Seattle Elopement Photographer

Naya + Betka's Downtown Seattle Couple's Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Naya + Betka’s downtown Seattle couples session was one of the funnest of 2018! Lighthearted and madly in love, these two are free spirits and wild at heart. We had a blast exploring the streets of Seattle; from daydreaming what the inside of the (below) cool house looks like to handstands and dancing in the street. Plus that sunflare, #amiright! I just love how these women’s personalities really show through in the images!

In a few months time (Yay, June! I can’t wait for summer) I’ll be shooting these lovely ladies again, this time for a wedding shoot! I’m super stoked to see the outcome of that and can’t wait to spend the day laughing and having a good time with them again. Stay tuned for more amazing images featuring these two lovebirds! Counting down the days!

Special appearance by Percy the cat. I have no idea what his or her name actually is, that’s the name I gave it.


P.S. I really want a pair of yellow pants now!

P.P.S This is one of my new all time favorite couples photos! Just look at their smiles!! They bring each other so much happiness.

P.P.P.S That’s a lot of post-scripting going on.

 
Naya + Betika- Sarah Gonia Photography (15 of 67).jpg
 

“What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with”. - Robert Brault

"When the evening shadows and the stars appear. And there is no one there to dry your tears. Oh, I hold you for a million years. To make you feel my love." — Adele

"And when you smile. The whole world stops and stares for a while. 'Cause girl you're amazing. Just the way you are." — Bruno Mars

Do you want memorable images of you and your love? What’s holding you back? Call me, let’s sit down for chips and salsa and chat about your ideal session.

XOXO,

Sarah

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

Serena + Javi's Center for Urban Horticulture Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Serena + Javier tied the knot at the Center for Urban Horticulture on a smokey day last August. The Center for Urban Horticulture is definitely one of my most favorite Seattle wedding venues so I was stoked that this was one of two weddings I had there last year! There is a beautiful ceremony location down in Marilou Goodfellow Grove, which is where Serena + Javi chose to do their ceremony, but there is also a beautiful greenhouse room to be used if it’s raining. This is also a great location for a reception and dancing (see reception photos below.) There is a decent sized room for reception seating as well. I love all these things but the thing I love the most is the garden and all the unique flowers and plants that are around the venue. They are all so unique and well laid out, they make for beautiful detail photos as well as backgrounds for portraits. The combination of colors and textures were very well put together. Another perk to this venue is that Yesler Swamp is directly next door and is a cute, somewhat private location to do a first look and some bride and groom portraits. It adds great variety to the wedding gallery and is only a short walk away.

Serena + Javi chose different shades of purple for the bridesmaids dresses and beautiful tones of red, orange and green for their flowers. I must say that this is one of the most stunning bouquets I have ever seen! The colors and textures chosen where so perfect and matched Serena’s red shoes. The ambiance of the whole day was warmer than normal due to the sun shining down through all the smoke and it was just perfect with the warm tones of the florals.

Overall the wedding was so beautiful and fun! So many smiling faces and happy memories made. Congrats Serena + Javi!

Venue: Center for Urban Horticulture

Day of Coordinator: Katrina Allen of Love Blooms Wedding and Event Design

Florist: Laurel's Floral Decor

Caterer: Bay Laurel Catering

Hair/Make-up: KLS Makeup Artistry

Rentals: Grand Event Rentals

Music: Irwin Shung

Second Shooter: Malory Larson Photography

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

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

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

Kate + Taylor are getting married! 

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 Ballard Bay Club Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Ingrid + Dan tied the knot this summer in a lovely outdoor ceremony at the Ballard Bay Club. Surrounded by friends, family and beautiful weather the day was simply amazing!

The morning of the wedding, both Ingrid and Dan got ready with a handful of their closest friends. It was all laughs and smiles (and yummy snacks) as we prepared for the big day. We then met at the Ballard Locks for the first look. There happened to be a concert happening but we found a private little spot in the woods for Ingrid + Dan’s intimate first glance at each other.

After the first look and family and wedding party portraits we headed over to the main venue for the Ketubah signing. Ingrid + Dan found the MOST amazing Ketubah on Etsy, isn’t it amazing?!?! What a beautiful collision of tradition and modern art.

The ceremony went off without a hitch and the Rabbi Aaron kept the atmosphere light and fun. (Side note, if you need a Rabbi, check him out - he’s great!)

One nice thing about having a wedding at the Ballard Bay Club is that the ceremony, cocktail hour location and dinner area is all together. There is an outdoor patio area as well for those who prefer to be outside. Such a beautiful space!

The whole day was just lovely! Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Anne Marie Jostol, she just does florals as a hobby but holy cow did she do an amazing job. I was baffled when I found out she didn’t have a Wedding florals business cause she should!

First Look Location: The Ballard Locks

Venue: Ballard Bay Club

Wedding Coordinator: Bridget Boggiano of The Plan Wedding Planning & Design

Bride Makeup: Emily Oliver Beauty

Bridesmaid's Makeup: Robertmakesfaces

Hair: Jess Sandiforth

Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

Cake: Morfey's Cake

Invitations: Minted.

Personalized Cutting Board: Blushing Bull Branding + Design

Bride Ring: Ben Bridge

Florist: Ann Marie Jostol

Rabbi: Aaron Meyer

Band: Blue Wave Band

Second Shooter: Tammy Dalquist Photography

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

Kailey + Gary's Gold Creek Pond Vow Renewal | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Kailey + Gary were originally married 10 years ago in a small informal ceremony. They were young and in love and ready to take on the world together - which took precedent to the wedding ceremony of their dreams. A decade later, they got to live their dream and renewal their marriage vows surrounded by the mountains and forest of Washington State.

Gary serves in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed in Texas, but Kailey + Gary knew that they wanted to renew their vows near JBLM, since they were originally married here and it holds a special place in their hearts. Thanks to a referral from a mutual friend (Erika, you're the best <3), this beautiful couple contacted me and we begin to piece together this stunning vow renewal. After several location scouting trips and much back and forth correspondence we decided on Gold Creek Pond (for obvious reasons.) As months passed, Kailey found the perfect dress, Hair and Makeup was booked with the lovely Bethany Yackel Beauty, vows of love and support were written and plane tickets were purchased. Kailey, Gary, their son and Kailey's parents flew from Texas to Washington with a vow renewal and then much needed vacation on their minds. Reports of rain lingered on the weather report and we all experienced a roller coaster ride of nerves and emotions due to it. Finally, the day before the vow renewal, Mother Nature decided on an accurate forecast and warmth and sun were waiting for us when we arrived at Gold Creek Pond.

Talk about the perfect combination of PNWesty (I need to copyright this word) scenery + amazing couple + perfect weather + a twist of adventure and storytelling. I heart this more than words can express.

Congrats to Kailey + Gary on your 10 year vow renewal! I'm so grateful you chose me to document it.

Hair and Makeup:  Bethany Yackel Beauty

Can you picture you and your love in these images? If you're considering an intimate wedding ceremony, vow renewal or elopement contact me today to start planning!

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

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!'