When we sat down to brainstorm who to invite as a speaker/mentor/teacher for The Family Narrative, we knew that in addition to kick-ass photographers, we wanted to find people who represented a range of business models, target markets, experience levels, and teaching styles. We pulled together an amazing mixed bouquet of people who are different in so many ways - who they are, where they live, who they sleep with (or don’t sleep with), what they look like, etc. - but are all super-enthusiastic about this project and the prospect of creating real and meaningful change in the family photography world. Their strengths range widely and each will undoubtedly bring a new perspective to the group. We cannot wait to see this community come together!
ELENA S. BLAIR
Elena S. Blair is an award winning Lifestyle Family & Newborn photographer based in Seattle, WA. With
nearly ten years experience, Elena has photographed hundreds of families making her Seattle's most
sought after lifestyle portrait photographer. Her work and words have been featured on popular online
publications like The Huffington Post, Click & Co Blog, Dear Photographer, and many more. Elena
teaches with online platforms including CreativeLive, KelbyOne, and Click & Company, as well as independently reaching thousands of photographers each year. She is an established public speaker inspiring photographers all over the United States to make meaningful art and build profitable businesses.
Felicia Chang is a documentary photographer who believes that connections are important, normal is relative, and crustier versions of life deserve visual space in family photos. As an instructor for family documentary photography, she works to change the mindset of photographers at the grassroots level to advocate for everyoneʼs version of reality as photo-worthy. Within her community, she works with local childrenʼs hospitals and hospices to document end of life journeys and still births.
She believes that photography, particularly within the documentary genre, can act as a guide to help us see things for the way they really are. She observes the rich and complicated world, receives its ebb and flow, and discovers stories that are more remarkable than any imagined. If her photographs are successful, they will be both an advocate for the human experience and a voice for family stories.
A Borneo native, Felicia found her way to Canadian soil during her teenage years and never left. Although she spent much of her early adult life as a geologist in pursuit of gem and metal commodities through the Canadian Arctic, the start of a family changed it all. Photos of rocks and landscapes were traded for photos of life. She currently resides in North Vancouver, BC, in a well-patinaʼd 105-yr old house with her husband, two girls, and Schnauzer-poodle best friend. When there is free time to be had, she spends it running the north shore trails or traveling with her family.
Over the last 18 years I’ve been documenting families, musicians, weddings, editorial assignments, and various types of portraiture for expressive and progressive people with a healthy sense of humor. Over thought and overwrought poses are for museums, so I work to capture candid humanity with all its unpredictable movement and energy, genuine emotion and surprising moments. Clients include Lindy W est, Claire Dederer, The New Pornographers, Haiti Babi, and the Stranger.
KAHRAN BETHENCOURT (CreativeSoul Photography)
Regis and Kahran are a husband and wife duo and the imaginative forces behind CreativeSoul Photography. With over 9 years of working with hundreds of children, families and brands, they specialize in lifestyle photography and authentic, visual storytelling. Their holistic approach to capturing one-of-a-kind moments has allowed their work to be featured in Teen Vogue, CNN, Glamour magazine, Vogue Italia, Black Enterprise, BET.com, on The Real daytime talk show, BBC News, the OWN network and more. You can connect with them online at CreativeSoulPhoto.com and on your favorite social media channels.
Keziah Kelsey is a former art educator, an artist, and fine art photographer. In 2014 she pivoted from high concept styled shoots in the fashion world to intimate, raw, and real portraits of family, motherhood, and childhood as she began her own family journey. Her photography business has grown from a side hustle to full time and has deepened in tune with the seasons in her life. She now offers full service, end to end professional photography as well as mentoring, classes, and workshops for budding photographers. She has recently been honored with 1st place in the 2017 Shoot & Share competition, and is a member of NAPW, the Motherhood Society, PPA and a Click Pro. Her work has been shown at multiple, international galleries and published extensively in the last few years.
Nicki Sebastian is a Los Angeles-based family, editorial, and commercial photographer, the creator of Motherhood Portraits, and a mother of two herself. When Nicki isn't taking photos of parents and babies and kiddos, she's probably eating ice cream, strolling with her daughters along the Pacific, or more likely, doing both of those things simultaneously.
Nick North is a dude, a husband, a Dad to 5 kids and a Branding Strategist. He also has a history of being a woman, a wife, a mom a photographer and even an EMR. When he embraced his identity and came out as transgender, he realized just how much gender affects the way we think, talk, sell and function. He now speaks from his experience on both sides of the gender coin, empowering both men and women to live authentically and powerfully, while also making more money following their passion and their gut.He is also the Director of Marketing at The Skipping Stone Foundation, a non profit benefiting trans youth and gender creative kids. You can find him at www.nicknorth.co.
Xanthe (pronounced Zan-thee) is a professional photographer, film maker, stop motion artist and visual story-teller, based in London, where she lives with her husband and their two teenage sons. Xanthe fills her frames with bright colours, movement, sunlight and joy – elevating the everyday and bringing a warm smile to her international community of friends, fans and students alike.
A wide variety of projects keeps her photography and film making business buzzing with activity. From her beginnings in lifestyle portrait photography for families and women, to guiding and inspiring others to start making their own films, through her workshops and online courses. Xanthe works with many leading UK brands, such as Boden, Cath Kidston, The White Company, Twinings, Penguin Books, Ikea, Etsy to name just a few - creating films, stop motions and photos to be shared across their social media channels.
The variety of work and focus is something she loves, and her successes in capturing photos and videos for brand campaigns, to creating a stop motion of handbags & shoes in her home studio, or teaching on a video walk or simply playing peek a boo with her camera, while photographing a toddler, is why she has been invited to speak and teach at many events around the world.
Hugely passionate about personal projects, Xanthe always has a few on the go to push herself creatively and experiment for fun… you’ll find her daily on Instagram or riding her yellow bike in all kinds of weather