Olympia Adventure Photographer

Adventure Portrait Sessions: What They Are and Why You NEED One! | Olympia Wedding Photographer

What is an adventure portrait Session?

An adventure portrait session is a great way to capture images of you and your babe while exploring the great Pacific Northwest. An adventure session throws traditional portrait locations to the wind in exchange for ones that are a bit more wild, natural and epic. They tend to be way more fun… and maybe a bit muddier!

Who is an adventure portrait session for?

Nature lovers, free-spirits and the adventurous at heart. If a bit of a drive or a hike doesn’t scare you then an adventure portrait session is for you! While adventure session are perfect for lovers and elopements, they are also great for senior sessions, bridal sessions and boudoir. So hike up your skirt and let’s go!

How much does an adventure session cost?

Price depends on the location you select as well as time needed for the adventure, see pricing HERE.

Things to consider when planning an adventure portrait session.

  • Time - How long will it take to drive to your desired location? If there is a hike, how long will it take?

  • Location - What sort of background appeals to you? Woods, mountains, water? All of them?? Maybe there is a place that has special memories for you?

  • When to schedule - This depends on your location…. places like Mt. Rainier close when there is snow but others like Gold Creek Pond are amazing in the winter! Also consider fall as a great time to book due to the auburn foliage, it’s pretty magical! Winter session can be foggy, snowy and majestic but there is a higher chance of rain…be prepared to shoot in the rain or reschedule.

  • Clothing - Select two or three outfits that don’t clash with the scenery. After all the view is why we are there! Think simple patterns, solid colors and fun hats. Bring or wear sensible shoes. Bring towels and a change of clothes in case you get wet.

  • Props - Best to keep it basic out in the wilderness but a cute little picnic, a bottle of champagne or a cozy blanket can all be great additions to your session.

  • Snacks- Exploring is hard work and we may build up an appetite! Bring plenty of food and water for our adventure.

Where are some great locations to do an adventure portrait session?

The possibilities are endless!

Below are just a few localish locations for an adventure portrait session. If you have another idea I'd love to go explore with you! I'm open to non-local adventure too, message me and let's start exploring!

Ask about session discounts on my bucket list/favorite locations!

  • Ruby Beach

  • Rattlesnake Ledge

  • Cannon Beach

  • Leavenworth

Mt. Rainier

See more of Mt. Rainier


Lake Cushman

See More Lake Cushman


Rattlesnake Lake

See more of Rattlesnake Lake


Franklin Falls

See more of Franklin Falls


Gold Creek Pond


Deception Pass

See more of Deception Pass


Cannon Beach

See more of Cannon Beach


Manchester State Park


See more of Manchester State Park

Vantage

See more of Vantage, WA

Group Senior Shoot

For portrait location ideas closer to Olympia check out 10 Great Portrait Locations Near Olympia

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

Kenzi's Vintage Glam Bridal Portraits | Olympia Wedding Photographer

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

Kenzi + Daniel's Lake St. Clair Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Little elopements in unique venues, houses or Airbnb’s are TOTALLY a thing, and an amazing thing at that, #givemealltheelopements! Intimate, private and sweet, elopements take the pressure away from the planning, coordinating and money that goes into a big wedding. Brides and grooms can focus on each other and the people and things that are most important to them rather than trying to focus on all the events that happen on a big wedding day. Elopements are perfect for the sweet, adventurous couples that aren’t tied to tradition and pleasing others.

Planning and elopement is much easier than a big wedding as well…. venue, photographer, officiant, dress, suit, flowers and snacks! The only thing to do after that is sit back, get married and have a blast. Oh and of course print a few cards to send off to loved ones to announce your elopement!

Elopements can also be done in adventurous locations, so if there is a location that is sentimental to you and your boo then that could be a good option! See more adventurous elopement ideas HERE.

Kenzi + Daniel eloped at a private residence at Lake Saint Clair in Olympia, Washington. This custom built house added such personality to their day. I loved that they skipped tradition once more and got ready together rather than separate. The photos of Daniel zipping up Kenzi’s dress and Kenzi tying Daniel’s tie are priceless! Sweet moments, unconditional love and yummy treats, my kind of day!

See Kenzi + Daniel's PNWesty (I totally need to patent that word!) engagement session HERE.

Florist: The Amazing Heidi from A Moment in Time Floral Design

Make-up: Sable of Hello There, Lovely

Venue: Private Residence/ Lake St. Clair

Macrons: Macarons by Mel

Announcement: Sandpaper

Dress: Lulus

Vendors, you did amazing putting together all the little details that made this day so memorable!

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

Jade's Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

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

Amy + Jimmy's Hall at Fauntleroy Wedding | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Amy + Jimmy picked the perfect day to marry! March in the Pacific Northwest is usually pretty soggy and drab but with a strike of luck the day was not only full of laughter, love, friends and family but it was also full of sunshine and warmth. The perfect start to a lifetime together!

One thing I liked about Amy + Jimmy's wedding is that they kept it simple and made it about what was most important to them.... people. It was fun to follow them throughout the day as they interacted with their friends and family. They weighed out tradition and people on a scale and were able to put together an amazing balance, and experience for their friends and loved ones. Many times I see brides indifferent about traditions or doing them because ... well, because it's tradition. I am definitely a fan of the new wedding trend of setting tradition aside and doing what works best for the bride, groom and their guests. Hooray!

There is a new twist on an old tradition that I do really like though.... first look with the bride and her dad! I love when my brides and grooms do a first look, or even get ready together as it adds an emotional/unique aspect to the wedding (and makes family photos before the ceremony possible!) There is just something so special about the bond between a father and daughter, I always get teary eyed during these first looks! Of course I was raised by a (simply amazing) single dad and we are still very close, so that could be why I love first looks with brides and their dads SO much! Scroll down to see the first look between Amy and her dad, it's pretty darn cute!! Side Note: .... John Goodman?!?!

Overall, Amy + Jimmy's wedding at, The Hall at Fauntleroy in Seattle was pretty darn amazing! Congrats to Amy + Jimmy on their nuptials, may you always be surrounded by as much love and support as I witnessed on your wedding day!

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

Travia's Ft. Steilacoom Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Oh briiiiiiiiiiiiides! I know I post lots of these bridal sessions, but I just LOVE doing them! Such a great way to get some beautiful images of yourself and by doing your session on a day other than your wedding day you'll be more relaxed and it won't be taking away time you could be spending with your guests.

 

 

“Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is till standing.”

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

“Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you.”

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” “Demonstrate love by giving it, unconditionally, to yourself. And as you do, you will attract others into your life who will love you without conditions.

Bouquet by A Moment in Time Floral Design

Check out more beautiful bridal sessions below!! Also if you are in need of hair, makeup or florals for your bridal session click 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

Alicia + Brock's Rattlesnake Lake Couples Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Adventure! One of my favorite type of sessions to capture is an adventure session. An adventure session is where we pick a location that is amazing, epic, gorgeous, breathe taking, memorable or all of the above and put you in it. This type of session is great to capture a location that has fond memories or just to capture the PNW in general. Most types of session can be done as an adventure session, which is a great alternative to session at a local park or urban setting.

We chose to do Alicia + Brock's adventurous couples session at Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend. It had been a while since I had shot there so I was pretty excited. We got a beautiful day that was warm and sunny so we shot in the evening and utilized the beautiful soft light of golden hour.

Alicia is such a sweet person, so positive and happy. She was constantly laughing and smiling, which is contagious! Brock is the strong and silent type, his serious face is pensive and you can just tell he is taking everything in. Both Alicia + Brock are artists and are so expressive in their own ways. Their personalities compliment each other and aren't unlike the Chinese Yin + Yang principles that represent the universe. 

Alicia + Brock even got SUPER brave at the end of our session and climbed into the chilly lake for some super sexy couples photos. I guess I can't say much since I shot from a dry and warm rock a few steps from shore but in my opinion it was totally worth braving the cold water for these fun and playful photos! HAHA!

This blog really makes me realize how much I love doing adventure sessions! So, stay tuned for a blog on Adventure Portrait Sessions coming soon...!!

 

Also, check out the amazing necklace Alicia is wearing. It has the prettiest little moonstone hanging from the moon. It was the perfect accessory for her low-v cut dresses.

Moon + Moonstone Necklace: Ethereal Earth Gifts

Dresses: Forever 21

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

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

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

Lindsay + Nick Downtown Olympia Engagement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Seventeen.

Seventeen is the number of days until these two lovies exchange 'I do's.'

When Lindsay and I first talked about location for her and Nick's downtown Olympia engagement session I was thinking Percival Landing and I was stoked! I've shot there multiple times and it's always a lot of fun and there are so many places to wander and get variety. Then she suggested a little marina and I got even MORE excited! Boats, beach and a new location... yes please!!

Although the weather report threatened rain, the only thing we got was some serious wind and some magnificent sun! We arrived a bit before golden hour so we could walk around and scout and eventually we wandered down to a little beach with sun gleaming through the pillars that held up a cute little building and I quickly 'b-lined' straight there! I couldn't believe how beautiful the light was streaming in behind them! It was the perfect fiery glow. It was a fully luminous and magical view! After the beach we took a few photos with their wild but loving fur-babies and then we ventured down to the docks where the light was softer and cooler. We had a beautiful view of the sound and all the clean white boats that lined the docs! Definitely a beautiful location for engagement photos!

Seventeen.

Seventeen days until Lindsay + Nick's beautiful PNW wedding... in which there will be an EPIC waterfall. If you know me then you how much I love waterfalls! *jumps up and down like a giggling maniac, clapping hands and cheering*

Seventeen and counting down.

Side Note: To capture such amazing love stories, like Lindsay + Nick, is truly what makes being a PNW wedding photographer such an amazing job.... well, let's be real - love stories AND waterfalls.

Side Side Note:... who is coming back with me to shoot at this dock / beach again??? I am just in love with this light and location!

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

Ingrid + Dan's Manchester State Park Engagement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Ingrid + Dan hired me to be their wedding photographer and I tell you what, I'm pretty darn excited about it! Just look how stinkin' cute they are! They are so in love, fun-loving and sweet - It was cute to see them laugh and joke and interact with each other!! Can't wait to capture these two's Seattle wedding! Countdown 30 days!

There's is another thing I'm really excited about and it's Manchester State park in Port Orchard, WA. A gorgeous rocky beach, evergreen trees, paths to explore and.... some awesome abandoned buildings! Perk alert: all this is near a parking lot so this is a great location for those with mobility issues!

Ingrid + Dan had a free hotel stay and they decided to use it near Port Orchard, when we started looking for location ideas Ingrid sent me a few and instantly Manchester State Park stood out to me.  After a few minutes of research I was even more convinced, so glad we decided on it! Manchester State Park is an hour away from where I live in Olympia which means I had to leave my house by 7:00 am to make our 8:00 am session. (For those of you who know me well) that is EARLY for me and I've always been partial to evenings since 'golden hour' has some amazing light but I ended up loving the beautiful, cool morning light - morning photos session maybe totally be my new thing..... maybe.

Awesome couple, an adventurous new location, abandoned buildings, a beach, fun and smiles and pretty morning light - what a perfect combination!

 

“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true. Nothing that I wouldn’t do.

Go to the ends of the earth for you to make you feel my love.” ~Bob Dylan

 

You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you
-John Legend

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

Kristin + Pooji's Steamy Motorcycle Couples Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Guess who is back on the blog today?!?! 

These two soulmates have been in front of my camera quite a few times now and it always turns out magical. These lovers share a connection that is so real and so undeniable, it was truly meant to be!

Kristin + Pooji approached me to do a couples session and they wanted to include their bike..... I said "NO WAY, that is the silliest idea ever." Hah. #justkidding I was all over that idea like my kids on pancakes!! 


Couples session - check!

Magical, crazing-in-love, couple - check!

Bike for sexy poses - check!

Sun flares - check!

Awesome urban, abandoned location - check check aaaaaand check!


A little shout-out to Kristin, too! Girl, you have the MOST amazing smile. It seriously lights up every picture and every time I look of these I can't help but smile too. XOXO

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

Tayla + Danny's Rein Fire Ranch Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Tayla + Danny had a fun and relaxed wedding at Rein Fire Ranch, surrounded by their closest friends and family! 

Throughout much of the engagement Danny, a soldier in the U.S. Army, was deployed to Afghanistan. Tayla took wedding planning by the horns and rolled though every detail until it was perfect. Danny did do some awesome planning from afar too... he hired me to shoot his homecoming as a surprise for Tayla!! Whoo, that was SO much fun. I had to bring my husband and friend to make sure Tayla didn't spot me, so shout out to Kyle and Leslie for helping me pull that one off!!

On the big day, everyone was laughing, smiling and having a great time. It was really sweet to see the excitement and anticipation in Tayla + Danny's faces. They were both so happy and so ready to say 'I do'. Seeing the anticipation and excitement my couples experience on their wedding days is one of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer. It's so heart warming to SEE and FEEL the love and connections shared by two humans in love!

Tayla + Danny, you two are both so special and the love that you have for each other is beyond compare! I am so happy you chose me to capture your wedding day and I feel like I've made some great friends as well! I can't wait to see all the fun things life will bring you and I look forward to being there to capture all your important moments.

Check out all the amazing vendors below!! There are so many talented small businesses that focus on weddings in the area, love it!

Make-up: Bethany Yackel Beauty

Venue: Rein Fire Ranch

Cake: Wanna cupcake?

Bartending: Pour Girls and Some Guys

Catering: Brank's BBQ

Cake Stands and Card Display: The Meaningful Details

Flowers: J9Bing

Dress Alterations: Fashion Fittings

Dress: The Wedding Bell

Suits: Men's Warehouse

Second Shooter: Picturesque Art Photography (Thanks girl, you're amazing!)