference except all the sessions happen online, you don't have to 'pick' which class to attend (you can watch them all!) and you don't have to travel anywhere!

31 talented newborn + maternity photographers will share their secrets and expertise on posing, editing, marketing and more!

All the videos are are pre-recorded, so you don't have to "show up live" at a specific time (so it works for all time-zones and all kinds of work schedules!).

The videos will be on the member site until Jan 30th, 2019 and you can download them too (so you have them for life!)

You'll also receive an invite to our BONUS* private Retreat Facebook group so you can keep receiving support and advice from your fellow students (so long as it remains a positive, drama-free zone!) until our next retreat gets underway

If you're ready to walk away feeling inspired with your newborn + maternity sessions, and confident with creating authentic, real moments with your clients we would LOVE to have you join us!

Ready to say yes?

$347 or 2 payments of $175

Tickets are non-refundable  - so please be sure it's the right experience for you prior to purchasing!

Here's what past retreaters had to say...

Consider this...if you can book just ONE extra session based on what you learn, it will have paid for itself! 

6 Reasons to SAY YES!


Inspiration from MANY pools

Look. We all have our favourite photographer. The one that inspires us the ​most. The one we just CAN'T stop looking at. I get that.

But I also know that one of the best ways to develop your OWN style and really create your own unique look is to seek inspiration from many sources. 

And that's one of the many comments we hear from past retreat attendees - just how much they loved getting inspiration from such a diverse group of photographers.  Because it's not about imitating other photographers. It's about bringing out the artist that is already inside you, just waiting for their chance to step into the sunlight.


Ah-mazing Value!

Yeah.  We're biased. But this retreat offers SOOO much amazing content for such a low price! 

Seriously. If you don't think you will be able to book more sessions and up your game after this retreat, well, then no matter the price, it wouldn't be a good use of your time.

But if you know you will, then after only 1 session, this retreat likely has paid for itself!

(and...if you are JUST starting out, here's a tip for you:

Do a model call not only to practice what you'll be learning, but also to help pay for the retreat).


Community over Competition

I don't know about you, but I found it super surprising how much time I end up spending ALONE in this business.  It can be incredibly isolating - and lonely!

And to be honest, when I first was getting started, I was too intimidated to reach out to other photographers.

We LOVE seeing all the connections form during the online retreat and the friendships that follow.

Just because you are a sole business owner does not mean you have to go it alone!


NO Travel (or pants!) Required

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE a good road trip (or plane trip!), but sometimes that just isn't possible while juggling a business and children.

We wanted to make it SUPER convenient to learn from an amazing group of teachers so we are bringing the whole experience to you via the neat thing called 'the internet.' :)

And unlike in-person events that offer recordings, EVERYONE is enjoying the same experience (because let's face it, no one likes feeling like they missed out on the 'real event') This online event IS the real event! :)



Here's the thing. We know that it can be hard to practice newborn sessions without having a newborn model.  And sometimes it's hard to schedule some in.

We also get that it is REALLY helpful to be able to go back to review something (multiple times!!)

Which is why when you sign up for the ​Newborn + Maternity Retreat, not only can you hop on to our member site to access the material, but you can download all the videos so you have them FOR LIFE!


Re-energize Your Work

Even if you are pretty happy with your ​newborn and maternity sessions, and are rocking the technical side of things, we ALL can find things getting stale from time to time.

If you are feeling that way already - no worries. We know this retreat will fire up your creativity and inspiration.

Not feeling low on inspiration - SUPER!

But, just like they don't recommend waiting until you are thirsty to drink, we don't recommend waiting until you are burned out to surround yourself with new ideas!

Where did the idea of an online retreat come from?

I love in-person events but sometimes traveling to a conference isn't in the cards.

Plus, I find my brain can only absorb so much info before what I'm learning goes in one ear and out the other - can you relate?

That's why we created our {online} Retreat series - where you can learn from an amazing group of teachers, connect with a positive group of like-minded photographers in a private online community and download videos for lifetime access.

(because sometimes it's nice to be able to review before a session!)

And because we know life is hectic, you don't have to be online at a specific time, so you can watch on YOUR schedule!

Ready to say yes?

$347 USD

(or 2 monthly payments of $175 USD)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I HAVE to be online at a certain time?
No! You can watch on your own schedule! 

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 Jan 30th, 2019.

I already have the 2017 Retreats. Is this the same?
No - these are all new videos! While we have some of our teachers returning, they are sharing new videos for 2018!

*Is there a Facebook community for the retreat?  We'll be hosting a bonus Facebook group.  Please note, this pop-up community is a bonus - not a paid part of the Retreat experience.  To participate, there is a set of community guidelines to follow (basically - be awesome!), but those who are not awesome, will be asked to leave. Teachers are no longer in the group but you can review the past "#AskTeacher" threads

Is this subtitled? Yes.  Videos will have English, Portuguese (Brazil) and  Spanish (NEW!) subtitles.  If you are interested in another language, fill in this interest form!

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 payments will automatically come out in 30 days after (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!) - however the option to download won't be available until full payment is made.  And yes, it is the best deal to purchase the single-pay option.  Why?  Because it requires less follow up on our part, less book-keeping, 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 ​maternity and newborn photography, we also know that new and aspiring ​photographers will take away lots of tips they can implement immediately (not to mention, the boost of inspiration!)  However, we do not 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 maternity and newborn 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.

We do, however, have alumni discounts on our Milky Way classes - Illuminate, Beyond the Beanbag and 5 Days to Photoshop.

Can I just take the newborn or maternity part of it?
It's an all n' one experience! If you don't offer maternity sessions, you'll still find ah-mazing value in the newborn sessions alone! ​

Do you have a money-back guarantee? 
Sorry friend - tickets are NON-refundable.  Just like an in-person conference, there may be some sessions/videos 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!  Take an honest look on what you hope to gain from the experience, and determine if THIS event is going to help you get that.  If not, please give it a pass.  

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 healthcare tops our list!

Have a question not answered?  Email us at

Future Teaching Opportunities

Interested in speaking at a future Retreat (family, newborn + maternity, business)?  
Click here
to fill out our initial application.

*IMPORTANT:  the Facebook group is a BONUS, not a paid part of the program to connect with other students.  We have community guidelines (basically be awesome) - if you aren't, you will be removed. ​

2018 The Milky Way.  All rights Reserved | Legal mumbo jumbo that you should read (ie: Terms + Conditions)
Not associated with Facebook