Morgan Family Capitol Building Session | Olympia Portrait Photographer

As a wedding photographer I don't photograph as many family as I used too since my summer and fall are busy catching "I do's." BUT when I do get to squeeze one in I remember how fun they can be.

This is the Morgan Family's second time having their family portrait's taken with me and it was really fun to see how much the girls had grown up. Not to mention the addition of a little, chubby-cheeked and smiley brother! So much can change in two years!! We hammed it up, danced and played and had a blast exploring the Capitol Building! What a great setting and an amazing family.

OF COURSE now I'm going to sneak my favorite quote about families in here... not that it pertains to this family cause I don't think I've met their 'nut' yet but when I think of it relative to my family it makes me giggle!

“Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.” - Unknown

...... side note...... if you are the 'nut' do you know it?? If you read this and think "no, not my family - we are 'nut' free" could that mean that YOU are the 'nut'? Anyway, I find it pretty humorous and it also reminds me how much I love my family, 'nuts' and all.


THROWBACK!

People, and family, change over time and it's great to have images to hold side my side to not only remember fond moments that have passed but also to see all the changes that may not be as obvious because you see people every day. A solid reminder not to take any moment, phase - good or bad- or person for granite.

Second side not of today's blog, I'm happy to see how much growth there is in my photography skills too .... so SO much can change in two years!

Thank you Morgan family for trusting me to capture your family portraits not once but twice! I hope we can enjoy each other's growth again!

Olympia Portrait Photographer
Fox-Morgan Family (24).JPG

XOXO,

Sarah

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Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer | Olympia Wedding Photographer Resource

Hi Friends,

Are you ready to meet with potential wedding photographers but unsure of what to ask them?

Your wedding day is very important and many moments will happen that you can't get back. Hiring a competent and experienced wedding photographer to capture all those little moments is a decision you'll never regret!

So, before you hire just any photographer.. get to know them, their style and their business ethics. Below is a guide to get you started in the interviewing process (a PDF version is also available so take it with you to your meetings! Download Below)

Tacoma Wedding Photographer

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Basic Questions

Tacoma Wedding Photographer
  1. Do you have my date available? NOTE: If the answer is ‘No’ then skip to the ‘Unavailable’ section at the very bottom.
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. How many weddings have you shot? Have you done any similar to mine?
  4. Have you shot at my venue before? If not will you scout it ahead of time?
  5. Do you specialize in weddings? NOTE: Hiring someone that specializes in wedding photography is important because of the nature of the event. You can’t get those moments back or get a redo!
  6. How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)? 
  7. What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
  8. Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
  9. What type of equipment do you use?
  10. Do you shoot in color and black & white? NOTE: Now is a good time to express your preference!
  11. Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like done?
  12. Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session (along with other photos the couple provides) and show it during the cocktail hour? 
  13. Will you follow a shot list? Or do you prefer to have free reign to capture the festivities how you see fit?
  14. How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
  15. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
  16. May I have a list of references?
  17. Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants with you on that day? What about a second shooter?
  18. What about backup equipment? Do you have or will you rent spare equipment if your main gear fails? What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
  19. If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?
  20. Are you photographing any other events on the same day as mine?
  21. How will you (and any of your representatives) be dressed? 
  22. Is it okay if other (non-professional) people take photos while you're taking photos?
  23. What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot?
  24. If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
Tacoma Wedding Photographer

Contracts, Policies, Legalities

  1. What are the steps that need to be done to secure you as our wedding photographer?
  2. Will I be able to see your contract ahead of time so I have time to go through it?
  3. How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due?
  4. Do you offer a payment plan?
  5. What is your refund/cancellation policy?
  6. Do you have liability insurance?
  7. Do you have a current business license? 

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Do I feel a connection with this photographer? Are our personalities a good match?
  2. Does this photographer’s work match my ideal wedding photography style?
  3. Do our communication styles match?
  4. Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
  5. Is this Photographer as awesome as I am?

Unavailability

  1. If you aren’t available to shoot my wedding can you recommend someone with a similar style, experience and price range?

Download a PDF version HERE

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

"She's the one with the elephant logo"

Hi! I'm the photographer with the elephant logo....as you guessed I get that often.

As a photographer, our logo also known as a "brand" is like our label. It tells you, our clients, a little bit about us with just one little image. An elephant may be a bit strange for a brand, but I feel that it truly fits me and show who I am and and how I want to represent my business.

Travel back in time with me and I'll tell you about where my love with elephants started.

My first encounter with an elephant was when I was about three years old, my daddy took me to the circus in my hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska. Elephants are pretty large creatures, especially compared to a little girl but I had no fear. I was so curious and fascinated that I wasn't scared to interact with them. I reached out to my new friend, lettuce in hand, and instead of a little tickle from him trunk when he grabbed the lettuce (which I surely expected) I got quite the surprise! My tiny little hand inadvertently, or purposely who knows, went into the elephants trunk. Back out it came, slightly slimier then it entered. Not long after my dad gave me a yellow elephant stuffed animal, that I named Sabrina, and she became my fave. I still have her, although she's in need of a few surgeries to get her healthy again. That is just where it begun...

When I was 16 I traveled to Thailand on vacation and not only did I get to feed and play with the elephants but I got to ride one!! One little baby even picked me up when I was trying to get a photo with it! So fun.... want more stories?? Let's get coffee and chat!

I do have quite a few positive memories with elephants and it is part of the reason why I love them. But I also connect with them on another level. Although I am not Buddhist, I have much respect for spirituality and have a fascination with the concepts behind Buddhism. The elephant is strongly connected with Buddha and symbolizes power, wisdom, strength, protection of the home, fertility and good luck. An elephant trunk facing upward is a sign of good luck, hence the elephant in my logo! So... isn't an elephant a perfect fit for the logo of a wedding photographer??? Me, especially.

***TIP*** Scroll all the way down to see some nice little gems from my childhood. If you need a good laugh you won't want to miss them!

 

Olympia Wedding Photographer

Sarah Gonia Photography Logo designed with and created by Wild Hyacinth Design Studio.

Olympia Wedding Photographer
Chiang Mai, Thailand circa 1999

Chiang Mai, Thailand circa 1999

Reference: http://luckypath-fengshui.com/elephants-and-feng-shui-nine-ways-to-use-elephants-for-good-luck/

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Kelly + Robert Historic Bigelow House Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

This day was so amazing, I don't even know where to start!

Kelly and Robert eloped at Robert's family's homestead in downtown Olympia, The Bigelow House. The Bigelow House, also known as Daniel R. Bigelow House or The Bigelow House Museum is run by a non-profit focused on preserving history and they have done JUST THAT with all the renovations they have completed. The Bigelow House is the oldest residence in Olympia and even neater yet, one of the oldest structures in the PNW. The amount of history that has been preserved in this house absolutely took my breathe away. Even Robert, the great Grandson of Daniel and Ann Elizabeth Bigelow, was speechless as he moved throughout the house. Most of the rooms looked just like he remembered as a child and as we toured the house he told story after story of his families legacy and his childhood memories. By the end of the day I felt as I was a part of the history of this great house as well.

The beautiful bride, Kelly, selected a champagne dress that had a vintage feel and seemed to fit the venue, and the day, SO perfectly. Kelly topped off her look with a gorgeous Victorian necklace and earrings, a delicate and simple bouquet of dried wildflowers and her heart on her sleeve. I could feel how important this day, the history of the house, and her groom were to her. Another detail that stands out in my mind is a tiny picture of Robert's Great-Grandfather fastened to the base of Kelly's wedding bouquet. His presence was important in so many ways and most importantly because Kelly + Robert chose the day of their union with purpose. June 18th, 1854 was Robert's great-grandfather and great-grandmother's wedding anniversary! What a great way to honor family with 163 years of history mixed in there!

Kelly + Robert, I am beyond honored to have been there to capture your big day. The history that surrounds you and your family is enchanting and the thought that went into the details of your elopement is heartfelt. This day will forever remain in my mind and in my heart. Congrats you two!

A bazillian thanks to my awesome second shooter, Samantha Ek of Picturesque Art Photography.

Kelly + Robert's pictures tell the story of their big day, and so much more, so I'll quit yammering and let them tell it....

Bigelow House Museum Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer
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Bigelow House Museum Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer
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Hooray!

Kelly + Robert's wedding is featured on the fabulous wedding site, Borrowed & Blue. Check it out!

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Craddock Family Pt. Defiance Portraits | Tacoma Portrait Photographer

It's July and I love July for many reasons...one of them being the rose gardens at Pt. Defiance Park! The floral arch is more spectacular this year than past years because the roses have really filled in and the center divider is complete and fully planted. Just look at those dark greens and brilliant pinks, they make an excellent background for families, seniors, maternities or nearly any type of portrait session. It even gives off a dreamy, romantic feel which is perfect for engagement or bridal photos. If I could pick one place to bloom all year, this surely would be it.

With their daughter's recent first birthday and the full bloom of this arch, The Craddock's family portrait session couldn't have been more perfectly planned. This adorable little family was so fun to work with and I am super happy that they booked me. Not only were they great to work with but their little girl is just a month younger than mine and it was sweet to see the similarities in their development. Final note on the arch picture.....isn't that little pink floral dress PERFECT!!! 

Well, believe it or not the stunning floral arch was NOT the highlight of the session! There are two things about this session that will always stand out in my mind, the first being the interactions between these three. They are so affectionate, kind and caring towards each other and there is definitely no shortage of love. When families are relaxed and happy is when I am able to capture the most candid, beautiful moments but it may take some people awhile to warm up in front of the camera (which is OK!) The Craddock's were such a sweet and fun little family unit that not much warm up time was needed before they were laughing and playing with their daughter. I seriously LOVE to capture those interactions and the raw, genuine emotion that happens during them.

Ok, now for my favorite highlight of the session (and no it's no the blizzard I had after)! Like my daughter this little one hadn't yet taken her first steps nor stood unassisted - yet with the magic of the park and our cheers to guide her she stood for the fist time on her own. I'm pretty sure I teared up several times watching this milestone through my lens. Not only did she stand but she then squatted, maintained her balance and then stood again...several times!! It's moments like this that make me realize how important family and milestone portraits are. After time memories will fade but a photo capturing a moment like that will live forever.

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

10 Tips to Prepare for Your Maternity Portrait Session

  1. Plan your session well in advance. We recommend that you have your maternity photos taken between 27 an 34 weeks. Every woman, and every pregnancy is different, but ideally you want your belly to be distinctly showing yet you don't want to be so far along that your are uncomfortable and miserable. Between the 27th and 34th week most women have a distinguishable, and beautifully round belly but haven't started to experience the swelling and weight gain that is typical of the end of pregnancy. Keep an eye on your body and if you are showing early (are you having multiples?!?) then we can definitely discuss scheduling your session sooner.
  2. Plan your session on a day you won't have to rush. Your maternity session will take between one and two hours depending on the package you have chosen and if you have an event to get to right after you will be checking the time over and over and not having fun. Maternity sessions capture such a magical time in a woman's life and the experience should be fun and relaxing. My specialty is capturing those candid moments where you are relaxed and wearing your true emotions, if you are rushed with other events on your mind then it will show.
  3. Bring your loved ones! Your significant other, older siblings and even the grandma to be are all great additions to these memories. Not only will they help you relax and enjoy your session but the photos will be extra special and a great memory for you, them and your child.
  4. Mentally prepare for your session. You may be in a tight fitting dress or a dress where your belly is exposed and many pregnant women feel self-conscious about their changing bodies. Change of shape, swelling or extra weight and stretch marks are all normal parts of pregnancy and deserve to be documented! Love your body and own it - it is working hard to create and house a tiny life so it deserves to be celebrated. If you are uncomfortable it will show in your images, just relax and try to remember that not only is this a special time that needs to be documented but that it will eventually pass and believe it or not you may miss it.....
  5. Tight clothing can leave marks on your belly so skip them for a few hours before your session.
  6. Wear Comfortable Clothes that show off your belly. After all that is why you're having your photos taken!
  7. Bring nude underwear! I know this sounds weird but we have a closet full of maternity dresses available to our clients and if you decide there is one you love you'll need those nude underwear.
  8. Bring some props, one or two special items to customize your maternity session and document those special items for your baby's baby book. 
  9. Show up well rested and hydrated. I know, I know .. easy for the non-pregnant woman to say and after three pregnancies I know how hard it is to get sleep but try your best to get some extra rest before you shoot. Pregnant women have a beautiful glow to their skin and adequate sleep and staying hydrated will ensure you and your skin look amazing!!!
  10. Lotion! Speaking of skin...dry scaly skin is a NORMAL side effect of pregnancy. Slather up before your session to add to that glow we discussed.

Bonus Tip: RELAX!!! Relax and have fun. Pregnancy is such a special time in life and creating positive memories during it will enhance your experience. Relax.... and let's do this, let's create something epic that you can't wait to hang on your wall!

Rattlesnake Lake Maternity | North Bend Maternity Photographer

YES! Maternity boudoir and milk baths are an option! Book a traditional session, book a boudoir session or ask about the special for booking both together!

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

SLOW FLOWERS: A Conscious Choice

Today's blog comes straight from the floral industry. Brides and grooms, gardeners, vendors, florists and conscientious consumers, this is for YOU.

Debra Prinzing, award winning author, speaker and founder of slowflowers.com.  PC: Mary Grace Long Photography

Debra Prinzing, award winning author, speaker and founder of slowflowers.com.

 PC: Mary Grace Long Photography

The Slow Flowers Movement was born when flower consumers started questioning the origin of their flowers. Debra Prinzing is the founder - and heart - behind the Slow Flowers Movement which supports the idea of using local, American-grown flowers. She gave the Slow Flowers concept life with the creation of an online directory of florists and flower growers who support the cause: slowflowers.com. Prinzing initiated American Flowers Week to create awareness about Slow Flowers and bring to light the many reasons why flower consumers should buy local.

The Slow Flowers path was paved by the Slow Food movement. Somewhere along the way America went from a nation relying on local crops as a main food source for it's people to importing the same foods from areas of cheap labor and lesser health standards. Flowers also joined that list and America currently imports billions of dollars of international flowers each year. The undertow of the Slow Flowers Movement is really about making a conscious choice about one's purchases. Flowers are a necessity for many events and choosing to support locally allows one to know and better appreciate the origin of their products, support the small business owners in their area and better honor the season and region where they live with flowers that are local and timely.

Prinzing is the proactive and dedicated voice that has brought to light this conspicuous but previously unspoken subject.  Prinzing has a degree in design and a long history of gardening. For many years she has worked as a journalist, writing articles and speaking about gardening, architecture and floral design. With the birth of Slow Flowers and slowflowers.com, Prinzing was able to combine all of her vast experiences to not only start a revolution of flower consciousness but also find her niche. Some of Prinzing's accomplishments are as contributing writer and editor of Country Garden's Magazine, recipient of the first annual Grower's Choice Award and author of ten books. For more information on Prinzing, please see her 'About' page. Prinzing also does a weekly Podcast 'SLOW FLOWERS with Debra Prinzing' which is very informative. For more information, click HERE.

This year, June 28-July 4th, will be the 3rd annual American Flowers Week; a celebration of the Slow Flowers Movement. These dates are appropriate because as we celebrate the freedom of our country, we celebrate the return of home grown flowers and support for local businesses. Modeled after England's British Flowers Week, American Flowers Week was designed to bring awareness to any and all flower consumers.

The concept of Slow Flowers, although fairly new, is spreading at a rate that is anything but a reflection of it's name. Seed companies, flower growers, florists, wedding couples and even super markets are getting on board and making a mindful choice to keep the flower market local. Prinzing's passion and dedication to the Slow Flowers Movement is monumental in bringing change to the flower industry. Her yearning for mindfulness, and dedication to informing consumers, will ensure that the popularity of American-grown flowers will continue to rise. Events like American Flowers Week are also critical to educating consumers and raising excitement regarding the Slow Flowers Movement. Slow Flowers has already created a huge impact on the flower industry over the past few years. As consumers become more aware, the momentum of this movement will undoubtedly and thankfully be unstoppable - a guiding light for all other Slow Movements to come.

Special thanks to Debra Prinzing for granting me an interview and for being so excited and passionate about such a worthy subject.

Resources

http://multinationales.org/Where-do-our-flowers-come-from

http://www.debraprinzing.com/

http://slowflowers.com/

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

10 Great Portrait Locations Near Olympia

  • Percival Landing, Olympia - If you like Urban Portraits then downtown Olympia is a great option for you. We can walk along the water at Percival Landing and capture images with the soft neutrals of the Sound. On the way back we can cut through downtown Olympia to catch some funky, colorful and fun portraits. From brightly colored doors, cool architecture, beautiful murals and the boardwalk with the Sound behind it, Olympia is a very nice location to have your portraits taken! There is even a fun farmers market to shoot, a tower, docks, a playground, a neat bridge and so much more! I also love downtown Olympia for all it's little coffee shops and restaurants! A couples session in a coffee shop is just plain adorable and fun! Some free parking near the Olympia Farmers Market, street parking and most lots are paid.
  • The Capitol Building, Olympia - Not far from Percival landing is the regal and structurally impressive Capitol building. From elegant stairs, giant pillar, beautiful fences, massive intricate doors and a rose garden there is lots of great variety at the Capitol Building. Can you guess the best perk about the Capitol building? If you were going to say easy parking (in the evenings) or the great view of the lake you were close but those aren't the best! The best perk of shooting your portraits at the Capitol building is it's located within walking distance of one of my favorite bakeries! Wagner's European Bakery & Cafe has an excellent selection of baked good and they make stunning wedding cakes (they made mine!) Parking is fairly easy to find and is only free during the evening and weekends.
  • Pioneer Park, Tumwater - Pioneer Park is beautiful and big enough so you don't have to wait for other people to clear the area for your shots! As a Pacific Northwest Portrait Photographer a variety of rich green backgrounds, cool grey paths/ground, fields of tall flowers and quite a few interesting logs to sit on is the 'cat's meow' of variety for little local parks and Pioneer Park has it all. I also love this location because it has a little patch of foliage that provides coverage if it starts to sprinkle! We all know how important that is in Washington state! Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter - this location provides interesting backgrounds which makes it a great choice all year round. There is plenty of parking at this location, although during the summer when there are sports it can be pretty packed. No Parking Fees.
  • Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, Lacey - Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is a bit of a walk but worth it for some beautiful images! There are wooden walkways, two old white barns, fields of tall grass and a fun long pathway that creates beautiful leading lines for your images. As a bonus, you can't walk through without seeing wildlife. We frequently see frogs, deer and a variety of birds (depending on the season) during our sessions at NWR. Please note that there is a small entrance fee for this location, there is a drop box for payment at the main building and is done on the honor system.
  • Tolmie State Park, Lacey - Tolmie State Park is a fun little beachy location that can yield some stunning photos! It has an amazing bridge, lots of trails with rich green backgrounds and an amazing beach that works well for both posed and candid portraits. Please note that a Discover Pass is needed to park at this location. During limited summer hours you can purchase on site but to be safe I'd recommend purchasing one ahead of time.
  • Ft. Steilacoom, Lakewood - Ft Steilacoom Park may be my favorite local park to shoot in. Barns, dark green foliage, a lake, grassy fields, mossy woods, a long path, flowers in the spring, old ruins, an apple orchard.... Ft. Steilacoom has it ALL. On clear days there is even a view of Mt. Rainier! This location has plenty of parking and it's free! YAY!
  • Museum of Glass, Tacoma - Downtown Tacoma, near the Glass Museum is an urban portrait photographer's dream! It is possibly even my favorite location for urban portraits! The bridge to the  Museum of Glass has visually pleasing art and some beautiful clean and neutral buildings behind it. There is a great selection of art, including a fountain, that makes for some interesting and unique portraits. One of my favorite locations to shoot there is an old brick apartment building with metal stairs. It can be really fun and diversify your session. I also love shooting portraits in downtown Tacoma near the Museum of Glass because it is within walking distance of so many great locations. The Spanish Steps, Fireman's Park, Opera Alley and all the funky downtown businesses and garage doors are a few examples. It is also a two minute car ride from the 11th Street bridge which is an AMAZING location to make you stand out, yet still have an interesting background in your portraits (for safety reasons we will need a spotter for this location so please let me know ahead of time if you are interested in shooting at the 11th Street bridge). Parking is hit or miss...mostly paid parking.
  • Pt. Defiance Park + Rose Garden, Tacoma - Pt. Defiance Park is a top spot for summer portraits due to the colorful and fun rose garden. There is also a Japanese Garden area that is beautiful to take portraits in. PDP is also a wedding destination - and a stunning one at that! This location can be fairly busy though, so I'd recommend weeknights or mornings when it isn't as crowded. Parking is free but limited - on busy days, don't bother. Pt. Defiance Park is also a few minutes drive from Owen Beach - Ask about how you can include both for your portrait session.
  • Owen Beach, Tacoma - Right down the road from Pt. Defiance Park is this little, not so hidden gem. Owen Beach is simply beautiful and can include beach pictures, woodsy pictures OR BOTH! Owen Beach can be very crowded though so I'd recommend a sunrise session here. Parking is free and there are plenty of parking spots on site.

 

 

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Trina + Jonathon's Romantic Spring Session....At My Neighbors House | Olympia Engagement Photographer

If you've been following me at all you know that I am a sucker for beautiful locations! Rattlesnake Lake, Franklin Falls, beaches, mountains, the ocean......! I have a list 10 pages long of all the locations I want to photograph a couple or elopement at (Some I will be checking off the bucket list this summer so if you are recently engaged message me!!! #shamelessadvertising but it's my blog so I can do that haha)

As a Pacific Northwest Wedding Photographer I consider myself quite lucky because there is no shortages of beautiful locations to shoot at. So, I spend so much time dreaming of and planning shoots in many of these breathtaking locations that sometimes I forget that some of the most beautiful locations can be right in front of you! Sometimes it's the side of the road (been there, done that) and sometimes you can't help but ask your neighbor if you can shoot in there driveway -  after years of ogling over it!!!

Meet Trina + Jonathan - they are fellow photographers from PS Photography by Trina + Jonathan. They met me in Lacey along with my good friend Leslie of One Thousand Words to make my vision of shooting in blossoms (at least once a year) happen! Wow, did it ever happen! Trina + Jonathan have years of marriage and four kids under their belts and still are MADLY in love with each other!!! Of course with that type of connection they could make any location look good but my NEIGHBOR'S DRIVEWAY lined with gorgeous pink blossoms was just PERFECT! Overgrown field across from their house was a bonus :)

So, when you are thinking about planning a portrait session, an adventurous location like Franklin Falls or Rattlesnake Ledge would be amazing and would surely yield some amazing images. BUT don't forget that there is beauty all around us and we don't have to travel far to create some epic portraits. For those of you who can't swing an adventure portrait session this year, this may be the perfect option for you! I've got endless ideas so message me if you want your own beautiful little session.

Trina's makeup was ON POINT for this session! Amanda at A Second Look - Makeup by Amanda nailed it!!

Oh, and for those of you drooling over Trina's gorgeous floral dress (like me) find one in your size HERE.

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Olympia Arts Walk 2017

In April, my family and I attended the Arts Walk 2017 in downtown Olympia, Washington. Arts walk is a two day festival that celebrates local artists - of all different crafts. From Painting to little wooden bird houses, sewn masterpieces and hand crafted statues there was an endless variety of beautiful, locally crafted Art. There were also performers filling the streets; some of my favorite being the children jugglers, fire dancers, break dancers and musicians. Local businesses aided in the spirit of the festival by displaying the Art of local Artists, from preschool students to accomplished Artists alike.

The streets were closed to traffic for the festivities and there were so many people it was hard to find room to walk. Looking all around there were smiles on the faces that whizzed passed me, children danced, laughed and chased bubbles. Looking up I saw balloons, a beautiful blue sky - and some rain. Even looking down was festive as the streets where covered in detailed chalk drawings, names of children and lovers and inspirational quotes.

The Luminary Procession is held the first night of Arts Walk and boasts some elaborate and visually stunning lanterns -many homemade. From dinosaurs to bugs to simple shapes, a parade of beautifully lit works of art passes through the streets of the Olympia. What a great way to close out the first day of Arts Walk.

A unique and popular part of Arts Walk is the Procession of the Species, which is a parade where it's participants dress up in detailed costumes of all species. It is intended to celebrate our connection with the earth and all living things. More immediately it provides joy and entertainment for all that witness it's magnificence. The Procession of the Species in Olympia has very minimal funding and depends on donations to keep it running. Please consider donating (information on donating HERE.)

The experience was one of a kind, chocked full of culture, spice and life. A truly remarkable and eye-opening experience that we will now be adding to our calendar every year.

Some of my images from Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species were featured on Thurston Talk's website. See the article HERE.

Arts Walk is presented by the City of Olympia Arts Commission and the Parks, Arts & Recreation department with

support provided by the local business community.

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Fun Prop Ideas for Your Portrait Session

Most of the portraits that I shoot focus more on the connection between people rather than props but I do recommend bringing one or two personal items to make your session unique and fun. It doesn't have to be big and elaborate to make amazing photos (but if you have a beautiful armchair briiiing it!!)

Couples/Engagement Photography

  • Chalkboard
  • Save the Date
  • Rings
  • Pillows, blankets
  • Candles 
  • Flowers
  • Flower Crown
  • Beautiful Dress
  • Uniform
  • Antique or Victorian armchair, love seat or couch.
  • Matching item ex baseball caps or jerseys
  • Balloons
  • Hammock
  • A bicycle
  • Large balloon or half a dozen small ones (helium)
  • Umbrella
  • Signs
  • Old Pick-up truck or car
  • Row boat
  • Coffee
  • Hat

Maternity Photography

  • Book
  • Ultrasound Photo
  • Baby Shoes
  • Sign
  • Chalkboard
  • Letters Spelling Babies Name
  • Flowers
  • Floral Crown
  • Antique or Victorian armchair, love seat or couch.
  • Balloons
  • Pickles and Ice Cream!
  • Significant or cherished item
  • Chalk
  • Lace dress, a flowing dress
  • Fur baby and sign to announce pregnancy
  • Tiny crown
  • Baby Daddy!!  siblings.
  • Sun hat
  • Swing (Can be adorned with flowers)
  • Large piece of sheer fabric
  • Wedding Rings
  • Tulle Skirt and Bralette

Senior Photography

  • Letterman Jacket
  • Sports Paraphernalia 
  • Your best friend or close family member so you are more relaxed
  • Medals or Awards that you are proud of
  • Sports uniforms
  • Instruments
  • College Swag
  • Several Outfits
  • A fun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swing (Can be adorned with flowers)
  • Flowers
  • Floral Crown
  • Antique or Victorian armchair, love seat or couch.
  • Balloons
  • Book
  • Sign
  • Graduation year numbers
  • Globe
  • Flag
  • Significant Necklace or Bracelent
  • Class Ring
  • Props that elude to your future career (stethoscope for doctor etc)
  • The best prop you can bring is confidence and a genuine smile!

Family Photography

  • Pillows and Blanket
  • Tent, Campfire, s'mores
  • Chalkboard
  • Family Pet
  • Bicycles
  • Kayaks
  • Hiking boots and a gorgeous view!
  • Signs
  • Bubbles
  • Antique or Victorian armchair, love seat or couch.
  • Old Pick-up truck or car
  • Tee-Pee

Children's Photography

  • Watermelon
  • Lemonade stand
  • Kissing booth
  • Old Pick-up truck or car
  • Signs
  • Bubbles
  • Antique or Victorian armchair, love seat or couch.
  • Tee-Pee
  • Bicycle or Tricycle
  • Umbrella
  • Balloons
  • Child-sized chairs
  • Headbands
  • Bow Ties
  • Cakes or cupcakes
  • Lollipop
  • Swing
  • Vintage Suitcases
  • Chalk

Lifestyle Photography

  • Game or activity
  • Books
  • Baking
  • Ice cream
  • Pillow Fight
  • Fort
  • Sprinkler
  • Water balloons
  • Tea/coffee
  • Couch
  • Bed
  • Wagon
  • Bicycle or Tricycle
  • Popsicles
  • Trampoline
  • Hike
  • Tent, campfire, s'mores

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Elicia's Discovery Park, Seattle Maternity

Maternities have steadily become one of my favorite sessions to photograph. There is something so wonderful and magical about creating and sustaining a life and it should be celebrated. We all have heard, and probably used, the term "pregnancy glow" in our lives and in the beginning months this can be very true. Yet as time passes the physical effects of pregnancy can leave women feeling a little less like a fairy goddess and more like a turtle stuck on it's shell. 

As a mother of three I personally know how women can struggle with self-confidence as their bodies change and grow. My favorite thing about photographing maternities is to help expecting mothers to feel beautiful in their skin and there is something about getting your hair and makeup done and putting on a gorgeous flowing dress to do just that!

My second favorite thing about shooting maternity sessions is documenting that amazing period in time! Some day these babies will grow up and look back at these images and see how beautiful and STRONG their mothers are. Daughters will compare their pregnant bellies to the shape of their mothers. You'll be able to look back at the images and have all those feelings you were experiencing come flooding back! 

Heck, if every woman got maternity photos maybe new developments would be made on the old wives tale about whether boys/girls sit high/low! HAHA Only kidding.

Before you know it these moments -the little kicks and the uncomfortable nights will be a fleeting memory and believe it or not you WILL miss it. So document these moments... capture the joy, the anticipation, the wonder, the questions of their future, the love between you and your spouse and the amazing process your body goes through in order for you to be able to snuggle your sweet babe. 

After all, life is precious and the most valuable gift we can have or give so why not document every moment of it?

The cherry on top is being a Pacific Northwest Maternity Photographer! Just look at those rich greens and the soft colors of the coast. The PNW is extremely diverse and offers some breathtaking backdrops!

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful