Teachers

When we sit down to brainstorm who to invite as a speaker/mentor/teacher for The Family Narrative, we know that in addition to kick-ass photographers, we want to invite people who represent a range of business models, target markets, experience levels, and teaching styles. For TFN 2020 we have gathered together an incredible compilation 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 introduce them to our already kickass community!

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CATHERINE ABEGG

Catherine is the ultimate 90’s chic from Seattle, Washington, whose life history of being the child of an immigrant, a teen mom, a single parent, and always a bit grunge, has led to work that aims to speak the truth and serve a greater good. Her photography has been recognized with several awards and multiple features, but her biggest claim to fame is that she was once honored as a Top “Queer-Friendly” photographer, as she led the way with encouraging inclusion and diversity in an otherwise traditional industry.

Catherine is very geeky, adventurous, and quite snuggly. She once lived in a VW van called Priscilla, but now you can mostly find her hanging around the Pacific Northwest with her husband, adult daughter, one small son, and their strange little dog named O’Malley.

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CHINELLE ROJAS

Chinelle is a wife, mom, advocate, logo designer, and birth photographer and videographer located in Tampa, Florida. She started her photography journey in late 2010, shot her first birth in the spring of 2011, and is passionate about all things birth. Chinelle is an activist in the birth community, and founder of The Melanated Birth, a community dedicated to the representation of families of color in birth, and whose mission is to bring awareness to women of color of the options available to them through the imagery of birth. 

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COURTNEY HOLMES

It all started in the late 80's with a five year old little girl collecting seashells at a beach in Florida, and her father filming her with his RCA camcorder he bought from Sears. Courtney Holmes is the third generation in a line of photographers also obsessed with video. Her grandfather filmed her father's childhood, and her father filmed her childhood. But it wasn't until after the birth of her second child that Courtney began to see why her father was so obsessed with video. With the encouragement of her father, Courtney finally flicked that switch on her camera over from stills to video. Video for Courtney felt like breathing life into a photograph. It completely changed her world. She became obsessed with learning everything she could in a short space of time. Eventually she began adding video to her photography sessions, and it became so popular that she starting booking out these family film sessions 12 months in advance. Courtney resides in Sydney Australia with her young family, and in addition to creating beautiful, memory infused films and photos for families, she's also the founder of the FilmingLife Academy where she teaches everything she knows about filmmaking to photographers. Courtney is a teacher at CreativeLive, and has been a speaker at many photography conferences, including TFN in Australia for 2018 and 2019, and ExposurePro for NZIPP in New Zealand for 2019. Courtney believes that films don't have to be complicated to be beautiful, and they don't have to be perfect to be meaningful. Her simplified approach to filmmaking has inspired photographers around the world to switch over to video and introduce this new creative facet into their work. 

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JAMIE THROWER

Jamie Thrower is a queer photographer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the owner of Studio XIII Photography, an LGBTQ photography studio, and is passionate about serving and advocating for her community through her images and writing. When she doesn't have a camera attached to her hand you can find her exploring the PNW with her partner and ridiculously adorable dog and cat duo, planning her next travel getaway, and finding more ways to include sparkles into her everyday wardrobe.

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LASHAWN WILTZ

LaShawn Wiltz, the creator of Everyday Eyecandy where she blogs about motherhood, her life, her passion for capturing everyday moments through photography and trying to find her versionof balance through it all. She was the 2017 Mom 2.0 Summit IRIS Award winner for Best Instagram, 2018 for Best Photography and 2019 for Best Sponsored Content. LaShawn is also VERY passionate about helping everyone live their best Instagram life. Based in Atlanta, GA, you can find LaShawn on Instagram, capturing the beauty in life’s everyday moments, documenting her days as a wife and mom with half-finished coffee in one hand and her camera in the other.

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ROXANNE BRYANT

Roxanne Ricciardi Bryant has been taking photos, film and digital, for almost 25 years. Her professional career in art began as a designer in New York City, working for both Nickelodeon and Disney. After working in the design industry for several years, she pursued an MFA in Art Education, designing a curriculum on the Visual Language of Drawing. She is a classically trained artist and has taught painting, drawing, graphic design, photography, printmaking and sculpture in public, private, and boarding schools in Boston and the greater Boston area. Currently Roxanne resides in Rhode Island with her husband and two kids, photographing families throughout New England, as well as providing on-line photography education on color theory and post production.

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SANDRA COAN

Sandra Coan is a Seattle based newborn and family photographer, industry educator and author specializing in studio portraiture and fine art film photography.  She shares her passion for photography and business on popular platforms including, CreativeLive, KelbyOne, B&H, Adorama and Click and Company as well as at industry conferences around the country.  Her award-winning work has been featured in a variety of publications and on many popular blogs and is also a part of the Seattle Museum of History and Industry's permanent collection.

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YAN PALMER

I know I'm gonna sound like a real asshole, but bios are hard cuz I think the world is so very hurt right now with the restriction of lines, labels, and identities that sometimes limit and divide us from one another more than they communicate the truth of who we are. That being said, my dream identity is something like if Mr. Rogers, Bob Ross, Oprah, Mary Oliver and  Sally Mann made a baby by the miracle of science, that baby would be my essence. I cheer for art, heart, the inner child and soul, and make pictures and poems/prose in the process. I try to teach myself and others how to walk that path back to a home in ourselves and our own intuition/creative impulse. This has taken me all over the world.

I believe in kindness over coolness, laughter as therapy, doing whatever it is you do with heart, and taking the time to really see the people and the world around you. As a single mom of three incredible kids, the last decade as an artist and teacher have had a lot of ups and downs. I bet your years have too. I believe in celebrating the ups, and learning the story of the downs.

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NICK NORTH (OUR MC FOR THE WEEK!)

Nick North is a dude, a husband, a dad to 5 kids and a Branding Strategist. He also has a history of living as 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 men and women to live authentically and powerfully, while also making more money following their passion and their gut. You can find him at www.nicknorth.co or sharing many a topless photo and big feelings on Instagram @epicdanger.