Engagment

Veronica + Joseph Tumwater Engagement Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

XOXO,

Sarah

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Kate + Taylor's Discovery Park Engagement | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Kate + Taylor are getting married! 

XOXO,

Sarah

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Kirsten + Jonathon's Tacoma Engagement Session | Tacoma Engagement Photographer

XOXO,

Sarah

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Lerae + Jordan's Tolmie State Park Engagement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Lerae, Jordan and I met up on a beautiful Fall day for these fun and sunny engagement photos. Fast forward several months, a change of calendar year, three seasons and many many many hours of planning and here we sit 9 days until their wedding! NINE! We have finally hit single digits! Man, it's crazy how fast time has flown by!

Lerae + Jordan wanted an area close to Olympia that showed the greens of the Pacific Northwest but also had water and a variety of areas to shoot. Tolmie State Park makes for great scenery for portraits and is one of my favorite locations in the area! Beyond the beach, forest and fun wooden bridge there are also tons of trails to explore with a variety of dark green, PNWesty scenery. For other options near Olympia check out '10 Great Portrait Locations Near Olympia'.

As well as a great location, I love the tones that Lerae + Jordan chose for their wardrobe. The soft neutral tones and natural colors were perfect for both the wood and the beach and they were both comfortable and relaxed in the outfits they chose. Outfit selection is critical for good portraits and colors, patterns and fit can really change the mood and outcome of the images. For more tips on wardrobe selection see 'Preparing For Your Portrait Session'.

I don't typically encourage bringing a ton of props to portraits session because I prefer to focus on people and their interactions with each other rather than items, but a few per session can add some variety and sweet, personalized little touches. Lerae + Jordan chose to bring a cute little sign with a significant phrase on it, 'Love you More...', and a blanket, which fit great into their session! Need ideas for a prop or two to bring to your session? Check out 'Fun Prop Ideas for Your Portrait Session'.

Lerae + Jordan's session was not only amazing but it was also so much fun! I LOVE to capture 'love' and the way these two interact it is undeiable how much they love each other! Their sweet little cuddles, constant giggles and the way Jordan so sweetly looked at and attended to Lerae was really heart-warming. I'm counting down the days until this sweet couples says 'I do!'

XOXO,

Sarah

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

Kenzi + Daniel's Lake Cushman Engagement Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

In search of adventure and some epic beautiful scenery Kenzi, Daniel and I chose Lake Cushman as the destination for their adventurous couples session. We also threw around a few other ideas for beautiful "PNWesty" locations but in the end this quaint little lake, full of serenity and character, really drew us in and made the decision for us.  

When I first heard that rain was forecasted for our portrait session day I nearly cried! We had so carefully selected that day, working around everyone's schedules, and spent time determining location, wardrobe and snacks! I was sad but determined to shoot no matter the weather. Luckily, Kenzi + Daniel are adventurous souls and were fully on board. Instead of rain we ran into the most delicious weather! A layer of white cotton candy fog hung over the lake and mingled in the trees. To my delight it was was the most perfect weather to help set the mood for this romantic couples session. 

The day of the shoot was relaxing, exciting and so much fun! We met in the afternoon and headed out to Lake Cushman together so we could explore and find these amazing places. We definitely had a full car with two car seats (sans babies), three adults, a picnic basket, food, 3+ blankets, multiple changes of clothes, camera gear, a guitar and some light hearted chatter. Kenzi + Daniel are so easy going though, it was just as fun getting to know them as it was exploring. 

This sweet couple has been together for five years and they have three amazing children. They enjoy spending time with family and friends, being outdoors and of course they love being in front of the camera.... which is fantastic because their connection is unreal and they are so fun to work with! Anytime, friends! I look forward to when we meet again. 

Make-up: Ronny Marcella

Moon/Moonstone Jewelry: Amber Corp

XOXO,

Sarah

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

Alex + Cody's Ft. Steilacoom Couples Session | Tacoma Wedding Photographer

A little rain.

A little sun.

Gorgeous flowering trees and lots of fun.

Oh, springtime - I do love you because it means that summer is coming and you bring color and beauty to Washington; but thanks to your unpredictability I don't miss you until at least mid-winter.

Washington weather is 80% of why I carry a clear umbrella (or two) in my car at all times! Fifteen percent is because they are so darn cute in portraits and the remaining 5% is in case a giant spider tries to eat us... or more specifically me, sorry clients. Don't get me wrong, I know they are good be cause they eat obnoxious pests like mosquitoes.... small birds and probably a baby pterodactyl if one flew by but they are just way too big around here!

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and while we have a handful of spider varieties around none of them rival the chihuahua-sized ones that live in this wild and wet state. It didn't take me long to wonder if I was in Washington or Australia when I first moved here! Ok, seriously they aren't that bad.... although I have been known to run lighting speed through the house to the shower while simultaneously stripping down to rid myself of any eight-legged 'friends' that may be hitchhiking after I walked into a web.... OK fine, they aren't so bad, as long as they don't touch me. Ever. Especially not my face, hair, neck, torso, arms, legs or feet. Or clothes.

Ok, let's get back to Alex + Cody after that creepy jaywalk. As you can see we had some crazy up and down weather that day but we totally rolled with it and had so much fun exploring Ft. Steilacoom Park in Tacoma! Well... I may like Washington springs more than I initially let on! 

 

P.S. When session are filled with this much love, smiles and laughter I always leave with a full heart. Never let that love fade or the laughter dissipate. Those are two things that truly make life worth living. 

XOXO,

Sarah

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

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

Jessica + Jeff's Ballard Market Engagement | Seattle Wedding Photographer

One sunny fall day last September I got to follow these two quirky lovebirds, Jessica + Jeff, around the Ballard Market for their engagement session. From cribbage to tea and coffee and some casual strolling we recreated their very first date.... plus some! 

 

I had so much fun with this couple and I just adore how fun-loving, intelectual, creative and epically nerdy they are! My kind of people haha! I am counting down until the day i get to capture their nuptials, which is just over a week away! Crazy! Jessica + Jeff have chosen to say 'I do' in a casual ceremony, surrounded by their closest friends, family members.... and all the animals of the Woodland Park Zoo! Have i ever mentioned how much i love penguins?? Well...

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

McKinley + James' Downtown Tacoma Anniversary Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Such a fun engagement shoot with McKinley + James!

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

Jessica + Michael's Snowy Engagement Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Love, laughter and an engagement session in the snow? Yes please! Any day of the week!

For their engagement portraits, Jessica + Michael wanted to do something adventurous, fun and that would remind them of the Pacific Northwest since they will be moving to New York after the wedding. A foggy, snow covered lake in the mountains seemed like a perfect setting for their romantic engagement session, so we chose Gold Creek Pond! A backdrop to make any portrait session peaceful, serene and magical! Of course it was pretty chilly since we did their engagement photos in December, but Jessica + Michael (especially Jessica in the dress photos!!) toughed it out like champs. So glad they did and that we were able to capture some amazing moments between them and the epic background of Gold Creek Pond!

These two lovebirds are set to get married in July of 2018 and I can't wait!! The details they are planning along with the beautiful venue, Cabin Creek Lodge, they have chosen will be simply stunning. Cabin Creek Lodge is a majestic and woodsy venue in Easton, WA. A perfectly boho, romantic and peaceful setting to celebrate their big day. Surrounded by large evergreens and trails to explore, this diverse venue can sleep 40+ guests and has full amenities. What a great place to host family and friends for a weekend of relaxing, fun and the exchanging of vows.

I love the idea of renting a venue for the weekend and spending more time with your guests. Wedding days go by so fast and I personally felt like I didn't get enough time with my out of town friends and family. If I knew then what I know now this would be towards the top of the list of what I would do differently!

Of course, neither this beautiful venue nor the elegant details will outshine the beauty of this couple! Jessica, you are going to be a GORGEOUS bride and the love you have for each other just radiates around you! Seriously, I had so much fun with you and Mike, can't wait for your big day!

Perfect venue, perfect details, gorgeous couple... what more could a Pacific Northwest Wedding Photographer want!! *Swooooon*

Wintery Crown and Hoop: A Moment in Time Floral Design

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

Hillary + Eric's Downtown Tacoma Engagement Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

For Hillary and Eric's downtown Tacoma engagement session we wandered around, talking of their adventures and laughing endlessly. This sweet couple was so much fun!

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

Danny + Marcos' Pioneer Square Engagement | Seattle Wedding Photographer

I can't believe Danny + Marcos' wedding is only TWO days away! So exciting! 

Danny + Marcos chose to do their engagement session at Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle because they have had many adventures in and around the area. They were preparing to move to the Midwest so why not capture some memories of a familiar and happy place!

Danny + Marcos were referred to me by a mutual friend,  Rebecca (thanks girl!) and I'm so glad they were! Individually they are both amazing humans; smart, funny, kind, successful, humble. Together they are magic! One thing that I love about photographing couples is being able to see, hear and feel the connection they have and Danny + Marcos did NOT disappoint! 

The way they looked at each other...as if no one else existed...

The little gestures of love as they emotionally checked in with the other...

The happiness that radiated from them as they talked about their upcoming nuptials and thought about spending the rest of their lives together... 

I live to tell love stories through my photography and they have quite a wonderful tale to tell. I can't wait to join them on their big day and capture all the little moments that will make their wedding both amazing and memorable. Danny + Marcos, there will be many adventures in your future. May the love you share be the grandest of them all.

I'll end here with a few of my favorite quotes about love...

 “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

“In a sea of people, my eyes will always search for you.” — Unknown

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