The Family Memoirs: Beyond the Snapshot

with Yasmina Cowan | Available for Immediate Download

Yasmina Cowan is a lifestyle photographer whose passion lies in capturing honest and authentic moments. She strives to capture the unconventional and aspires to frame images that tell a story and exemplify genuine human emotion. In this breakout she will walk you through her organic approach to photography and how she uses her “storyteller first” mantra to document family, both professionally and personally, by creating compelling memoirs that tell a lasting story. You will hone your photographic eye and learn to view the ordinary in frames that go beyond the snapshot to become extraordinary memories. From composing with purpose, to embracing and knowing light, to waiting for and identifying the special moments, Yasmina will take you through her end to end process of how she creates an inspired frame in even the most humble of settings. Learn how to approach family photography with a fresh pair of eyes and gain confidence in engaging with and shooting clients who embrace the non-traditional.

“This breakout is packed full of inspiring words and images.” -Kate


• Yasmina’s approach to photography and how to create imagery that shapes our memories and creates a compelling family memoir for yourself and your clients
• When + how to engage with your subjects and when to take a fly on the wall approach
• How to develop your photographic eye to view the world around you and family moments with a fresh perspective
• How to incorporate storytelling elements to create context and produce more intentional images
• Using available light to your advantage to enhance your visual narrative
• Composing + framing your images with purpose to capture honest moments that go beyond a snapshot
• Gear + Settings for capturing fleeting moments
• How Yasmina interacts with her clients from initial inquiry through to gallery delivery
• How to stay artistically inspired day to day + the importance of personal projects

I would highly recommend this breakout for anyone looking to gain some great insight on how Yasmina gets such incredible real moments. -Danielle



Yasmina Cowan is a family and lifestyle photographer based out of Washington D.C. who has been featured in publications such as the Washingtonian and the Huffington Post amongst others. She is a lover of the unconventional and is passionate about capturing honest and authentic storytelling moments in her professional and personal work. Her photojournalistic style was driven by a deep wanderlust and keen interest in people’s stories, big and small. She strives to capture that authenticity and shared human experience in her work. She is never happier than when she is spending time with her incredible husband of 8 years and two beautiful children. Her truest passion lies in documenting her kids’ childhood as organically as possible in order to create a visual narrative she hopes they will one day treasure.


  • If you’re looking for a fresh new way of seeing your subjects, and capturing REAL authentic moments, do this breakout! Yasmina went above and beyond to answer our questions and explain her process, vision and goals in detail. While this breakout focuses on the storytelling approach, there is so much other valuable content, from technical tips to settings, to posing (or prompting!). The biggest thing I learned from this class was not to let low light or clutter hold me back. Not every home (including my own) is lucky to have clean white walls and big windows, so this breakout has pushed me to think more creatively and figure out how to evoke more emotion and mood in my images. WELL WORTH every penny!

  • This breakout was the best photography-related purchase I’ve made in months. I was in a storytelling rut and drowning in client work. Yasmina truly inspired me to pick up the camera every day and just shoot! No moment is too small. Thank you so much!

  • Wei Zhou says:

    This breakout is inspiring, honest and empowering, just like Yasmina’s images which I adore! She truly put her heart and soul into this breakout. I own ~30 breakouts (I know!! :P) and this is definitely one of my favourites and I highly recommend it. Thank you so much, Yasmina, for this incredible breakout!

  • Jennifer Haas says:

    I love a breakout that makes me stop, think & ever so slightly change the way I shoot. This breakout did just that. Yasmina poured herself into this breakout and went above and beyond as far as interaction with her students during the live run. You will not be disappointed!

  • Sarah Luczak says:

    Yas has poured her heart into this breakout and it shows. I love her approach to capturing authentic moments. I am a breakout junkie and this one is a favorite of mine. Just before I purchased this I felt uninspired and bored shooting in my home. The breakout drew me in and ignited a passion to capture creative images I never thought were possible in my own home. I began using techniques that I had never used before! I highly recommend this to anyone from a beginner wanting to learn more about lifestyle photographer to a working pro who wants some fresh ideas and inspiration.

  • I was a little hesitant on my first breakout since I’ve been doing photography for many years. I definitely knew some basic composition and started to learn light…but I really wanted to learn how to seek moments. I was not disappointed! Beyond composition and light, Yasmina showed how to find the moment and the moment after! I had several “Ah-ha!” moments that I’ll be able to use in my personal work and my business side! Looking forward to using my new skills and point of view!

  • I purchased this breakout on a whim after seeing the beautiful video Yasmin made for her advertisement of The Family Memoirs. Seriously, I watched that video several times, I couldn’t get over how beautiful her work is. She has such a pretty style that leaves you feeling something & since that is exactly what I aim to showcase in my own art, I knew that I needed to give her breakout a go. This is seriously the best $50 I have ever spent towards my photography & I am not exaggerating. What makes Yasmin so wonderful is that she is completely dedicated to the breakout & everyone in it. She quickly answers questions, gives CC, & doesn’t keep anything to herself in terms of how she processes her work. She even included several bonus videos & giveaways. The Facebook group alone is worth the money. I believe in a strong community & you can find that here within her breakout.

  • I’ve been doing photography for over ten years! I started with film in high school and my passion hasn’t stopped growing! I have so much to learn…don’t we always? But I was a little hesitant purchasing my first breakout because I wasn’t sure if it’d be too basic or helpful! I am SO thankful that I went with my gut and tried it out! There have been a TON of helpful hints and tricks I never thought to do! I learned so much in way of light, composition and connection!

  • Kim Hilliard says:

    “The Family Memoirs” is fantastic! I found myself devouring every page and feeling more and more inspired along the way. I love the kind encouragement she gives throughout. It was just what I needed to get me motivated as we go into these long summer days. She made me think, and gave so many practical things I can apply to my photography.

  • I adorreeee this breakout. I love how Yas makes the whole experience so personal for clients and makes me feel like it’s okay to break the “rules”! She is so laid back and personal throughout all the material I felt like I know her personally by the time I was done! I’ve been wanting to shift all of my sessions to feeling more authentic, storytelling, lifestyle and this is helping me get that extra push. Thank you thank you thank you :)

  • This. Was. Fantastic. Yasmina’s approach to capturing the raw, lovely, magic available to us through every part of a client’s home (or our own!) and every moment of a session is really magical. Her shooting videos are so revealing and so honest, and her insights into how she edits have been invaluable! The PDF is FULL of thoughtful, insightful, articulate explanations of how she preps and moves through a session and I learned something that I’ve already applied with my clients in every section. Whether you are finding your voice as a photographer for the first time or figuring out how to evolve it for how you’ve grown after years of shooting, Yasmina breakdowns her process and style in ways that will help you better understand what it means to be an archivist of your own family memoirs. Highly recommend.

  • Yasmina’s breakout is exactly what I needed for my photography. She is down to earth and explains everything so well. I love her techniques for storytelling and especially the section about personal projects and staying inspired. There are tons of bonuses and she really poured her heart into everything!

  • Amber says:

    Yasmina is so generous in sharing her expertise in this breakout. After reading only the first few pages of material, I already felt inspired to go shoot photos of my daughter. The material in the breakout is comprehensive yet easy to digest, and the videos that accompany the written material helped me solidify my understanding. If you want to take your family photos up a notch, definitely check out this breakout. You will not be disappointed.

  • Amie hansen says:

    One point that has stood out to be as I continue to read through this material is to sit back and watch my boys during the day and the moments through light and how the light is reflecting the same and my subjects! It is a process of slowing down with photography vs clicking away like I find myself doing!

  • Seriously amazing info! For me, indoor light was such a constant struggle, The Family Memoirs really connected the dots. Yasmina’s approach to documenting her family is so completely in line with what I want out of my own work. She is helpful, supportive and positive. I highly recommend this breakout to anyone who wants to capture the beauty in their organic everyday moments. Love!

  • I have been a fan of Yasmina’s work for so long so I knew I had to do this breakout to get a look into her shooting brain and I was not disappointed! She shares so freely and wholeheartedly, from how she uses light and her thought process behind different images she has taken, I was blown away with how comprehensive this breakout was! I can feel the heart and soul she has put into this with every word I read and every video I watched. Thank you Yasmina for sharing your beautiful heart in this breakout. I cant wait to try some of the exercises she suggests and use some of the tricks she shares to further enhance my own family memoir.

  • An insane amount of practical, awesome information. Yasmina beautifully covers all things family photography and I’m still reading and absorbing and learning. So much goodness here!!

  • Chanelle Torckler says:

    I’ve gotten myself through the first PDF, and am so inspired to start shooting! I have all these ideas racing around my head, just have to wait for the opportunities to arise! I love the fact there are exercises to participate in right the way through and I can’t wait to watch some of the videos as well to get even more insight into Yasmina’s mind. She is very dedicated to lifestyle photography and is full of valuable information and tips to help improve your own style. I have been shooting my own little family for three years now, and it always amazes me that there’s always something to learn! Yasmina has really outdone herself and just sounds like such a sweet person, so I’m very happy I invested in this breakout and to be learning from her.

  • Nivea says:

    Y’all! I have been so much more selective about workshops/breakouts this year because I have realized that while I love motivational and inspirational pieces, I NEED that informational/technical component in a class. I learn from having that objective information to store in my brain and be able to use right away!

    Yasmina has given me all of that. Motivation, Inspiration, AND Knowledge! I just bought this breakout today and am already leaving this review. I am not in business, but I know my passion is being able to photograph my daughter and my own family in an authentic and creative way. If thats what you’re looking for, you will not regret this purchase! Now I want her to write a whole Workshop (hint hint) @yasminacowan

    Thank you CM for continuously offering all of the content I need to become a better photographer! <3

  • Amie Hansen says:

    Yas has poured her heart into this breakout, holding nothing back and she has really challenged me to think differently about how I am approaching my photography. Do you ever have a feeling at a photo session whether in home or outside that you have to be fully in charge because maybe that is what the family is expecting you to do? Well that is my mind set at times that I just need to get this photo session done before melt downs happen etc BUT while reading the material it was like I have been a new set of eyes to see that I don’t have to rush, I can pause, wait and see what unfolds in a session vs just clicking and hoping that something magically will happen. Real life isn’t about rushing it is about viewing the world around us with a new fresh pair of eyes or like little rectangles like Yas said. She has me excited to work with my families in a different way and slowing down and applying the steps she suggested in the breakout. Thank you so much for gifting so many with this beautiful information. So blessed to be able to learn from you. Thank you Yas.

  • Yasmina has poured her heart and soul into this breakout and it definitely shows. She is a master of light and I love how she really gets specific in discussing how she achieves her signature, light-infused photographs. Each section gives wonderful, detailed descriptions of her process, accompanied by emotive, beautiful imagery. She really breaks it down into a way that is accessible, inspiring, and informative. I have followed her work for many years and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be learning from her through this breakout! My kids are asleep right now and I can’t wait to get them in front of the camera tomorrow…I’m so inspired! The bonus iphoneography PDF is an awesome little extra too!

  • Lacey Barnes says:

    You will not be disappointed. I dove into the reading the first night and could not wait for morning to come to get my camera out. If you’re looking for inspiration for those real life moments, look no further!

  • I have been waiting for this breakout & I am not disappointed! Yasmina’s approach to lifestyle photography is inspiring & I have enjoyed getting an insider look at how she interacts with the families she photographs. I look forward to trying out the exercises she suggests in the breakout & I’m even inspired to finally complete a 365 project. The bonus mobile photography PDF has also encouraged me to pull my iPhone out & get excited about mobile photography again. No more missing special moments because I don’t have my camera on me! Thank you Yasmina!

  • Yasmina has outdone herself! Her breakout is inspiring, thoughtful, and so well done. You can see that she’s poured her heart and soul into every part of it. She’s included exercises to keep your creative juices flowing, as well and tips and tricks to photograph your own family and/or other families if you’re in business. Thank you so much Yasmina for this incredible breakout!!!

  • Erin Brant says:

    I’m such a fan of Yasmina’s work so I loved getting a peek into the thought process behind her gorgeous images. There is a ton of great information here and I’m really excited to get started on some of the exercises she suggests! My favorite thing about this breakout was completely unexpected though…the iPhoneography bonus is incredible! I put some of her tips and tricks to work today and I’m already seeing improvement in my phone pics. I honestly document my family with my phone more than any other camera so it is high time I start being more intentional with those photos. Thank you, Yasmina, for showing me the way!! This is a wonderful breakout!

  • Kate Luber says:

    Yasmina has simply outdone herself!! This breakout is packed full of inspiring words and images. She details every aspect of her philosophy on image creation and then walks you through her process of capturing that in her images both of her own children and with clients. As someone who manufactures so many moments for photographs, it’s inspiring and encouraging to see how she captures real moments and I can’t wait to incorporate some of her tricks while capturing my own girls. The reason I got into photography was to capture my girls in the way that my own childhood had been captured, and I think this breakout nails that. It’s not about the mantle images but about the images that fill albums that the kids pull out from under the stereo cabinet and look through over and over for years to come.

    I’m also super duper excited about her bonus materials. I am the world’s worst phone photographer and she has written an ENTIRE bonus pdf on phone photography.

  • Just finished reading the pdf and I am now feeling inspired to try some new tricks with my own daughter.! Thank you Yasmina for sharing your knowledge and your heart in this breakout! I felt like there were some great light bulb moments for me and also some great tips for personal projects. I would highly recommend this breakout for anyone looking to gain some great insight on how Yasmina gets such incredible real moments, she offers a wealth of information to help guide you so that you can do the same!

Have a Question? Contact us Here!

Write a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *